Jane Kidd Will Be Hard For Republicans To Beat

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.


  1. Tater Tate says:

    Unfortunately, I think you are right on the money. I continue to wonder why Senator Kemp is doing what he is doing, given the tremendous support for Gary Black in the ag community.

    I’ve heard from some Black supporters that the powers that be are trying to convince Senator Kemp to run for something else, or perhaps stay in the Senate. I have no idea whether there is any chance of success in changing his mind. I know his seat, as presently configured, would always require a fight, but I think his ag race is also a difficult challenge.

  2. Doc says:

    He should be free to run for whatever he wants, but I would like to see him stay in this seat. Gary Black would make an excellent Agriculture Commissioner, and Brian Kemp has already shown that he is an outstanding State Senator and attuned to his district.

  3. SOWEGA says:

    I like Brian Kemp a lot. I think he is a great State Senator who has a done a good job. But I dont understand why he is running for Ag Commissioner. I just saw on Black’s website where he has picked up the endorsement of a huge Pest Control Association. Black’s support continues to grow, I wish Brian would reconsider and run for re-election.

  4. Capt. says:

    All of you are talking about how Black would be great for Ag and Georgia, but he has spent the last 25 years as a lobbyist and a Democrat might I add, and all of a sudden, he sees an opportunity to run for Ag Comm. and he switches parties. What he is not telling people is that he is still a Democrat and voted in the 2004 Democrat Presidential Preference Primary.

    He has not been a farmer like he claims—he has been LOBBYING for Agribusinesses which are sometimes against our farmers.

    Maybe, he should be running against Irvin in a Democratic primary???? They both have many things in common.

  5. Capt. says:

    All of you are saying what a great Black would be for Georgia and Ag, but what you are not saying is the fact that Gary has spent the last 25 years as a LOBBYIST in state government. Not only that, but he is a Democrat.

    What Gary is not telling people is that he is a Democrat that switched parties when the opportunity arose to run for Ag Comm. He even voted in the last Democrat Pres. Preference Primary.

    He claims he has been farmer and is an advocate for our farmers, but he has been a LOBBYIST for Agribusinesses, which are sometimes opposed to and on the opposite side of our farmers.

    Maybe Black should be running against Irvin in the Democrat primary because they both seem to have many things in common. Both Democrats, and both PRETEND to be advocates for our farmers.

  6. FTK says:

    Sen. Kemp has been an excellant Senator. He has had to 2 extremely close races. He has had to work hard, raise a ton of money and had to combat extreme attacks from the Dem. Party.

    This gives him the advantage and experience to beat Tommy Irvin. He knows what it takes to run a tough race which will make him the guy to be able to beat a 35 year fixture in state government.

    Kemp can bring the financial advantage that it will take to run an aggressive campaign against Irvin that he has never had to confront before.

    Kemp also has the experience to be “the” candidate to take down Irvin. He is the sec of the Ag Committee, Chairman of homeland security committee which will provide the leadership necessary to protect the food supply from biological attack.

    He is the only candidate that can beat Irvin. Also, if you go and see Kemp and Black both speak—you will see that Black definitely does not have what it takes to beat Irvin–he looks a buffoon

  7. Tater Tate says:

    I think Kemp would make a great ag com. Beating Irvin will be difficult for either under any circumstances. My only observation is that many Republican icons are on Black’s team and they don’t seem to have a problem with his “Dem” past. I hate to seem Kemp leave the Senate as he may be the only R that can hold that seat.

    Whatever Kemp does, he has my admiration.

  8. I always thought Kemp announced for Ag Commissioner as a placeholder for the 9th/10th Congressional District, assuming that Norwood doesn’t have much longer in office. One of the reasons I thought that is that a number of senators overheard Kemp saying “they drew me a Congressional District” when he saw the new maps.

