1. Erick says:

    Honestly, right now I think the race is Bill Stephens to lose. I think he has greater name recognition and visibility. I am convinced, however, that Handel has a wide window to demonstrate both her competence and conservative creditials in how she handles both the Sandy Springs issue and the City of Milton issue that is forthcoming. She has a real potential to shine.

    Right now I think it is too early to be definitive.

  2. Booray says:

    Karen Handel – conservative? The same person for gay adoptions?

    As for her great work in Fulton County, I recall someone on her saying she promised Fulton voters last year she would run for re-election. Heck even Hillary didn’t do that in NY.

    If she was such a great leader for Fulton and cared so much about them during this transition period, why is she bailing out?

    The more I hear about her, the more I think she is a pure political opportunist. I’ve heard people say the same about Stephens when he switched parties years ago, but he did it before we were in the majority and he is giving up Majority Leader to run for SOS. Not sure why, because that’s not much of a promotion and I frankly wish he’d stay my senator, but oh well.

    Handel a conservative? Give me a break.

    Booray Bussey

  3. Decaturguy says:

    Why are conservatives so obsessed with gay people that they would not vote for someone for Secretary of State because they have some positions that support the rights of gay people and their families?

  4. GAWire says:

    There will always be a social conservative/liberal issue divide with issues like homosexual issues, abortion, etc; and, there will always be divide on social issues within the Party. Don’t forget, there are a lot of Dems (mostly in the South) that are on the right side of a lot of these issues!

    As far as the poll goes, I am surprised to see how close it is. It seems like Handel has been non-existent over the past 3 or 4 months, but then again, Stephens hasn’t been very active either it seems. I know this is the down time of year that candidates are using for raising money, but Handel needs name id throughout the state more than Stephens does. Furthermore, she does need to identify with the conservative base a little more. I am glad to see that this little non-scientific, small sample poll shows support for her, though … perhaps it will be a close race afterall.

  5. Ben Raspail says:

    That’s a pretty intelligent, well-reasoned comment, Stephanie. Please, do you have any more gems for us?

    Personally, I don’t care where these candidates stand on gay issues. What I do care about is their conservative credentials and leadership ability.

    Stephens has been one of the staunchest conservatives in state government for a while now. And he is obviously a leader within the party. I agree with Booray that Handel seems to be a political opportunist, evidenced by her morphing stance on gay issues of late. Clearly, being pro gay adoption, gay marriage, and county-funded gay partner benefits helped her win in Fulton. But, Handel is smart enough to know those positions will prove fatal in a Republican primary outside the perimeter. So, conveniently, she is changing those stances.

    We don’t need a statewide Republican nominee who changes her political philosophies when it’s convenient. I think Handel has the potential to be a great candidate, but she simply hasn’t proven that she’s worthy of statewide office.

  6. stephaniemills21 says:

    Okay Ben, here is another one.

    You said “We don’t need a statewide Republican nominee who changes her political philosophies when it’s convenient.”

    Well, just remember, Mr. Bill Stephens used to be a democrat, but changed when it became convenient.

  7. Ben Raspail says:

    Steph, you’re funny. Stephens switched parties right around the time of the national Republican Revolution (early ’90s). He didn’t run for office until, what, 1998? The Republicans didn’t gain a majority in the Senate until the 2002 elections. Doesn’t sound real “convenient” to me, hon.

  8. Ben Raspail says:

    Spades, you’re right. That website is amazing. It’s amazing how factually incorrect it is! Stephens was elected in 1998, not 2002 as this very odd site claims. In 2002, Stephens, as the Republican caucus chairman, was a member of the Senate Republican leadership team (along with Tom Price, Don Balfour, and Eric Johnson) that helped recruit those Dems to switch parties after the election, thereby giving the R’s the majority in the Senate. Tom Price was the Majority Leader that following session (Stephens was the Gov’s Floor Leader). Whew – there’s almost too much on that absurd site to comment on, but I’ll stop here. I think it’s safe to say that the ridiculous, glaring factual errors are enough to discredit any other claims on the site, huh?. Spades, are you actually from Georgia??

  9. 4ofspades says:

    Ben – actually just trying to make a point that you can’t believe everything you read when you google someone’s name. yes Stephens was elected in 98 as a Republican.

  10. stephaniemills21 says:

    The person who wrote the count the vote thing is patently wrong. Stephens ran as a republican in 1998. He left Zell’s office sometime in 1991 I believe, but was still a Democrat sometime in 1993 when he attended the Clinton inauguration.

    And I still see it as convenient. Bill had to leave Zell’s office amid allegations of infidelity and the national GOP was surging. He saw it an opportunity. One that just had not come yet. Perdue also thought the wave would hit in 1998 when he switched. Both are political oportunists. But, that is the name of the game. People change positions all the time.

    I do not have a problem with Stephens or anyone else switching parties or changing their stance on an issue. What i do have a problem with is someone who receieved a huge fine (something like the biggest ever for an individual) from the state ethics commission for campaign finance violations now wants to be in charge of an office that oversees elections.

  11. Bill Simon says:

    It’s okay, Steph. The main point you said which WAS accurate was trhat Stephens left/got fired after he was discovered making whoopee with a woman not his wife in Governor Miller’s office.

    From what I hear, to this day, Bill Stephens and some other certain so-called “conservative” senators play around in the Capitol with women who are not their wives.

  12. That website is so funny. And that poor guy claims to actually live in Bills district, I wonder where?

    Oh yeah, and did yall know that Cathy Cox isnt really from Bainbridge, apparently now she is from Decatur–But at least Decatur has moved to south GA.

    This guy must be some damn yank. Or a nut one.

  13. Romegaguy says:

    Maybe she is from Decatur County, Georgia. Just a guess. But I am still laughing at Bill Stephens switching parties in 2002. Wasnt he the major strategist for Gov Perdue’s campaign in 2002?

    Bill, I have heard the rumors about Stephens and someone not his wife and Zell’s office for years too. Why is Zell still supportive of Stephens even today? Maybe they shared (or share) women friends…

  14. 4ofspades says:

    Romegaguy – Is Zell still supporting Stephens today? He’s not listed as endorsing Stephens, and if you look at the quote on Stephens site, it’s from when he was named majority leader.

  15. DoubleDawg3 says:

    What you have here are a bunch of people (but a clear Minority of the average public) united against Bill Stephens b/c of either personal vendettas or if they’re Dems, the fear that Stephens will only carry the State GOP to new highs — look how far our legislature has come since Stephens/Johnson (and Price/Williams) took over.

    While I don’t know the reason that Stephens left Miller, you can bet that Zell Miller wouldn’t still endorse Stephens if what some of you have suggested had actually occurred — Stephens and George W. Bush were the ONLY people Zell endorsed in the last elections – why would he even bother if Stephens had really done that (unless you believe some deep conspiracy that Stephens has dirt on Zell and the lottery or something like that).

    As for the switches parties and being an “opportunist” ….from 1964 on, how many Democratic legislatures probably identified more with the GOP than the Democratic party – alot! However, none of them switched at the time, b/c they were “opportunist” who knew that switching to the GOP, even though it was there true identification, would cost them election — so maybe he is an opportunist, but so are almost all politicians. ….Oh, and going to an inauguration — how many people turn down an opportunity to meet the President of the United States (even if you don’t agree with him)?

    Oh, and as for the poll…I’m willing to bet it’s only as close as it is b/c all of the Democrat readers voted for Handel, as the “lesser evil” and believing a better chance to beat her than Stephens in the General Election.

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