Isakson strategist: Austin Scott should run for Congress against Jim Marshall

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s chief political strategist is calling on state Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) to shun a GOP primary challenge to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, in favor of a party-backed attack on Jim Marshall, the Democratic congressman from Macon.

A primary challenge to an incumbent lieutenant governor, said long-time Isakson associate Heath Garrett, Scott would benefit Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes, and “could potentially hurt the Republican ticket as a whole.”

“I believe and am urging Austin Scott to seriously consider challenging Jim Marshall in the 8th congressional district, where the entire Republican party can rally behind him,” Garrett said in a phone interview.

Scott is currently a back-in-the-field candidate for governor with a platform focused on opposition to taxes and increased ethics in government. But last week, Scott said several GOP voices had urged him to consider the race for lieutenant governor.

Cagle would be a tough opponent – he reported $765,082 on hand as of March 31, and today released the names of 600 prominent supporters.

But Marshall would be no cake-walk.

In the past several cycles, the 8th District has become a place where GOP hopefuls go to end their careers. Marshall represents a district that, on paper, leans Republican, but the former Army Ranger and Macon mayor has defeated several high-dollar GOP efforts to oust him.

Scott’s reputation and local roots could make the difference, Garrett said. “Austin Scott has proven himself to be an excellent retail campaigner and his maverick status would be very appealing to the independent and conservative Democrats in that middle Georgia district.”

We’ve got a call into Scott. Either way, it’s significant that the fellow at the top of the 2010 Republican ballot has taken an interest in Scott’s future.

Updated at 8:35 p.m.: The above has resulted in a great many phone calls from many parties, who make two points:

First, some Republicans have noted that Garrett, a political and media consultant, has a business relationship with Brad Alexander, campaign manager of Cagle’s 2006 campaign. (Alexander has taken no part in Cagle’s re-election bid.)

Secondly, others have pointed out that a transition from a statewide to a congressional race is particularly difficult — federal campaigns have much tighter restrictions on who can give how much money. Recycling funds from one state contest to another is difficult enough.

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31 comments Add your comment


April 27th, 2010
3:16 pm

This one doesn’t pass smell test. Sounds more like an interest in protecting Cagle


April 27th, 2010
3:21 pm

What Keith said.


April 27th, 2010
3:24 pm

Casey Cagle should not be worry cause he have 600 people endorse him already so what the problem i like scott and i hope he run against him cause there nothing wrong with that

Better think twice

April 27th, 2010
3:37 pm

I think the guy makes a great point about helping Roy Barnes in November. Putting more primaries in play will definitely be draining on everyone… but hey, I’m sure you yokels know more about political strategy than one of the most popular Republican elected official’s chief strategist.

10th Generation Georgian - Former State Employee

April 27th, 2010
3:57 pm

No one in State Government is really concerned with what is best for the Average, tax-paying Georgian. I worked for the State for 5 years. I saw all of the “Political” bundgling first hand. Everything is about politics, not what makes sense or what’s best for the people of GA.

I think that we need to call LTC. Allen West back to GA. (He was born in Atlanta). At least he has had a “Real” job and not lived off of his Daddy the way Austin Scott always has.
He makes more sense than anything I’ve heard so far. Check out his website: or go to youtube:
I’m sorry that I don’t live in FL where I can vote for him.
Someone needs to invite him back to GA.


April 27th, 2010
3:58 pm

Can anyone think of a better cycle for a promising, young Republican to defeat an entrenched member of the Obama-Pelosi establishment? I look forward to casting my vote for Austin Scott for Congress.


April 27th, 2010
4:11 pm

Austin Scott is a good candidate and I wish he were running against Marshall though it is probably too late to mount a significant challenge against him. Maybe if he does not win his statewide race he will consider a challenge against Marshall in 2012.


April 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

Sounds like a lot of people are afraid of Scott. I wish he would run in the Republican Primary against US Senator Johnny BAILOUT. You know the 1 who voted for TARP & wrote the Housing Bailout ripoff.


April 27th, 2010
4:52 pm

Trying to soften Johnny up for your guy ????


April 27th, 2010
5:07 pm

Casey is crook!

Karen Hughes

April 27th, 2010
5:19 pm

Casey is pure TRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tommy Hughes

April 27th, 2010
5:35 pm

Does the people of that state capital really think we would vote for Casey Cage again? They are dreaming big time. GO AUSTIN SCOTT!

