Rep. Jane Kidd will be running for the open seat being vacated by Sen. Brian Kemp in the Athens-Clarke County based Senate district.
Incumbent Brian Kemp is not running for re-election because he is running to be the GOP nominee for Agriculture Commissioner. Becky Vaughn lost to Kemp in a tight race (48-52%) in 2004. Eric has previously commented on the Republican’s vulnerability in this seat.
I hate to say anything is a shoe in. However, there is no doubt that Kidd will be a much better candidate for the Democrats in 2006 than Vaughn was in 2004 and is likely to beat whoever the Republican nominee is. First, with Kemp’s departure, Kidd will be not be running against an incumbent. If both neither Vaughn or Kemp had been incumbents in 2004, I bet Vaughn would have won.
The district is a close 50-50 district with a slight lean to Democrats in state races. Granted, Kidd’s House seat is more solidly Democratic than the Kemp Senate seat. However, with a strong candidate, Democrats should be able to take this one. They have a strong candidate in Jane Kidd.
This seat may be the Democrats best opportunity to pick up a seat in the Senate in 2006. However, they must keep JB Powell’s seat in order for it to make a difference.