Bill Stephens to go for Congress

April 28, 2009 11:32 am

by General Jack D. Ripper · 31 comments

The same sources that informed me about Hawkins also let me know that former Senate Majority Leader Bill Stephens also is considering the seat being vacated by Nathan Deal.

Stephens confirmed it to me by phone and expects to make an announcement probably next week, but no date has been set as yet.

“This is Nathan Deals’ week,” Stephens said.

During his tenure in the Senate, Stephens represented all or part of 18 north Georgia counties as redistricting switched his district around including 7 out of the 15 counties that make up the 9th. He is a 6th generation Fannin Countian and lived in Hall County for 10 years.

Chris April 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

With is tax problems he should seek a seat on Obama’s cabinet. And does he have anything worth running on? The EVIL GAYS aren’t an issue anymore.

Mother Goose April 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

Bill Stephens is a perfect fit for this seat.

Buzz Brockway April 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I have no ax to grind with Stephens, but why would the voters of the 9th send him to Congress when they have talented folks like Tom Graves in the district?

fundy1611 April 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Who is the GOP going to put up against Jim Marshall?

rural independent April 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Will there any democrats vying for that seat? I know it’s one of the most republican districts in the country, but will the dems put up a fight there?

Kellie April 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

No dems so far.

Icarus April 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I heard Bill Stephens was a lesbian.

Kellie April 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I’d need to see a picture of him before confirming that. LOL

North Ga Indy April 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm

This guy creeps me out. Graves, Burns, Hawkins, or Ralston will do for me.

Goldwater Conservative April 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Hawkins is the guy for the seat.

Any democrat that runs in this race needs to have his/her head examined.

Kellie April 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Hawkins will have a problem getting people excited about voting for him. He can not work a crowd. He shows up, finds someone he knows and stands next to them, never speaking a word to anyone. It’s a bit strange.
He needs to introduce himself more.

TrueRed April 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Stephens and Hawkins are both good potentials for this seat.

North Ga Indy April 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Hawkins will have a problem getting people excited about voting for him. He can not work a crowd. He shows up, finds someone he knows and stands next to them, never speaking a word to anyone. It’s a bit strange.
He needs to introduce himself more.

Still, he’d be a helluva lot better than that pandering, arrogant fool Bill Stephens.

Mother Goose April 28, 2009 at 2:32 pm

“Still, he’d be a helluva lot better than that pandering, arrogant fool Bill Stephens.” …very constructive, Indy. I’m so glad you are contributing.

macho April 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Where does everything stand if Evan gets into the race?

North Ga Indy April 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm

…very constructive, Indy. I’m so glad you are contributing.

That be a positive statement?

HankRearden April 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I hear Mike Evans is in.

Kellie April 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I hear Cagle may drop the LG run and go for Congress.

macho April 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm

At this point, nothing would surprise me.

I Am Jacks Post April 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I hear nothing

I Am Jacks Post April 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Wait . . . no. Thought I heard something but it was just a train.

Kellie April 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I have voices in my head telling me things. 😉

DoubleDawg3 April 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I’d love for Bill Stephens to jump in, I think he’d have a very strong chance in the 9th, given the fact that, as mentioned, he’s represented many of the counties located in the district. Chip Pearson would be an interesting candidate for the same reason (although, I’m not sure Chip is inclined to go to D.C.). One perk for Stephens, in that district…he’d likely get an endorsement from Zell Miller – which can still go a long way in North Georgia.

I don’t know Hawkins that well, so I can’t comment on how good of a candidate he would be/wouldn’t be.

I would be surprised to see both Stephens & Mike Evans get in the race against each other, but I could see it being a good opportunity for both – so it might happen.

Not positive about Ralston, but I could see him giving AG another shot rather than a run at Congress (he could probably be the next up for a Superior Court Judge position in his area, if he wanted it – assuming there’s one available anytime soon).

Tom Graves – definitely a strong candidate, but I agree with one poster, I’d hate to lose his true conservative voice in the Georgia House.

