As we head into the final week of the 2006 primary season, I’m going to put up who I think is the front runner in each of the major races — not necessarily who I want to win, but who I think is actually winning. I’m sure you’ll let me know that you disagree with me.
Governor: Sonny Perdue, of course, for the Republicans. Mark Taylor for the Democrats.
Lt. Gov.: I really do think if the election were held today, Ralph Reed would win. I think it will be close and I think the momentum is with Casey Cagle going into the final week. But right now, I’d give it to Reed. On the Dem side, I think Jim Martin has it. Hecht has done too little, too late. Martin has now come out with Roy Barnes’s endorsement and has done a good job connecting with the grassroots.
Secretary of State: No question, Karen Handel has this won unless Bill Stephens does something quick. The problem for Stephens is that he has done too little to positively build himself when compared with Handel. If he goes negative too hard, it will blow up in his face and Handel can go on the attack — having already boosted herself with a positive image. On the Democrat side, I don’t have as good a feel for it, but Shyam Reddy will probably win. I think Darryl Hicks could be a surprise in the race, but I think Shyam has it. As a Republican, I hope and pray that Angela Moore gets it. Scott Holcomb just got on my radar. He’s been out aggressively connecting with voters lately, and has one hell of an appeal as a veteran. But I don’t think he has been prominent enough. I’ve touched base with his campaign to get more information. I like highlighting veterans who are running.
Ag Commissioner: I think Gary Black and Brian Kemp are headed into a runoff. I think Strickland’s prior support will be what gets them there — with an assist by Greer. Of the two, I think Black probably will come out with the most votes headed into the runoff, with an assist from Georgia Farm Bureau.
Labor Commissioner: Brent Brown is who I think would win, were the election held today, despite the fact that most people would wonder who he is. That race has flown under the radar, but I think Brent will come out ahead.
School Super: Kathy Cox for the GOP. I suspect that Carlotta Harrell will get it for the Democrats. I think Majette will be hurt in Dekalb by the McKinney forces and I think Harrell has been more visible.
PSC– District 3. I call it for Chuck Eaton, only because of the two Republicans in the race, he’s the only one I’ve heard of on a repeated basis.
PSC — District 5. I call it for Stan Wise, if only because he is the incumbent.