Angling for John Watson?

Rumors are circulating that Governor Perdue wants to see John Watson take over the GA-GOP instead of Sue Everhart. Likewise, we’re hearing that should there be a fight, Anthony Scott Hobbs might angle to be the third party candidate to step into the fray while John and Sue fight.


  1. drjay says:

    isn’t hobbs kinda out there???

    also it has not really been an issue b/c the gop never had a guv before–but the president has A LOT of influence over who chairs the rnc–are we going to develop a similar system in ga–i can see why perdue would want his c.o.s. in that position but wow i’d be ticked off if i were eberhardt who has “put in her time” as 1st vice chair–interesting indeed

  2. Bull Moose says:

    Dr. Jay, I don’t like the idea of this heavy handed move in trying to “put someone in” but I also don’t like the other options either.

  3. atlantaman says:

    If you look at John’s resume it’s quit impressive and a good fit for State Chairman. He’s worked in finance/fundraising for campaigns and previously at the State GOP. Perdue probably wants John in there because he would do a great job, has paid his dues, and has the credentials.

    The ability to raise money is very important (and very difficult) and whoever becomes Chair better be good at it, because that’s a Chairman’s main priority.

  4. conservativecore says:

    I think John has a shot but you better put your ear to the grassroots ground. While there may be a top swell the ground game was weak this year and it is because the governor and Alec chose to have a myopic campaign strategy. RE-ELECT SONNY AND THE REST OF YOU BE DAMMED. I think when the debate starts you will see an interesting set of alliances come together.

  5. gatormathis says:

    What ya wanna bet ole John don’t miss to many meals if he gets in?

    I like the choices so far, keep on coming with them.

  6. atlantaman says:

    I don’t think Chairman is supposed to be the type of job where you live without a paycheck. No question that it’s an enormous sacrifice, but I think it’s a little like serving in the Legislature where you basically balance two full-time jobs.

    You’ve got an E.D. and staff to handle the day-to-day activities. I don’t think Rusty Paul gave up his income when he served as Chairman.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    I guess he’ll be a lobbyist and party chairman if he gets it?

    That’s reason number 2 why it isn’t a good idea.

    I say that Brian Kemp would make a great State Party Chairman.

  8. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Technically, the State Chairman could be a paid position if they were to take on the ED responsibilties.

  9. shep1975 says:

    Sue has massive support from the grassroots and is well liked by most of the fractions from the Christian Right to the moderates. She has shown a great ability to raise money, especially when she was Chair of the 6th Congressional District. She has organized every detail and gotten sponsorships for the last 3 state party conventions, not to meantion other other major events.

    John does have a great resume, but he’s said, “No” to so many county parties and activists, he cannot win. Sue is there for everyone and the vast majority of the folks who will become delegates know her and like her. With a GOP Gov., Senate, House, etc, we need someone with Sue’s steady leadership focused on the grassroots.

  10. northside elephant says:

    John Watson will be an excellent Chair, he has the right background and experience.

    Sue Everhart has been a central part of much of the Cobb GOP’s internal bickering and divisiveness.

  11. Jimbo says:

    The Grassroots want change not a continuation. I agree with Conservative Core’s assessment of the State Party. So do others:

