Handel/Black together?

I just recieved an email from the Gary Black campaign inviting me to their North GA Grassroots summit at 5848 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. I knew that address. That address is also the Karen Handel for SOS Campaign HQ. It is not an office complex, but an old stand along car dealership. Are the Handel and Black camps teaming up?


  1. Camilla Washington says:

    The Handel and Black connection… (gasp) could it be??? Sonny perhaps? All you need to do is look at the consultants, and the push each campaign has gotten to run–from Sonny–then you know they’re already connected.
    No suprises there.

  2. Harry says:

    Just curious….what personal attributes and business background would y’all imagine are needed by an agriculture commissioner?

  3. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    I like Brian Kemp, Ive met him many times (alot at DAWG games)..he’s a great guy. And while I don’t know Garry Black, Im impressed at how organized and mobilized his campaign is around the state. I will vote for Kemp, but part of me is saying the only way we can beat Tommy Irvin (who has done a pretty good job in the first place) is to have a very organized and mobilized campaign, and Kemp is not the one that has that established already, Black is. And the fact that Kemp unlike Black did not grow up on a farm makes me question his qualifications…but despite all this, I like Kemp. I know that sounds a little odd.

  4. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Well, because I live in Metro Atlanta, I guess Secrectary of Agriculture is not as important to me as other state-wide offices. But for many in South Georgia and in rural counties it is the most important office in the state.

  5. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Karen Handel is ideologicaly identical to Rudy Guliani, although her differences with my views have nothing to do with the Secretary of State’s office…Bill Stephens has done more that qualifys him for the job, he was the backbone behind the Voter-ID bill and carried on after Tom Price went to D.C as the driving force behind the paper trail receipt…and the fact that he has kids and is a family man resignates with me because I my self am pretty family oriented..and Handel has no kids. But there again, what does this have to do wit the Sec. of State’s office…the main reason I like Bill Stephens over Handel is he has worked hard in the Senate to pass pieces of legislation that directly effect the Sec.of States office.

  6. UGAMatthew says:

    At the risk of sounding cliché, the Secretary of Agriculture is an extremely important statewide elected office, especially in Georgia. And a race that should concern us all equally. Combating bio-terrorism, overseeing the largest industry in the state and exploring/implementing alternative fuel sources are not just South Georgia and rural county initiatives. I’m not picking a fight with ya, but I do think that more than ever before, the focus both the Kemp and Black campaigns (moreso Black’s) have placed on the vitality of this office to our state and its future is more than warranted and ought not be taken for granted.

    With that said,
    I am pulling for Black in this race. I agree that Kemp is a nice guy, I’ve met him several times as well. But I cannot ignore the experience and aptitude Black posses with regards to this office and conversely, Kemp’s lack thereof. I am with you on Stephens, however.

  7. Hortence says:

    Okay, I’m not sure how what’s happening in Washington is going to affect what’s going to happen in Georgia.

    It’s my opinion that our state needs to stay far away from scandal, corruption, and lapses in ethics and candidates that might easily be associated with those types of issues.

    For me, that means staying as far away from Ralph Reed as possible. National media types are already questioning Guiliani’s being pictured with him and whether or not that damages Guiliani in the 2008 elections. Ralph Reed is toxic and everyone realizes it but a few people in our state.

    Secondly, Bill Stephens has some huge ethical issues in his financing of his lifestyle and personal bills with campaign money. I’m sorry, but I don’t want someone with those types of issues in office.

    Thirdly, I’m just not ready to turn to a lobbyist for the department of agriculture. Gary Black may have grown up on a farm, but heck, he’s been a lobbyist most of his life. I grew up in a house but that doesn’t make me a builder.

    Now going into the November elections, I have to say that I’m becoming one of those voters that wants to send a message. I do not like how things in our state or country are going and I’m sick of the blame game Republicans play.

    I personally hope that Cathy Cox wins the Democratic Primary so that I can vote for her in the general election. I plan to vote for the opponents of the Republican candidates, but I either will not vote or vote Democrat in the remaining elections.

    I am personally tired of the double talk, special interests that exist in the Republican party and it may take a good beating to straighten the party out of its current funk.

