Roy Barnes: ‘I’ll vote for Michael Thurmond in U.S. Senate race’

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes, left, is joined by Democratic candidate for commissioner of labor, Darryl Hicks, and 9th District Democratic party chairwoman Margaret Ball, at statewide fly-around campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Dalton, Ga. AP/The Daily Citizen.

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes, left, is joined by Democratic candidate for commissioner of labor, Darryl Hicks, and 9th District Democratic party chairwoman Margaret Ball, at statewide fly-around campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Dalton, Ga. AP/The Daily Citizen.

Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes on Monday backed off any hint that he would vote for Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate race – in a final-day attempt to quell expressions of dismay from supporters Michael Thurmond, the Democratic candidate for Senate.

“Roy is going to support the ticket, and will be voting for Michael Thurmond tomorrow,” said Emil Runge, spokesman for the Barnes campaign.

We understand that Barnes and Thurmond are to meet this evening at the finale of a statewide fly-around at Peachtree-DeKalb airport. And that Thurmond might even introduce the former governor – after peace is made.

In a telephone interview this afternoon, Thurmond – who is African-American — said that black voters were “livid” over an answer Barnes gave in the course of last night’s Atlanta Press Club debate, televised statewide by Georgia Public Broadcasting. Deal had asked Barnes whether he would consider voting for any Republican on Tuesday’s ballot.

From the Associated Press:

Barnes said he might vote for Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in his bid for a second term. Isakson is facing state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, the highest-profile African-American on the ballot in the state this fall.

“I haven’t made up my mind in that race yet,” Barnes said.

If nothing else, the statement could be read as giving other white Democrats permission to support Isakson – who already does well on that count.

“I’ve had five or six calls from people who say they’re going to vote for John Monds,” Thurmond said. Monds is the Libertarian candidate in the governor’s race, and is also African-American.

Thurmond said voters who contacted him saw Barnes’ remarks as “part of a pattern.” In Florida, Democrats are already having to deal with a backlash over reports that former President Bill Clinton tried to talk Kendrick Meek, who is black, out of the race for U.S. Senate – in order to push Democratic voters to Gov. Charlie Crist.

Barnes and Isakson are both from Cobb County and considered friendly. But Thurmond – the vice chairman of the state Democratic party — was encouraged to run for U.S. Senate, at least in part, as a means of limiting Isakson’s influence over the rest of the GOP ballot.

Before the Barnes campaign issued the statement at the top of this post, I asked a miffed Thurmond if he would be voting for Barnes on Tuesday, His response could only be characterized as Handelesque: “I’m going to support the ticket,” he said.

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58 comments Add your comment

Jon

November 1st, 2010
3:47 pm

I’ll vote for Isakson, although I’m not sure why. Has he done anything since he’s been there? I chuckled at his most recent commercial, where he said he had a “plan.” That would be a first.

Make my vote count

November 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

African Americans should feel outraged with that Barnes said and then retracted. Barnes wants to make sure that we vote for him, but then he does this?!?

Makes me want to go out and vote Monds… and THAT’s just what I’m going to do. I’m tired of always voting Democratic anyway and still nothing really changes. A third party does a Georgia good

Booger Fling

November 1st, 2010
3:50 pm

nothing of interest here. moving on

John

November 1st, 2010
3:52 pm

This is almost as embarrassing as when Nathan Deal signed a letter demanding Obama’s birth certificate. Or the time he went off about ghetto grandmothers.

south ga. possum

November 1st, 2010
3:55 pm

NOW> You democrats tell me which candidate for governor is the crook. Sounds like crook and flipflop are both spelled R O Y .

John

November 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

I looked up crook in the dictionary, I found a picture of Nathan Deal behind bars.

Vote Libertarian

November 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Vote for John Monds because a smaller government is what we need, not just because he’s black. That’s as dumb as voting for someone because they are white. Or brown. Or green, yellow, or any other color.