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 11/12/06
    If the number of Democratic voters is growing in Gwinnett, they failed to prove it at polls in large numbers Tuesday.
    Democrats running statewide received fewer votes in Gwinnett in the election Tuesday than the party’s candidates for the same offices got in 2002. GOP candidates, however, collected more votes in 2006 than they did in 2002.
    Election officials and party leaders long have theorized that Gwinnett will become more Democratic because of the increasing number of ethnic minorities moving into the county. But, if that theory is true, Tuesday’s election results suggest that many members of this new constituency aren’t voting.
    According to unofficial returns, in 20 Gwinnett precincts where the majority of registered voters are members of ethnic minorities, the turnout did not exceed 42 percent. By contrast, most of the majority white precincts had turnouts between 42 percent and 59 percent.
    “We’re not seeing a tide yet,” said Adam Stone, a Georgia Perimeter College political science professor. “Many of the people who move into Gwinnett who would be Democrats aren’t registering to vote. And who knows if the ones who are registered are voting. And just because they’re not white, doesn’t mean that they’re Democrats.”
    Stone believes the maturing of an emerging rival Democratic force in Gwinnett may be many years away.
    “What you are seeing now are small changes,” Stone said.
    The election results suggest a few, subtle changes are taking place in the electorate. While Democrats lost the open seats of lieutenant governor, secretary of state and several state House posts, the GOP couldn’t pick off any Democratic incumbents holding state offices.
    Meanwhile, Democrat George Wilson, who lives in the Stone Mountain area of Gwinnett, came surprisingly close to defeating incumbent state Rep. Robert Mumford (R-Conyers), last Tuesday.
    In an election that drew roughly 15,000 voters to the polls, only about 500 votes separated Wilson and Mumford as of Friday. Returns published online by the Georgia secretary of state show that 11 percent of the district’s votes have yet to be counted.
    Wilson blamed the poor Democratic showing on the top of the party’s ticket. He said Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, who opposed Gov. Sonny Perdue, spent too much time attacking Perdue and not enough attracting new voters. Wilson said Taylor’s campaign turned off some black voters in his district and did not attract new white voters.
    “Mark Taylor did not make his message clear to voters,” Wilson said. “Raising the minimum wage, making sure people have jobs — those are bread-and-butter issues that got lost.”
    Yet GOP political consultant Mark Rountree sees a dark lining to the silver Republican cloud now hanging over Georgia.
    “There was a day in the 1980s to mid-’90s when the state Republican Party could depend on Cobb and Gwinnett to be the heavy lifters in elections,” said Rountree. “Now Republicans are focusing beyond Cobb and Gwinnett and that’s a mistake.”
    Rountree said Tuesday’s election exposed weaknesses in Gwinnett County’s Republican voting strength that will only get worse if the state party continues to take the county for granted.
    Rountree cited the races of attorney general, labor commissioner and agriculture commissioner as examples. Republicans failed to take over those offices Tuesday, in part because the Republicans challengers had weak support in Gwinnett and Cobb, Rountree said.
    Rountree said a Republican running statewide must garner at least 60 percent of the vote in Gwinnett to win. Republican Brent Brown, who lost to incumbent Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, scored 53 percent of the vote in Gwinnett.
    “[The Gwinnett electorate] is growing less partisan,” Rountree said. “They still vote Republican, but they don’t go lock-step Republican down the ballot.”

    The bottom line is I want change. I want someone that will not be afraid to buck the current leadership. While, I like Sue and think she has done a great job, she has a habit of buckling under pressure and going with the status quo. I do not want that. It will take somebody with guts to stand up to Perdue and company. The bottom line is when the pressure is exerted on Sue, will she still oppose the Governor and run?

    For example, was she the one calling for a State Committee Meeting when the State Party was in violation of the rules?

  12. atlantaman says:

    Well I definitley don’t like the idea of the Chairman being a lobbyist, but let’s see what develops before we start speculating on that.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    Northside Elephant,

    Seriously, for such a misinformed statement like this from you: “Sue Everhart has been a central part of much of the Cobb GOP’s internal bickering and divisiveness.” tells me that you’d better step-up to a higher grade of crack before all of your brains fall out. 🙂

    But, if you love Anthony-Scott, be honest about it at least in your ignorance of all of the facts.

  14. atlantaman says:

    I’m glad you said that Bill. I don’t know Sue very well, but I don’t get the feeling of bickering and divisiveness when I’m around her.

  15. rightofcenter says:

    Jeez, I’d like some cheese to go with all this whine!

    I am not a party insider (or part of the sacred grassroots), and the more I hear from those who are, the less I want to be. “While there may be a top swell the ground game was weak this year and it is because the governor and Alec chose to have a myopic campaign strategy. RE-ELECT SONNY AND THE REST OF YOU BE DAMMED.” Say what? We just re-elected every Republican incumbent, won every open statewide seat, and you folks are complaining? Give me a break.

  16. Jimbo says:

    This is a solid GOP State, yet we could not unseat a Democratic incumbent. There were races that were close enough that with a little more attention and money the GOP candidate would have won.