As for Max Burns…interesting possibility. He’s got one thing that none of the others mentioned do, that being he was a US Congressman. He’s also likely to have a strong financial backer in North Georgia in Mike Cottrell, the man who made a $10 million (I believe) donation to North Georgia College and for whom the college’s business school is now named (which is where Max Burns is employed). Cottrell’s farm has been the home to a number of GOP fundraisers, so I imagine he could get some money on board for Max.

Kevin Harris would be an interesting candidate, given that he’s immensely popular in the 9th District GOP circles among most of the actives that attend county/district party meetings. Although, rather than Kevin running, I could see him being a key asset to the successful candidate.

Chris Riley, Deal’s Chief of Staff and rgo to guy since the beginning, would be interesting as well. I would imagine that Chris woudld be instrumental in helping Deal get elected Governor, so he wouldn’t forge his own campaign…but if he did, and was the hand selected candidate by the Congressman, then that’d be a good start.

Also, very unlikely, but Deal does have a son, Jason, that is a Superior Court Judge in Hall County…same thing applies here as with Chris, he’s got the same last name and if he were interested, I’m sure he’d get his father’s backing, which would be a good start (especially if he used Chris Riley on his campaign / continue as Chief of Staff). Although, I think his role in the Judicial arena is going pretty well (young Judge, could become a Ct. of Appeals, Supreme Ct. of GA appointment (and then run for re-election) in the future).

All of this is pure speculation, but that’s the fun in it. I think the beauty of this race is that while we’re losing a GREAT Congressman, I’d be pretty happy with any one of those that I mentioned going to DC from the 9th District. I think the 9th is definitely Georgia’s strongest natural “conservative” base…so if a Democrat ran, ha, good luck.

macho April 28, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Has Deal been a conservative or did he vote with the leadership during the last 6 years of George Bush and the Republican majority’s drunken sailor spending?

Back in Black April 28, 2009 at 11:30 pm

The Sec of State site says that Stephens didn’t even carry a majority of the vote in Forsyth County against Handel when he was actually REPRESENTING Forsyth County at the time. Weak.

With all those photos out there showing him with Bill Clinton signs and campaigning for Bill Clinton, and with all that financial mess in his wake, Stephens has more baggage on his truck than the Clampets.

TrueRed April 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

Stephens only represented Forsyth for one term. It wasn’t in his district the rest of the time in the Senate.

macho April 29, 2009 at 9:46 am

So Bill is now a 6th generation Fanin County. The number seems to have grown over the years. If he goes back much further, he’s going to have to claim Indian blood.

I’m waiting to hear about the 5 mile walk to school.

Truthteller April 29, 2009 at 10:04 am

Truthteller sez

Not true, Red. Stephens ran in Forsyth twice. First time in 2004 he barely beat McDonald in Forsyth. Anemic showing, considering he was the incumbent in a two-county district. Then he continued as Senator until being defeated by Handel in 06.

In fact, Stephens only carried his HOME county of Cherokee with 52% in the SOS race.

Maybe he could apply for a Cabinet position with Obama?

macho April 29, 2009 at 10:23 am

Thanks for keeping watch of the truth.

DoubleDawg3 April 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Truthteller, you’re kind of skewing the stats there, my friend.

First off, Stephens ONLY ran in Forsyth County in 2004 for State Senate – it was the the first time he’d ever had Forsyth County in his district. He only served one term serving Forsyth County (then ran for SOS in Summer 2006).

As for the SOS, look at the first Primary Election (when MORE voters showed up at the polls)…Stephens beat Handel in Forsyth in that race by about 600 votes. That’s about right, considering he only served as State Senator there for 2 years, plus the fact that Karen Handel was an established name in North Fulton (where many of the South Forsyth residents had previously lived).

Don’t use run-off stats when you have a much larger base of GOP voters in the regular Primary.

As Paul Harvey said, “..and that’s the rest of the story”

macho April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Handel was in office in Fulton for only two more years than Stephens in Forsyth.

You would think in a runoff, that you’re base of support, Handel in Fulton and Stephens in Cherokee, would disproportionately come out for you.

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