Boooo

November 1st, 2010
4:02 pm

So….should everybody vote for Thurmond because he is black or are the blacks voting for him because he is black? Why didn’t Thurmond just say that some of his supporters were outraged by the Comments from Barnes? Why make it a race thing?

I was undecided

November 1st, 2010
4:04 pm

I was undecided who I was voting for between Austin Scott and Jim Marshall until Jim Marshall ran an ad following the UGA/FLA game. So as a UGA fan, i had to watch a tough loss then see Jim Marshall’s smiling face. Now I’m voting for Austin Scott. I can’t shake that image.

Troy

November 1st, 2010
4:10 pm

This really p*sses me off. I volunteered for Roy and I’m African American. Roy’s only hope was a runoff–now I have qualms about even voting for him on tomorrow, let alone in a runoff. Good luck with getting the “black” vote to show up if there is a runoff…Dang…Georgia is truly screwed.

Ernest T

November 1st, 2010
4:21 pm

rod

November 1st, 2010
4:21 pm

Barnes with Thurmond, Clinton talking Florida African American candidate about quitting for a white guy, Maynard Jackson being told no to leading the Democratic Party. The democrats know that most African American’s will vote for them no matter how they treat them. It is a shame.

Last Man Standing

November 1st, 2010
4:24 pm

south ga. possum:

I looked up “idiot” in the dictionary and found a picture of “John”.

Ralph

November 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Anyone who has followed Barnes knows he is a typical ambulance chasing lawyer who will do and say anything he thinks will help HIMSELF. He doesn’t have a single core value that is not for sale, rent, or change whichever way the wind is blowing or audience is listening.

Diehard

November 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

More evidence that King Roy will say anything, do anything to put that crown back on his head and have all of us poor voters kissing his . . . .

John

November 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

lms, I commend you for following my lead. Obviously you’re not very good at making your own jokes.

Denny

November 1st, 2010
4:35 pm

I’m a white native Georgian and I won’t be voting for Isakson even though he may be a nice guy he hasn’t done anything for the people of Georgia or the U.S.

Renee

November 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

“Make Your Vote Count”…the African American community owes a vote of loyalty to Roy Barnes for having sacrificed his tenure as Governor in ‘02 as a result of the “flag” issue…but go ahead and vote for Monds…that will help a run-off.

Randy

November 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

I am a conservative and I am not real happy about any of the candidates. It’s almost as bad as the 08′ presidential election. Barnes told one of our civic groups a month ago that he would not air anymore negative political ads and that he was going to be positive. Well, you see how that turned out. I guess I will vote for Deal but I don’t think he is conservative enough.

HUH?

November 1st, 2010
4:41 pm

I voted Thurmond because it’s time for someone else different as Senator — no, he won’t be better. He’s OK as labor commissioner and would not be very good as a senator. Johnny Isakson is just too old and out of touch and is a good argument for term limits for senators (as if Strom Thurmond wasn’t enough of a reason).

John

November 1st, 2010
4:43 pm

Isakson is a chameleon, he claims he’s conservative, but voted for TARP, for NCLB, for Medicare D. He’s the same as Thurmond.

Einstein

November 1st, 2010
4:43 pm

Sure looks like ole Roy has been voting for Kentucky Fried Chicken and double orders of mashed potatoes & gravy. Neither Barnes nor Deal is qualified to be Governor…why not just outsource this job out to business and do all Georgian a favor.

Doug Craig

November 1st, 2010
4:45 pm

Chuck Donovan is the best candidate ,The reason Barnes is flip flopping is because the GOP and Democrats are the same big government parties

http://crazyforliberty.com/2010/11/01/chuck-donovan-states-i-am-running-against-two-democrats.aspx

Doug Craig

November 1st, 2010
4:47 pm

tron

November 1st, 2010
5:01 pm

up here in bankhead we mad at dat roy. I call fo all democrats to boycott that fool! he wont vote fo thurmond cause thurmond is a smart black man. lets sho king rat that john monds is the man fo us!

(D)isappointed

November 1st, 2010
5:02 pm

Roy Barnes has proven yet again that he is only a Democrat on the surface. He showed his true colors during the debate last night. He’s still a good ol’ boy, who’ll support his friend Johnny Isakson. Today his spokemen said he would vote for Mike Thurmond but I’ll bet he somehow selects Isakson tomorrow in the voting booth.

Joe

November 1st, 2010
5:08 pm

Maybe Mike Thurmond should have run a campaign. Most pathetic excuse for a Senate candidate I have ever seen anywhere.

If I were Roy, I would vote for Isakson, but I would not have said it at the debate.

Enough with all the race crap. Mike Thurmond might be a great person, but he is one crappy candidate.

John Galt

November 1st, 2010
5:12 pm

I like Einstein’s idea to outsource the job.

Can someone tell me again why it isn’t racist when 95% of the black voters vote for the black candidate?

(D)isappointed

November 1st, 2010
5:14 pm

Mike Thurmond’s campaign was all but non-existent because he lacked $$$. Unfortunately, Mike is a man of limited means, unlike the crook Nathan Deal or the BAU Senator Isakson. I will definitely vote for Thurmond, even though I know he doesn’t stand a chance. I may not vote for Roy Barnes now since he hasn’t verbalized his support for Thurmond. He left it to a spokeman to give Thurmond support.

Last Man Standing

November 1st, 2010
5:16 pm

John Galt:

Because they are “Entitled” to vote that way?

Joe

November 1st, 2010
5:20 pm

I dont buy the fact that he lacked funds. There are kids running for student body president that have better websites than he does. His site is a complete joke. He has not issued one piece of news, not one plan. I heard him speak and there was nothing of substance beyond jobs and being the son of a black farmer. We have a black President for cryin out loud!

As Senator – he needs to know Federal issues beyond ” creating jobs.” He has given us no reason to believe that he is competent on federal issues.

Also – in one debate against Johnny he asked both questions to Chuck Donovan. Not one question to the incumbent Senator he is trying to beat.

I am one of those Independents everyone talks about I and I am going for Barnes and Isakson. There was a lot more he could have done, regardless of how much money he has.

Last Man Standing

November 1st, 2010
5:23 pm

Roy Barnes was counting on and went after the black vote. He’s got preachers in pulpits calling their flock to rally around Roy. What does Roy do? He says he will probably vore for Isakson. How’s that for being taken for granted? Even though Roy’s spokesman says Roy will vote for Thurmond, how do you know he will? Roy hasn’t said he would vote for Thurmond. Can you trust Old King Roy? After all, he knows he already has your vote, doesn’t he?

Freeman

November 1st, 2010
5:27 pm

All You Barnes Supporters. Roy Barnes Cant do anything if elected.

All his promises mean nothing

Doug Craig

November 1st, 2010
5:27 pm

joe Why would you vote for big government Johnny Isakson. Chuck Donovan is a much better choice

MikeSteele

November 1st, 2010
5:34 pm

@LastManStanding: You’re right. It was politically maladroit. It was an arrogant gesture. But I’ll take an arrogant politcian over a crooked-”can’t keep his own money str8, yet wants to manage Georgia’s budget”-politician. The state’s already in a deep hole.

If you honestly believe that a bankrupt politician is going to deliver Georgia from its problems, then you need to get your head checked.

(D)isappointed

November 1st, 2010
5:36 pm

I agree that Thurmond’s website was lacking but having watched Isakson do absolutely nothing for the past several years, I think Thurmond would be a welcomed change to the business as usual politics of GA senators. I sent email to Thurmond’s campaign a few months ago requesting his position papers and info on how I could volunteer to help him. It took months for Thurmond’s campaign to get back to me with an invitation a fund raiser. That was not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to volunteer my time, not my $$$. …So, I agree he should have put forth a better, more organized and prompt campaign but it’s naive to think all things are possible on a shoestring budget. Designing and maintaining a website requires $$$ and last I checked most people don’t work for free. It also requires a highly organized staff of supporters and volunteers to process incoming inquires and create press releases. While some of these activities could have been performed by volunteers, most campaigns hire support staff to do the heavy lifting. Thurmond’s campaign simply didn’t have the funds to design and maintain a robust, responsive, highly informative website. still plan to vote for Thurmond. Isakson has been in the senate for six years and he hasn’t accomplished much of anything.

Tuckerman

November 1st, 2010
5:39 pm

Deal just ordered his Rubber Stamp for the Georgia Legislature. Maybe he should have ordered two in case he wears the first one out.

Einstein

November 1st, 2010
5:46 pm

Hey Doug Craig,
Why vote for any of these unqualified lawyers? Would you hand over all your savings,investments, and retirement to your family attorney for safe-keeping and growth? Of course not, but that’s what we do when we elect these jerks. I say we outsource all top Gov’t positions and pay based on performance…not hollow promises. That just might give new meaning to accountability. After all, it’s OUR tax money!

Amy Kremer, Chairwoman - Tea Party Express Nation

November 1st, 2010
5:48 pm

Tomorrow will be a day of celebration across Georgia. It’s time to take back the polls.
I personally look forward to celebrating a Tea Party victory by eating an entire pizza and two vanilla sheetcakes from Publix with a quart of Blue Bell strawberry ice cream!!!

Einstein

November 1st, 2010
5:55 pm

Take it easy, Amy. I think a double shot of Plantation Vodka will do nicely.

John

November 1st, 2010
6:01 pm

I like Amy, she reminds me of Roy. And Sonny.

Bobby Anthony

November 1st, 2010
6:11 pm

I voted the first day the polls opened for early voting. I voted for Thurmond and against Barnes. If the black pastors in Atlanta had supported any of the other Democrat candidates for governor I would have voted a straight Democrat ticket except for Sistie Hudson and Joe Martin. I hope they will not repeat the mistake in 2012.

steve

November 1st, 2010
6:24 pm

Not a big fan of Johnny… and most of his campaign staff are arrogant and rude… but he is a lot better than Mike Thurmond.. not voting for a single democrat tomorrow.

BALANCE

November 1st, 2010
6:36 pm

GEORGIA needs balance and fairness. A vote for Isakson will produce nothing other than the last six years of Johnny’s tenure in Washington. Isakson wants us to believe he has not been part of the problem in Washington. In addition, he is so old and his face is cracking from all those boozing nights. I voted for Thurmond regardless of how bad his website looks!! Georgia needs balance and jobs not rhetoric from Johnny Isakson.

[...] Stefan on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:40 PMTimeline on Roy "making up mind" on who to vote for in U.S. Senate [...]

John

November 1st, 2010
6:42 pm

Matt Towery from InsiderAdvantageGeorgia was just on WSB-TV. He notes the strong African American turnout so far (29% in early voting), and Barnes close to the white support he needs (26% in polling, needs 30% for a runoff). He doesn’t see the GOP enthusiasm nationwide here in Georgia.

Teaparty Volunteer

November 1st, 2010
6:44 pm

Well, is anybody surprised by this connection? Just like ole Roy would be buddying up to Obama and Pelosi if he won. Don’t think for one minute that he is on your side. Not if you are a working taxpayer. If you are from a generation of legacy welfare families, then yes, he is all for you.

MD

November 1st, 2010
6:51 pm

roy I am going to negate your vote.

Red Barnes

November 1st, 2010
7:13 pm

Yep! Ole cousin Roy messed up last night. I’m voting Thurmond….I always liked his daddy Strom.

calvinb

November 1st, 2010
8:47 pm

Yup, I agree with Michael I will be supportng the ticket. The top will be Monds, Thurmond etc.

You get the idea Kill Joy. Yeah you can’t help but show your true color. Michael Thurmond all the way, along with other trustworthy Progressive Dem’s. After this election, this relationship will be re-evaluated seriously. You can count on me!!!