There will be a primary contest for the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State. But with all apologies to Gary Horlacher and any other challengers, why would any of you think you are strong enough to overcome the musical talents of Miss Angela? But go ahead and run if you will, subject yourself to the will of those pesky voters.
On the Republican side, some think we don’t need to bother with trivial things like voters. After all, we have really smart and wise people who want to make these decisions for us. I’m told it’s “for the good of the party”, as a down ballot race won’t be taking up much needed funds for the top tier races. Interesting, especially since the two candidates who have been organizing, campaigning, and – oh yes – fundraising to the tune of about a million dollars between them for about a year now.
It’s also interesting that this is “for the good of the party”, given that the party officials I spoke with over the weekend went out of the way to say “This was Sonny’s audible. Sonny is not the party. The party is not behind this”.
Yet, many have taken their cue from our Governor, and have been pressuring both Brian Kemp and Doug MacGinnitie to make a quick exit. I hope they both stand their ground. They are both credible candidates, and good people. They’ve earned their opportunity to stand before the voters. Dropping out now neither serves themselves, their party, nor their state any favors.
Jim Cole took a look at the race over a year ago and passed. While he’s welcome to reconsider and change his mind, the expectation that he should receive a coronation as a follow up to his appointment is, at best, unseemly.
In addition, it is a risky strategy for the party. The primary process is a beneficial vetting process for candidates who wish to represent the party in November. I wrote here about the last time the party chose to “clear the decks” for one candidate, and that process resulted in Governor
Mike Bowers Roy Barnes.
Not all party leaders are jumping on board at this point. Bulloch County GOP Chairman Lawton Sack has already weighed in on the subject. Representative Mike Jacobs has reaffirmed an earlier plan to endorse Doug MacGinnitie, as indicated on his Facebook status earlier today:
Mike Jacobs has given it some thought: I was close to joining “Lawyers for MacGinnitie” and will still endorse him. IMHO, Doug is the best qualified for SOS, but let’s not lose sight that all the GOP candidates are better than what the other side is offering.
And, of course, there’s the obligatory facebook group asking to “Say No to Sonny’s hand-picked SOS”
Republicans would be wise to speak up, and insist that there remain an honest, open primary in this (and all other) races. We have a Lt. Governor that tells the Chamber of Commerce they need to hurry up and get their transportation bill written so he can get it passed. The people of Glynn County were told that big donor fundraisers/developers from Atlanta and Lake Oconee knew how to develop their Jeckyll Island better than the folks that lived there. And it is now well documented that a lobbyist with tall fundraising or a short skirt could trump conservative principles any day in the General Assembly.
With this backdrop, the hubris that the Governor and the large donors who follow him can anoint our 2010 nominee and circumvent a process that has already been in motion for a year should be obvious. Yet it is not.
There is a small part of me that hopes when it comes time for the formal announcement tomorrow, Jim Cole will change his mind, and announce that he will serve his remaining term in the Georgia House and stand for re-election there.
The realist in me tells me it’s time to gear up and ensure that either Brian Kemp or Doug MacGinnitie get any and all assistance possible to continue their bid for an office they have every right to persue.