  9. jackson says:

    You guys all make me laugh. If Brian Kemp won TWO tough elections in liberal area like Athens, don’t you think he would be a perfect fit to run against another Democrat? No offense, but what has Gary Black done for the Republican Party (except according to the above posts) voted in Democrat primaries? Is it too much to give preference to people that have been fighting in the trenches for us (Kemp) instead of another democrat (black, apparently) that decides to switch parties when the Republicans take control.

    And tatertate, another special question for you: Do endorsements really matter? On some of your posts they do (Black) and some they don’t (Reed). Not being confrontational. just a question. 🙂

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Okay, so, a bunch of farmers and a pest control association has endorsed Gary Black. In the Republican Primary, that amounts to an influence of perhaps 2% of the vote for Democrat Black. Whoopee.

  11. Billings says:

    Kemp is the guy we need in state government. He has proven in the Senate that he is not like the rest of the politicians in Atlanta. He gets stuff done.

    That is what he will do as Ag Commiss.–He will get the job done. While, Irvin is not getting the job done and chasing ventures in other countries—Comm Kemp would be facing the real problems that face Georgias Agriculture and our families. Just like he has done in the Senate.

    He is a proven LEADER instead of old democrat lobbyist with a little money.

  12. Tater Tate says:

    In general, endorsements do not influence elections greatly. However, Black’s material lists literally hundreds of names of activists and elected leaders around the state. Somebody has been working hard to get that done. That still will not win an election, but it suggests grassroots strength to me and a committed following, so he has to be taken seriously.

    I’m voting for Kemp, but worry about his viability in this race and hate to see him leave the Senate. As I said before, either candidate will have a difficult time come November.

  13. Just for the record, SD 46 is hardly a bastion of liberalism. Kerry lost it and so did Gore and Barnes. The influence of downtown Athens is more than made up for by the extremely conservative bent of Oconee, Oglethorpe, and the little portion of Madison.

    Kemp has proven effective in keeping down the Democratic vote in Athens by using his personal connections. He did better than Bush in Clarke county while running behind Bush in the other counties. How he replicates his local success and local connections on a statewide level remains to be seen though. Interestingly if Becky Vaughn had run even with Kerry in Clarke County we wouldn’t even be having this discussion today.

  14. BillyTheKid says:

    “Bill Simon said,

    August 25, 2005 @ 1:33 pm

    Okay, so, a bunch of farmers and a pest control association has endorsed Gary Black. In the Republican Primary, that amounts to an influence of perhaps 2% of the vote for Democrat Black. Whoopee.”

    Here’s the list of supporters Black sent out several months ago:

    Lydia, Ward and Caroline Black – Commerce
    Congressman Charlie Norwood
    Congressman Nathan Deal
    Congressman Lynn Westmoreland
    Senator Chip Pearson – Dawsonville
    Rep. Tom and Jane McCall – Elberton
    Rep. Jay Roberts – Ocilla
    Rep. Jon Burns – Springfield
    Rep. Terry and Cindy England – Winder
    Rep. Tommy Benton – Jefferson
    Rep. Chuck and Johnna Martin – Alpharetta
    Former Rep. Jeff and Suzanne Williams – Braselton
    Former Rep. Craig Lanier – Metter

    Willard and Teresa Lasseter – Moultrie
    Raybon and Janelle Anderson – Statesboro
    Mike and Vickie Anderson – Statesboro
    Bill and Jean Cheshire – Statesboro
    Hal and Connie Averitt – Statesboro
    Roy Herrington – Baxley
    Jeff and Judi Davis – Dublin
    Zippy and Bonnie Duvall – Greensboro
    Jerry Usry – Albany
    Ellis and Kathy Wood – Statesboro
    Skeeter and Maria McCorkle – Dearing
    Oney and Anne Hudson – Macon
    Paul and Susan Holmes – Monticello
    Paul and Barbara Riddle – Dublin
    Sonny and Becky Dinsmore – Ila/Danielsville
    Charles and Johnnie Blair – Commerce
    Chuck and Beth Williams – Watkinsville
    Sammy and Cindy Wright – Tifton
    Tash and DruAnn Van Dora – Hartwell
    David and Jennifer Sanders – Commerce
    Chip and Jan Dorminey – Fitzgerald
    David Hays – Covington
    David and Kay Lee – Alma
    Morris and Bonnie Downing – Fitzgerald
    Wayne Shackleford – Snellville