    The state party had tons of money and where did the majority go? It went to re-elect Perdue. Perdue had always led by a huge gap in the polls, so it was not like it was going to be a close race.

    That money should have trickled on down to other candidates.

    Chuck Eaton is in a runoff. Where is the Georgia GOP?

  17. buzzbrockway says:


    You may be right of center, but your comments are right on the money.

    I suspect these negative comments come from supporters of Hobbs as they attempt to make it appear the State GOP is in shambles and in need of their man ASH to save the day. Thankfully, that dog won’t hunt.

  18. northside elephant says:

    O.k. Bill and Buzz

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t think anyone takes Anthony S.H. seriously for Chair.

  19. northside elephant says:

    I agree with Jimbo about some of the failures of the GAGOP. Sonny raised around $14 million but ran half-a**ed, underfunded campaigns for Grant Brantley and Mike Wiggins.

  20. Jimbo says:

    Buzz, I am not supporting anyone yet. I want to see who the players are. I want a change and will not support the Gov’s handpicked candidate.

    There could yet be an unannounced candidate that has not stepped forward yet. Like one of the GOP candidates that were unsuccessful in their attempt for Statewide office..

    You, Buzz, are an apologist for the powers that be in the Georgia GOP. They walk on water as far as you are concerned. Your logic is really humerous. I saw Sue supporters also criticizing the Gov’s handpicked candidate. I guess they are secretly supporting Hobbs as well?

    You all attack Hobbs, but he is the only one stepping forward to oppose what is going on with the Georgia GOP. Who else will step forward?

    If Sue is a serious candidate, then shouldn’t she be taking the lead role in criticizing what is going on?

  21. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Both Sue and John are excellent choices for State Chair. There also could be a few more get in the race. ASH does not hold a snowballs chance in hell. This years conventions might actually be worth going to.

    Just for debate, who would you like to see run?

    What about Herman Cain

  22. buzzbrockway says:


    I’m an apologist for success and the Georgia GOP, under Alec, and under Ralph Reed has been very successful. Not perfect, just successful. Winning elections is what Parties are supposed to be about and that’s what been happening for the past several years.

  23. atlantaman says:

    It would have been nice to have had Brown or Black win and perhaps some money could have helped, but overall it was a good year for Republicans in GA…especially in light of the national party weighing on the GA GOP.

    It takes a lot of hard work to raise millions of dollars. If someone else had been Chairman there may not have been all that money for us to argue about as Monday Morning Quarterbacks.

    We won two major statewide seats, retained our Congressional delegation, kept the Governor’s mansion, and made gains in the Legislature. Personally, I’d have to say congratulations were in order versus criticism.

    If someone plans on running as a reformer for Chairman they’ve got their work cut out for them.

  24. Jimbo says:

    The state party went in to the counties with the regional offices. They did not work together with the local parties as a team as should have taken place. They circumvented the local parties and wanted to take over campaign operations. The regional offices attitude was “we are here, now send us all your volunteers. “The regional offices focus was primarily at re-electing Sonny Perdue. There were token efforts toward the end to help other GOP candidates but it was not enough.

    The current leadership in the Georgia GOP has the attitude send us your money, but we don’t want your ideas or input. That is why there have not been more state committee meetings than there have been.

    The down level candidates did not get the support they needed. When you check your state gop disclosures, you will find the ga gop did not even give some of the candidates the maximum allowed even though there was plenty of money in the coffers.

  25. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, with all do respect to Ms. Sue Everheart, who I do not know personally. That should mean this has nothing to do with her.

    But, a great Party Chairman for Georgia would be Brian Kemp, if he can be talked into taking the position.

    We certainly don’t need a lobbyist and someone with their own biased positions and baggage that Mr. Watson would certainly bring to the table.

    I’d also argue that we don’t need overzealous party activists who are just going to turn off the more mainstream element that is critical to winning.

    What we need is someone who is serious and committed to the cause, who can raise money, and who is intelligent and can represent the party well.

    Enter Brian Kemp.

    I certainly don’t want the next Chairman to be a lobbyist type or an Atlanta activist, and I feel confident that I’m in the majority on that feeling.

  26. Jimbo says:

    I have never said the GA GOP did not do good. There was enough money raised that they could have done more for some of the down level candidates and not focus so much on Perdue’s race.