    Looking toward 2008, Republicans better get there act together QUICKLY…

    I want to see an agenda that includes TOTAL TAX REFORM. Not tax cuts, new credits, or cleaning hear and there, but a real national dialogue on how we fund all the levels of government.

    I want to see a plan for stability in the middle east. I want someone smart enough to know that it may be time for direct negotiations with Iran. Let’s have a summit on neutral grounds and see if we can come to some terms. Anything is better than what is happening now.

    And I would also like to see a national energy plan that balances out our commerce and growth with our environment. We need to build consensus in this area. Without an environment to live in, everything else is a mute point.

    So, back to the original point, yeah, I like Karen Handel, she seems to be a practical Republican and right now, that’s the type of candidate I’m supporting.

  8. Charlie says:

    MC08 – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any thing as stupid as “Handel has no kids”. Quite frankly, if that’s how you choose your candidates, do us a favor and move to Canada.

    Stephen’s bills having an impact on the SoS office? Voter-id is a good bill, he didn’t write it. The paper-trail audit bill is a useless piece of legislation. It calls for testing in 3 precincts, using machines that are different than the ones the State currently has. I believe Fulton County alone has over 300 precincts. Now there’s a solid piece of legislation….

    If you want to see a real plan for changing the elections process, check this out.


    Handel is the only one in the race with the right combination of business and elected experience that is required to run the office of SoS.

    I guess when your candidate has no platform, and is the most fined politician for ethics violations in the State of Georgia, you have to say stupid things like “Handel has no Kids”. If one type of smear campaign against Handel doesn’t work, you switch gears and try another. Keep trying the smear tactics. People vote for proven leaders that have a vision and the proven ability to execute.

    There is only one candidate in this race that is a ethical, lifelong conservative republican. That also has a comprehensive plan and platform for the SoS office that is:

    HANDEL ’06

  9. atlantaman says:

    It seems as if the Stephens supporters are a bunch of knee jerk, wishy washy, emotional basket cases that base their decisions on whether the candidate has kids or not or whether he seemed like a good guy at the dawg games. I thought Republicans were supposed to vote for candidates based on intellectual reasons and Democrats based their decisions on emotional ones.

    I suppose anyone who would use McCain in his monniker would be accustomed to supporting wishy washy populists who wet their finger to the wind everyday to decide where they stand on the issues.

    I’m constantly amazed at how often abortion and the gay issue seem to be interjected into the Secretary of State’s race. Who likes gays more Bill Stephens or Karen Handel – well I really don’t know and don’t understand how it relates to reducing voter fraud.

  10. bowersville says:

    I’m not suprised that a campaign with no vision immediatly goes negative and stays in the gutter. I followed Stephens in the senate, he lost me immediately when he went negative when Handel announced.
    M/R 08
    You are blessed you are biologically able to have “kids,” some of us are not that fortunate.
    Read Karens “travel journey” at http://www.karenhandel.com, you will find she has publicly stated this race is about getting the Governor re-elected. It doesn’t sound to me she’s running from “Sonny.”
    Get over it. You will face Handel in November. By the way it’s “TOO,” not “TWO.” I have always, from the beginning claimed to be ignorant without a broadbased education. You claimed otherwise.

  11. Beth says:

    You may want to re-read CW’s post. I believe she is trying to say that Sonny is behind or was an influence in getting Handel and Black to run.

    I heard Handel was at Sonny’s event’s in Effingham, and Perry this weekend. Rumor has it she has some very good backers in Houston County.

    I wonder where Stephens was this weekend?

  12. midtowndem says:


    Perdue Sinks in the Latest Polls

    Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) is in for a tough reelection battle. According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, Perdue’s lead over Secretary of State Cathy Cox (D) has almost evaporated to within just 6 points, 48% to 42%, after leading by as many as 21 points two months ago.

    Perdue’s tax increases and education failures are taking their toll on his approval ratings.

