One Democrat thinks so:
(7/22/08) The Democrat hoping to unseat Republican Rep. James Mill in November in HD 25 says he’ll vote for David Ralston as Speaker of the House against Glenn Richardson if he gets that chance. It’s the first sign we’ve seen so far that Democrats may be hoping to use the pending fight among Republicans in their fall campaigns.
Chris Strickland, a 33-year-old teacher from Flowery Branch, commented over the weekend, just hours after Ralston confirmed rumors that he planned to challenge Richardson for the gavel when House Republicans gather following the general election to nominate their candidate for the post.
Ralston told Insider last week that if he loses in the caucus, he will not continue the fight to the floor of the Legislature in January where all House members get to vote for the presiding officer. The minority party always raises a token challenge. Past efforts to forge a bipartisan coalition behind a challenger have failed.
Nevertheless, Strickland circulated a press release over the weekend in which he said, “I will support any North Georgia representative, Republican or Democrat, that challenges Speaker Richardson. The House leadership is broken.”
Mills, chairman of the House Banks and Banking Committee, was noncommittal when The Gainesville Times asked him who he would support in the Speaker’s race.
I don’t think the primary results provide any guidance as to how the Speaker is playing out there. Jeff Lewis lost but Amos Amerson won. I’m told Amerson said point blank he supported Richardson. Who knows if the Speaker was a factor in either race.
James Mills is not in much danger but I wonder if he’ll be forced to declare his intentions vis-a-vis the Speaker. As Drudge might say: “developing….”