Cox Campaign Chairman Backs Perdue

Retired State Legislator backs Perdue:

Businessman Dan Ponder Jr., a former Democrat-turned-Republican state lawmaker, said he would have backed Cox in the general election had she not been defeated by Democratic Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor.

“I think Sonny, in the race as it stands, has earned a second term,” said Ponder, a Hardee’s franchisee from the southwest Georgia town of Donalsonville who retired from the Legislature six years ago. Ponder, 52, replaced Cox in the House in 1996 when Cox left her legislative seat to become an assistant secretary of state.

Cox, who named Ponder as the formal head of her campaign operation in 2004 as a show of bipartisanship, could not be reached for comment. Her spokesman, Chris Riggall, said Ponder notified Cox Thursday of his decision by e-mail and voice mail.

“She thinks as highly of Dan as she did before,” Riggall said. “It’s obviously not something they consulted on.”

Ponder said both Perdue and Taylor sought his support. He said he was approached by Perdue — through an intermediary. Taylor telephoned him.

Taylor’s campaign spokesman Rick Dent dismissed Ponder’s endorsement as politically insignificant. Ponder switched to the GOP in the late 1990s after becoming unhappy with the direction of the state party.

“Whoop-de-do. You got a Republican flak endorsing a crumby Republican governor,” Dent said.

However, Ponder’s support of Perdue comes at a time when Cox herself has ducked any public appearance with Taylor, despite repeated invitations from the Taylor camp. Her failure to appear with the lieutenant governor is symptomatic of a deep and bitter division between the Cox and Taylor camps after their brutal primary.

Cox will not attend the state Democratic convention Saturday in College Park, opting for a trip to Canada with her sister.

The convention is a show of party unity and a pep rally for Taylor and Democratic candidates as they head into the final seven weeks of the campaign.

That Rick Dent is one sarcastic dude. 🙂

Ponder is a Republican, but it’s not good news for Taylor.


  1. rightofcenter says:

    That may be one of the worst quotes from a campaign manager I have ever seen. Who exactly is supposed to be impressed with that comment? A third-grader? Is Rick Dent secretly on Sonny’s payroll?

  2. rugby_fan says:

    This should highlight to Democrats that the candidate for Governor who is/was going to work hardest for/with Democrats is MT.

  3. LymanHall says:

    Just another sore loser from Team Cox. If Cox and Dehler can’t get behind the party’s chosen nominee, should we really be surprised that their Republican chair went back home to roost?

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    Rugby Fan, it won’t matter that he’s going to work hardest with Democrats if he’s got a completely Republican legislature working against him… You all should be more concerned about cutting into our very large majority at the Gold Dome.

    Of course, that won’t happen. They’ll spend up every penny in the state party’s coffers to get MT elected, and leave the little legislative candidates to their own devices. Which means we will spank them and probably increase our legislative majority.

    I’m voting for Sonny, but as long as the legislature is Republican, I could care less who’s governor.

  5. rugby_fan says:

    I would like to think I am more of an independent…but, if MT gets elected, the top of the ticket performance usually helps out lower ballot candidates, so I doubt the GOP will increase their lead in the GA.

    And theoretically, if MT is elected, and the GA remains GOP, in two years, he will have a chance to recitfy that.

    Even if that does not happen, business will be done and yes it will matter who is governor as he happens to be in charge of the state (last time I checked).

  6. emily says:

    Rick Dent is crazy. God bless him, but he’s nuts. He needs his own dang campaign manager to shut him up in public. Stop talking! Seriously, stop talking and/or making statements! Rick–you’re the one that’s supposed to be in charge of speech control. What happened, man?

  7. AnnRose says:

    It does matter who’s Governor. If Sonny gets 4 more lame duck years, he’ll shove through the NeoCon Republican agenda of George W. Bush such as: outlaw all abortions, cut education more, deport immigrants, and all the other hot button issues.

    If Mark Taylor is elected, he’ll have the power of the veto over any crazy, nutty right-wing bills that the Republican legislature will pass. That’s the only thing that will keep Georgia from going more backwards and challenging Mississippi for the title of most regressive and reactionary state in the union.

    Mark Taylor does matter.

  8. defnotrep says:

    Interesting that CC’s campaign chief is a Republican. It’s looking more like CC was really Republican all along. Would explain her behavior since the primary…heaven knows nothing else does.

    Before I get bashed by all you rightos…I’m as conservative on most issues as you guys with 4 exceptions. I’m pro-choice, believe in stem cell research, believe Terry Schivo’s doctors and husband should decide her case not politicians and bureaucrats and believe anyone that wants to get married should be able to.

    Hence, the above reasons why I’m definitely not a Republican.

  9. RandyMiller says:

    Ann Rose, You could help Mark Taylor’s election by telling all of Georgia how you support partial birth abortion (even when a mothers life isn’t in danger), how you’re indorsed by radical left wing groups like NOW, and what a great friend you are of his. Why don’t you go on a tour of rural georgia with Mark and tell us all about the crazy, nutty right wing bills the legislature’s passed.

  10. TPSoCal says:


    You can’t be serious. Please stop the melodramatics! EVERY point you made is patently FALSE! Get a grip! First: abortion will still be legal, Roe v. Wade has not been overturned. Second: Bush has increased spending on education more than any President in recent memory. Third: Bush supports guest worker programs and amnesty! If you plan on posting arguments, please use actual facts.

  11. rightofcenter says:

    Ditto on what they said. However, it really pisses me off when someone throws the term “neocon” around with no clue as to the nuance between neocon and traditional conservative. I would guess from your post that you have overdosed on the kool-aid of liberal bloggers and think that all Bush positions are inherently evil and thus neocon positions. Do your homework.

  12. gatormathis says:

    Yes, it does make a difference who is Governor. If Sonny is Governor. he stays on, getting cussed every day for one infirnal reason or another. And all he can do is take it, whether he likes it or not. And every slip of the tongue is covered by some camera or microphone somewhere. So, if he loses, he just goes back to running his businesses and deal with his own problems. Which in comparison to running a state government 4 years is a piece of cake. No board to work thru, Just call em as you see em, it’s all yours anyway.

    Then you have the scenario, if mt dosen’t ascend the throne. It will be the first time in decades team taylor dosen’t have a man sitting directly at the table. Now that’s a pretty good running streak.But yet the fear of being totaly out, that has to be unusual, especially when it has been the norm for so long. To have a prescence of such magnitude, for so many decades, and then get on TV with ads proclaiming how terrible everything is now, is ironic. No one could take four years and undo so much good, prorate it out. Looks like this so called train wreck has been a long time coming but it is mostly election year’s drivel. But, at the point for the first time in many years, of being exiled from the Governor’s office, wow!
    It will probably sound like pulling the cork on a wine bottle when that connection comes loose.

    Just so ya’ll will know, I’m ready to hear it myself.

  13. RuralDem says:

    Everyone acts like this is a surprise lol. The guy is a Republican and his choice for Governor lost. Just like Cathy he’s upset and refuses to support Taylor.

    I don’t think the news really matters for Taylor since Ponder is a Republican.

    I really like this line:

    “I think Sonny, in the race as it stands, has earned a second term,

  14. ugavi says:

    Not reallly a big deal.

    A little off topic but….

    Was Gail Buckner at the Democratic Convention on Sat? Her name was missing in every article I read about the convention.

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