Fannin County GOP Straw Poll Results

I attended today’s event and will have a few comments about it posted soon. Until then, enjoy these tea leaves from the Fannin County GOP:

Note: There was a correction in the tabulation of the PSC votes. The correct totals are now posted below.


Jeff Chapman 5
Nathan Deal 40
Karen Handel 46
Eric Johnson 14
Ray McBerry 2
John Oxendine 8
Otis Putnam 1

Secretary Of State

Brian Kemp 44
Doug MacGinnitie 57

Attorney General

Sam Olens 59
Preston Smith 14
Max Wood 28

State School Superintendent

John Barge 23
Kathy Cox 43
Richard Woods 29

Commissioner of Insurance

Dennis Cain 4
Rick Collum 0
Seth Harp 6
Ralph Hudgens 7
Tom Knox 3
John Mamalakis 1
Stephen Northington 0
Gerry Purcell 71
Maria Sheffield 11

Commissioner of Agriculture

Gary Black 94
Darwin Carter 14

Commissioner of Labor

Mark Butler 12
Melvin Everson 74

Public Service Commission

Joey Brush 4
John Douglas 22
Tim Echols 20
Jeff May 31

Congress, District 9

Chris Cates 2
Tom Graves 83
Lee Hawkins 11
Bobby Reese 4
Steve Tarvin 13

O.K. Sock puppets, tell us what these all mean.


    • Lady Thinker says:


      If they do, it will be about how the liberal media lies about him and persecutes him because of his debating skills and that he has 2300 supporters to prove everyone wrong.

  1. Lady Thinker says:

    But I don’t understand the Kathy Cox support in Fannin. Does anyone know why she got the high numbers?

    I hope Max Woods’ name recognition goes up. I’ve spoken with him and he appeared very knowledgeable about how to file against Obamacare.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      “But I don’t understand the Kathy Cox support in Fannin. Does anyone know why she got the high numbers?”

      It’s a straw poll! In other words, it’s totally meaningless.
      What you should be concerned with is people like “View from brookhaven” considering your candidate for Gov.

        • TheEiger says:

          True, one straw poll is meaningless but if one candidate is consistently winning multiple polls on a regular bases then they mean a lot. Karen seems to be gaining a lot of steam in the most recent straw polls.

    • Ambernappe says:

      Considering his rout of the anarchist, pedophile group north of Macon, my hope is that he can be a major supporter in the crusade against the child sex traffic in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

  2. B Balz says:

    Another view: Signs of the Times

    As I rode about NW Atlanta’s toniest ‘hood, by and around the people’s house on West Paces, all I saw were Karen Handel and Sotheby’s Real Estate signs.

    Obviously, some are selling and some are ‘telling’ in the ‘fingerbowl district’. That quite a few are selling in a ‘down’ real estate market is telling.

    I wonder what kinds of signs are appearing in the rest of Georgia?

    • Ambernappe says:

      My husband and I have just returned from a driving trip which included a large part of the NE Georgia “quadrant” where we observed many signs for Karen Handel for Governor. Do not remember any for another candidate.

  3. JDW says:

    Why is there very little discussion about Max Wood regarding the Attorney General’s race? Max Wood has the most relevant experience of any Republican candidate running for the office of Attorney General. Max Wood won a straw poll in Hart County, and no one seemed to report on that. It is preposterous that Sam Olens is doing well in a race for Attorney General. Sam Olens has no criminal prosecution experience whatsoever. According to, 100% of Olens’ work is civil litigation.

    The duties of the Attorney General are, “The Attorney General shall act as the legal advisor of the executive department, shall represent the state in the Supreme Court in all capital felonies and in all civil and criminal cases in any court when required by the Governor, and shall perform such other duties as shall be required by law.” Article 5, Section 3, Paragraph 4 of the Georgia Constitution. Our next Attorney General should have experience in prosecuting criminal cases and defending Government agencies. Max Wood is the only Republican candidate with that kind of experience.

