Insider Advantage takes a look at what’s going on in House Districts 80 & 81:
In terms of recent voting history, the district (HD 81) backed Barnes over Sonny Perdue 55 percent to 39 percent in 2002. John Kerry narrowly led George Bush 51 percent to 48 percent in 2004. Also in 2004, the district split almost evenly in the U.S. Senate race, giving Johnny Isakson 48 percent of the vote to Democrat Denise Majette’s 47 percent and the rest voting Libertarian.
The district has a growing gay population and is known as a melting pot of liberal, Libertarian and conservative philosophies. Hence, Chambers was the only Republican in either the House or Senate to vote against a proposed 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Jacobs’ district (HD 80) runs along the DeKalb-Fulton line from I-285 in the north to LaVista Road in the south in Toco Hills. Al Gore narrowly carried this district in 2000 (49 percent to 48 percent), Barnes won it 56 percent to 41 percent in 2004 and Kerry just barely edged Bush by 49.7 percent to 49.5 percent. But Isakson won over Majette in the Senate race 51 percent to 46 percent.
And until Jacobs switched in 2007, the district was represented by a Democrat.
He wrote on his website: “… my strong belief in fiscal responsibility and restraint … is not a good fit within the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.”
None of this sat well with his former colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, some of whom have now come forward as active workers behind the candidacy of his independent challenger.
In a recent telephone conference with reporters, House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter said there is a “values vacuum” in the district now.
“When Mike was a Democrat, he would not vote with the Democratic Caucus. Time and time again. There was a values vacuum even then,” Porter said.