Winners and Losers…

Eric Johnson – winner – Eric has led a successful effort in the Senate over the last several years to create a strong and effective majority caucus. Uneffected by the unrest in other areas of Georgia’s government or criticism over his harsh, yet efficient and effective methods, he has blazed a trail for numerous majority caucuses to come. Also a good time to offer praise for the job done by Amanda Seals, Eric’s COS. She’s weathered several sessions in that position, and remains as one of the few original staffers from the “Republican Revolution” of 2002.

Tommie Williams – winner – Aside his new status as a father, our new majority leader has demonstrated a quiet leadership ability as he has “paid his dues” in the Senate, and is now reaping the rewards. He served as an unofficial leader before the Republicans took over, and did an effective job as chairman of the Transportation committee since. I recommend that everyone watch Senator Williams closely. My guess is the best is yet to come.

Chip Caucus – loser – While we’re on the subject of majority leader, I’m reminded of the rumblings that began to surface just before Senator William’s election as majority leader, as Senators Chip Rogers and Chip Pearson made an attempt at a now defunked coup to take the position of Majority Leader. Looking back, they had just shy of the support they needed, and because of a lack of aggressiveness, and presence of timidness, lost on a prime opportunity. I think it would have been a foolish step to take, but that aside, their leadership ability is now typified by lack of aggressiveness and risk.

Scott Rials – jury still out – Jury still out on this one, but my guess is that the former ED of the GAGOP might have bitten off more than he can chew, consulting on several statewide races this year. I’ve classified one of his candidates a loser (Sonny Perdue), and the other a winner (Gary Black), so at best, it could end up a draw.

Paul Bennecke – winner – Although Paul is not a great leader or people person, his mind for strategy, tactics, and numbers is unmatched among most I’ve met in Georgia’s political scene. His patience paid off, because although many thought he should have gotten the ED’s position over Rials, he waited, and now he’s reaping the rewards of both his patience and competence.

John Watson – loser – as mentioned in previous posts, Watson has yet to develop a repution, famous OR imfamous…this can’t bode well for the person who is to be the Governor’s right hand hired gun…

Mike Bowers – loser – to endorse a loser to to be a loser. I’ll explain more on this as I respond to Bull Moose’s analysis of the LG’s race. For now, back to our next loser…

Sean Hannity – loser – Don’t get me wrong. I love Sean Hannity. The highlight of this year so far is meeting him. I love his stance on issues, and I love his confrontational nature. I think it was a waste of his time and money to come do a fundraiser for Ralph Reed. I’m not sure what Ralph raised at that event, but I don’t know if it was worth it…

Jerry Keen – winner – Extremely competent and professional, this state legislator became majority leader in a relatively short time after his election to the State House. However, thinking back to the session, an even greater accomplishment was his status in being considered for the LG’s race. I venture to say that if Ralph drops out, or goes belly up, Jerry will be a fresh hope for conservatives in this state. Stay tuned.

Bryan Kemp – loser – A builder, contractor, running for Ag Commissioner? Labor Commissioner, perhaps. Anyway, rumor has it that Senator Kemp got suckered into this deal anyway. Apparently, he called the Governor, who told him the race was wide open if he wanted to run, then…Smack! However, every race is a risk for Bryan, and I admire and respect his offensiveness in running, even after the Governor screwed him, and in a race that’s looking to be stacked against him.

Gary Black – winner – I’m going to call this race for Black, simply because of his ability to deal with both parties, and thus pull some of the moderate vote, and also because of his qualifications. As I’ve reported previously, he also has quite the list of endorsements already.

John Oxendine – loser – Won’t even go there. Word has it that no one, not even the most astute political minds in the state can explain why he’s still in office. Kind of like Judy Pogue used to be…no one knew how he kept coming back alive, session after session…

Dan Moody -winner – Masterfully and gracefully dealt with, and laid to rest, the oh-so-controversial Senate Bill 5. Well done.

John Wiles – winner – the former state representative from Cobb County has taken the helm of the SLOGO committee in the Senate with an efficiency and effectiveness that worked several extremely controversial issues this session.

Finally, I’m going to call the LG’s race, as a segway into my next post:

Ralph Reed – loser –

Casey Cagle – loser –

Who will win?


  1. ChipRogers says:

    While I agree with almost all that you post, I must take exception to your characterization of the Chip Caucus. The suggestion that myself, or Senator Pearson, attempted any so-called coup is not correct.

    As President of the freshman class, I hold periodic meetings to discuss almost any issue imaginable as it pertains to legislative life and/or duties. Two such meetings were held prior to electing our new majority leader with a publicly posted and distributed agenda. That agenda included legislative items, fundraising, and yes, caucus politics. Again as Class President I felt it appropriate to facilitate a discussion of the Majority Leader’s race. At the time there were no announced candidates except Senator Tommie Williams. A question was posed as to whether there was any other person that the freshman class would consider. There was a brief discussion that ended in unanimous support for Senator Williams. I spoke with Senator Williams both before and after the meetings and gave him a full report of what was discussed. I also gave him my full and unconditional support in his campaign for majority leader. To my knowledge Senator Pearson did the same.

    To summarize, a meeting was held, persons seeking, or potentially seeking higher office, were discussed, a conclusion was reached to unanimously support Senator Williams, and the caucus remains as strong as ever. Certainly not a description of a coup attempt.

    Again, I agree with just about everything you have written, but wanted to set the record straight as it pertains to my support of our leadership. I know that Senator Tommie Williams will do a great job and I will support him in any way that I can.

    Chip Rogers
    State Senator

  2. landman says:

    I agree with Mavericks call on Tommie,he has quitely climbed the senate ladder and may find himself atop that ladder after 06,if some cards arent played wisely!!Kemp’s a fighter but he does have a tough road.Moody deserves a big attaboy ,I hope the real owner of SB5 recognizes that!! I think Bowers is going to look pretty smart in the end by endorsing Cagle early. Some of these doomsday comments about Cagle sound alot like those that were said about a certain U.S.Senator that soundly defeated two guys in a primary with no runoff required.It will be interesting to see the June 30 filings for two reasons one will be how much Washington money shows up,and how much Cagle shows period.If Cagle shows $500,000 thats going to be pretty strong,but I bet he shows a figure closer to $700,000and if that happens the race is full and Ralphs in trouble.The winner then is the great state of GEORGIA!!

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Right on Land Man — Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Again — Bull Moose, while officially endorsing Cagle, does not pull any punches — this is a no spin zone post — I’ll say it I’m not afraid or intimidated — the Kool Aid drinkers supporting and promoting Ralph Reed for Lt. Governor are off their rockers — pure crazy.

  4. TH4196 says:

    If I am a winner, it is because I have the brightest and best Senators in our caucus. I will take the Chip caucus of freshmen in my corner any year. These freshmen did not come to the Senate to sit on the bench. They came to make a difference and we are putting them in the game. Our caucus is unified in a mission to pass a conservative agenda that is good for Georgia.

  5. If I am a winner, it is because I have the brightest and best Senators in our caucus. I will take the Chip caucus of freshmen in my corner any year. These freshmen did not come to the Senate to sit on the bench. They came to make a difference and we are putting them in the game. Our caucus is unified in a mission to pass a conservative agenda that is good for Georgia.
    Tommie Williams
    State Senator

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