    Attorneys must be competent in their work to be effective. How can one be competent in an area where he has no experience? We are all familiar with the times when a fresh graduate applies for a job and is turned down not because that individual doesn’t have an outstanding resume, but because that individual lacks the experience to satisfy the responsibilities of the job. When we hire an Attorney General by election, let’s look back at each candidate’s experience and pay no attention to the pie-in-the-sky promises of the future once the candidate becomes Attorney General.

    In 2008, this country elected a President who had very little experience to satisfy the responsibilities of President of the United States. We elected him not on his merit, experience, nor his qualifications, but on his potential based on his promises. He even won a Nobel Peace Prize based on his potential. He has only provided disappointment. Georgia, let’s not make the same mistake.

    Max Wood was hand-picked by the President of the United States to be the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia (largest district in our state). He served for over seven (7) years, supervising criminal prosecutions in federal court and civil actions against agencies of the United States as well as administering other responsibilities. He was the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the Middle District of Georgia, which consists of Athens down to Valdosta and over to Columbus. He has a record of being tough on crime and protecting Georgia’s families by keeping drugs and guns off the street. Why is Max receiving so little support? Is it because he’s not a flashy and boisterous politician who makes promises without experience to support his promises?

    Max Wood is by far the most qualified candidate for the Republican nomination. Consider his experience.

    Before being selected by the President to be United States Attorney, Max was in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG). Following his career in the Air Force JAG, he served as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. During his time as an ADA, he was appointed to Chief Assistant District Attorney. As Max’s experience demonstrates, Max is a man of public service. He has served as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the Middle District of Georgia and hopes to serve all of Georgia as the Chief Law Enforcement Office as the next Attorney General.

    A few remarks about Sam Olens
    How can Sam Olens honestly say he will be tough on crime when he has no criminal prosecution experience? Furthermore, Sam cannot plan to hit the ground running as Attorney General without any criminal prosecution experience, because that is a major aspect of the Office. Notice how he down-plays the criminal prosecution aspect of the Attorney General’s Office. However, the Attorney General is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the state.

    Furthermore, Sam Olens wanted to run for Governor but viewed the race to be too challenging to win so he decided to run for Attorney General. Max Wood has faced plenty of challenges and has not taken a road of lesser resistance. Additionally, I cannot trust someone to do a good job as Attorney General when that candidate is eyeing another political office for the future and makes decisions as Attorney General that will position him well for the Governor’s race. A decision of the highest attorney in Georgia should not be based on positioning one’s self for elections down the road but on the best judgment regarding the issues that face the office, no matter how unpopular, because it is the best decision. Max Wood is not eyeing any other political office. He is not a politician; he is an attorney. Max Wood is concerned with serving Georgia and not his political career like Sam Olens. Olens is using the Attorney General position as a stepping stone to become Governor. He has admitted as much.

    Jim Galloway gave up his favorite candidate in the April 21, 2009 article “Sam Olens and small-minded prejudice” revealing Olens’ true motives as to why he is running for Attorney General, rather than Governor.

    After Sam Olens announced his choice to run for attorney general rather than governor, a particularly annoying reporter asked if religion had been a factor in his decision. Olens, of course, is Jewish. The Cobb County Commission chairman said prejudice indeed had been a concern for him — “but not in the way you think.” Olens said he found himself restricted by other people’s concept of those who run local governments. No county commission chairman has made the leap to statewide office, a fact most recently underlined by Bill Byrne and Vernon Jones. “People don’t really respect local government as much as I think they should,” he said…. Olens implied that AG wouldn’t be a final stop. “Life is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said.— Four Republicans are already in the race: Secretary of State Karen Handel, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton and states rightist Ray McBerry. But Olens fully expects more. (Not the language of one looking out for Georgians, but the language of one looking out for his political career)

    Moreover, what is up with Olens boasting about Mitt Romney’s PAC endorsement? Mitt Romney knows as much about being Georgia’s Attorney General as Sam Olens does. Also, let’s not forget that Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts when gay marriage became a legal institution and universal healthcare became law. As a Republican, I would not want to be associated with Mitt.

    Finally, here is a short example that causes me concern about Olens’ leadership as Attorney General; Olens had an atheist provide the invocation at one of the Cobb County Board of Commissioner’s meetings. Olens learned Buckner’s statements were not an invocation at all but “repugnant and insulting comments.” Did Sam Olens forget or just not understand what an invocation is? What did he expect an atheist to do when the atheist is invited to pray?

    I am switching my support from Sam Olens to Max Wood because Wood is the right candidate for the job.

  4. JDW says:

    What is Preston Smith thinking?!! The Attorney General’s Office requires a particular kind of experience. He lacks a number of qualities to be Attorney General. Preston has no criminal prosecution experience whatsoever. This is obviously just another step in his political career. He picked the wrong office to run for. He sounds as if he is running for Governor. From what I can tell, Preston demonstrates to me that he has no understanding of the function of the Attorney General. Max Wood appears to me to be the most qualified Republican candidate for Attorney General. He is a former United States Attorney hand-picked by the President (Bush, not Obama) and He was an ADA, in the Air Force as a JAG Officer, and overall blows the other candidates out of the water when it comes to experience.

    In addition, what is Preston Smith’s plan for damage control when news of his affair and divorce (Case No. 05-CV-37036 in Floyd County Superior Court) become wide-spread? Georgia doesn’t want someone who runs a campaign promoting family values and at the same time cheats on his wife and breaks up his family through a divorce. Not a smart move Preston. Save your children some grief and get out of a race for a position that requires experience that you don’t have.

    • Doug Grammer says:


      Do you like talking about other peoples marriages and the problems they may have? We don’t know the whole story regardless of what the court papers may say, and I’m not going to dignify you by looking at them. His wife may have cheated on him first?

      • JDW says:

        As a voter, I hold candidates to a high standard of morality as pillars of our society. The best candidate deserves the position and Preston and Sam do not have the experience to be Attorney General like Max Wood. It’s not creepy support; it’s informed support. Anyone who is clued into local politics knows what is going on.

        I absolutely agree that revealing one’s personal affairs is not a kind thing to do but I did not uncover anything. I’m not the first to know or reveal this information. All I have said is on the web. I have only synthesized it. My intent was not to offend anyone; my intent was to honestly ask how will Preston deal with the adversity to come in a state-wide election. I do apologize to those offended.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          You may not have uncovered the information, but you just posted it on a website read by many political junkies across the state. We understand. You had Sen. Smith’s best interests at heart. Hope you sleep well tonight.

          • JDW says:


            First, forget about the affair altogether. In my opinion, Preston does not have the experience to compete with Sam Olens or Max Wood when it comes to a race for Attorney General, which was the main thrust of my Comment. However, Preston says he’s the only candidate that won’t need “on the job training.” Drafting legislation does not make a candidate ready for Attorney General. In fact, drafting legislation is not even a duty of the Attorney General, so I don’t know why Preston says he won’t need on the job training. He will need training because one of the duties is to prosecute criminal actions and he has no experience there.

            How can Preston be so arrogant as to make such an assertion? Max Wood is a former United States Attorney of over seven years that conducted similar duties required of the Attorney General. If any candidate doesn’t need on the job training, it’s Max Wood, but I don’t think he’d be so arrogant as to say he is the only candidate that doesn’t need on the job training.

            Also, Preston seems to not understand what the Attorney General does. He says, “The time has come for Georgians to have an independent minded prosecutor who will end the arm-twisting and backroom deal-making that has become business-as-usual in modern politics.” Where is that in the scope of responsibility for the Attorney General? That is purely a political statement for one running for Governor, State Senator or State Representative. A candidate for Attorney General shouldn’t make such a statement.

            Now addressing your concern, when one runs for political office, as a public figure, that individual knows, as you should know, that his or her public life and private life are going to be scrutinized. As voters, we should know as much about the people running as we can and be informed voters.

            Where does your suggestion that his wife cheated first come from? Doesn’t that suggestion throw mud on his wife’s reputation, which is the very thing you seem to be upset with me for doing to Preston? Preston is a public figure running for office and he admitted under oath that his affair began sometime in 2004. But let’s go with your suggestion that his wife cheated first. If that is the case, is tit-for-tat revenge really that mature? If his wife cheated first and he wanted a divorce, then he should have divorced her then, rather than staying married and having a romantic relationship with another woman.

            Do your homework, Doug. Read the hearing transcript from 12/19/08 at the Floyd County Superior Court Clerk’s Office. Be informed about the candidates so the best one is elected.

            • Doug Grammer says:

              First, let me start by saying I am not endorsing anyone in this race.

              Second, if you wanted to talk what you perceive as lack of experience for the job, that’s fine. It’s your opinion, and everyone has one.

              Third, I asked if his wife cheated. We don’t know the details. It’s very easy for you to bring up something personal, and then say “forget about it.” The mud you have thrown is still in my eyes. You say forget about it but your parting comment was to bring up the affair again.

              Fourth, I will probably be one of the most informed voters you will ever think about. I do my homework without urging from strangers. What is important to me may not be as important to you, and vise versa.

    • ByteMe says:

      You do your candidate a grave disservice posting such things, Wood-bot. Makes people wonder why he has such creepy supporters.

        • ByteMe says:

          Just those who claim they’re “changing” over to support Wood in exceedingly long anonymous blog comments trashing his competition and lauding him like he walks on water.

          There are also Deal-bots out here along with several McBerry Nuts™. Same species, different genes.

          • JDW says:

            I like you ByteMe and I’m sure as you can tell I’m a newby to politics. I become verbose when I have something I want to say. Also, I want people to be informed on who they are voting for. I didn’t get into politics until the election of ’08 and I saw how important it is to elect the right people. I really did switch my support after researching the candidates to see who is the best candidate. Sam is a good candidate, it’s just that Max is better in my opinion.

            • Ambernappe says:


              Concise is better. Just ask a few questions and people will research from there (hopefully). I do agree that Max Woods is a superior candidate.

              • JDW says:


                I think you’re right and I will work to be more concise. When I get going, I gush. I’m new to blogging. I’m used to writing papers.

                • Lady Thinker says:

                  Welcome JDW. I get long winded at times too so don’t worry, we will still read what you post.

                  I am also an avid Max Wood supporter and I have his sign in my yard along with Karen Handel’s and Gerry Purcell’s.

      • Doug Deal says:

        Please do not take JDW to represent the stereotypical Wood supporter.

        I became a supporter of Max after watching him handle himself in front of a bunch of McBerry supporters in Houston County. I have since met him, his wife and a number of his supports and they all have been very good people.

        Olens on the other hand, my introduction to him was his bragging about how much money he raised, which is a sticking point for me, so I researched his donations and found that way too many Democrats have given him large sums of money for a Republican primary. I then found out he was a personal injury attorney, which is pretty much the sleaziest flavor of attorney there is. Not to say there are not some valid claims, but the way these guys work disgust me and it is more in line with extortion than justice.

        I do not know much about Preston, so I have never really commented on him.

        • JDW says:

          Ouch, Doug. I didn’t take your comment personally. I can see how some would view me as blunt. At least we agree Max is the right candidate for Attorney General.

        • Kate Myers says:

          Why is JDW getting picked on? I read both comments and JDW makes good points. If what they say is the truth, then it’s the truth. In all of your replies, none of you refute the substance of what JDW says, just upset they said it. I thank JDW for putting as much out there for the rest of us to question and consider. If JDW is wrong on something, then criticize. But those who bash him are doing the same thing you are mad at him for doing.

          • JDW says:

            Thank you Kate for your kind words and thank you Lady Thinker for welcoming me to Peach Pundit.

            Kate, how did you know I was a guy? You say “him” at the end of your reply.

            • Kate Myers says:

              Oops… I was trying to stay generic but I assumed you were a guy based on your comments

  5. GeorgiaDawg says:

    I agree with JDW that Max Wood is most qualified for the job of Attorney General… but won’t be as wordy about it. ha ha

      • I’d say that’s worth about a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts (or McDonalds or Hardees or wherever, as I don’t recall seeing a Dunkin Donuts in that part of the state).

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