If the real contest among the Republican candidates for governor is for the No. 2 spot in a runoff, former secretary of state Karen Handel has the lead, according to an automated poll conducted by InsiderAdvantage for WSB-TV.
As in the past, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine leads. The numbers:
– Oxendine, 26%;
– Handel, 18%;
– Nathan Deal, 9%;
– Eric Johnson, 5%;
– Other candidates, 11%;
– And no opinion, 31%.
The poll was conducted April 5 among 396 likely voters in the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, for a margin of error of plus or minus 5%.
One new addition to InsiderAdvantage’s polling boilerplate: The firm is disclosing that the poll was conducted via automated phone calls.
For those still trying to fathom Ray Boyd, the real estate executive who just jumped into the Republican race for governor with $2 million of his own money, the Associated Press adds the following:
Georgia law allows candidates to funnel an unlimited amount of their own money into political races. But under a law adopted in 2006, candidates may only recoup $250,000 of those funds.
So once in, there’s no financial incentive to back out. There’s more:
Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said moneyed candidates with no prior political experience don’t have a history of doing well in the state.
He pointed to conservative commentator Herman Cain’s failed primary bid for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and Guy Millner, a multimillionaire businessman who ran for governor of Georgia in 1994 in 1998 and U.S. senator in 1996. He lost all three races.
“The lesson has been you can spend a lot of money and still lose,” Bullock said.
Despite his status as a Republican, Boyd is likely to wish a Ross Perot-like pox on both of Georgia’s major parties – if one of his web sites, VOILA2010, is any measure.
VOILA stands for Vote Out Incumbents, Liberate America.
The Republican field in the race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder continues to grow. Local conservative activist and longtime community volunteer James “Jef” Fincher will announce his candidacy for the 7th District contest today. Fincher is a 34-year veteran flight attendant with Delta Airlines and local real estate broker.
In his press release, Fincher speaks of becoming involved in politics through the tea party movement.
If the state of Georgia really wants to dump those sport and music halls of fame in Macon, Bibb County may be ready to buy in.
This from the Associated Press:
County commissioners have agreed to let Commission Chairman Sam Hart begin negotiating for the buildings. The deal could involve a swap of sales tax money for operating funds.
Hart said the county could spend special purpose local option sales tax money to buy the two halls.
The state would then return the money as an endowment to run the halls and other sites the county subsidizes.
The Georgia House is about to consider a measure asking for proposals to move or change the management of the halls. Georgia taxpayers have been spending more than $1 million a year to subsidize the operations.
The re-election campaign of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is trying something you might see duplicated here. This from McClatchy Newspapers:
[Perry] is sponsoring native Texan Bobby Labonte’s racecar — a Chevrolet Impala SS — for the Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18. Perry’s name and campaign logo will be emblazoned across the No. 71 car at a cost of $225,000.
“I’ve got to think that racing is not a lot different from governing,” Perry said Tuesday during the unveiling of his sponsorship of the racecar at Huffines Chevrolet in Lewisville. “There’s about three or four things that, if you get it right, the rest will take care of itself.”
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