Perdue Appoints Bryant

Someone owes a big apology to Barge and Woods at this point. The AJC and Georgia Public Broadcasting both have the story.

Georgia has a new interim schools chief. Governor Perdue appointed state school board member Brad Bryant to the state superintendent post today.

Bryant is a long-time advocate for education that has sat on the state board of education since 2003. He recently served as the state’s liaison in the Clayton County’s accreditation loss.

Today Perdue has made it official – Brad Bryant will takeover for Kathy Cox as the top education official in Georgia efective July 1st. Bryant holds a MBA from UGA and a Juris Doctorate from Mercer University School of Law and has held numerous positions in regard to education that make him more than qualified to hold this position.

The Problem: Bryant needs 44,000 signatures to be on the ballot in November. By appointing Bryant, Perdue essentially says to Woods and Barge – “Thanks but not thanks.”  But because of the timing of Cox’s resignation, there are even more problems – Cox is listed on the ballot as the incumbent in the Republican primary. She will get a lot of votes for that, even though she is no longer running – which will detract from Barge and Woods. The Democrat primary is more crowded. Bryant has to get a large number of signatures on his petition by mid-July – this is no easy feat. These signatures can get thrown out for a number of reasons and it has generally been difficult to mount a run as an Independent for a State-Wide office. The AJC reports that the GOP and business community will be behind Bryant, which will help and given the GOP loyalty oath isn’t as strong as the Democrat oath back in the sixties a large number of Republican officials may be able to openly support Bryant. He also has the benefit of serving on the State Board of Education and being well liked by fellow board members who will help put out the word for him.

I remain unconvinced that he can get the signatures, unless the Secretary of State’s Office finds a loophole or loosens regulation on these petitions. Bryant is a good candidate for the job and well qualified, but he has a month to get these signatures. If that fails he can try a write in campaign, but I think Ellis Arnall would advise against that.

20 comments

  1. RuralDem says:

    Ronald Daniels,

    Two things:

    1) It’s “Democratic Primary”, not “Democrat Primary”. Which, I’m sure you already know that. Same with the oath part. Is there really any rational explanation for purposely taking out the “ic”? I know some Republicans do it for a reason, but I figured you were the type to take a higher road.

    2) “Bryant is a good candidate for the job and well qualified….”.

    Are you sure about that? I mean, let’s look back at your comment about Brian Westlake: http://www.peachpundit.com/2010/05/13/so/

    “I have a natural tendency to fear someone with that many degrees, because often times people like that can’t cut it or just can’t settle down. Not saying this is the case here, but why does he have so many degrees? That’s an honest question, because if he gets the nomination I’m likely to vote for him.”

    Bryant’s Degrees: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/06/16/can-brad-bryant-win-as-an-independent-in-november-is-anyone-paying-attention-to-the-school-chief-race-with-all-the-other-drama/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

    Bachelor’s from Presbyterian College (SC)
    MBA from UGA
    JD from Mercer

    Westlake’s Degrees: http://www.brianwestlake.com/Site/About_Brian_Westlake.html

    Bachelor’s from Florida State University
    MBA from GSU
    JD from GSU

    • 1. I figured if I was going to shorten Republican to GOP, then it would only be fair to shorten Democrat from Democratic Primary. I also dislike calling it the Democratic party, because technically all of our primaries are democratic in nature. If it really bothers people that much, I can go back and edit it. I wrote this in between a conference call and church to be honest, so I admit I rushed some.

      2. If you take note, I said I’d vote for Westlake – SHOCK! But you are misconstruing, Mr. Westlake has one more dergree that you left off and he does not have an MBA. From his website,

      Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Science degree in sociology from Florida State University. He also received a Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University’s College of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

      MS in Sociology, BS in Sociology, JD, MPA. Four vs. Three. However, I have since been further explained Mr. Westlake’s reasons for getting the degrees and it is no longer an issue I have concern with.

      Mr. Bryant has a JD and an MBA from two different schools. Lawyers with MBAs, or MPAs for that matter, are common. I see no issue with him having two graduate level degrees, just like I see no issue with Mr. Westlake.

      3. Anything else you want to ask about? =)

      • RuralDem says:

        3.

        Yeah, those numbers you were going to post about liberal and conservative judges. I did not bookmark the thread, but did you ever post the information?

  2. RuralDem says:

    I do stand corrected on the Westlake remark, not sure how I screwed that up. Not only can I not add tonight, I cannot even type out the proper degree.

    Where did you backtrack on the Westlake degree remark? I did not see the post. It just puzzled me at the time why someone could be terrible for the job because they have too much education.

    • As I articulated in the portion you quoted, it’s not so much a person can be over educated – but rather a trend of seeking more degrees that concerned me. I hold the same concern for a person who would serve as a State Rep for a term, State Senate for a term, Insurance Com for a term, and then run for US House for a term, and then another position.

      Or someone who works at like 6 jobs in 3 years. It raises my eyebrow. Not a negative per se, but a reason to question them about that. And some people have valid reasons, and I can appreciate that. And then there are people who seek degrees just to have an extra title, or who can not make up their mind with a position they like. I don’t think that describes Mr. Westlake.

      I wouldn’t say I backtracked. I sought clarification in private, and received it. I still maintain everything I originally said and that you quoted; a person with a multitude of degrees does raise questions in my mind. I’m a very contemplative voter, no one issue or wrinkle will make me decide who receives my support. I’m complicated.

  3. Elected officials are not under the same rules vis-a-vis the GOP as party officials are. This is obvious on the fact that an elected official can openly endorse in a GOP primary while a party official may not.

    Bryant, as an independent candidate, will stand for office in direct competition to a candidate who will receive the GOP nomination and under the Party’s rules, would make support of Bryant by a GOP officer no different than supporting a Democrat. The state party rule gives no wiggle room. Rule 2.13 states:

    “…If a member of the State Committee, a District Committee, or a County Committee shall publicly advocate the election of another candidate for an office for which the Republican Party has nominated a candidate, that advocacy shall be cause for which that member may be removed from party office.”

    • I was more or less referencing the old Democratic Party Oath that was pulled in the infamous Maddox election.

      But thank you for providing us with this insight Jason, and good luck on the campaign trail. =)

  4. Executive Decider says:

    So…no mention about the new Ethics investigation into Rep. Tm Price (a Handel supporter), or any news about the new endorsement that Nathan Deal recieved from radio host Neal Boortz?
    As someone who is proud to stand on the sidelines in this fight, I have to say this blog is being a bit open too open in it’s support of Mrs. Handel. C’mon, this is bordering on Fox News in terms of being “fair and balanced”!
    Congrats to Deal, and for Karen Handel, you can only hope that this ethics allegation concerning a “bought” vote of her biggest endorsement, Rep. Price, will blow over soon!

  5. Hochimama says:

    I keep hearing that Perdue had to “go shopping” for someone. That he made passes at 3 others including George Israel.

  6. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    After all of Perdue’s vetoes last week, I don’t know that his endorsement helps any candidate among grassroots GOP voters. I would say that it is almost impossible for Bryant to get the signatures needed in time, but with a Perdue appointed SoS, nothing will surprise me.

    What needs to be pointed out is that under Cox and this state board, while they are reporting test scores have gone up, they have been lowering the cut scores to make that happen. For instance, the cut score for third grade reading was lowered by 5% this year, meaning that a child only had to get 18 out of 40 items correct to pass the reading test. That is terrible! Where I come from, 45% is failing, no matter how you spin it.

    I liked Hines, Barge and Woods, and I think that Barge is the best qualified Republican left on the ballot. He has been a building level principal, a curriculum director, and worked down at the state DOE, so he knows what the problems are and has ideas of how to fix them.

    I’m actually glad Perdue is pulling a stunt like this. It shows his true colors…that he is not and has never been a conservative. I would have been inclined to vote against whoever he appointed, no matter who it was, just because I am tired of his attempts at controlling things past the end of his term.

  7. Game Fan says:

    “Cox is listed on the ballot as the incumbent in the Republican primary”.

    -How is this possible with alla dem dere computers? Methinks the status quo likes all the confusion and the inefficiency, not to mention when politicians and business get together (in this case with voting machines, they’re sorta dis-functional anyway.)

  8. ummm-duh says:

    Re: Cox still being on the ballot…

    FWIW, I just received my absentee ballot, which came with a special sheet of paper specifically saying that she had dropped out and “all votes for her will not count.”

    • ispeakout says:

      In response to your comment, OCGA 21-2-384(b) states, “The mailing envelope addressed to the elector shall contain the two enevelopes, the official absentee ballot, and the uniform instructions for the manner of preparing and returning the ballot, in form and substance as provided by the Secretary of State and nothing else.” I sure hope this is being handled uniformly across all counties. The Withdrawn Candidate Notice is to be posted in the voting precinct, but I do not think the law allows any other material to be placed in the absentee ballot to the elector. Maybe someone will double source this.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        That may be the legally correct procedure, but the law needs to be tweaked for this situation. If Sup. Cox wins, will she give up her DC job? If someone withdraws from the race and the voters can be notified in an orderly fashion, we should change the law to allow for that.

      • HowardRoark says:

        You are spot on. The Secretary of State’s Office should make certain there is uniformity in absentee ballots, and that all counties are complying with the law. Perhaps if Sonny’s appointee, Brian Kemp, was spending more time running the office of Secretary of State, than out raising money, this wouldn’t be an issue.

  9. ChuckEaton says:

    Enjoyed the GA political history. Too bad the SC Dems don’t have a stronger loyalty oath. It could have prevented that Republican plant from being their senate nominee. All those GOP voters would not have opted out of a high profile Gov primary to crossover for a sacrificial lamb contest against DeMint.

  10. John Konop says:

    FROM KATHY COX:

    “I know that Brad is a supporter of the reforms we have begun in Georgia and will continue the hard work we have started.”

    KATHY COX REFORM:

    1) Creating the largest cheating scandal in the history of Georgia

    2) Lower the cut standards to lie about achievement ie see above for new culture created by Kathy Cox

    3) Math 123 hurt gifted kids and vocational track kids in one move.

    4) Destroyed the vocational track driving up the more unqualified kids leaving school and the drop out rate.

    5) Cheating on the drop-out rate numbers to play lets pretend on tax payers’ dime

    I could go on and on….. Why would anyone vote for this guy?

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