1. landman says:

    As I stated earlier there were some dynamics in this race that strongly favored Kemp if it were to come to a run-off.Kemp and McElhannonn are pro”s with a solid record of winning tough races.I wouldnt bet against these two Im sure they have looked at the lay of the land and have a good read on the tea leaves.

  2. CHelf says:

    As an inaugural post I will try to throw an objective question on this whole race. Why do we vote for Gary Black? What does he have that Sen. Kemp does not? If it is knowledge of agriculture, shouldn’t we just keep the man in charge now in office? (since hopefully agriculture doesn’t have a liberal slant to it unless you’re into Trotsky)

    I am just curious as to the reason the ‘establishment’ seems to be backing Black over someone who has a party track record. I just see this conflict between ideology and partisanship vs. knowledge of the issue and want to know what the conventional wisdom is on picking Black over Kemp.

    One main reason I ask this is that the Department of Agriculture is not purely about farming. There are MANY other facets to this department as well. I just want to make sure that the ‘pick’ of Black is a legitimate one and not one of ‘everyone fall in line and follow us just because’.

  3. Mike says:

    Interesting. I really hate crow but I’ll have a big ol’ helping if Kemp pulls it out. I just hope that Kemp’s supporters have enough class to help Gary when it’s over.

  4. Ben says:

    I have to say that I am amazed, Brian Kemp comes in second and some thinks that he needs to concede. That is crazy! Why would he do that? If the answer is for the good of the party, bullsh*t!

    Do you think if Gary came in second he would concede, I don’t think so. He would stay in thr race too.

    Kemp will win this runoff, he has the experience when it comes to these tough races.

  5. ConservativeFire says:

    Whatever. I still think Kemp will win the run off and defeat Tommy Irvin. We have to go and vote against the liberal democrat special interest lobbyist on August 8th amd vote for the Conservative, Experienced State Senator.

  6. Groseclose says:

    Many on this site have suggested that Erik’s call for Kemp’s concession was an isolated, absurd view. Such pundits must not a) understand the desperate need for change at the agriculture department and b) appreciate the requisite resources needed to defeat the incumbent. The time for individual agendas, massive egos, and blind ambition has passed: Brian MUST concede this race for the benefit of the state party and for the good of those directly impacted by the Agriculture department. Below, I dissect why Brian needs to step aside.

    1) Brian can’t win:
    a. He won less than 10% of counties statewide.
    b. He has no core base to turn out; Gary does—the agriculture community!
    c. Endorsements by Greer and Strickland are of little or no consequences—these candidates have not incentive or mechanism to energize their base to support Brian Kemp.
    d. Brian, per Bull Moose concession, has organizational problems—Gary’s 159 county leaders paid off!
    e. Gary’s team leaders will produce the turn-out—which is what run-offs are all about—again; Kemp will still be disorganized.
    f. Gary has a significant Cash on Hand advantage and a pulpit—the leader board—to raise more..
    2) So Brian can’t win, but he can drain Gary’s money:
    a. These three weeks will undoubtedly be some of the most expensive of the campaign.
    b. Brian will be willing to spend everything because it is do or die for him; such spending will force Gary to spend even more precious resources on beating Brian Kemp AGAIN!
    3) Every dollar spent on Brian, is a dollar less spent on beating a Democrat
    a. Tommy will be able to spend thousands of his own money.
    b. The more money Gary reserves for this race, the more likely he is to defeat Tommy Irvin.
    c. Thus we should spend our time and financial energy toward defeating this complacent incumbent.
    4) Thus, the only person Brian is helping by not conceding is Tommy Irvin
    a. As Erick pointed out, the vote totals indicate Tommy Irvin is still popular.
    b. The Republican Party must be united against the 37 year incumbent.
    c. Tommy Irvin stands for most everything Republican opposes—a complacent, big government.
    d. We cannot afford to re-elect Tommy Irvin—our industry and state is desperate for a change!

    I should also mention, as the voters recognized yesterday, Gary Black is the most qualified candidate the GOP has put forth for this position in years. I hope humble heads, specifically Brian Kemp’s, will prevail.

    Another observation, that is neither here nor there: Peachpundit.com posters, though I enjoy their discussions and commentary greatly, have been a little out of the mainstream on their view of this agriculture race—certainly as compared to their views of the Handel and Cagle races.

  7. Groseclose says:

    Ben, I think that was the same experience in tough races that was supposed help him beat Gary Black the FIRST time.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    I think Brian and Joel are moving quickly to get the campaign in gear for the runoff. The fact that Bob Greer and Deanna Strickland have endorsed Kemp is huge as Kemp moves forward to earning the Republican nomination.

    This talk about coalescing behind a candidate who has a minority of the Republican primary vote is foolish. How can a candidate with a minority of the vote be the Republican nominee? That just plain doesn’t make sense.

    Kemp has the leadership and experience to be the next Agriculture Commissioner and we (those that support Kemp) will move forward and claim victory.

    Erick, I know you’re just passing through an opinion on this race, but please stop wording it as if it represents the majority (or even plurality) of those here at the site.

  9. Groseclose says:

    Before you condemn Erik for what he says on HIS website, remember that peachpundit, for whatever it is worth, unanimously endorsed Gary Black. So my guess is a majority of this site does support Kemp’s concession.

    Bull, please suggest one tenable reason why Kemp will do any better in the run-off. If the result is going to be the same, why continue for three more weeks? Kemp’s ego?

  10. atlantaman says:

    Let me first disclose I’m a Black supporter, but I could hardly blame Kemp for staying in. If anyone of you spent the time and money these statewide candidates did you might rethink you calls for concession. It’s an enormous undertaking and even if you realistically believe you’ve only got a 25% of winning the run-off, if I were in his shoes I’d take the chance – it’s only another 3 weeks. For those of you that play poker, after a year of campaigning and hundreds of thousands of dollars you’ve got some tremendous pot odds.

    Run-offs are strange beasts. Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be great for Gary and the GOP if Brian got out (and at this point I’m still betting on Gary), but Brian has earned the right to stay in if he so chooses.

  11. landman says:

    Grose,Kemp’s not getting out,you guys are going to have to win a majority of the votes like every other candidate does.If Gary feels like he has Kemp beat he should save his money for the General,but to expect Kemp to get out of the race is not realistic.

  12. Jack S says:

    This is the most ridiculous discussion we have ever had on this website.

    Teh Black camp is obviously scared to death of a runoff cause they know they can’t win it. Most 2nd place finishers win the runoff, so I’d be scared too.

  13. Groseclose says:

    Landman and Bull, let you obstinacy cloud your judgment, your ego blind your view, and your pride destroy your objectivity. In the end, the true winner from your lapse of reason is Tommy and the biggest losers are those Georgians in desperate need of change in this important office.

  14. Groseclose says:

    Jack, you just took the cake: your latest comment was truly the most ludicrious of all posts in this thread. I am surprised, you usually are more well reasoned than that! I hope you think harder for and are more realistic with your legal clients.

  15. funkymonkey says:

    having no particular preference in this race, but having watched it closely I can guarantee you that most of greer, strickland votes came either from soccer moms or random checks on the ballot box. Their grassroots extends about the length of my pinky finger, these endorsements will have little effect on the outcome.

  16. Chazz Reinhold says:

    I am more than a little irked by all this calling for Kemp and Stephens to withdraw from their races. I posted this in the “Mr. Stephens” thread I read a short time ago. Thought I would repost here:

    If everyone is now suddenly so concerned about the “good of the party,

  17. Erick says:

    Hey guys, Kemp says he’s not getting out. Conversation over. May the best man win. I think that’s Kemp, but I don’t see him doing it.

  18. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Nice quote, GOPeach–you’re learning! Groseclose, very well-presented points. I agree with most of your analysis, and appreciate the thought that went in to all of it.

    A couple notes on the Ag commissioner race and the Kemp post:

    1) Erick’s call on Kemp to concede was supported by all of the writers still up and online at the time. Believe it or not, several of us do communicate from time to time on opinions and posts (not that Erick needs approval).

    2) As a resident of Kemp’s home area, which he won pretty handily, I still don’t see him pulling out a victory from 15 points down. Greer and Strickland, and their 31 percent of the vote, can endorse all they want, but, with turnout being everything in a runoff, I just don’t see large numbers from their bases going to the polls when they didn’t think highly enough to vote for one of the two frontrunners in the first place.

    3) Jack S, what?? In most worlds, 42 is larger than 27…maybe you see it differently?

  19. Bill Simon says:

    Jeff Sez: “Erick’s call on Kemp to concede was supported by all of the writers still up and online at the time.”

    Whoop-dee-doo. Ralph Reed won the Cobb GOP BBQ Straw Poll. Neither statement has ANYTHING to do with the validity of either statement.

  20. Ben says:

    First, I don’t know why we are still debating this, like Erick said Kemp is not getting out end of discussion. It is Kemp’s right to finish this thing.

    Jeff, should have known you were with Gary, guess you are just falling in line with rest of your college republican budies.

  21. foray says:

    college republican buddies and 142/159 Georgia counties . . . the best Brian could have done was to win a couple of metro counties.

  22. UGAMatthew says:

    Jeff, you’re right on track.
    Look, at this point, the most significant numbers in that race were Black v. Gary. Greer and Strickland mostly carried southern and sw’tern counties; counties in which Kemp didn’t do well at all, especially compared to Black.

    Greer and Strickland can endorse all day long. But remember ole’ Zell endorsed Reed. I’d wager Zell’s got more clout among GA voters than Greer or Strickland and maybe them combined. Their support of Kemp looks good on paper, but has no substance. Its monopoly money.

    Kemp may be poised and financially fit to fare well in a run-off, but money doesn’t certain an election.

    It’ll get interesting, quite, I’m sure of it, but Kemp won’t pull it off, or rather, Gary will.

  23. Bull Moose says:


    I disagree with both you and Jeff.

    More often than not, the second place finisher ends up winning the run-off.

    In this case, that will happen as well.

    Gary can talk about farming all day long, but what’s he going to do, plant a field in the Ag Commissioner’s office? Is he going to grow corn down the hallways? Watermellons in the bathrooms?

    No, and me saying that is insane. Just as insane is the premice that we, as Republicans, should somehow nominate candidates that have only received a minority of votes. That’s just plain stupid. If we lived by that ideology, there would not have been a US Senator Paul D. Coverdell (remember, Coverdell won in a run-off against Wyche Fowler in 1992).

    We need to send our best horse into the general election against Too Tall Tommy and in my view, and I think the majority of Georgia’s voter’s views, that candidate is going to be Brian Kemp.

  24. UGAMatthew says:


    Come on, there’s no comparison there. Coverdell only trailed Wyche by less than 2 points. With Jim Hudson a little over 3% of the votes. Kemp trailed Black by 15 points.

    Got another try?

  25. bowersville says:

    And Kemp’s ego continues to flourish! until after the runoff, spent out and gone, and meanwhile Tommy Irvin laughs all the way to November. I voted for Kemp. LOL!

  26. Bull Moose says:

    yeah, Matthew, the principle is the same, the second place finisher rallied and won.

    Kemp can and will win. This man is a public servant. We need people like him.

    There are no entitlements in Georgia politics…

  27. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I hear you, Bull Moose, and don’t disagree with your sentiments; it’s just my opinion that Kemp won’t make up enough ground to win the primary. Regardless, whoever the winner is will need all the support (money and manpower) that he can get to beat Irvin. Past that, agree to disagree?

  28. UGAMatthew says:

    A rally?

    First off, you need not rally to pick up 1.5% of votes (in Coverdell’s case).

    Second, I fully and whole-heartedly agree with you about Kemp. I have met and am duly impressed with the man. He’s been a great senator for us in Athens and to be frank, had hoped he’d continue to be…but that’s neither here nor there. Look, the point it is, Kemp is lacking in ag. experience, where Black excels. Kemp is a great man and so is Gary. But Black is the best candiate for the Ag. Comm. And that maybe a point we’ll just disagree upon. But I will maintain that Black’s campaign is in far better shape to win this run-off than is Kemp’s.

  29. Michael C says:

    Run-offs are funny, especially in the primaries. Its all about GOTV.

    Ask Senator Wyche Fowler about runoffs. After besting Paul Coverdale in the 1992 election but failing to get 50% of the vote, he was beat by Coverdale 2 weeks later by 20,000 votes.

    Don’t count out Kemp just yet.

  30. HJ Bailey says:

    Run-offs are very strange and unpredictable and numbers from the general primary mean nothing. THe run-off is a whole new battle. It is like the second half of a foot ball game, when the underdog comes back to win. No one remembers the score at half-time because it is of no use.

    Looking forward to seeing Kemp coming back to beat Gary Black and slapping all you arrogant asses in the face. I love the way that Jeff and UGAMatthew think they know so much and so many of you others. Just because you post on a blog doesn;t mean you know shit.

    The liberal democrat lobbyist better buckle up.

    Kemp ’06

  31. HJ Bailey says:

    Greer and Strickland Endorse Kemp in Ag Commissioner Run-Off

    Republican Agriculture Commissioner Candidates Deanna Strickland and Bob Greer announced today their endorsement of State Senator Brian Kemp in the Republican Primary Runoff election. They join over 300 elected officials already endorsing Kemp.

    Said Bob Greer, “Brian Kemp is a proud Republican who has proven he can win tough elections against Democrats. He ran a good and honorable campaign. We must put someone in office that is not part of the liberal political machine that has run this critical office for over 37 years. That won’t come from nominating a liberal lobbyist like Gary Black. We need Kemp’s fresh approach and vision to win in November and ensure we have a true Republican at the helm of one of Georgia’s most important positions. That’s why I’m endorsing Senator Brian Kemp. ”

    Said Deanna Strickland, “I have achieved my goal of bringing public awareness to the very important office of Agriculture Commissioner. The production and safety of our food affects every person, everyday, on all levels of human survival. I have brought the perspective of occupational and legislative experience and the concerns of women to the arena of Georgia’s state politics. I hope that my efforts will encourage more people to speak out and make a difference. Georgia’s citizens will be best served by a person with integrity and honor that will set the good of the people above personal gain. I have come to know all of the Agriculture candidates well in the last year and I believe Brian Kemp to be that person. I believe he understands the importance of including shareholders and stakeholders in developing public policy. I endorse Brian Kemp as the Republican candidate that can beat Tommy Irvin in November.

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