Smoltz for Congress?

Many of us are talking about who will run in GA-7 to succeed John Linder. Politico is engaging in wild speculation:

Potential candidates to replace Linder include former Georgia GOP Chairman and onetime Christian Coalition Director Ralph Reed, longtime state Sen. Don Balfour and state Sen. David Shafer, a former state party executive director who previously had considered a bid for lieutenant governor. Each hails from Gwinnett County, the population center of the district.

Other prospective candidates include state Rep. Clay Cox and Doug MacGinnitie, a Sandy Springs City Council member currently running for secretary of state.

Another name that’s come up is former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who lives just outside the district and is currently running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination but has raised little money. On Saturday afternoon, however, Handel’s consultant said she would stay in the governor’s race.

“Karen is not going to run for Linder’s seat,” said Dan McLagan.The Georgia primary is not until July 20; the filing deadline is April 30.

Another name to consider, according Jim Galloway, is John Smoltz:

Late this afternoon, a Washington source called with this surprise: One of the people likely to approached as a candidate for Linder’s seat by Republicans will be former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.

Smoltz has been paying down some dues in several Republican contests in Georgia over the last two years. He’s been part of a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, and if memory serves, he cut a robo-call for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in ‘08.

Smoltz is still a free agent, but is attracting some interest from MLB teams.


  1. Icarus says:

    Much like the 9th race, one has to ask (with regards to Smoltz) about this line: “One of the people likely to approached….”

    Beware of passive voice in politics. Who is doing this approaching, and why?

    This is a safe GOP district, with many GOP party regulars of various stripes and flavors waiting for this day so they can “move up”.

    The G-7 (now 5?) won’t be doing any recruiting. There are at least three (financial) heavyweights taking a strong look.

    Thus, anyone doing the “recruiting” is probably doing it out of self interest.

    Note to Smoltz and any other potential candidates. Beware of consultants bearing gifts.

    • Icarus,

      Late this afternoon, a Washington source called with this surprise: One of the people likely to approached as a candidate for Linder’s seat by Republicans will be former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.

      I think this reads like the NRCC to me.

      • Icarus says:

        Not a chance. The NRCC is only worried about “pickup” districts, or those they may lose.

        There is no way in hell they’re concerned that if Shafer, Balfour, or Cox are the Republican nominee, that this district will be lost to the Dems.

        This is wishful thinking on the part of someone that wants to earn a commission on every dollar raised, and every dollar of media buys.

    • macho says:

      I completely agree. Why would the NRCC, be worried about recruiting someone in a solid GOP district. There are too many Dem House districts, that voted for McCain, ripe for picking.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    It is one thing to dish out high fast balls, it is another to be on the receiving end.

    Heck in politics, you cannot even charge the plate, you are too busy passing it.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    And Reed????????

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha……he pimped out the Baptists….hahahahhahahahaha…..


    Thanks. I will laugh the rest of the evening.

  4. I am a huge John Smoltz baseball fan. I am a fan of John Smoltz the competitor who leaves nothing in the locker room. I am also a fan of John Smoltz the philanthropist and from first-hand experience I can state that John Smoltz is an excellent public speaker.

    As for John Smoltz the potential politician, to be fair to the man himself, the answer is that I’ll wait and see what he has to say.

  5. Romegaguy says:

    I heard Brian Kemp is running for Congress… I mean Agricultural Commissioner… I mean, what is he running for again?

    • HowardRoark says:

      Hey! I think you’re onto something here….How about Brian Kemp get appointed to Linder’s seat, and Doug MacGinnitie could be the next SoS. Brian gets a job, and Georgia gets a great SoS. Win win.

    • HowardRoark says:

      Hey, looks like we’re finally learning some more about what went on the days before Kemp’s appointment. Someone just released this phone conversation from Kemp to Sonny:

  6. macho says:

    A couple of things:

    I’m hearing from some folks close to Ox that he’s giving it some consideration, since Gwinnett is his home county, and his poll numbers for Governor have been plummeting.

    Also, Georgia has a long history of electing congressmen who don’t live in the district. Linder himself won not living in the district, although I can’t remember if he was an incumbent at the time. Regardless; Chambliss, Gingrey and Scott immediately come to my mind as Congressmen who were not incumbents and won residing outside their districts.

    • The difference may be that Chambliss already represented that district prior to redistricting and “officially” he and Julianne resided in Macon at the time.

      Cynthia McKinney is another example, though, having moved into an apartment inside the district her daddy (Billy) designed for her just before the district as created.

      • macho says:

        The folks I mentioned, with the exception of Linder (which I don’t know if he was an incumbent), all lived outside the district as non-incumbents.

    • Silent Outrage says:

      Ox could really push the Fair Tax as a Member of Congress. He should do it if he is really serious about he Fair Tax.

      His numbers are tanking. There is no way he will win the nomination for Goveror. A Congressional race is winable for him.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      Replacing Linder with Oxendine would be an epic fail the likes of which haven’t been seen in this state for a long time. I don’t think it’s likely he’ll jump in (his ego is far too big to step aside in the Gov race), but if he does and he faces a strong candidate from the same geography w/o all the baggage (aka Shafer) he’ll get crushed.

  7. old political pro says:

    Saw MacGinnitie at the Gwinnett GOP HQ opening earlier. Maybe there is something to this rumor in CQ.

  8. richie.rashad says:

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