Tolleson To Sit Out Race Against Marshall; Serve As Honorary Chair For Challenger Angela Hicks

Received a campaign email from Angela Hicks, which included the following:

We’re excited to announce State Senator Ross Tolleson from Perry, will serve as our Honorary Campaign Chairman. Ross is a tireless worker for Georgia ; we are honored to have him join us. Thank you Ross!

Hicks is in a crowded GOP primary field for the 8th Congressional District, which includes Paul Rish, Valerie Meyers, and Ken DeLoach. Senator Tolleson had been rumored to be seriously considering the race himself.

With his apparent decision to back Hicks, it remains to be seen if this galvanizes support behind the current field, or if other candidates use his decision as an opportunity to dive in.


    • Doug Deal says:

      No one can even remotely be considered strong against Marshall at this point. Each of the candidates has a big job of selling themselves and convincing the voters that they are the right person for the job.

      In a normal year, I would doubt that any of them would have a chance, but there is an amount of frustration that I have not seen since at least 94 and to be honest it seems beyond what we saw back then. The interesting part is that it is not directed at one side. People are fed up with the politician as a species, not just the R or D brand.

      While usually you pick off a sitting incumbent with a well polished and popular opponent, I think this year the “average” or “some dude” type of candidate will get unprecedented support. For that reason, I think any of the people running against him have a real chance, and it is clear that Marshall understand that since he is actually physically campaigning in the district in a month that is not the October before the election.

      • David_g says:

        I agree with Doug, I think that they (hopefully it will be Valerie who gets the nod) definitely have a shot against Marshall this year particularly because of his action on the bank bailout and his inaction on the “Federal Reserve Transparency act” Though they will definitely have a challenge because Marshall is extremely slick and is very good at making the conservative base think that he is on their side, but if the dems NEED his vote he is always there.

        I urge all of you to consider casting your vote for Valerie Meyers in the GOP primary on July 20th, Valerie is a true conservative that will always vote on principal and will always answer for every vote that she casts.

        Please visit her website and consider casting your vote for her on July 20th 2010.

  1. Doug Deal says:

    I am surprised that a sitting state senator would want to endorse someone this early in the race when they are pretty much unproven, having no record. It is a pretty big risk. Plus, if she is running as the “fed up candidate”, allying with Tolleson is probably a odd choice.

    I support one of her opponents, but competition is generally a good thing and having a few candidates will make the race more interesting and should give voters a chance to get to know the people running.

    One thing, though, her website can probably be rated as “homespun” and a bit quaint.


    Begin with the end in mind
    Intentions do not determine results
    Bad ideas in beautiful wrappings are bad ideas
    Artful repetitions of lies don’t make them true
    Your signature matters, read before you sign
    Unpunished evil begats greater evils
    You’ll never know if you never try
    In most cases, you live the life you chose
    Tough love is tough but effective
    Do not compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter
    The saddest sentence: If I’d only known……
    Speed kills
    God is whether you believe it or not

    Website Building Software & Website Design Tools by Intuit Small Business

    The last line probably explains why.

  2. slyram says:

    Rep. Marshall is the gatekeeper and defender of Georgia’s valued military operations. While I would prefer him having a better relationship with the White House, should we as Georgians jeopardize his status with troops in the field and defense bases important economic assets. In my opinion, these candidates serve the purpose of compelling moderate/conservative Democrats to consider fiscal constraint and sell that constraint to their districts. If Michael Steele wants to implement his chairmanship campaign blueprint, he would have his people look at an African American candidate for this seat; someone as conservative as Linder or Westmoreland but smoother with it. A personable fellow like Bishop and Obama who would charm and impress the Black base with a brand of conservatism similar to Steele’s run for Senate.

    Black moderate Democrats like me would seriously consider such a candidate and of course the White House would be out of the battle since Marshall would not want them around. Could Blacks vote for a conservative? In the 8th, they vote for Marshall already. My community must hedge it’s bets or diversify our political portfolio—or as we say in the piney woods “not put all of our eggs in one basket.” When the ugly talk starts in the GOP conference, there is no J.C. Watts or Gary Franks to say “let’s keep it on the issues.” We have major political party with zero AA in the congress. I wish Michael Murphy would run but he wouldn’t do it.

    Who really thinks the GOP establishment wants Marshall’s seat? I think he is as conservative as Rep. Deal before the switch and Deal did not lose a bit of respect after his move. If Marshall switched to the GOP, he could not do for Georgia what he is doing now.

  3. Partisan hat removed:

    DD and Slyram should be considered for the front page.

    Hat back on:

    I think PP could use another Libertarian too until Jace returns from service.

    That is all.

  4. True Grit says:

    I’d agree with you about the AA candidate in the 8th except for one fact:

    John McCain took the 8th by a decent margin. An African-American candidate would certainly help garner votes in Macon but would not necessarily be able to capture the district.

    Marshall’s biggest ally is himself, which is his second biggest enemy, right behind Nancy Pelosi. Marshall continues to take the safe route and never do anything to step on a major landmine. But his arrogance towards his constituents will eventually be his downfall.

  5. slyram says:

    Grit: I listened to Marshall’s Town Hall meeting over the radio and met him at a small town hall in Norman Park. He is a throwback representative to the days when an official had such a political mix in his or her district that no one was completely happy or completely put off. In the radio meeting, he said he like the days when a R or a D could win in most of the congressional districts in America. I liked those days also.

    Here’s the scenario: an African American candidate with true GOP credentials and principles secures the GOP votes that the GOP governor candidate will receive then gets decent percentage of the AA voters who are moderate/conservative (pro-life, pro school choice). Those Macon AA voters understood Bishop’s moderate posture when he had Bibb County and Marshall’s conservative posture now. I want President Obama to have more GOP members of congress who will outline their opposition and concern in a positive way—then vote against the stuff. At this point, the voice of reason comes from the Blue Dogs…they are the scout team. Marshall could be a good under secretary at DOD or ambassador if the GOP picked him off.

    Daniel: the LP could really make this race interesting. A strong LP candidate could force a runoff and maybe be in the runoff. Would Democrats come back to vote for an incumbent who is not an Obama supporter?

    If Herman Cain or Michael Murphy seriously considered that race (too small for Cain), Marshall could be compel to switch; the best way to get the seat and Marshall would be more comfortable. If not, he is the quarterback of the scout team and his views are helpful.

    • True Grit says:

      VERY good analysis Sly….

      Herman would be an excellent fit. But you’re correct. Small potatoes.

      Marshall won’t be switching anytime soon. I could possibly see him going Independent and pulling a Joe Lieberman, but not crossing the aisle unless he actually pulls off a 2010 win and sees that Obama will be a gigantic liability to him in the district outside of Macon, ie. Warner Robins.

      He is in a no win situation. If he goes too far right, he alienates his base in Macon. If he goes too far left, he loses his fringe Republican supporters that got him in against Collins. (Throw out the Goddard race. Goddard was an extremely strong candidate. His problem was he was Rick Goddard and had way too many base ties.)

      This is the year that Marshall is vulnerable. If one of these candidates steps up to the plate and starts to become well known and credible, they have a chance of knocking him off. Several months ago, the NRCC declared the 8th unwinnable by a Republican. I personally think any Democrat is on the chopping block, whether or not they voted for the Stimulus or the Health Care package.

      Further, in your statement that you would like GOP leaders to “outline their opposition and concern in a positive way—then vote against the stuff”, with due respect, Obama hasn’t reached out with an olive branch at this point, especially when he basically has his chief of staff and the senate majority leader saying that they are going to shove legislation down the American people’s throats whether they like it or not. You can’t expect the minority party when treated in such a manner to react any differently that we have. This is not Tip O’Neill hashing out legislation over dirty Irish jokes with Reagan.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      It’s interesting, gerrymandering and the 17th amendment have contributed to major changes in the House and Senate from our Founders’ original intent.

