In politics, the only thing more dangerous than throwing a spear at the king and missing is declaring that you intend to throw the spear – then failing to do so.
This spring, a new coalition of conservative groups called the Peach Tea Party declared that it would target 16 House Republicans and the chamber’s sole independent for their votes against HB 954, a bill to shorten the period during which a woman can seek an abortion, and another measure to eliminate discrimination in public hiring by sexual orientation or gender identity.
Of those 17 targeted, only four ended up with Republican opposition last week:
– Incumbent Republican Amos Amerson of Dahlonega retired. Three Republicans and one Democrat will try to replace him;
– Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, no opposition;
– Mickey Channell, R-Greensboro, no opposition;
– Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, has no opposition;
– Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, no opposition;
– Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, picked up no GOP opposition, but has a Democratic opponent, 65-year-old Sandy Murray;
– Judy Manning, R-Marietta, 69, will be challenged in the GOP primary by 33-year-old Charles Gregory;
– Don Parsons, R-Marietta, 64, has a GOP primary challenge from JoEllen Smith, 52-year-old executive with an education company.
– Jay Powell, R-Camilla, attracted no GOP opposition, but one Democratic opponent, Jewell Howard of Baconton;
– Chuck Sims, R-Douglas, will face Republican Darwin Carter, a 72-year-old farmer;
– Kip Smith, R-Columbus, is being challenged by Republican John Pezold – but Pezold announced his entrance into the contest long before the Peach Tea Party produced its hit list;
– Richard Smith, R-Columbus, no opposition;
– Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, no GOP opposition, but one Democratic opponent, 23-year-old Lauren Craddock;
– Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, no opposition;
– Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs, no opposition;
– Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, no opposition;
– and Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, the House’s only independent member, won’t be allowed to qualify until July. But no Republican signed up to run against him – only Democrat Quentin Howell.
As Memorial Day weekend began, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers found himself explaining his previous occupation as a sports handicapper. Read the original piece by David Michaels and Atlanta Unfiltered here. From Channel 2 Action News:
Rogers faces Republican challenger Brandon Beach in the July 31 primary.
Over at the Athens Banner-Herald, Blake Aued notes that despite their outrage over state Rep. Doug McKillip’s switch to the Republican side of the aisle, Democrats were unable to find anyone to run against him:
“The reality of the situation is that, by betraying the Democratic Party and turning his back on the people who elected him, he bought himself a friend in (House Speaker) David Ralston,” former Clarke County Democratic Committee Chairman Bill Overend said. “He was able to draw himself a district, frankly, to the detriment of (state Rep.) Chuck Williams and Oconee County, that is very conservative.”
The decision by Hunter Bicknell to seek another term as chairman of the Jackson County Commission, rather than qualify as a candidate in the 9th District congressional race, changes the outlook for frontrunners Doug Collins and Martha Zoller, both of Gainesville.
A third candidate, Roger Fitzpatrick, remains in the July 31 race, but the odds of winning the seat without an expensive runoff contest have risen considerably.
Copy editors beware. We now have two Rick Allens in two separate Republican contests for Congress. In the 2nd District, Rick Allen of Columbus, the 61-year-old president of a medical supply company, is one of three Republicans out to challenge Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop of Albany.
In the 12th District, Rick W. Allen, a 60-year-old general contractor from Augusta, is one of four Republicans seeking the honor of doing battle with Democratic incumbent John Barrow, also of Augusta.
James Richardson at Georgia Tipsheet has been doing a fine job of tracking party-switchers at the grassroots in Georgia. Among them: Eight Bleckley County office-holders filed for reelection Wednesday as Republicans. Only the county surveyor remains a Democrat.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland said last week that he’ll vote for the transportation sales tax on July 31, but his Republican colleague Tom Price is less sure. From the Marietta Daily Journal:
“I honestly don’t know. When I was at the state level, I fought to make it so that we could try to get some regional decisions made in transportation that were truly addressing the areas of congestion. One of the things that we did was to make certain that the tolls on 400 were used for 400 instead of sent around the state. It’s clear that we need some transportation solutions and expansion of capacity in the metropolitan area. I’m not certain that this bill was the right way to go at it. I didn’t have a hand in it at all obviously because it was at the state level.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider