You probably have your own list, but here’s what I’ll be watching tonight as the votes roll in:
– Even if the TSPLOST doesn’t pass in metro Atlanta, will it pass within the city limits? An in-city victory would serve as a measure of Mayor Kasim Reed’s strength one year before a re-election bid. Don’t look for Reed to be in a good mood should the referendum fail, but win or lose, there’s one side benefit to this campaign for the mayor: The business community is sorely obligated to him.
– Will TSPLOST supporters wait until 7 p.m. before assigning blame for the campaign?
– What price will Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Commission, pay for being part of the creative force behind the TSPLOST vote? Outright defeat will have Republican suburban politicians thinking twice before they play nice with Atlanta again.
– Will the question on casino gaming on the GOP ballot receive enough support to cause state Capitol figures to rethink their opposition?
– In the new 9th District congressional race, a GOP affair, where Martha Zoller finishes could tell you something about the temperature of the electorate. In her contest against state Rep. Doug Collins and former middle school principal Roger Fitzpatrick, she never missed a chance to declare herself a “firebrand.”
– In the 12th District congressional race, which Republican makes it into a runoff with Wright McLeod – Lee Anderson or Rick Allen?
– In Cherokee County, a race for chairman of the school board between Janet Read and Danny Dukes could be a precursor of the charter school campaign that begins Wednesday. Read is a current school board member. Dukes is a member of the governing board of a charter school that had been rejected by the school system.
– A number of Republican state senators are facing significant challenges this year. Incumbent Chip Rogers of Woodstock versus Brandon Beach of Alpharetta; incumbent Don Balfour of Snellville versus Travis Bowden of Snellville and Steve Ramey of Lilburn; incumbent Cecil Staton of Macon versus Spencer Price of Thomaston; incumbent Bill Heath of Bremen versus Bill Carruth of Dallas; incumbent Frank Ginn of Danielsville versus Danny Yearwood of Winder; and incumbent Johnny Grant of Milledgeville versus Burt Jones of Jackson.
– Will Senate District 52 up in Rome move into a runoff? If both David Doss and Chuck Hufstetler survive, look for this to become ground for a confrontation between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is backing Doss, and his GOP rivals for power in the Senate.
– Will state Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, attorney for birthers, sneak past Republican establishment favorite Tyler Harper of Ocilla in the open District 7 race for state Senate?
– Who makes it into a District 6 senate runoff with Republican Hunter Hill? Drew Ellenburg or Josh Belinfante?
– Will the Democratic effort in Athens to drive voters into state Rep. Doug McKillip’s first race as a Republican pay off for primary challenger Regina Quick?
Walter Jones of Morris News Service has done more on the disparate fundraising between metro Atlanta’s TSPLOST campaign and the umbrella effort that covered the other 11 regions:
The campaign for the 10 counties around Atlanta raised $6 million, while the rest of the state drew just one-third as much, $2 million, even though roughly 60 percent of the state’s population and projected tax revenue are outside the metro region.
The Coca-Cola Co. gave $197,000 to the Atlanta drive and zero to the statewide effort. The Home Depot spent $150,000 in the 10-county region where its headquarters and about three dozen stores are located, but nothing in communities like Athens where it has 26 stores within a 50-mile radius of the city.
Russ Bynum of the Associated Press today reports that personal investments have marked the GOP race to pick a challenger to the last white Democrat from the Deep South serving in Congress:
The GOP candidates seeking to oust Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Augusta in east Georgia’s 12th District have loaned their campaigns a combined total of $668,000. That means for every dollar the Republicans have raised from outside donors, they’ve added 57 cents from their own pockets, according to campaign finance reports.
The candidate who’s dipped deepest into his private bank account is Augusta construction company executive Rick W. Allen, who last week raised his personal stake to $290,000. That money, which supplements $422,560 Allen raised from donors, is being used in part to buy TV ads during Olympic broadcasts in the Augusta and Savannah markets.
Maria Saporta of the Saporta Report also served this year as chairman of the Atlanta Press Club’s debate series, televised statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting. Saporta declared herself disappointed that only two congressional incumbents facing primary challengers this year – Phil Gingrey of Marietta and Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville – bothered to face down their opponents:
Specifically, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, the incumbent Republican running in 3rd Congressional district; U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, the incumbent Republican representing the 10th Congressional district; U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, the incumbent Democrat representing the 4th Congressional district; and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the incumbent Democrat representing the 5th Congressional district, all decided not to participate in our debates.
Justin O’Dell, one of three Cobb County Democrats running for House District 41, suspects that this flyer sent out by rival Michael Smith is bogus. Already, he said, U.S. Rep. John Lewis has said he’s made no endorsement in this contest:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider