It is Crass, But . . .

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-543,

Whenever a vacancy shall occur or exist in the office of Representative in the United States Congress from this state the Governor shall issue, within ten days after the occurrence of such vacancy, a writ of election to the Secretary of State for a special election to fill such vacancy, which election shall be held on the date named in the writ, which shall not be less than 30 days after its issuance. Upon receiving the writ of election from the Governor, the Secretary of State shall then transmit the writ of election to the superintendent of each county involved and shall publish the call of the election.

The names being batted about by everyone but the prospective candidates themselves are Barry Fleming, Ralph Hudgens, and Brian Kemp.

UPDATE: I’m hearing that neither Gary Black nor Brian Kemp are interested in this race.


  1. Bull Moose says:

    Charlie Norwood would be the Governor of our state today if not for the dreaded lung condition that held him back and this dreaded disease of cancer.

    We must work to continue to turn the clock back on diseases such as these.

    Charlie never compromised his integrity while in Washington, DC.

    Of all my favorite memories of Charlie Norwood, I’ll never forget a Super Bowl Party held at Matt Towery’s house where Dick Gephardt happened to be as well. It reminded me of that scene where Luke Skywalker walked into a room to be greeted by Darth Vader. Charlie got a kick out of me telling him that too.

  2. Tommy_a2b says:

    Ralph Hudgens and Max Burns from what I hear out of the Republicans so far. I hear that Brian Kemp will run for Hudgens seat in the State Senate. With the new district changes he now lives in that district. I hear if Kemp runs for Senate he will have the support of the leadership in the Senate.

  3. Jmac says:

    Does Burns fit in that district?

    Kemp would be a better fit to run for that seat. Hudgens burned some bridges along the way.

    On the Democratic side, who knows. I don’t think Michael Thurmond would try that, since it’s a tough district, and he’s probably looking at a ‘bigger’ seat than that.

    Looking at General Assembly folks, either Alan Powell or the representative from Toccoa (Jaimeson?) might be possibilities.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    Max Burns? Can we go ahead and drop him yet? He’d have to move into the district, the same thing he lambasted Barrow for doing in the 12th (and he still lost). I think Brian Kemp would be a much better choice to go after that district.

  5. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Hudgens is the better bet to run than Kemp (not sure if Kemp is one of those up for relocating his family – with young children – to Washington D.C. …or in the alternative, being away from them most of the week). Hudgens has the personal $ to make a serious run for Congress if he wanted.

    What about State Rep. and Whip Barry Fleming? Is he in that district? I honestly don’t really know where Harlem, GA is …but if he’s in that district, I could see him as a possibility . He’s been able to raise $ pretty well in the House.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    It would be a short race. You can’t rule out Mrs. Norwood. She should have the first right of refusal to run for the remainder of her husband’s term.

    Other names, what about former Augusta Mayor Bob Young?

    This is a very Republican seat, so I doubt any serious Democrat will make it a race.

  7. commonsense says:

    I hear InsiderAdvantage says the following names for the GOP

    Sen. Ralph Hudgens, Rep.Ben Harbin, former Sen. Brian Kemp, former Sen. Mike Beatty and potentially Gary Black,

  8. Jmac says:

    Harlem is near Augusta.

    Salt of the earth kinda folks.

    Kemp, Hudgens, Black and Fleming would make that thing a free-for-all.

  9. Adam Fogle says:


    I agree. This is “crass.”

    Have some damn decency people.

    As of right now, he is still a congressman and has yet to indicate otherwise. Let’s allow Congressman Norwood to make a decision – as I expect he will – regarding the remainder of his term, and then honor that choice. But until then, shut up.

    I’m appalled that people would begin speculating on a potential replacement less than a few hours after all of this hit. The poor guy just had to make a difficult, heartbreaking decision and we sit here and begin tossing around names to replace him?


    This is a new low – even for us. I’m ashamed and deeply offended.

  10. Mike Hauncho says:

    If I’m not mistaken you don’t have to live in a district to run for that Congressional seat.

  11. Bill Arp says:

    Whatever Fogle…go grab a subway.

    The fact of the matter is the Gov only has 10 days to make the appointment. I say he goes with someone new….maybe Johnnie Grant, Bob Smith, or possibly Mickey Channell. I am not sure but if Tom McCall is in the district he would be GREAT!!!!

    Consider the New Congress: There is actually plenty of room for a Dem to come in and grab the seat..alan powell, jeanette jamison, Carol Jackson are all serious contenders.

    I wanna see a battle of the rednecks in the primary Bob Smith v. Tom McCall, and Jeanette Jamieson v. Alan Powell…..You could sell tickets to that event….

  12. IndyInjun says:

    Bill Arp,

    What appointment?

    30 days, 40 if the governor’s grace period is totally used up, is not much time to mount a campaign.

    Columbia County Republicans will unite behind a single candidate, likely either Jim Whitehead or Barry Fleming. Bob Young won’t run and would not be strongly supported in the Augusta area. Harbin is said to not want it, because of family considerations.

    Max Burns should sit it out. One would think that his financial backers would be tapped out from the battle with Barrow.

    Any Democrat is wasting their time, even if he/she is the only one to compete.

  13. DoubleDawg3 says:

    If Burns runs, I hope Guy Millner does too …that way, at least one of them will win something

    (okay, I’m ONLY JOKING…I don’t know Guy Millner, but I do like Max…and I understand that he’s only lost b/c he’s ran in really tough races to win)

  14. SevenHillsDem says:

    There will be more Republicans than you can imagine. Doc Eldridge (Athens) will consider it, several from Columbia County, Ralph Hudgens, Brian Kemp.

    The Dem side will be shallower. Maybe Jeanette Jamieson?

  15. shep1975 says:

    Charlie’s 1994 campaign was the first campaign I ever volunteered for. You can almost say that Charlie gave me my start in GOP politics. I used to spend HOURS in my dorm room filling out GOTV postcards for Charlie (yes I was that big of a nerd).

  16. Groseclose says:

    On the Democrat side, one might look to former Congressman and Clinton official Don Johnson. He is from Franklin County originally which may give him rural appeal, works at the Rusk Center, and remains well connected with Washington insiders. I don’t suspect Rep. Jamieson will leave the State House, but she is probably the most electable Democrat in that district.

    On the Republican side, I think Gary Black and Brian Kemp are both top notch potential candidates, despite Erick’s latest reports to the contrary. They are the only two mentioned Republicans that have been on the ballot in every county within the district. I would give the slight advantage between those two to Gary because he has proven he can raise more money, more quickly. His organization in those counties is not as a distant memory as Brian’s. Nonetheless, Rep. Fleming would make a compelling candidate.

    There has been some suggestion that the election would happen within 40 days from when the vacancy occurred. As I read the statute, the Governor has 10 days to issue the writ setting an election date no less than 30 days from the date of the writ. He can set the date longer than 30 days. Assuming the vacancy is imminent (which I really would rather not), I suspect the Governor will set a date well after the General Assembly is expected to adjourn.

  17. MrGOPJr says:

    About Don Johnson, one must remember he was defeated by a landslide in his 1994 re-election bid by Congressman Norwood. The only counties Johnson carried were Clarke and Elbert out of the old district. I seriously doubt he’d run again. If he did, he would be handily defeated again.

  18. IndyInjun says:


    Don’t hold back on Columbia County, I am interested in the opinions of others on the outside.


  19. rugby_fan says:

    Your interpretation would be correct Groseclose.

    I also seem to recall, there was a state that recently had to address the issue of representative vacancies and their replacement.

    A LexisNexis search would no doubt spark my memory.

  20. AlanSmithee says:

    Carol Jackson could make a serious run at that seat. She ran pretty close to Nancy Schaefer and must have done a lot better there than Taylor did.

    The fact that the crazies who elect the state Democratic chair rejected her is a positive in that district, like most places in this state.

  21. CHelf says:

    Ahhh yes. Many fond memories of both the ’94 and ’96 campaigns. Whatever happened to Russell the Muscle? I think I made more phone calls and put up more yard signs in those campaigns than any I ever volunteered for. Every version of that district has produced some of the best political workers and volunteers I’ve ever worked with.

    Whoever eventually runs for this seat, they have a nice money base in the Lake Oconee area. Thank the retirees for putting that whole area on the map. It was a blip back in ’94 and ’96. People then were still afraid to attach an R behind their name.

  22. gatormathis says:

    ole Fogle does have a point, though.

    Ya’ll done got mighty nasty just on account of Congressman Charlie Norwood done got bad sick for a while.

    Not only are you past wishing Mr. Charlie relief in his misery, you have already began endorsing and attacking his possible replacements with innuendo beyond belief.

    The Good Book says down in it somewhere, braggarts and thieves will be all chunked in the same hot hole.

    If all the proclaimed measurements of “humbleness” I’ve read the last few days woulda been channeled prayers uplifting ole Mister Charlie, in a few days he might could just get up and walk out of his room.
    He has been getting kind words on here from the different partisans as well as religions represented.

    He’s just been a great ole guy, he’s represented us for years and has went about in a way respective of an office of that magnitude. In lieu of stuff that has went on in the last few years, his conduct is appreciated. He’s just a good ole guy, and they’re getting harder to find.

    SO, if we was to all send up a pleasant thought………..
    ……in each one’s personal mojo………….

    …….instead of picking at each other’s sore spots like a bunch of buzzards………lol…

    I mean seriously, ya’ll giving folks hell………..that probably have no interest in running for the office. Then you have buzzards, probably doing everything except putting up flyers.

    Kinda like that Michael Vick email I got the other day….REALLYYY!!

    Venomous assaults given on one’s character, just because his name was “mentioned”…………..REALLY?????

    Vicious assaults on each other for various reasons………REALLY……….

    But worst of all just disrespecting totally people who have been the only reason we have a “party” to go “party” at every once in a while……………..really now folks…….

    The Everhart woman, I never met her. I’m sure she deserves much respect for things she’s been in on. Sounds like she a classy broad. I’m glad she’s a Republican, especially since(

  23. gatormathis says:

    The Everhart woman, I never met her. I’m sure she deserves much respect for things she’s been in on. Sounds like she a classy broad. I’m glad she’s a Republican, especially since(

  24. Bill Simon says:


    This may be a political blog, but “crass” does not BEGIN to approach the correct description of your line of thinking in even starting the thread.

    On your tombstone, it should be written: “When it was time for a good man to meet his Maker, Erick just blogged-on…”

  25. IndyInjun says:

    The way the GOP is heading, make more room.

    Bill Simon,
    Normally, I am inclined to be with you and in opposition to Erick, but in this instance Erick is on sound ground by bringing up this topic.

    Charlie Norwood is the best congressman that we have had in this district and I voted for him every time. As noted in my other postings he has never wavered from conservative principles, when the rest of the Georgia delegation trashed them. He is tried and true.

    However, the accelerated pace that would be set in motion to fill his seat makes this discussion not only inevitable, but also necessary. Bear in mind that Charlie was very ill when he stood for reelection, with many supporters questioning his decision to seek another term, so that the position we are in is partially of his making.

  26. Chris says:

    Maybe its just the New York A– in me, but I agree with Erick. Cancer sucks, its killed more of my relatives than I care to think about. I feel for the Norwood family.

    However, Congressman Norwood holds a position of extreme importance to this republic and it is not out of line to consider who might replace him if the worst happens.

    Get off your high horses.

  27. debbie0040 says:

    Erick was right in bringing this up and he did so with sensitivity. You are placed under the care of hospice when you are close to the end and hope for recovery is gone. Norwood’s seat is important and we just can not ignore the fact that the seat may become vacant.

    My brother-in-law died of cancer a month ago and he was under hospice for about a month. Death from cancer is agonizing for the patient and the family. You just stand by helpless and watch the life slowly drained from them. When the end finally comes, it is a blessing.

    My sympathies go out to the Norwood family.

    I think Burns, Black or Hudgens would be great in that seat.

    If Burns is interested in Norwood’s seat, then I don’t see how he can run for Chairman. He would have to resign as soon as he qualifies for that office. The odds are, he would only serve as chairman for a few months .

  28. Demonbeck says:

    Has anyone mentioned Don Cheeks?

    If not, I wanted to just throw his name out there. I know he’s older, but he’s got the experience and lives in the area…

  29. I will always remember Congressman Norwood’s Statemanship when he worked on legislation for NFIB and small business issues. God Bless you Congressman Norwood and may the Lord comfort you and your family at this time.

    Also, we encourage you to temporarily cease this political discussion and focus on prayer for Charlie and his family. For more info on his life, please visit this link:

  30. Erick says:

    Folks, given my past two months, I have extreme sympathies for those with cancer. I just thought I did before I was told my wife had cancer. I’m glad that turned out not to be the case.

    But if you are unhappy with this thread, don’t participate in it. You know as well as I, that 7 out of 10 political junkies in this state were asking themselves 2 questions within 15 minutes of the news about Congressman Norwood:

    1) What are the rules on a special election; and,

    2) Who is likely to run.

  31. DutchDawg says:

    Harbin, Fleming and Kemp (even though he SAYS he’s not running) are the best bets. Hudgens? You must be kidding. That guy is a joke, nobody that I have ever met likes him. He’s gotten elected on his wife’s name (and his wife’s money, I might add). Anybody with half a clue will tell you that.

  32. Skeptical says:

    Even though Congressman Norwood and I are on complete opposite ends of the political spectrum, I do wish him well and hope that he is as comfortable as he can be here at home. I truly admire his wanting to spend his remaining time with his family at home. He and his family will be in my thoughts.

  33. landman says:

    Erick,this is an appropriatte discussion about a very sensitive subject and I think you have handled it properly and with respect.My thoughts and prayers go out to the Norwood family and many thanks to Charlie for the quality leadership he provided to his district and our state.

    With that said I will give my thoughts on how this plays out.The key to this puzzle is what decision Whitehead makes if he runs Fleming likely will not and it will be Whitehead and Hudgens duking it out.If Whitehead doesnt run it will be Fleming and Hudgens going at it,either way Hudgens will run.Max doesnt run and Gary sits tight until ’10 and runs for Ag Commish.
    Now,the interesting part to the puzzle and that is who fills Hudgens senate seat and if it works out like I would like to see it Brian Kemp runs and returns to the Senate .Where I might add he would have a great deal of support and provide that body with proven quality leadership and experience.Kemp is the kind of guy we need in Public Service and I hope it plays out that he is back in the game.

  34. MrGOPJr says:

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned here, but Ralph Hudgens was the ’92 GOP nominee and was narrowly defeated by Don Johnson in the general election. Hudgens ran again in ’94 and Norwood defeated him in the GOP runoff. Of course, we all know Charlie went on to beat Johnson in a landslide.

    I’d be very surprised if Hudgens did not run. I also expect Dr. Paul Broun, M.D. of Athens to be a candidate. He has been planning to run once Charlie retired. Dr. Broun, a Republican from Athens, was a candidate for Congress in south Georgia in the early ’90s, a U.S. Senate candidate in ’96. He is a son of the late state Sen. Paul Broun (D-Athens).

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