It’s official: Hudgens drops out

The Madison County Journal‘s Zach Mitcham has the scoop:

“It’s just my heart feeling that I just don’t have it in me to run,” said Hudgens. “There was no discouragement. I know they’re going to say that people from Augusta got to you. But I haven’t talked to anybody from Augusta except those who were encouraging me to run.”
He said he doesn’t plan to back anybody else in the 10th District Congressional race.

The article continues:

Hudgens said that he and his wife, Suzanne, have been praying about whether he should run. He said they reached a decision Friday morning.

Fair enough — running for Congress certainly isn’t for everybody. However, it would probably have been a better decision for Hudgens to have given the matter a bit more thought before he severely disrespected the previous officeholder with his rushing to announce candidacy on the day of Charlie Norwood’s death. If his decision on running wasn’t reached until today, then his foolishly-timed announcement of candidacy was an even more inexplicably poor choice.

“I’ve been out here three weeks on the campaign trail,” said Hudgens. “I just don’t have the fire in the belly that I need to do this. I’ve had tremendous reception everywhere I’ve gone. I just feel like I really don’t want to do this. I love being in the senate.” …Hudgens said that he will seek re-election to his District 47 post in 2008.

Again, there is no problem with that sentiment, or with that decision.

The problem comes from Hudgens’s abysmally foolish decision to announce his candidacy just as Mr. Norwood’s death was becoming public knowledge (a decision which almost certainly eroded potential support for his campaingn, and contributed to the ultimate decision to withdraw from the race), and from the domino effect his announcement of candidacy had on the region — including on Brian Kemp, who had announced that he was running to succeed Hudgens in the 47th, had filed for a campaign committee to raise cash for the run, and had garnered the endorsements of the entire Senate GOP Caucus and the Lieutenant Governor.

Hudgens’s decision to withdraw from the race was a good one. What little chance he might have theoretically had of winning the race likely evaporated the day of Mr. Norwood’s death, when Hudgens showed that he lacked even enough respect for a just-deceased colleague to even “wait until the body was cold” before rushing out to claim a stake in the 10th CD legacy. Hopefully Mr. Hudgens will take a lesson in grace and humility from this experience, and will apply it to his political and personal endeavors in the future.

The future of the 47th district may be an open question, as well. With Brian Kemp having been able to garner such wide support for a potential run (for a seat which had not officially been vacated yet), there is the possibility that Hudgens may soon be facing a primary challenge in the district — and from a former colleague. That is, of course, simply speculation; it is just as likely that Mr. Kemp would, out of a respect for his colleagues which Mr. Hudgens appears not to possess, decline to challenge an incumbent Republican in the ’08 primary.

However, were he to do so, there is a very good chance that he would win.


  1. In the meantime, the Georgia Senate Insurance and Labor Committee, which Sen Hudgens Chairs goes to hell in a handbasket for the sake of his self serving politics for poltics sake and produces zilch for the citizens of Georgia…

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Damn, damn, DAMN! I wanted Hudgens to get his moronic butt out of the state senate.

    Guess we’ll just have to find a candidate to whup him…shouldn’t be too difficult…

  3. Bill Simmon,
    I do not know much about state senator Ralph Hudges, except for his 3 week congressional campaign in the 10th district. Why would you want Ralph Hudges as a congressmen, if you call him a moron. I do not know his voting record, so I am just curious.

  4. Josh, he didn’t want Hudgens in Congress, he wanted him out of the Senate (and figured he’d lose the Congressional race).

    To know Hudgens is to want him out of office. Poor Brian Kemp, what will he do now?

  5. Jmac says:

    One would have to speculate that the GOP leadership is even angrier with Hudgens now. He showed an incredible lack of class in his announcement, but it was a way for the leadership to get rid of him since he faced a tough challenge in the 10th Congressional District.

    Now he’s gone back on his original committment to run and Kemp’s left high and dry … which was probably not part of the grand plan. If you see a Kemp primary challenge, I’d wager a lot that the GOP leadership flocks to him.

    And, in truly disturbing news, I somewhat agree with Jeff for the second time in three days. 😉

  6. SouthATL says:

    Well, I don’t think Hudgens knows what he is in store for. He has now lost any ounce of respect anyone every had for him. He has proved his word is meaningless, and a man who does not live by his word is no man and definitely no leader.

    I mean he was talking about running before Norwood was even dead and now he just backs down. This should prove to all of us, the type of moron Hudgens is.

    Hudgens won’t get re-elected in 2008 yet. I bet Brian Kemp will primary Hudgen’s ass and get rid of him once and for all.

  7. Capt. says:

    I’m SouthATL on this. I think after this stunt Hudgens pulled, Brian Kemp will run against him 2008.

    Not only is the press going to destroy Hudgens, Legislators are going to lose all respect for him and the people in his district will be more motivated than ever to get rid of this guy.

  8. Chief86 says:

    Jeff, I think you made a good point at the end of your article. I think Kemp is the kind of guy that would have enough respect to not run against one of his former collegues.

    BUT, in this case, I think any respect Brian Kemp had for Hudgens is now out the window. I don’t see Brian as the kind of guy who tolerates folks going back on their word.

    I think he will primary Hudgens and I think the people of the 47th district will be thrilled as the are now.

    The people in the 47th don’t think much of Hudgens anyway. There has just never been an opponent that could beat him.

    The time has come. See you later Ralph. Enjoy your last term in the Senate.

  9. LakeGuy says:

    I hear that it’s official– that Brian Kemp is planning on running against Hudgens and is going to keep camaigning as he has the last month.

    I also hear that a lot of community leaders are pushing him to do so.

    Hudgens thought he could walk back into a safe Senate seat, but that ain’t the case Ralph.

    Everyone in the district, in Senate Leadership and beyond will flock to Brian Kemp and destroy Ralph Hudgens. Guess Ralph has something else to pray about now

  10. cheapseats says:

    Good riddance! We will miss Ralph like we miss a bad case of hemaroids!

    …and the horse he rode in on!

  11. bowersville says:

    It’s official (AJC, Political Insider) Kemp will stay in the race for the 47th Senate. Good for him.

    Goodbye Ralph in 08.

  12. JayHanley says:

    P.S. In case anyone is wondering, I am an Oconee Republican, but I am not the oconeerepublican in the last comment.

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