Alabama Communist

April 27th, 2010
5:43 pm

No doubt Johnny chief brain trust is on Cagle payroll? Is this not the same dude who said Bush 2 was a true conservative and would never harm the consitution of the United States?


April 27th, 2010
6:27 pm

Too bad there is NOT a Conservative in the Georgia RINO party


April 27th, 2010
6:35 pm

If Scott can run on issues that show him more conservative than Marshall he might win. But if you look at Marshall’s voting record you will see a pretty solid Republican dressed in Democratic clothes.

Most Republicans down this way like Marshall. But they would probably support Scott just for party reasons.

Me? I never vote for Incumbents.


April 27th, 2010
6:51 pm

if scott wants to have any kind of career he avoid marshall and aim at cagle

Georgia Communist

April 27th, 2010
7:05 pm

Why should Isakson worry about Scott, looks like Johnny is trying to be sweet with Cagle.


April 27th, 2010
7:53 pm

Seems pretty obvious to me — Isakson wants more Republicans elected to federal office, and Marshall is vulnerable.


April 27th, 2010
7:55 pm

Every cycle they take aim at Marshall and every year they get their buts kicked. Go ahead Scott try it…


April 27th, 2010
8:57 pm

marshall’s gonna get 60 -65% of the vote against whoever runs against him. he is a lock for re-election.

scott might as well gun for lt. gov or hell against isakson himself.


April 28th, 2010
6:55 am

The Name Says It All…….I’m voting against Johnny also, Donovan is a real Conservative..

Stand Watie

April 28th, 2010
8:01 am

Austin Scott is a RINO, Jim Marshall is a “blue dog”, so what’s the difference?

Georgia Voter

April 28th, 2010
11:07 am

Says a lot about Isakson… party comes first no matter what. What ever happened to putting America first? Marshall is true conservative Democrat and one that sensible Republicans can work with. Once again, this shows that Washington is broken and Isakson is part of that problem.

Tired of Johnny, Casey and Jim

April 28th, 2010
12:10 pm

As for me, I’m tired of Johnny, Casey and Jim. I know Austin Scott, I’d rather have him than the other three put together. I just wish he could win the governship! If not, go for Lt Governor’s job Austin.

Hypocrite hunter

April 28th, 2010
12:34 pm

As long as the Georgia Republican party is selling out the state while demanding loyalty oaths from prospective candidates, I don’t think party entrenchment should even be considered. Go for Cagle. If it results in Roy Barnes being elected…why is that worse than what we have now?

professional skeptic

April 28th, 2010
1:15 pm

Wow. Georgia Republicans just love bossing each other around, telling each other what they can and can’t run for. That, and holding guns to each others’ heads to sign pledges detailing exactly what to think and how to think it.

Becoming a Georgia Republican apparently means giving up your individuality and self determination.



April 28th, 2010
5:29 pm

@Nick — a “butt” kicking really? You call a 51-49% victory a butt kicking from a guy who didn’t even run a good campaign. Remember, Marshall rode on Obama’s coattails in 2008. This is a mid-term election and no Obama coattails will be available. Should Austin Scott decide to run for Congress, he has a real chance to defeat Marshall.


April 28th, 2010
5:34 pm

@Nick — I forgot to mention the year that he barely won was in 2006. Mr. Collins did not run a very good campaign and almost took him out. Marshall is beatable.

Brian Mosely

April 28th, 2010
7:45 pm

What ever Austin Scott runs for, He will be the BEST at it. GO AUSTIN GO we need you!


April 28th, 2010
9:15 pm

Why can’t Austin Scott make up his mind what office to run for? It’s really simple for a career politician like him. He should go for the post that will be best for HIM, not Georgians. Because he has already sold out his constituents. In three debates he has vowed not to question decisions made by the federal judiciary, which is where any challenge to any federal law will ultimately wind up. “What ever Austin Scott runs for, He will be the BEST at it.” Was the “He” meant to convey your feelings that this man is Christ like in your mind? Are you serious?
Oh please.

[...] crowded field of Republican seeking to unseat Incumbent U.S. Representative Jim Marshall (D). From the Political Insider himself, Jim Galloway: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s chief political strategist is calling on state Rep. Austin Scott [...]