Into the Final Week

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.


  1. Mojo says:

    It seems to me that Majette’s previous run for U.S. Senate may give her more statewide name recognition than Harrell, and may push many Democrats who are not political addicts into voting for her on that name recognition alone.

  2. 4ofspades says:

    The debate is currently on between Majette & Harrell. Majette is cleaning her clock.

  3. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I agree down the GOP ticket, with the exception of the last two, which I can’t comment intelligently on at all. A couple notes:

    I’ve heard talk in newsrooms and among voters that McBerry may take anywhere from high single to a low double-digit percentage of the primary vote, due to ballot position and Perdue’s security in the nomination, which allows folks to make a non-damaging statement against him without forsaking him in what could be a tight general election.

    Reed-Cagle is what it is; it’ll be a close race, and there’s not a lot more to be said that hasn’t been said several times already. Black and Kemp, as has been said repeatedly, as well, should be in a runoff.

    Kathy Cox shouldn’t have too much trouble–although I was surprised the last few times I was down in her home county to hear how many folks thought she was running for governor. Watching the debate right now, she looks pretty good so far.

  4. GabrielSterling says:

    In the Lt Gov Dem race it seems to me that it will be a runoff with Jim Martin and Steen “Newslady” Miles. Her base is South Dekalb which will have a high turnout with the McKinney/Johnson race. Hecht just hasn’t done enough to make it.

  5. Chris says:

    I hate to say it, but Reed did better in the debate than Casey. Of course Reed is much better at diverting attention away from scandal, he’d never have gotten as far as he had if he couldn’t. When Casey spoke on the issues he sounded more sincere and capable than Reed.

    The big question is how the media will spin the debates tomorrow. I doubt a large percentage of that 26% undecided watched the debate. They’ll read the postmortems in the media tomorrow.

  6. northside elephant says:

    Jeff E.,

    You went to Macintosh right? Did you have Kathy for government? I know a lot of her former students helped out her campaign. I hate it when people make fun of her stand on evolution. She is a sweet lady and is very smart.

  7. Bill Simon says:


    The modifier “very” presumes that you are also “reasonably smart” and can therefore judge as to someone being “very smart.”

    Since you do not blog under your own name, I have no idea of who you are or if you exhibit an intellect in person that would be considered “smart” by me or anyone else.

    So, your opinion on Kathy Cox being “very smart” is just that, an opinion, with not much to back it up.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Perdue takes 60 percent or better in his primary. There are still a lot of people that are pissed that may make this an opportunity to let him know he has some work to do.

    Cagle wins the Lt. Governor’s race. Undecideds are going to break his way and put him over the top against embattled former lobbyist Ralph Reed.

    Steen Miles goes into a runoff against either Hecht or Jim Martin.

    Karen Handel wins her race handidly as Georgians are going to reject the ethically challenged candidacy of Bill Stephens, not to mention the fact that he’s shown himself to be one of the lowest levels of scum to appear on a ballot. He started off running negative and even got desperate by having his campaign manager get his college buddy to file an ethics complaint against Karen. Then you’ve got ethically challenged Bill spreading rumors about Karen and her husband. That’s just sad.

    Kathy Cox will do fine in her primary.

    Denise Majette will win her primary.

    Brian Kemp and Gary Black are headed for a runoff. Kemp needs to tighten up his campaign operation for the runoff if he’s going to be victorious.

    Heading into the general election…

    I expect some REALLY tight races.

  9. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I did go to McIntosh back in the day. I have no doubt that former students have helped Kathy Cox on her campaign; however, I haven’t worked for any campaign; it’d conflict with my ability to be a political columnist. I’ve got a party affiliation (GOP), but no ties to any candidate.

  10. George Allen 08 says:

    I think SOS will have a runoff as well. I bet Charlie Bailey will get 10 percent just on name recognition. Eric Martin will get 2 percent, leaving only 88 percent for Handel/Stephens. Karen would have to get 50 percent to Bill’s 38 to win without a runoff. Now that could happen, but I’m guessing she’ll come up just short.

  11. bruce benidict says:

    I would give Sonny more than 90% of his primary and my suprise is going to be Cathy Cox over Taylor (woman make up a large vote and she will bring them in drones to the polls)
    Reed will get more than 50% (his train is moving too fast for Casey to stop it), he will suit up against the winner of the Hecht-Martin duel.

    The real interesting race will be if Handel Stephens go into a runoff….If Stephens gets tough he can really smear Handel, she is a very easy target with some issues that have not been expolited. This could get nasty if it comes down to it and Stephens has the guts come out firing.
    The winner will face…who cares the winner will walk into this position.

    Attorney General – who is Perry McGuire – Baker will easily roll into 4 more years.

    name ID will once again put Kathy Cox at the helm of the schools.

    I wanna see the Black-Kemp runoff but I do not think that Senator Kemp is gonna do it. Black has got a great campaign staff and plan. 1 year ago who was Gary Black….good job guys…

  12. JakeTaylor says:

    I am perplexed by your observation in the Democratic Lieutenant Governors race in saying that Greg Hecht has done to lttle to late? Greg is the only candidate that I regularly see at large Democratic events, he has also been endorsed by most labor unions around the State and by all Police officer organizations around the state – that combined with his recent spate of endorsements from the Macon Telegraph, Creative Loafing and the Sierra Club seem to place the clear momentum behind Greg Hecht. My money is on Hecht although there will most likely be a run-off in that particular race

  13. Demonbeck says:

    “Bruce, How long have you Benedict?”

    My all time favorite question from a member of the press.

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