Frying Fish in Perry

The Governor’s Fish Fry was a huge success.

Babies, balloons and politicians – all were out en masse Saturday at Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2nd annual fish fry at the National Fairgrounds.

A crowd of political hopefuls and leaders from the state Republican Party showed up to support the governor’s re-election bid, and mingle with the 1,500 people who paid $10 each for a lunch of deep-fried catfish, french fries, hush puppies and coleslaw.

“In reality, I don’t think they even consider this a fund-raiser,” said state Sen. Cecil Staton, who represents Macon and the 18th District. “This is grass-roots. This is about just real people getting to come spend time with the governor.”

Perdue said he hopes to continue to capitalize on this campaign strategy, which paid off for him in his 2002 win. But this time around, Perdue is no longer an under-funded challenger.

Reed and Cagle were there. Reed was covering people in stickers, though I understand the Governor really did not want that. Gary Black was there in force gearing up his campaign for Ag Commissioner. Black will be running against Brian Kemp in the GOP primary. Mac Collins was also there.

I’m told that the Governor will, now with the fish fry over, fire up his campaign on all cylinders.


  1. waterboy says:

    You call this the “Peach Pundit” and you don’t even know the candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture????

    Here’s a clue…he’s been a leader in agriculture for over 25 years, raised more money in the first reporting period than any other candidate running for the post (including incumbent Tommy Irvin), has over 500 Georgians signed on as supporters – including Congressmen Norwood, Deal and Westmoreland….his name is GARY BLACK (

  2. Erick says:

    Corrected. I knew it was Gary, but wrote this after the comments and had it in my head that it was wrong there.

    It’s fixed. Thanks.

  3. Rebel says:

    I’ve heard that his campaign would gear up after the session…then after the convention…now after the fish fry. If they don’t start soon, then they can gear up right after Cathy’s inaugaration!

    My point about the lack of state legislators at the fish fry is to suggest they are less than enthusiastic about his race. They’ll show up at the opening of an envelope and they didn’t see this event as politically important enough to be there?

  4. albert says:

    Rebel, the lack of legislators at the fish fry is not an issue. There were a good amount and a far greater amount of the party activists, which is really what anyone wants attending. The folks I saw there were the workers, the volunteers that religiously embrace their candidate and do the necessary work most folks don’t like to do. That, for me, was significant. It helps one assess the potential for what happens in the upcoming months.

    These numbers were significant, especially given the fact that it was an August afternoon just before the beginning of school when folks are busy vacationing and shopping for school.

    I was especially impressed with the organization of the Reed folks. They came out and made their presence known. With all the flap we’ve been discussing and folks thinking the issue will shrink his support, I don’t think so. The folks at that event were ones I would want on my team if I were running for something.

    Frankly, I was surprised at these folks. I spoke with several, as they were asking me to slap on a sticker. I am not involving myself because I have good friends on both sides and believe we would be well served by either. In my conversation, they indicated they didn’t believe the casino flap was that big of issue and believe that what Ralph has done previously in educating, preparing and mobilizing, far outweighed this situation.

    In my opinion, and this is not criticism of Cagle (I like the man and his staff), he had better get face to face with some of these folks and market himself quickly. Most of these people have no clue who he is or what he is about. That’s the negative.

    The positive is that Cagle’s NASCAR theme will resonate with the average individual, much like Isakson’s realtor’s commercials did. They are working Middle and South Georgia this week and will be doing more in the coming months. This is going to be an interesting race.

    I do wish more attention was paid to the SoS race. I believe this is a far more valuable position and impacts every Georgian directly.

  5. Rebel says:

    Thanks for the info Albert. Since I didn’t attend, I’ve had to rely on the impressions of others to gauge the event.

    I agree that Ralph has the team in place to win and that team is unaffected by the casino stuff. I also think the negative stuff in the AJC and encouraged by Cagle has gotten them even more firm in their support.

    I also agree about SOS. Stephens got some good press over the weekend and him being the only one in our party to stand up to Jessie and the election stealers was a great move.

    How did Karen do at the event? I know she didn’t have a booth.

  6. albert says:

    Rebel, Karen did attend but without fanfare. In fact, the only way I knew she was there was that I passed her and noticed her sticker. I kind of felt bad. She was there by herself. I doubt she will be a big factor in the election. I don’t believe she will have broadbased support. My feeling is that if there is a runoff it will be between Stephens and McGuire.

    McGuire, who I am supporting has support in North Georgia and South. Anyone who wins this election is going to have to have a decent network on both ends of the state. The College Republicans like him and supporters from Douglasville were there as well as some from as far as Valdosta.

    This campaign seems to be quiet at this stage, but I hope people will realize the value in this office and get behind whoever they believe in as much as the other races. We, as a Party, need this office. I also hope it doesn’t get dirty. I’ve had my fill of mud.

    After posting my comments previously, I do see the need for the legislators being vocal in support of the Governor, but I do feel this will happen in other events. My feeling was that this event was geared more to the organization as a whole. Both ends need to be covered an am certain it will.

  7. GOPGrassroots says:

    I thought that the Fish Fry was a great sign of Grassroots support for the Governor. It really showed that he has a lot of support from the base.

    Remember, we are a year and a half away from the general election, so while the Dems have a primary they are gearing up for along with the LG candidates, the Governor will remain primarily focused on governing, for now.

  8. Silence says:

    GOPGrassroots makes an excellent point. At least in the Gubernatorial contest, we have the advantage of preparing for the general while two well funded, well qualified Democratic candidates tear one another apart. We should be capitalizing on that by galvanizing our base behind the Governor.

    The coin flips, though, when we get to the LG and SofS races.

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