    Paul and Shelia Brower – Marietta
    Dan Raines – Ashburn
    James and Doris Jean Malone – Dexter
    Phil and Debbie Williams – Commerce
    Dennis Brown – Commerce
    Ron Coley – Ashburn
    Parrish and Sara Akins – Alapaha
    Roy and Ruth Embry – Eatonton
    Greg and Dedie Holley – Lawrenceville
    William L. and Debra Brown – Montezuma
    Charles and Vangie Sanderlin – Americus
    Louis and Trish Alderman – Alpharetta
    Bill Coody – Cochran
    Rev. Brian and Bonnie Stowe – Jefferson
    Bubba Hopkins – Ocilla
    Judith D. Sherling – Sylvester
    Benny Johnston – Tifton
    Manor Johnston – Tifton
    Billy Hodges – Americus
    Ken Smith – Bartow
    Cader and Martha Cox – Camilla
    Ben and Vicki Hinson – Macon

    Doyle and Frankie Weltzbarker – Quitman
    Rob Leebern – Washington, D.C.

    Larry Munson – Athens

    Ralph G. Evans – Douglas
    Ben Evans – Douglas

    Donnie Brogdon – Nashville
    Bo Slack – Sylvester
    Robert Sr. and Mabel Jenkins – Millen
    Tommy and Audrey Dollar – Bainbridge
    Terrell and Alice Hudson – Unadilla
    Joe and Sally Tyson – Savannah
    Darvin and Nancy Eason – Lenox
    Earl and Wanda Barrs – Cochran
    Wayne and Fran Webber – Buford
    Dick and Julie Phillips – Hartwell
    John and Marcia Callaway – Hogansville
    Buddy and Margie Leger – Cordele
    Glen Arnold – Cochran
    Jerry and Jimmie Lee Davis – Hawkinsville
    Tom and Janet Stallings – Camilla
    John Meeks – Douglas
    Chuck Coley – Vienna
    Vinson Delaigle – Madison
    Tommy Cathey – Buckhead
    Bo and Paula Smith – Atlanta
    Bill and Early Smith – Atlanta
    Tony and Susie Rogers – Marietta
    Joe Burns – Grayson
    Bill Hotz – McDonough
    Chris and O.B. McCorkle – Warrenton
    Kenneth and Beverly Welch – Dearing
    Andy E. and April M. Hull – Woodstock
    Joe and Rhonda Davis – Chestnut Mountain
    Brinson and Henrietta Lanier – Metter
    Joe Register – Sylvester
    Fred and Peggy Greer – Mansfield
    Garland and Nita Thompson – Douglas
    Howard and Jackie Corbett – Albany
    Andy Stone – Eastman
    Becky Kilby – Tifton
    Keith Lord – Dudley
    Edwin Avery – Dublin
    Ken and Pam Morrow – Duluth
    Aaron McWhorter – Carrolton
    Rhett Spires – Danville
    Pat Bell – Jefferson

    J. G. Crow – Monticello
    Tammy Beatty – Monticello
    Wayne and Anne Christian – Dublin
    Wayne and Melanie McLocklin – Statham
    Gene Maddux – Macon
    Ben Martin – Brooklet
    Jim Dunlap – Sylvester
    Russ Moore – Tifton
    Mike Thigpen – Dublin
    David Register – Sylvester
    James Moore – Perry
    Spencer Black – Perry
    Tim Forshee – Tifton
    Terri Bennett – Cochran
    Rudy Hancock – Nashville
    Garry “Gatorâ€? Johnson – Sylvester
    Rex Turner – Albany
    Jimmy and Gail Hill – Dawsonville
    Steve and Marty Crouch – Griffin
    Jim and Maria Nutt – Marietta
    Gregg Hall – Clyattville
    Reggie Prime – Atlanta
    Brian Nash – Carnesville
    Charles and Jeanie Norman – Buford
    J.D. and Natalie Johnson – Augusta
    Trey and Stephanie Scarborough – Lawrenceville
    Billy and Wendy Egan – Lawrenceville
    John Turner – Woodstock
    Brad and Paige Williams – Loganville
    Chris Lang – Atlanta
    Rev. Lamar and Jean Holley – Lawrenceville

    Ed Mecchella – St. Simons Island
    Bryan Harris – Conyers
    Trey Few – Augusta
    Paul English –Montrose
    Jere T. Thorne – Conyers
    Keith and Diane Arial – Commerce
    Dave Wills – Preston
    Cleve Mobley – Waynesboro
    Dr. Ann Hollingsworth – Carrollton

    Andy Bowers – Watkinsville
    Donald W. Pearson, Sr. – Tifton
    Donald W. Pearson, Jr. – Tifton
    Mike Pearson – Tifton
    Dr. Joe Marshall – Albany
    Chuck and Bobbie Steele – Winder
    Charlie and Barbara King – Gainesville
    Bob McClendon – Arlington
    Steve and Jennifer Lackley – Macon
    Jeff and Kendra Stevenson – Lawrenceville
    Leon Smith – Lawrenceville
    Todd and Melanie Boyer – Savannah
    Mike and Sharon Britt – Lawrenceville
    Inman and Tracy Coleman – Waynesboro
    Daniel Johnson – Patterson
    Van Wooten – Denton
    Andy Stanton – Mansfield
    Keith Carter – Sycamore
    Jimmy and Bunny Champion – Sylvester
    Steven and Lisa Woodruff – Canton
    Ricky Lord – Dublin
    Clay Colwell – Alpharetta

    Will Evans – Marietta
    Paula Williams – Adel
    Benny Daniels – Vienna
    Terry Hamsley – Hawkinsville
    David Burton – Pelham
    Mike Dodson – Omega
    Gibbs Wilson – Tifton
    Gary Branch – Tifton
    Tom Glick – Tifton
    Charles Goodman – Tifton
    Rich McCutchen – Cordele
    Roger J. Brown – Chauncey
    Darrell Anderson – Commerce
    Robert Aylsworth – Stone Mountain
    Steve and Patsy Chastain – Ellijay
    Garey and Melody Clark – Stockbridge
    Ryan Aylsworth – Tucker
    Carolyn Ragan – Hawkinsville
    Hugh and Kelly Hackney – Buford
    Michael and Amy Cobb – Moultrie
    Bill and Bobbie Dodd – Lawrenceville
    Tim and Lara Fink – Buford
    Billy and Juanita Davis – Loganville
    Steve and Odessa Hall – LaGrange
    David and Teresa Hewett – Adel
    Chris Hewett – Adel
    Dan and LeGina Hill – Lawrenceville
    Fred and Regina Hodgins – Lavonia
    Sandy and Jennifer Kelly – Covington
    Gerald and Ava Lee – Moultrie
    Mike and Brandi Ray – Adel
    Frank and Martha Roberts – Gainesville
    Bob and Janice Shelnutt-– Decatur
    Tori Stout – Adel
    Bobby Stout – Adel
    Mark and Susan Turner – Gainesville
    Jerry and Lois Vailliancourt – Senoia

    Gerald Vailliancourt – Senoia
    William and June Webb – Hiram
    Bryan and Wedis Webber – Buford
    Michael and Cyndi West – Adel

    A bunch of farmers?? Farmers some of them may be, but they write checks, and many, many of those folks will knock on doors and host coffees. That’s what wins elections, no matter what category you stick them in.

  15. jackson says:

    Is that really necessary? Just give us the link. Now we are going to have everybody putting their d*mn endorsement list on here.

    But no one has answered, (except you TaterTate, thanks) my questions:

    1. If Brian Kemp won TWO tough elections in liberal area like Athens, don’t you think he would be a perfect fit to run against another Democrat?

