Late Friday, Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) announced that he would not seek re-election to the state Senate, citing family responsibilities.
Pearson came under some criticism this session after this recent article in the AJC:
It’s common for Georgia legislators to trade on their political connections at the state Capitol to make money.
But usually they leave office first.
Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville), chairman of the state Senate Economic Development Committee, decided not to wait.
He co-founded an economic development consulting firm that promotes Pearson’s pull under the Gold Dome.
The Sandy Springs-based Pendleton Consulting Group states on its Web site:
“We’re not lobbyists. But we do know who to call and how to get action from top management at Georgia’s companies (large and small), and influencers who work behind the scenes. We know how government works.”
Said Pearson in a Friday press release:
“It has been an honor to serve the 51st District and I have been humbled by the many years of trust and support by the citizens of Georgia. Serving with my distinguished colleagues in the Georgia Senate has truly been a pleasure and honor. We have done great things for Georgia and I will continue to support conservative values and causes.
For the last six years, my wife has taken on the responsibilities of a single mom, and my children have not had their dad around during the most important time in their lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven.’ At this time, my time needs to be spent with my family.”
Steve Gooch, the Department of Transportation board member, signed up on the Republican side of the race just as qualifying closed on Friday.
Joseph Mann, a Democrat from Mineral Bluff, is also in the contest.
In his weekly column that appears in newspapers around Georgia, Randy Evans, the former state GOP counsel and FONG, picks up on the fact that the anti-incumbent fervor aimed at Washington doesn’t seem to encompass the state Legislature:
Fifty-seven Georgians signed up to run for Congress. Only two members of the Georgia delegation (Sixth District Congressman Tom Price (R) and Eleventh District Congressman Phil Gingrey (R)) have no primary or general election opposition.
The same is not true in the Georgia General Assembly. In the Georgia Senate, 23 senators have no opposition in either the primary or general election (14 Republicans and nine Democrats).
In the Georgia House of Representatives, 91 representatives have neither primary nor general election opposition (46 Republicans and 45 Democrats). As a result, almost one-half of the Georgia Senate (56 total members) and over one-half of the Georgia House of Representatives (180 total members) will face no opposition in 2010.
After announcing, in the waning days of the session, that he would run for the state Senate to replace the exiting John Douglas (R-Social Circle,” state Rep. John Lunsford, a Republican from Henry County, has reconsidered.
He won’t run for District 17 Senate seat, but neither will he seek re-election to his District 110 House seat. Said Lunsford:
“I have loved my 10 years in the General Assembly, and I am proud of our many accomplishments,” Lunsford stated. “However, at the end of a long and difficult session, I have decided that it is time for me to refocus on my business and spend more time helping my wife raise our four young children.”
The D.C.-based group Club for Growth, backing former state Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) in the 9th District congressional race, has come out with a TV ad targeting Graves’ chief rival, former state Sen. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville).
Libertarian blogger Jason Pye has done the YouTube work:
The TV spot claims Hawkins hasn’t vowed to repeal the Obama health care legislation in its entirety.
Hawkins calls the ad “false,” characterizes Club for Growth as a bunch of 9th District outsiders – who just happen to be Washington insiders – and uses the word “sinister.”
From the Hawkins release:
The false advertising fails to mention that Hawkins is campaigning daily on repealing Obamacare, as well as Hawkins airing TV commercials calling for repealing Obamacare.
Dr. Hawkins is a dentist and former President of the Georgia Dental Association. As a professional health care practitioner, Dr. Hawkins has led [the] effort in Georgia to stop Obamacare.
Graves has no experience in health care whatsoever.
“There is something much more sinister here,” said Dr. Hawkins. “This is a Washington special group which supports opening our borders for illegal immigration. Graves Washington buddies oppose immigration reform and want you to elect a weak career politician they can control like Tom Graves.”
“Georgia voters won’t be fooled by D.C. special interest groups trying to force their candidate onto north Georgia voters.”
“It’s just a falsehood from a big D.C. establishment special interest group,” said Dr. Hawkins.”
Hawkins’ statement opens up an age-old controversy: Why do so many dentists insist on being called “doctor”?
Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal have something in common. Both have been dissed by the liberal group, Committee for Responsible Ethics in Washington.
CREW has called Deal one of the most corrupt members of Congress. More recently, CREW declared Perdue to be among the “worst” governors in the nation.
The common criticism came out Saturday at a Sixth District forum for Republican candidates for governor. Deal declared himself shocked that Handel, former deputy chief of staff to Perdue, would focus on ethics as an issue:
I’m surprised that she would do that, quite frankly, because this week, Sonny Perdue was named by the same group that filed the complaint against me, as one of the most unethical leaders in the entire country. And Karen used to be on his staff. If she doesn’t place any credence on the label they put on Sonny Perdue, why should she put any credence on the label they put on me.
Handel might argue that the difference might be found in the fact that the CREW criticism of Perdue wasn’t followed by an ethics investigation by a bipartisan congressional committee.
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