Immediately after Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced March 6 as the date of Georgia’s 2012 presidential primary, he was button-holed by Maria Saporta, the Atlanta business writer.
Saporta is also the chairman of the debate committee for the Atlanta Press Club – which is already fishing for local partners to sponsor a Georgia debate of the GOP presidential candidates.
“We’re looking into the possibility of holding a Republican presidential primary debate in Atlanta before Super Tuesday,” Lauri Strauss, executive director of the Atlanta Press Club, quickly confirmed over the phone. “We’ve been putting the feelers out for a national broadcast partner.”
Strauss said the club has already had conversations with Atlanta-based CNN and Fox News. (If you remember the first tea party rally at the state Capitol, you’ll know that Fox loves to play in CNN’s front yard.)
Strauss also said she and others have been consulting with Kemp, Gov. Nathan Deal, and state GOP chairman Sue Everhart.
Only last week, the press club announced that Charlie Loudermilk, founder of Aaron’s Inc., had pledged $1 million over four years (in $250,000 increments) to permanently endow the club’s series of political debates during every election year in Georgia.
In honor of his close friendship with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, the debates are to be named the Atlanta Press Club’s Loudermilk-Young Debate Series.
In other words, the press club is looking hard for a premier event – and would like Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the gang to attend.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider