Does this elephant need a little guidance?

Clayton’s Note: This post was filed under the author “Administrator”, but is not my work. It was provided by a trusted source who requested anonymity, but Erick and I can vouch for the provenance of the information.

From Jay Hanley, Secretary, Oconee County Republican Party, former member of the Oconee County Board of Elections and two-time candidate for Watkinsville City Council.

Nine weeks out from the Nov. 7 election, it appears that the battle for House District 115 (the Athens-based seat that Jane Kidd is vacating to run for state Senate 46) is shaping up to be a battle between an Independent, attorney and civic leader E.H. Culpepper and Democrat attorney Doug McKillip. A third lawyer, Republican Regina Quick, was a late entrant in the race, filing during the court-ordered extended qualifying period resulting from Kidd’s redistricting lawsuit.

As of June 30, McKillip had over $70,000 cash on hand ($50,000 was a candidate loan). It should be noted that he had been fundraising for almost a year before challengers emerged. Culpepper reported $1,300 cash on hand. However, he had only been raising money for a few weeks before the report was filed. Quick listed a ZERO balance in her campaign fund, and did not list an active campaign committee.

McKillip appears to have the backing of the traditional liberal constituency of Athens. It is said that Culpepper will draw support from longtime Athens residents and the business community, as well as conservative Democrats and many Republicans. Culpepper and McKillip both have name identification in Athens-Clarke County, having run for office previously. Some Republicans have reportedly been unimpressed with Quick and plan to vote for Culpepper. It is difficult to see Quick gaining much ground unless her fundraising and name identification improves.

However, Quick may draw enough support to force a Culpepper-McKillip runoff in December. Runoffs are already expected in crowded races for Athens-Clarke Mayor and commission seats. I believe that a Culpepper victory would be a win for the Republicans in the state House, although Culpepper vows to remain an Independent if elected.

[Editor’s note] As we hear it, Quick still had not appointed a Treasurer or registered with Ethics to receive donations as of the middle of this week.

14 comments

  1. donkeydonkey says:

    Supporting either Quick or Culpepper would be a waste of time. McKillip already has a huge amount of support both financially and in the community. This won’t even go to a runoff.

  2. LymanHall says:

    Culpepper is a Republican, and this district is just too Democratic too elect a Republican, even if he calls himself an Independent. The Republicans had to find someone else to run because Quick isn’t really a Republican (check out the voter file). Interesting new tactic, but I don’t think it’ll work in this district.

  3. LymanHall says:

    Also, 115 doesn’t go into Oconee at all. I don’t know why they’re worried about it. Bob Smith has a Democratic challenger of his own in his Oconee-based district.

  4. Jeff Emanuel says:

    LH, I think it’s a matter of trying to look out for your neighbor, and hoping that one day things may “improve” there. Oconee and Clarke, which are politically overwhelming opposites, have a lot of inter-county travel, employment, and other interest.

    As far as Bob Smith goes, he’s got a challenger, but I think that what goes for Clarke on the Democrat side holds true for Oconee on the Republican side: it’s overwhelmingly Red (whereas Clarke is overwhelmingly Blue), and, even if Bob Smith weren’t the relentless campaigner that he is, Becky Vaughn would have an incredibly tough time beating him.

    Democrats may look to the close Vaughn-Kemp race of 2004 for a little optimism, but it’s important to remember that that contest was close in large part because of Democrat-dominated Clarke County — the only area in the district where Kemp didn’t receive over 60% of the vote. Vaughn swept the precincts in Clarke County, but lost every other precinct which fell into both the Senate 46 and House 113 districts.

  5. Overincorporated Fulton says:

    I hope that the McKillip campaign sees this posting immediately so that they have proof of what they’ve been telling everyone in Athens: that Culpepper is a Republican running to represent the minorty Athens Republicans in the legislature. Jay Hanley is playing right into their hands by basically annointing Culpepper the Republican candidate. Good job. Thanks for making life easier.

  6. Jay Hanley says:

    Fulton, perhaps you think I anointed Mr. Culpepper as the Republican candidate, I only pointed out that there are Republicans and conservative Democrats supporting Culpepper. One prominent Democrat is former Athens-Clarke Commissioner Cardee Kilpatrick. In addition, Mr. Culpepper writes the following on his Web site, http://www.ehculpepper.com,

    “Q: How have Republicans reacted to your candidacy? Democrats?
    A: I have found more hesitancy amongst the Republicans to embrace my candidacy. Members of the Republican Executive Committee vowed that none of them would sign my petition in order to be able to run. I’ve been surprised by that because some of them are my friends, but there’s a definite resistance from some Republicans to my campaign. On the Democratic side, there is that same resistance amongst a small group of party leaders. I suppose they feel that their power, which is held by a small number of people, is threatened by an independent candidate who has no allegiance to any one small group of people.”

    Anointed Republican candidate? It doesn’t appear that Mr. Culpepper feels that way.

    As to Lyman Hall’s point, it is true 115 does not go into Oconee County, but as Jeff said, we have a lot of similar interests. Many of our residents shop in and work in Clarke County, so who they have representing them also affects us in Oconee County.

    We are fortunate to be represented totally by Bob Smith who will do quite well in his race against Becky Vaughn.

  7. donkeydonkey says:

    But I agree that the Republicans should put as much money as they possibly can into this race because every dollar spent is a dollar wasted. Culpepper has no chance and no money. The man has consistently not paid his taxes. 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1999 – boat taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, there isn’t a tax this man hasn’t tried to avoid. He’s getting absolutely no traction and would be a great place for Republicans to put their money.

  8. Jay Hanley says:

    Haha…That Doc Eldridge is a Democrat is not a phrase that you will hear from me. But I will mention that Mrs. Kilpatrick was mentioned as a Democratic challenger to Sen. Brian Kemp as late as 2004. So you Dems must have thought she held some promise in your party if she was listed as a potential challenger to Brian Kemp two years ago.

  9. donkeydonkey says:

    2004…that was a good year. The same year that she got beat by 12.6% in the Democratic Primary.

  10. TiredofPartisanship says:

    This post from the Athens Banner-Herald Politics Reporter Blake Aued seems to PROVE that Culpepper was telling truth the ENTIRE time about his taxes being paid:
    “News that Elijah Hamilton Culpepper had four years’ worth of unpaid federal income taxes in the late 1980s/early 1990s caused a bit of a stir back in September. E.H. said then he’d paid them, but court records said otherwise. He presented me with a letter from the IRS stating that his taxes, as Rakim might say, are paid in full.”

    -http://blogs.onlineathens.com/node/189

    If you want to see the type of person the Democratic Candidate is, just read the editorial from the ABH on Nov. 3rd, 2006 (http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/110306/opinion_20061103036.shtml)

    which states, among other things :

    “McKillip showed himself, at best, as someone willing to shade the truth, and, at worst, as someone willing to try to lie to get into the state legislature.”

    I don’t believe that Mr. McKillip’s blind partisanship, or his half-truths, are what the citizens of Athens-Clarke County want.

    But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion.

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