    2. No offense, but what has Gary Black done for the Republican Party except (according to the above posts) voted in Democrat primaries?

    3. Is it too much to give preference to people that have been fighting in the trenches for us (Kemp) instead of another democrat (Black, apparently) that decides to switch parties when the Republicans take control?

    And, Chris, if you dont believe Clarke County is liberal, I have ocean front property in South Atlanta to sell you.

  16. Decaturguy says:

    I don’t think that Chris said that Athens was not liberal Jackson. Read his whole statement, not just an excerpt of it. He said that Clarke County’s liberalism is negated by the extreme conservatism of the other counties in that Senate district.

  17. jackson says:

    Sorry, my mistake. Thanks for the correction Decatur! I guess I am not as smart as I think I am!

    You both obviously know more than I. However, even you made the comment “The district is a close 50-50 district with a slight lean to Democrats in state races.” My point was, and still is, that it is an extrememly difficult race for a Republican to win, even more so for a conservative Republican. Why we would give a solid, elected Republican who has done A LOT for our party a hard time if he wants to move up is beyond me. That’s all.

  18. SOWEGA says:

    Everyone keeps calling Black a Democrat, but dont forget that Sen. Kemp voted in 2 Democratic Primaries himself.

  19. Dntmakemeralph says:

    It’s obvious that SOWEGA is one of Gary Black’s staffers.

    I just talked to one of the top guys at the Kemp campaign, and here are the facts.

    Brian Kemp lives in Clarke County, one of the Democrat counties in the state. Every local office is decided in the Democrat primary. If someone wants to vote for the local sheriff, he votes in the Dem primary. Anyone who lives outside of suburban areas knows about this practical reality.

    In the early 90s before Kemp ran for office he voted in 2 Democrat primaries to vote for local candidates who were somewhat reasonable as opposed to the whackos that often win in Athens. Note that these were local Democrat primaries for local office holders.

    Most of the time he voted in Republican primaries, including Republican Presidential primaries.

    Kemp also had the guts to run for a State Senate seat held by a Democrat when the Dems controlled EVERYTHING! While Gary Black was wining and dining Tom Murphy and Roy Barnes, Brian Kemp was going door to door trying to make us a majority.

    Gary Black is an opportunist – like most lobbyists – going wherever the wind blows.

    Add to this that Gary Black voted in the 2004 Democrat Presidential Primary according to Kemp’s campaign manager while he lived in Jackson County – a rock solid Republican county.

    So Gary, which was it, Kerry or Edwards that you cast your vote for?

    This was no vote for a local sheriff or county commissioner in an overwhelmingly Democrat county!

    Gary Black is a lobbyist and a Democrat. If we nominate him, we deserve to lose.

  20. Brian Kemp is the son-in-law of a former long term Democratic state House member from Athens. He beat a guy (Doug Haines) that nobody liked, who had defeated in a primary the yellow dog Democrat that had served the district for over 40 years. For the past 3 election cycles, the SD 46 result has been within 4%, Kemp won two of them and Haines narrowly won the first.

    Clearly, Brian Kemp is a skilled politician for his district, and I don’t believe another Republican will have nearly as easy of a time winning or holding that seat as Kemp has. All I’m saying is that just because Kemp can win Athens as a Republican does not necessarily mean he can win statewide. He has so many Athens connections in the moderate Democratic community that it is not so easy to replicate on a statewide level.

    I do know that Gary Black is viewed as an ingrate to Tommy Irvin. I’m sure there are tons and tons of instances where he’s said good things about Tommy, or written him a check, or appeared in photos together, etc. My guess is that if Roy Barnes had won and Tommy Irvin had retired, Black would be running to succeed him as the Democrat.

  21. Bill Simon says:

    Someone want to give me their phone numbers and cellphones, and I will. 🙂

    Or, rather, I’ll schedule an “auto-call” asking them to seek mental health help. 😉

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