  13. bowersville says:

    Beth, Camila/Washington
    I APOLOGIZE, I MISSED THE POINT! Camila/Washington, Beth is right, Karen was in Perry(so was Sonny!) and Springfield(Effingham Co.)(So was Sonny!)By the way according to his own website Stephens was nowhere! And yes Beth,C/W, I have asked other questions to DoAg candidates and thus far only Black has had the gall to answer. For that, he has my support. Besides, when I know he has allready been to Hart County(as has Handel), plus he has the support of my friends, I am swayed. Camila/Washinton, I misread and misunderstood your post, I’m pleasently pleased Beth pointed it out to me, I stand corrected, and offer my sincere apology to you. Handel & Black have a “down ticket” grass roots support network for themselves and “Sonny”. C/W, after my previous post at 8:42pm, you must now know how important I believe it is for Perdue to have the right people on his ticket for November,
    without them, he has a problem.

  14. Bill Simon says:


    The comment on Karen Handel not having kids has to be the most f*cked-up non-point I’ve ever seen tossed-out in a political discussion. No wonder you’re such a chickenshit as to hide behind a moronic screen name.

    Dang it, Erick! I thought you were going to install a Minimum IQ Filter on allowing people to post on this blog. MR08 wouldn’t have gotten through.

  15. John Konop says:


    Karen and Steve do not have kids due to a medical reason. My wife and I had difficulties having our second child,my daughter Samantha.

    I cannot believe anyone who has had this issue or knows couples who have had this problem would continue bringing this up.I also have received the similar type personal attacks with no merit on my family and my self.If you have any sense of decency you should apologize to Karen and Steve. I would hope more of you would stand up and demand to talk about issue’s not personal attacks. Why not break down issue by issue the platform between the candidates ?

  16. JRM2016 says:


    Interesting that you fail to mention that the rolling average of the last three Rasmussen surveys have the Gov. over Cathy 50-39. Of course we know that is a better indicator than the most recent poll, since it includes a larger sample. Also, you failed to mention that the Gov. beats the Big Guy by 52-36 in similar surveys by Rasmussen. Did anyone ever believe Perdue would win this thing by 20 points? I don’t think so. But will he win? I think the answer is yes, particularly if you have seen up close the enormous grassroots network that has been building since August.

    As I mentioned on an earlier thread, we had a capacity crowd for a Karen-only event in Muscogee County. She is traveling all over the state and rolling up a big advantage in networking at the grassroots level, while Stephens sightings are so scarce I think we might need a http://www.wheresbill.com site.

    Handel ’06

  17. buzzbrockway says:

    Look folks, we cannot tolerate this type of activity. It’s already been established that you must either vote for Reed/Stephens/Black OR Cagle/Handel/Kemp. No mixing and matching is allowed. No “making up you own mind.” You Republican primary voter must place yourself in one or the other camp and then vote as you’re told to vote. If Handell and Black are not abiding by the already established protocol, they will be dealt with.

  18. Groseclose says:

    The initial question of this thread was in regard to the potential Black/Handel connection. I doubt there is any such formal agreement, but frankly, there are some tactical, mutual benefits for the campaigns’ cooperation. Black’s strength is his impressive, statewide grassroots organization. If he has a weakness, it would be in urban areas where his name recognition is potentially lower. Conversely, Handel’s strength would be in the metro area where local media has increased her name recognition over the past few years. If Handel has a weakness, it would be in the rural areas of our state. I do think Handel has the potential to do well in rural Georgia and I think Black will do better than expected in urban areas. Though a formal relationship might be somewhat complimentary, I seriously doubt Black wants to alienate Stephens supporters, nor Handel alienate Kemp backers. Some my guess is the similar address, Brian, is mere coincidence rather than really a strategic move.

    Harry, asked what attributes would make a good commissioner of agriculture. Matthew adequately discussed it earlier, but I would add that the Commissioner of Agriculture is direly important to our state. The industry represents approximately 16% of our state’s economy. An Agriculture Commissioner must know the issues and people of this industry and be able to articulate those needs to lawmakers, consumers, and trade partners. Further, the Agriculture Commissioner is charged with protecting consumers at the supermarket, restaurants, and at gasoline stations. Gary Black is clearly the person that can handle managing the 800 plus folks that run this department.

