News Around Georgia

Bibb County is voting on its SPLOST. The vote is tomorrow. I predict a very close pass. The camps have all been silent, except for behind the scenes where the Chamber of Commerce, among others, has been pushing for a yes vote. The main opposition group had been vocal, but consisted of only two vocal coordinators.

Rick Thompson is not going to run for AG. His GTLA commitment will keep him busy.

The Weekly Standard has a profile on Ralph Reed that is certainly fair and balanced. Reed is definitely in for the long haul, but I’m starting to hear about jitters among his supporters, some of whom are getting cold feet. Reed does have Zell Miller’s backing, but Cagle has Mike Bowers and the Metro Atlanta GOP sheriffs. That’s a plus for him. If Cagle can secure the metro area, it will make Reed’s life very tough in the exurbs and rural areas. Notwithstanding that, I continue to get grassroots feedback that Reed is slowly building.

The Cagle camp had a true coup in its endorsements. That is has been working behind the scenes to get the sheriff endorsements is actually a very good sign for that campaign. In addition to these sheriffs covering the broad suburban area that is strongly Republican, the sheriffs are, mostly by job description, tied in to the community and know the people.

I have, in the past, gotten candidates to focus on getting to know the sheriff. Joel McElhannon did quite well there and should be commended.

On the Democrat front, I hear the Dems are working hard to shape an agenda for Georgia. The Dems tend to think that 2002 and 2004 were flukes, with 2004 being driven by the President’s turn out. 2002, Dems point out, did not cause the Senate to go Republican. The GOP had to induce some switchers. Likewise, Dems point out, and probably fairly, that the 2002 Governor’s race had more to do with Barnes losing than Sonny winning. But, the GOP is now king of the hill and watch for any major Dem pushes to be co-opted by the GOP, which is getting more crafty. Nonetheless, the Dems are going to make a pitch that the GOP is out of touch and focus heavily on the urban and suburban areas. The rural Dem control is slowly being ceded to the GOP with Dem strength in the metro areas.

If the GOP were smart, it would work real hard now to give voters a picture of the Dems the voters find distasteful. The GOP, rumor has it, is already looking to split the Dems in the next legislative session. But, Robert Brown, the Senate Majority leader has a few tricks up his sleeve to see if he can get some egg in the face of the Senate GOP leadership. Count on the Dems to be more united than they have been. The GOP will have to work very hard to keep their own from fracturing.