A hot GOP chairman’s race: Eric Johnson backs Tricia Pridemore, Sue Everhart cites governor’s ’strong-arming’

This race for the chairmanship of the Georgia GOP is heating up like an out-of-control toaster oven.

Tricia Pridemore, the choice of Gov. Nathan Deal, announced this morning that she has picked up the support of Eric Johnson, the former Senate leader and GOP candidate for governor.

Sue Everhart, the incumbent seeking a third two-year term, this morning was on the Martha Zoller Show on 103.7 FM – which is syndicated across the state. Here’s the 10-minute clip sent by Zoller:

Said Everhart:

”I feel like I’m in a race with four people. I have two opponents plus Governor Deal. He is making calls to people, to [ask them to] not support me, but to support Tricia. And it’s very difficult when you’re in that mode. I don’t have the power of the governor’s office to do this.

“I would not want to get an endorsement that was strong-armed…If I have any endorsements, I want the endorsements of the grass roots. I’ve never asked elected officials to endorse me, because their not the ones who elect [Republican chairmen].”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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30 comments Add your comment


January 27th, 2011
10:58 am

This is not surprising at all. Johnson is now a lobbyist, so he has to be sure he can pay the bills.


January 27th, 2011
11:11 am

Don’t forget Jay Morgan out there threatening to primary GOP elected officials who support Sue with his million dollar slush fund.

The GOP deserves better.


January 27th, 2011
11:14 am

So… members of the one-party-rule authority, the ones who made the government of Georgia a “conform, convert, or be irrelevant” non-compete cash cow of neptistic, votes-for-sale corruption, are gnawing at each other from inside their little bubble. Okay. Is there some reason I should care?


January 27th, 2011
11:17 am

Stop whining Sue! This is the way the game is played in Georgia!


January 27th, 2011
11:22 am

Sorry Sue, but if you can’t play the game, then you ain’t gonna win. This “Deal” is done, baby!


January 27th, 2011
11:26 am

Seriously, that’s about the most naïve thing I’ve heard from a Party Chairman (Chairwoman? Chair? Barcalounger?), EVER. Shows she really doesn’t know what she’s doing, or should be doing. Politics is a serious game, and it’s not a game for the squeamish.

Just Nasty & Mean

January 27th, 2011
11:33 am

The more the governor interjects the power of his office into this race to control the party, the more EVERYBODY but his cowering, spineless sycophants will vote for Sue Everhart or Shawn Hanley.

This is how the party cleanses itself of the weaklings and control freaks.



January 27th, 2011
12:00 pm

There is no reason GaBlue, we can handle this.


January 27th, 2011
12:01 pm

Hacks backing hacks.

chuck padden

January 27th, 2011
12:02 pm

Seems that Sue Everhart is being punished when she should be praised and rewarded by Nathan Deal. The GOP just had a historic clean sweep of State-wide offices, and she was instrumental in the victory. I don’t know the lady but folks that do seem to like her a lot. On the other hand, Ms. Pridemore is a newcomer and untested.


January 27th, 2011
12:08 pm


Yes, please continue. I’m SOOOOOO impressed with how y’all are handling the state over the past decade!! I wouldn’t want to interfere with the FINE job the GOP is doing keeping us all in our place at or near the bottom of the lists. GOSH, where can I send MY donation check to the Georgia GOP to keep this awesomeness going?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway and Edited For Bias, Atlanta News Feed. Atlanta News Feed said: AJC: Eric Johnson backs Tricia Pridemore, Sue Everhart cites governor’s ’strong-arming’ http://brkg.at/eeV9GW [...]


January 27th, 2011
12:27 pm

Jay Morgan is Deal’s enforcer. He threatens legislators and former candidate lobbyists to get them to endorse Tricia. Then there is Chris Riley that is making calls as well.These thugs have no scruples. But then again they work for Deal, so no one should be surprised.

Douglas, I can promise it is not a done deal but Deal may be done…


January 27th, 2011
12:43 pm

If the Republican party wants to stay the party of the people, then Sue Everhart is the person to support. She has done an amazing job and has always done the work of the grassroots.


January 27th, 2011
12:58 pm

Exactly Marie, well said.


January 27th, 2011
1:02 pm

There are 3 “official” candidates in the race. (Excluding Gov. Deal) Of the three Governor Deal chose the endorse the one with the least amount of experience to run the Georgia GOP leading up to a very important election year. Sue Everhart had done a great job in her decades of service to the GOP and especially in the past election cycle. She stood against Gov.Perdue when he wanted to put his own candidate in during his 2nd term. Shawn Hanley is Fulton GOP Chair and has done an excellent job running the Fulton GOP. He is energetic and full of ideas. Either one of these would have the experience needed to guide the Georgia GOP through the waters of redistricting and the 2012 election. They would not need to rely on Gov. Deal or his people. They would rely on the grassroots. They would know how to make best use of the millions of dollars that flows into the Georgia GOP. (Hmm, is that what Gov. Deal is after?)

