Because We Know You Need Your Rumors… {UPDATED}

I’ve been asked fairly constantly who will be tapped to replace Karen Handel for her remaining term as Secretary of State.

Despite some appeals to the contrary, it appears that neither of the announced Republican candidates for the position will be chosen. Instead a place holder will most likely be named, and the election for the next Secretary of State should continue with minimal interference.

There are two three names that are currently being floated.

Randy Evans, John Watson and Anne Lewis.

Randy Evans and Secretary Handel have had a few recent public dust ups, and he currently serves as General Counsel to at least one statewide campaign. He may have the most ties which would need to be severed, at least temporarily, to serve an interim term.

John Watson is a former Perdue Chief Of Staff, is considered loyal, and well liked by the Governor.

I have been reminded that Anne Lewis’ name has also been circulating as a potential contender. Ms. Lewis is counsel for the GA GOP, and has been outside counsel for the State Of Georgia on several matters related to the photo ID issues.

So, there’s your Peach Pundit contribution to the rumor mill dejour. No warranty is expressed or implied with this information.

35 comments

  1. Lawton Sack says:

    I am sure that Randy Evans would love to know that his name has been thrown out there, but I give this about a 10 billion to 1 shot. I think he would do a wonderful job, but as stated, he would have to cut many ties and I don’t see him doing that.

    My guess: The safe bet would be that he gives it to someone on Karen Handel’s staff. With a primary coming up in July and a general election in November, somebody with a lot of knowledge for the process is going to need to step in.

    • NonPartisanGA says:

      If he became SOS, Randy Evans under his view of the job, would immediately have to step down as State Election Board Chair since he supports and his firm provides legal services to Eric Johnson’s gubenatorial campaign: http://www.johnsonforgeorgians.com/default.asp?pt=newsdescr&RI=41

      Anne Lewis would be a much better choice for a smooth transition and execution of 2010 elections, rather than Randy “Bull in a China Shop” Evans…

  2. DMZDave says:

    Robb Simms makes a lot of sense as well but thankfully he is much too busy these days working to get Karen elected governor.

  3. NonPartisanGA says:

    Anyone who has seen Randy Evans in action at a State Election Board meeting will realize his obsession with his beliefs without regard to circumstances and facts, would severly handicap him from being successful in any operational role.

  4. inlimine says:

    Whomever is chosen won’t have to “handle” anything related to elections as long as the present staff stays in tact. They do all of the work and field all of the inquiries. Uber partisan hack Randy Evans would be atrocious in such a position, and I cannot fathom him accepting such an appointment. He will sit pretty where he is and run the SEB with his strong (R) ties and persuasions.

  5. GOPGeorgia says:

    Watson’s name was floated as a possible GA GOP Chairman, but everyone liked Sue. I don’t know him that well. Randy could do a great job, but I think he has other irons in the fire. I would be very comfortable with Anne.

  6. gatormathis says:

    John Watson hands down.

    Calm, cool, collective, and should be easily adapted and familiar with overseeing and administering the legal necessities of both the Corporate and business world, as well as the election segments of the office.

    …..just a po’ boy’s opinion………

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I like all three names mentioned but especially John Watson. He could run the office well until Brian Kemp gets in there.

      • HowardRoark says:

        So just we’re all clear, here….Karen Handle is the one resigning, not Tommy Irvin. This is the SoS office that’s up for election, not Ag. They’re similar, but different.

      • Romegaguy says:

        Former Senator and former candidate for Ag Commissioner Kemp has ALWAYS dreamed of running for and being elected dog catcher I mean Secretary of State

  7. macho says:

    Keep in mind, one of the biggest impediments to a successful lawyer running for a full time political office is the huge pay cut. That’s why the GOP only has Sam Olens and that other dude running for AG. I don’t see Evans or Lewis doing it.

  8. fishtail says:

    Glenn Richardson has some free time these days, although he probably is over-qualified for a job that doesn’t require a college education.

  9. fastball says:

    How about Shawn LaGrua?

    Perdue appointed her as Solicitor General in DeKalb County. After losing her election because she ran as an R, she was Karen Handel’s Inspector General in the Office of the SOS.

    Good GOP credentials, smart and effective and I assume she’s pretty familiar with all aspects of the SOS department.

  10. B Balz says:

    Double ditto that on Shawn LaGrua. She did a fine job as DeKalb Solicitor, lost out due to the fact that an (R) followed her name in the last election.

    Meanwhile, her staff loved her, she is pragmatic, smart and would do an excellent job.

      • B Balz says:

        Shawn was appointee to fill the spot by the Guv and rather than just ‘tossing in the towel’ election-time, Shawn ran thinking her excellent record might warrant another term.

        Political reality set in, but Shawn knew that before the race. So, I’d call it both gutsy and smart.

  11. Rep. Mike Jacobs says:

    Triple ditto on Shawn LaGrua.

    She won’t be Governor Perdue’s interim appointee for Secretary of State, however. The Governor has appointed Shawn to the new judgeship on the Superior Court of Fulton County. She was an outstanding prosecutor and will make an even better judge.

  12. B Balz says:

    Thanks for stoppin’ by and setting the record straight, Rep. Jacobs. And a proud GSU Law Panther Ms. LaGrua is!!!!

  13. sarahsmith says:

    Hate to burst your bubble, but I’m sure plenty of Shawn Lagrua’s former employees would disagree about “loving her”… she apparently fired a bunch of people as soon as she was appointed in the Solicitors Office- without cause, and I don’t think it was 1 or 2, more like 10 to 15 people. Good, hard working attorneys. She is not well loved in prosecutor circles as a boss. She is a capable prosecutor, but a lousy manager. Here’s hoping she manages her courtroom better than she did her office.

  14. B Balz says:

    Hey Sarah,

    I can only speak of Ms. LaGrua’s tenure in DeKalb, folks there sure liked her. As to SOS, you mentioned, “… I don’t think it was 1 or 2, more like 10 to 15 people …” Is that a fact or conjecture?

    In any case, I am sure Shawn will make an objective, tough judge.

    Leave my bubble alone, it has to fly hundreds of miles with a boy in it…

  15. sarahsmith says:

    B Blaz, my sources tell me that wasn’t well liked in Dekalb, and it’s a fact that she either fired, forced into retirement or ran off 10-15 experienced attorneys, leaving the office with newbies.

    I’ve also heard of at least one complaint from someone who worked for her in the Inspector General’s Office.

    But like I said, here’s hoping she treats the bench better than her former Assistant Solicitors General.

  16. Romegaguy says:

    “I’ve been asked fairly constantly who will be tapped to replace Karen Handel for her remaining term as Secretary of State.”

    Can we use the phrase “who will be tapped” when talking about Georgia elected officials anymore?

    • Rep. Mike Jacobs says:

      Brian and Doug are both good candidates, but Jim is a very strong choice who probably will win re-election.

      Happy New Year!

      • Rep. Mike Jacobs says:

        Sorry. I should have worded that more carefully. Jim is being appointed, so it isn’t “re-election.”

        The New Year’s wishes, however, I believe are correct.

  17. B Balz says:

    When a sitting lawmaker has the gumption to visit and comment to PeachPundit, I ‘d call it anything but a waste of time.

    H A P P Y N E W Y E A R S

    PUNDITEERS, LAWMAKERS, AND ICARUS ! ! ! ! !

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