    This is now a GOP State. You think we could have unseated a few Democrat incumbents. With a little more effort from the state party, we could have.

    The state party is like a dictatorship. You support their goals and agenda or you pay the price.

    After all her years in service, you would have though Sue Everhart would be next in line for Chairman. Alas, she is not. The “good ole boys” are passing right over Sue because they want control.

    Sue has been treated badley and so has AS Hobbs.

  27. pachedhouse says:

    Hey Jimbo…

    It is interesting that you brought up the Field Offices. It is amazing that you thought that they were there to usurp the local parties. From what I understand the field offices were created as an infrastructure to allow volunteers to come in and work. They had phones and all of the materials that anyone could have wanted for all of the statewide candidates.

    I mean, would this not be helpful to the local parties that want to make a difference and help without expending monies on those type of things?

    Maybe you just don’t like the idea that a couple of college kids came into your area and ran things in an efficient manner and helped all of the candidates that had a chance, and help bring some respectable numbers to those that did not.

  28. Jimbo says:

    The field offices were in areas that had hqs already. They did not work together as a team. I know volunteers that worked in those field offices. Except for the last two weeks, the work that went on was for Perdue. The local parties and the field offices ended up competing for the same volunteers. The issue was control. It would have been much more efficient to have a little team work going on. They tried to usurp the local parties responsibilities.

    I like Brian Kemp but if he is interested, he needs to step up and show leadership. The only one doing that now is AS Hobbs. Sue needs to step up and show leadership if she is interested. We need others interested to step to the plate.

  29. Jimbo says:

    As for the field offices, why didn’t the state party go to the local parties and say,”We want to help you with your expenditures and provide a full time staff to oversee volunteers.” We just have goals and guidelines we would li ke you to meet. As I have said, control was the issue.

  30. leftrightcombo says:

    This is very sad…

    No one seems to remeber how the Donkey lost its way.

    One day the donkey decided it knew where it was going and how to get there. It normally was helped by the people along the side of the road and the farmer. However the donkey decided he did not need any input anymore and could make it on his own. Well, sadly the donkey walked off the road into the ditch and was eaten by wolves.

    I hope the GAGOP remembers the fate of the donkey!

  31. BB says:


    The field office in Cherokee was coordinated from the start with the local party. CCRP did not have an office of its own so we worked with the state party to identify a location then staff the office. Don’t know about other counties, but it was a good thing for Cherokee County.

  32. rightofcenter says:

    Only someone with a hurt ego who thinks they didn’t get enough personal attention (and/or credit) could possibly cast this election in anything but a positive light for the GOP. Quick: name one state that did better for the GOP. Still waiting.

  33. John Konop says:

    I do not know John Watson. All I can say Sue Everhart and Brian Kemp both have allot of class and Character. Both would be excellent selection, since Buzz turned the job down. BTW, does anyone want to buy, Get A Buzz for Chairmen T-shirts I made?

  34. Bull Moose says:

    Not to beat a dead horse, but putting a lobbyist up as a candidate was a bad idea. Voters are smarter than that. No offense to Gary Black, he ran a good general election campaign, but voters just aren’t going to vote for a Republican just because he’s a Republican.

    It resonated with people that he was only out for the special interests of the big farm people (people he lobbied for).

    The question there should be who pushed the idea of having a lobbyist run for office?

    Should we now trust them with this idea of pushing a potential lobbyist for Chairman of the Party?

    Georgia was a bright spot for the country. Remember, during the primary, we made sure that it would be that way by rejecting those candidates tarnished by scandal (Reed and Stephens).

    Again, with respect to Ms. Everhart, whom I do not know, Brian Kemp would be a great leader of the GA GOP. Maybe the two of them could be Co-Chairs.

  35. drjay says:

    i’ve seen brian kemp’s name creep into this thread a couple of times even though he was not mentioned as a possible choice–is this just wishful thinking or has there been some talk about him actually having an interest in this position???

  36. Bill Simon says:

    Wishful thinking on the part of the poster, DRJay.

    Which brings me to an observation: We sure do tussle a lot with what to do with people who lose races. Ever think that they just go back to their previous life and will be alright?

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