      The House was the body that was supposed to be very responsive to the immediate whims of the people, it would be the more populist body. But with less than 20% of the districts being competitive, you end up with safe and secure positions.

      The Senate was supposed to be insulated from the immediate, populist whims of the people. It served as an important check on mob-rule mentality.

      The two Senators would be the state legislatures’ representatives in the Federal government. Insulated from the people, they reported to the legislatures; essentially serving as the guardians of states’ rights. Zell Miller got it right when he said the 17th Amendment (popular vote of Senators) was one of the major downfalls of states’ rights.

      Although the Senate has 6 year terms, which gives them more insulation than a House Member, their Legislative appointments served as one more insulating measure that made the body unique from the House, and offered an important dynamic in the interaction of the two bodies.

      This problem is no more apparent than in the recent calls, by the Feds, to expand Medicaid, which would be a hugh unfunded mandate to the states. If Senators were accountable to the state legislatures, I think they would serve as an important check on unfunded mandates. I could imagine a phone call from the Lt. Gov or Speaker basically saying, “Don’t even think about sticking us with that bill, or we’ll be finding ourselves a new Senator. If you think it’s such a good idea, then go ahead and raise federal taxes to pay for it.”

    • Debra says:

      You’ve referred to Bishop (Sanford Bishop, District 2) as a moderate twice. I beg to differ, Bishop is not a moderate. Bishop is no where near a moderate. If it hit him in the face, Bishop wouldn’t know a moderate position. I doubt he even knows how to spell moderate. LOL. Bishop voted for TARP, the Stimulus, the auto bailout, healthcare reform, cap and trade, etc….. etc……. Bishop talks a very good game about being a Blue Dog Democrat, but he is a very, very, very, liberal Democrat.

  6. True Grit, excellent analysis on Marshall. The thing about being an incumbent is they have a record. I find it amazing that folks call him conservative. Simply review his record. Yes he stays away from controversial issues such as socialized health care, but he is no stranger to the bacon.

    Heck, he obtained $8,500,000 for an extreme home make over for low income housing to the tune of nearly $300,000 per unit. This is just one such example. Reward unproductive people. Aint America great? Vote buying?

    As far as being some base guru, that’s equally as bogus as the conservative misnomer. Any congressman from the 8th is going to be loyal to Robins. That’s insane to think otherwise.

    I’m quite excited about the prospects of electing Ken DeLoach. He is one heck of a good man and a hard worker. Whoever wins this race is going to have to work for it.

    Go DeLoach!

  7. The four running in the 8th are all tenaciously working to win this race. I spoke with Angela in late August, early September. She is a good woman with some excellent business skills. I hadn’t heard from her since and a good friend said she hadn’t decided to get it. This will make the demographics pretty diverse.

    Looking at all who are running, I do think DeLoach is the best organized and is a well rounded candidate. He has an excellent grasp of the landscape and has been working all sides of it. It’s a long road on the campaign trail. Ken is working at his base and has won some huge victories. Time will tell.

    For the record, I’m on board with Ken and working as hard as I can to get this good and highly capable person elected.

  8. The problem with GA-08, and removing Marshall, lies partially within the dynamics and size of the district. The district itself covers a long strip of the state, which makes money a big issue as cracking into some of the ad markets can be expensive.

    This size and shape also creates a diverse voting base – everything from modern thinkers to the old school yellow dog Democrats in the more rural areas.

    Marshall is slick, and anyone here willing to argue otherwise does not have their facts straight. He ran one campaign from his basement, lined up one constituency and let the rest come to him. And it worked. Watch how he answers questions, Jim Marshall is a very effective politician and he knows his district. His moves are calculated, and he has the power of incumbency – he’s not a likely target to simply be knocked off.

    Theres a big lesson to be learned from Goddard’s campaign – it’s not just being a General is a bad choice; more importantly it’s that you have to go for every county and not just hedge your bets on just Houston. Having a campaign staff that is familiar with the district is a big plus, and is something Goddard lacked. But you know who did well against Marshall? Mac Collins. Which counties did Mac visit? All of them. Republican voters do not flock to Congressional candidates in this district – because Marshall is perceived as a semi-conservative, keeps the base alive, and shows up on FoxNews. Try and tell them otherwise, it’s a fun conversation starter.

    Hopefully the primary challengers will create enough of a stir to fully battle test the eventual winner, and create enough name recognition to carry through the general.

    • Doug Deal says:


      You analysis misses one point that renders it moot. Goddard was one of the first Republicans in a long time to lose Houston county. If he was relying soley on Houston and only Houston voted, he would have lost. Goddard was the problem.

      Like I have said in the past. I supported him and gave him more money than any politician in my life, but I also know and work with a number of people who used to work at the base and every single one of them hated the man to the point that as life long Republicans they voted for Marshall.

      • He was relying a large degree on Houston County though, which was my point. Oh if only I had a time machine I could show you the maps and charts that team cooked up. They spent more time in Houston than anywhere else, to such extremes that they pulled people from other counties and dropped them in Houston with walk lists.

        That’s a big mistake. You can’t ignore all of the district except for one county. And that IS my point. It’s not rendered moot by the fact that everyone in Houston hated Goddard – that only shows part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that of compensation, Goddard had to spend more time in Houston to rehab his image than previous challengers.

        You can’t have a campaign team that does not know the district, with a candidate who has a negative image in a Republican stronghold, against a politically savvy incumbent. It just doesn’t work.

        • Doug Deal says:

          They also had what seemed to be inexperienced outsiders running the campaign. When I saw their plan in action, I relaized they were just going down the steps you read in some manual given out by a campaign management class rather than a plan tailored to the 8th district.

  9. True Grit says:

    I don’t disagree with you Ronald, except on one point. Goddard did campaign very vigorously throughout the district. There was no venue too small for him to visit.

    His campaign was run smoothly yet ineffectively because of who he was. Not his message.

    • I have to respectively disagree TG; and not out of spite. Having volunteered a lot of man hours to the Goddard campaign myself, I can say that he did not vigorously campaign throughout the district. He got off on a good foot, and popped up a time or two – but it was hardly vigorous.

      And his presence wasn’t felt outside Houston like it was inside; we’re talking delegating two counties worth of walk lists to two people. There was a severe lack of volunteer coordination in the campaign, and despite Goddard the candidate showing up to a few events here and there – Goddard the campaigner was absent from a large portion of the district.

  10. I think you’re all correct, plus the power of incumbency will make it difficult. Each election cycle has similar, yet very diverse dynamics. This election, at this point, do make the incumbent vulnerable, especially Marshall.

    I recall in May of ’06 when listening to Whit Ayers predict the bloodbath that was about to happen in November. He very explicitly said there wasn’t a darn thing anyone could do about it, short of some strange turn of events.

    Not one of the Democrats, no matter how blue they want to paint themselves, will be able to run from the destruction this administration and these two houses of congress have placed on the American people. They’ve created history. They can no longer simply blame George Bush. They have to man up and take the consequences.

  11. True Grit says:

    I agree with Maurice except I’m not sold on DeLoach. It’s very early in this race. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of the candidates who will be running. Don’t be surprised if another candidate drops in after the General session.

    • Doug Deal says:

      That “interesting” candidate Diane Vann is apparently making the rounds still in the race for the Republican primary. On her bookmark she passed around it said that she is “pro-life” and “pro-euthanasia”, which would mean that she would likely be the only candidate in the race R or D that is taking those positions.

      If you want to see her speak, I hear that she will be speaking at the Middle Georgia Republican Women’s meeting on Dec 1.

  12. No worries. Lets just hope the legislature conducts itself a little better than it has in the past (i.e. Hatfield vs. McCoys). Doubt that will happen this year, but who knows. I’m confident in our chances.

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