    McCain/Rice, I agree with your analysis both on Black and Kemp, but I sharply depart from your conclusion. Black and his campaign have mobilized a group of people that will help him defeat an entrenched incumbent. Simply, Kemp has not! Kemp is a nice guy who is easy to “like,

  19. landman says:

    Kemp will be our next Ag Commish,and it will not be as close a race as most “experts” are pre-dicting in the Primary or the General.

    He far out-classes the Primary field and Mr.Tommy will not be able to beat Kemp.I have nothing against Gary but he is on the verge of finding out what Politics is all about.Kemp is a proven winner and knows what it takes to beat an entrenched Dem,Gary has no idea.

  20. BernieT633 says:

    You could say Tommy Irvin’s demise lies in the hands of someone who has worked with him for two decades as chairman of the largest Agriculture Trade Organization in the state. Someone who knows the “ins” and “outs” of the department, and in what sectors Tommy is unpopular. This knowledge is a key and the man who holds that key is Gary Black!

  21. Groseclose says:


    That rhetoric sounds good, but what has he done in this race to prove that he can beat Tommy Irvin or Gary Black? It is great that Kemp has beaten a Democrat before, but believe me that isn’t making Tommy Irvin shake in his boots. Similarly, Republican primary voters are more discerning than to succumb to such shallow, “I am proven

  22. landman says:

    Grose- The answer to all of your questions is YES.

    Kemp’s network of supporters is far more reaching than Gary’s and a lot more numbers.Like I said Gary has no idea what it takes to win a political race and he will not win this one.

    If you guys think Kemp isnt working this race harder than it has ever been worked before yall have no clue about your opponent’s personality and why he is a proven commodity and Black is a novice.My suggestion to you would be to not worry about what Kemp and his team is doing but worry about what Gary will do when the hammer starts to fall and it will.

    Nothing personal but Kemp will be our guy in the General,and he will beat Mr.Tommy soundly.

  23. UGAMatthew says:

    Are we honestly arguing about Tommy Irvin? Irvin is a non-issue; simple and I mean simple campaign strategy is all that is needed in the general election when opposing Irvin. He is simply grasping for one last term to pad his record-setting office retention. The state is in dire need of new direction from that office.

    We should be vetting out the Kemp and Black campaigns. Oh and don’t forget Strickland and Greer either. They may not be formidable opponents, but they will garner votes nevertheless. I wonder how those two campaigns will effect Kemp/Black in the primary…

  24. Jack S says:

    You’re kidding me, right? Black uses some facility at the same building as Handel and that means something. Spare me.

    For crying out loud, folks, don’t you get it?! Kemp is clearly working hard, so is Gary. The difference is that he’s running a better operation and you have no idea what he’s about to do.

    Yeah, Grose, I’m sure they’re gonna come on here and share their battle plan.

    Give me a break. What a bunch of losers.

  25. bowersville says:

    Yes, we(the voters) have no idea about what he’s about to do and no I don’t get it. Jack, I’m simply ignorant and I don’t get it, help me out here, it’s not personal on my account. I’m not trying to sucker punch you, but I don’t believe I’m a loser. I have been swayed towards black, so convince me otherwise. But contrary to what a previous Black/Kemp or Kemp/Black supporter tried to convince me of, Irvin is not a non-issue or will he be beat “soundly.” Either side, give me something to work with, PLEASE!

  26. Groseclose says:

    Jack, you are right I don’t expect Kemp supporters will or should come on here and share his “battle plan.

  27. landman says:

    Grose-your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance.

    I dont know where you get your intel but you are in for a large surprise.

    Lets be real,whats going to resonate with the Republican voter a Conservative Republican State Senator or a Demacrat Lobbyist…its a no brainer.This is a Republican Primary and will be won by a TRUE REPUBLICAN,as it should be.

    KEMP ’06

  28. Charlie says:

    Anybody who thinks Black or Kemp is going to beat Irvin by double digits is dreaming.

    Cagle ’06
    Handel ’06
    Black ’06

  29. Jack S says:

    Grose, by your own admission you don’t know what the Kemp campaign is doing at this time so you have no idea what kind of financial resources he has raised since the session is over. Plus, Kemp has announced from the beginning that he has over $250K available in a line of credit for the campaign. His financial position is just fine and from what I hear growing fast.