Then there is Tricia Pridemore. Her biggest qualification is that Gov. Deal is supporting her and that she wants to expand and upgrade technology and the web site. I thought she actually served on the GA GOP Technology committee already. Aren’t they responsible for technology for the GA GOP? If she wanted to change things, why didn’t she do that while serving on the committee?

tom mitchell

January 27th, 2011
1:17 pm

Looks like Eric Johnson has sold his soul to Nathan Deal. I guess that’s what happens when you lose a campaign and have to slug out an existence as a lobbyist. I am dissappointed in Eric. I thought he was better than this sort of shady activity.

Ron Paul Delegate

January 27th, 2011
1:18 pm

What goes around, comes around, Sue. Remember 2008? You and Randy Evans, running roughshod over the grassroots at the state convention? You’re an establishment hack now, Sue. It’s fitting that an establishment hack like Deal is running another establishment hack against you. It would appear that Hanley is the only one running who isn’t one. So I wonder what will happen in Macon? Karma, baby, karma.

912 Delegate

January 27th, 2011
1:28 pm

Tricia P is responsible for getting awesome grass roots conservatives into the precincts and into the heart of the GOP. She has been instrumental in letting the Georgia GOP feel the heat from out in the real grassroots. She is also a good and ethical person and if you want to support the candidate Sue, then do it by supporting her and telling everyone what she has done to make things better, but to use your platform for tearing down Tricia by innuendo and commentary which does not tell the whole story, its not a pretty sight.
Tea Party folks need to clean up their act and realize that us real grassrooters are looking at the way you tear into people who HAVE made their bones. NOT pretty people… Just sayin…


January 27th, 2011
1:50 pm

“people who HAVE made their bones.” I think it is very accurate that a Tricia supporter used a mafia term to defend Mrs. Pridemore. Gov. Deal, Tricia, and others are using mafia type tactics to convince people to vote for Tricia. They are contacting elected officials making them offers they can not refuse to support Tricia or making threats. Gov. Deal is using the weight of the Governors office to see that Tricia is elected. You don’t criticize that, you criticize others for pointing out the truth about Gov. Deal working so hard to see that Tricia is elected. Make no mistake, he is not expending that political capital out of the goodness of his heart. He wants control. Tricia knows full well about the strong arm tactics and threats but she just pretends ignorance. Not someone I want representing me.

I say good show that the tea party is fighting this. At least they have a back bone…


January 27th, 2011
1:59 pm

Who wants popcorn?

State of Georgia Tea Party

January 27th, 2011
3:29 pm

I don’t see how Eric Johnson will help. He lost the primary.

Reality Bites

January 27th, 2011
6:14 pm

Lobbyists run Deal’s transition, his choice for Chairman, and they are the one’s passing out endorsements. I never thought I would say “I miss Sonny!”

Disgusted taxpayer

January 27th, 2011
6:48 pm

Eric Johnson…..Hmmmmm….Would that be the same Eric Johnson that tried to sell Jekyll Island to Linger Longer Properties for pennies on the dollar ? I wondered where his useless ass would end up. How fitting he resurfaces as a sleazy lobbyist. Guess He will now try and sell the whole state to his corrupt sleazy special interest friends !! Way to go Eric. Now that Nathan now has both yours and Purcell’s heads up his ass he must be constipated beyond belief !! How much did you get for selling your soul to the Devil ?? A few acres of land in Orlando, a few acres of land in South Georgia, or a 20 million dollar questionable loan from a South Georgia bank, Gee, and we thought Judas was bad !!


January 27th, 2011
7:06 pm

Morgan and Johnson are both Lobbyists. Usually, candidates for office, don’t list too many lobbyists in their endorsement lists.


January 28th, 2011
5:27 am

The Republicans worst enemy: Republicans. Settle this once and for all and get on with governing. Too many times this type of thing has led to poor public policy and the squandering of opportunity.


January 28th, 2011
9:54 am

That’s what happens Sue when you play favorites in a Governor’s race. You need to retire and let someone else with a fair mind take the job. It’s not just about your favorite candidates who ran for office.

Tired of BS

January 28th, 2011
1:28 pm

Tricia Pridemore will be in bed with the governor. You people who are so whipped up over ethics should be very concerned about this. You would rather have a woman with no experience and a history of voting for Roy Barnes? Complete idiocy.

Sally M

January 29th, 2011
7:56 pm

Re-posting this comment here: Eric Johnson’s word is now about as valuable as a bucket of warm spit. He just proved to every one of us who supported him for governor that we wasted our time and vote on him. His opinions mean nothing to anyone now….and he has about as much integrity as Barack Obama does.


January 29th, 2011
8:43 pm


A mailpiece was sent out by the Pridemore campaign that listed this web site. This is very mis-leading. It has nothing to do with the GA GOP and has a small disclaimer at the bottom that most people will not read. They are offering to pay for hotel rooms and provide transportation for delegates. This simply is not done within the GA GOP. It is not on the same scale as the”Cornhusker kickback” but the intention is the same.There is arm twisting and intimidation going on with the Pridemore campaign and now this very misleading web site. Someone really needs to remind the Pridemore campaign that she is a candidate for Chairman, not the Godfather..