In Other News, There Are Elections Underway That Don’t Involve The City Of Atlanta: House District 141

While we do our best to keep a dialogue on all Georgia politics, the front page group is relatively small, and limited in geographic coverage. A friend of mine from Baldwin county emailed me yesterday asking my opinion on the House District 141 race, and I told her I would have to get one.

Travis Fain has framed the race as follows:

It will be a four-way race to replace former state Rep. Bobby Parham in the statehouse.

Angela Gheesling-McCommon, executive director of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority, and local businessman Darrell Black filed for the race for state House District 141 on Tuesday, joining longtime lobbyist Rusty Kidd and 22-year-old Casey Tucker. District 141 encompasses Baldwin County and part of Putnam County.

Black, 56, owns Flooring America of Milledgeville, according to paperwork filed with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. He’s lived in Baldwin County four years and lists himself as a Democrat, though technically the Nov. 3 special election to replace Parham, D-Milledgeville, will be nonpartisan.

Black is the only candidate in the race listed as a Democrat, and he said his party “will be mentioned in all my ads and speeches.”

Gheesling-McCommon, 46, also has lived in Baldwin County four years, according to her candidacy affidavit. Attempts to reach her Thursday were not successful. She lists herself as a Republican.

Kidd was the first entrant into this race, announcing shortly after Parham decided to retire from the House of Representatives to take a seat on the State Transportation Board. He hasn’t said whether he’ll caucus with Republicans or Democrats if elected and lists himself as an independent on his candidacy affidavit.

Kidd, 63, is the son of the late Culver Kidd, a well-known and longtime Democratic legislator, and he’s lived in Baldwin County most of his life, according to his affidavit.

Tucker, 22, has also filed to run in this race. He lists himself as a Republican who has lived in Baldwin County two years.

He is a recent graduate of Georgia College & State University, according to his Web site.

With our resident Millegeville expert deployed in Afghanistan, Peach Pundit is free to endorse Karen Handel in this race. (Hi Jace!). But we will hold off doing that just yet, in an attempt to hide our overwhelming blind love for the Secretary of State.

In the mean time, if anyone can contribute to the discussion of how this race is shaking out, please do.

3 comments

  1. JasonW says:

    As a former Milledgeville resident, and former chair of the CR’s at GCSU, I know a little about this race. The race is really between Rusty Kidd, the Independent, and Angie Gheesling, one of the two republicans. If I were asked to make a prediction of the race at this point, I would say that Kidd, at this point, will squeak by. However, that could change. Rusty Kidd is very well known and comes from a very prominent Baldwin County family. He appeals to both republicans and democrats. While I am personally supporting Angie, I think she has several obstacles to overcome in this election. One being that, while not a formidable candidate, there is a second republican. In an election with the potential to be extremely close, Angie can’t afford to split even a little of the vote with another Republican. Also, from what i’ve heard and seen in Milledgeville, Angie got somewhat of a slow start in campaigning. That could hurt her. And also, that R beside her name could prove disastrous for Angie in a city that is a majority minority and democrat.

  2. Bill Greene says:

    I know a little bit about this race too, even though I’m in north Georgia; I’ll explain why in a minute. House District 141’s seat was held by Democrat Representative Bobby Parham for THIRTY-FOUR YEARS. Parham retired earlier this year to take a seat on the state transportation board, which means a Special Election had to be called to fill his unexpired term.

    It’s true that this is considered to be a “Democrat district” — but only because the 34-year incumbent was a “good ol’ boy” Democrat who everyone loved, so he kept getting re-elected. Times have changed since 1975 — and so have the demographics of this district.

    The district is now bare-majority Democrat based on recent elections; Obama beat McCain by only 864 votes out of 16,537 cast in 2008. Sonny Perdue lost Baldwin County by only 14 votes in 2006, out of 10,032 cast. In that most recent off-year election vote totals for the State House seat were under 45%, and turnout for a special election like this one is expected to be less than HALF of that.

    There are indeed four candidates: Rusty Kidd is a 30-year lobbyist at the state capitol who everyone knows is actually a Democrat; if he had kept the “D”, he could have won hands-down, but he wanted to put on an “independent” moniker. He thought no one else would even run, so he could get away with it and roll right into office. As a long-term lobbyist, he’s got a lot of money backing his candidacy. Darrell Black is getting a HUGE amount of last-minute funding from the state Democrat Party, who are desperate to keep this seat in the “D” category, and who couldn’t convince Kidd to run as one. Angela Gheesling-McCommon was recruited by establishment-type Republicans from “higher up” who have made sure money flowed her way, as well.

    And then there’s the “other” Republican: Casey Tucker. Casey doesn’t have nearly as much money as his opponents, so he’s had to attack this race from a different angle: the grassroots. Casey has been out knocking on doors across the district every single day since the seat opened in August, along with making phone calls, sending mailings, putting up signs, and more. And every Saturday, volunteers have been coming to Baldwin and Putnam County to walk and knock on doors, too.

    Casey is young, but he truly does represent the grassroots spirit of that area of Georgia. An actual small-government, liberty-minded conservative Republican — he’s the Baldwin County Coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty — he has been endorsed by both the Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia, and the Georgia Right to Life PAC. He IS the grassroots.

    Casey Tucker is a “fresh face” for state and local politics — someone who is NOT beholden to the politicians, the lobbyists, and the big-money special interests. He’s someone who is willing to stand strong, face down the opposition, and not settle for the “status quo.”

    Casey Tucker represents the future of America — a future that can bring us back to limited, Constitutional government.

    That’s why I agreed to manage his campaign. And that’s why I know so much about this race. 🙂

    I think there will be some surprises on Election Night. At least, I sure hope so — for the sake of not only the GOP, but of Georgia.

  3. JasonW says:

    Oh, I’m in no way criticizing Casey Tucker. I’ve met him several times, and in fact, he told me he was running back in March. I was just giving an analysis. And I have heard he is running a good grass roots campaign.

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