    He is the best choice for the ticket because he has started businesses, ran businesses, served in elected office, ran tough campaigns, and in every public event presents a better image and contrast with Tommy Irvin.

    Running a department is about having leadership skills, not knowing the price of corn. Kemp wins this paper battle and the election hands down.

  30. Bill Simon says:

    As long as all candidates for Ag Commish promise to keep the Wild Hog Supper in place if they beat Tommy Irvin, I’ll support anyone that come out of the primary/runoff.

  31. Groseclose says:

    Landman, my apologies if you perceive my comments to evince arrogance. I articulate my support for Gary and my frustration with Brian with pointed and passionate entries on this site. Though I am certain that this is not “ignorance,

  32. Jack S says:

    Your argument that Kemp is not working because you don’t know what he’s doing is ludicrous. I know a lot about what his campaign is doing. he’s been to my part of the world a lot and his campaign keeps me up to date on a regular basis.

    It hasn’t even dawned on you yet that perhaps the reason why you and the Black team don’t see him or know what he’s doing is becuase yall are doing all the wrong things and he’s doing all the right things.

    July 18th will prove the point.

  33. Groseclose says:

    So NOT sending email updates and NOT providing links of campaign events and news on your website is the RIGHT things to do in order to win campaigns? Interesting, indeed?

  34. Jack S says:

    You honestly just make this stuff up. It’s amazing. I get email updates from the campaign. It’s just that Kemp respects my time and emails on a regular basis when he has news to report. Not every freaking week with a bunch of the same old crap like Gary does.

    And his website is updated just fine and is much more impressive than Gary’s or anybody elses except Casey’s.

    I think the problem here, Grose, is that the Kemp campaign just doesn’t give a damn what you think and it’s driving you nuts. Get over yourself.

    yeah, you’re an expert. Ha.

  35. landman says:

    Grose if you read half as much as you write you would notice that Ive repeatedly made the point that Kemp gives us the best chance to win the General and that I strongly believe Gary cant beat Mr.Tommy.

    Kemp draws a sharp contrast to Irvin and Black does not.You are not going to out experience Mr.Tommy and after all these years of sucking up to him now Black is supposed to draw a difference,aint happening.

    The Kemp team is doing what you do first and thats win the primary,his team is far more knowledgeable in what it takes to win a campaign than Black’s,bottom line.

    Politics is alot like Golf in that at the end of the day you dont need a picture all that matters is a number,and Kemp will have the numbers.

  36. 4ofspades says:

    Just heard from a friend in Towns county that Stephens blew off that meeting tonight. They called Handel this afternoon and she went up there and spoke.

    Heard she did very well.

  37. bowersville says:

    If you use the terminology “Stephens blew off,” those of a certain mind set will jump to conclusions about the senator.

  38. Groseclose says:

    Jack, I do appreciate the Kemp’s campaign not spamming my account, but you miss my point—what is Kemp doing to communicate his efforts. Contrary to your assertion, I receive an email from Gary about bi-weekly with detailed updates of his travels, fundraising efforts, and additional endorsements; the materials in these emails are certainly not duplicative. Further, Kemp has several broken links on his website, which admittedly is impressive when functioning. Those broken links just happen to be a connection to the areas of the site that would communicate a trail-blazing campaign. Leads one to only wonder: Looks like there is no trail-blazing campaign.

    Quite to contrary to your assumption, my care for Kemp’s actions is quite limited. My only desire was to point out on this open forum that there appears to be little excitement throughout the state for Brian’s candidacy and that Kemp’s campaigns recent lackluster efforts have been partially to blame. I have given ya’ll the opportunity to disprove my view and ya’ll have only provided superfluous rhetoric, as opposed to concrete steps. So, I have made my point. Some readers will agree and others will disagree with my perspective. Beyond that, I have no desire to learn or appreciate the inner workings of Kemp’s efforts.

    Landman, you are right Brian will draw a sharp contrast with “Mr. Tommy.

  39. Jack S says:

    This is turning into the casey ralph discussion – my guy is running great….nuh uh, my guy is running great.

    I can’t wait for July 18 to get here. Grose will finally wake up from the dream world he’s living in.

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