The most important state Senate race in Georgia is the November contest between Democratic incumbent Doug Stoner of Smyrna and Republican challenger Hunter Hill of Atlanta.
A GOP win could give Republicans a super-majority in the chamber, allowing them to pass proposed changes to the state Constitution without Democratic interference.
But this weekend, residents of the newly configured District 6 (GOP-heavy Buckhead was inserted into the territory, which had been dominated by Cobb County), received a letter of endorsement from nine prominent, business-oriented Republicans:
Rob Garcia, president and COO of the Bank of North Georgia; Bob Prillaman, retired senior vice president of Caraustar Industries and former CEO of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce; Jim Rhoden, chairman and principal of the Futren Corp.; Barry Teague , managing partner of Walton Communities; Bob Voyles, principal and CEO of Seven Oaks Co.; Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Michael Paris, president and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth; and Ben Mathis, partner in the firm of Freeman, Mathis & Garry.
Updated at 11:50 a.m.: Tad Leithead, chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, is listed as a member of “Republicans for Stoner,” but has sent word that his name was used without his knowledge or permission, and that he has donated no money to the Cobb County senator.
However, we also have examples in hand of Leithead’s name appearing as one of several hosts for two Stoner fundraisers — one in July and another in September.
See the letter here. Here’s the meat:
Senator Stoner has been in the legislature for ten years. During that time he has repeatedly impressed us with his reasonable, common sense attitude and his willingness to move beyond partisanship to work for what is really important – improving the economy and creating jobs in Georgia.
Doug Stoner believes in creating partnerships with anyone who has good ideas – Republican legislators, business and community leaders. These partnerships have resulted in outstanding legislation to bring high-tech jobs to Georgia, the creation of an independent Ethics Commission, and the launch of the Georgia Taxpayer Receipt, to allow citizens to go online to see how the state is spending their hard-earned tax dollars.
The letter is important – simply because we have so few examples these days of general election campaigns relying on bipartisan coalitions.
But if you look closely at the letter, and the names, you’ll also realize something is missing: The word “transportation.” Many of the names behind Republicans for Stoner were also supporters of the TSPLOST this summer.
Stoner himself is considered one of the foremost experts in the Legislature on transportation. That’s a measure of how radioactive the July referendum remains.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider