Johnson and the Caucus

You’ve got to hand it to Eric Johnson. After weeks of speculation that he might not run, he decided to run again. He’s going to run against a Democrat pledging to spend $500,000.00 of his own money to beat him. And what does Johnson do? He goes out and raises money for other Republicans. He has one lined up for David Shafer. He will be helping a number of other people as well.

There had been whispers that the freshmen might hold a rebellion against Senate leadership during the session. It did not pan out and, in fact, the Senate went on to deliver a fairly positive conservative agenda.

So here is a guy who is running against a well funded challenger, and he is out helping other Republicans and shoring up his personal relationships within the caucus and shoring up the caucus itself. That, my friends, is good leadership.


  1. tobin smith says:

    It may be good leadership, but it is also a major exercise in cya!

    Johnson knows that if Cagle wins, he’ll need Shafer to keep his job as pro tem.

    Shafer is the power behind the throne, or the one who wants to ascend the throne. Without Shafer, Cagle would not stand a chance.

  2. DomeInsider says:

    The freshman class is almost half of the Republican caucus in the Senate. It includes some very ambitious individuals. Johnson did a poor job managing their frustrations at first, but his performance improved with maturity. He has been helped by having Tommy Williams as his majority leader.

    It is not likely that the freshmen will rebel. They start rumors of rebellion to get the caucus leadership’s attention. But Johnson is still smart to shore up his support among the older members, especially those like Shafer who form Casey Cagle’s inner circle.

    Johnson better hope that Mike Crotts does not useat John Douglas. Johnson rightly shoved Crotts out of the caucus leadership when the GOP took over. They hate each other, and you can expect Crotts to return with a vengeance.

  3. tobin smith says:

    It is not the freshmen Johnson has to worry about, it is the Shafer/Cagle team and their plans should Cagle win. Shafer eyes the top spot I am told, but may put in Pearson if he thinks he cannot win. Majority Leader wouldm likely go to Mullis.

    I suspect William’s signature on Cagle’s recent mail campaign, and Johnson attending a fundraiser for Shafer has more to do with an attempt to protect their rear ends than it does with any love between these guys.

    Ain’t it funny how politicians use one another for their own ends.

    The Cagle/Reed race is more than just a race for LG. It is a race for control of the Senate, and in some ways the whole party in Georgia.

    I wish Johnson would stand up to the Shafer/Cagle/Mullis crowd, but he must not think it possible. He seems to be a very capable person and a good fit for higher office if he can weather this pending storm.

  4. DomeInsider says:

    Tommy Williams has done a good job as majority leader and has supported Casey Cagle from the start. Jim Collins and Kay Godwin have gotten themselves mixed up with Ralph Reed, but Tommy has always been with Casey and his endorsement proves it. It is likely that Tommy remains in his post or moves up if Cagle wins.

    David Shafer and the “Chips” — Chip Rogers and Chip Pearson — are the Cagle Brain Trust. Williams and Johnson have courted all three very heavily since it became clear that Cagle would probably win, and that was a smart move on their part. They all three move up.

    Jeff Mullis is easily underestimated but he is a wily operator who bested Cecil Staton for Caucus Vice Chairman. It is not likely that he becomes majortiy leader, but he should assume a major committee chairmanship.

    Mike Crotts is the one to watch. His victory could mark the end of Johnson whether Cagle wins or not. Crotts stood up to Johnson before. If he is in the Caucus, he could be the lightning rod that transforms discontent into a lethal bolt of lightning.

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