Seth Harp: The real winner of tonight’s debate

Seth Harp, a candidate in the GOP primary for insurance commissioner, got some free publicity thanks to John Oxendine, who responded to some recent criticism from the state senator during tonight’s debate.

Via the tipline, here are the comments referenced this evening:

Harp, a 67-year-old Republican state senator from Midland, has been critical of the man he is seeking to replace — Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. Oxendine is eyeing the GOP gubernatorial nomination after serving in his current post for 16 years.

“My goal is to go in there and clean up that office because John Oxendine has pretty well used it for as a fundraising organization for about the last eight years,” Harp said during a Tuesday telephone interview.

It has been reported that Oxendine has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign donations from people his office regulates. He has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, but Harp isn’t buying it.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “There are some very good, professional people in that office, but the front end has definitely been doing fundraising for Mr. Oxendine, and that is one area that will definitely change under a Harp administration.

“The fundraising thing is ethically horrible.”


  1. AthensRepublican says:

    I met Seth Harp several years ago and walked away thinking “what a pompous jerk.” Naturally, I won’t be voting for him.

      • GOPwits says:

        I had plans to not only vote for Seth, but contribute to him as well, as I had contributed to his State Senate campaign when he first ran, however he seems to be somewhat checked out and comes off as arrogant and a jerk. His time in the Senate has really changed him. It’s for those two reasons that I decided to not support, contribute, nor vote for him.

        I’m somewhat disappointed in our line up for Insurance Commissioner. Looking to the run-off, I don’t think we have any good options, but they are all better than the other party’s nominee…

        • GARepublican2010 says:

          I don’t see where you’re getting this impression. He’s a straight-shooter (I’d rather have a straight-shooter than our current Insurance Commissioner), but I’ve never seen that turn into “arrogant jerk”.

  2. Dissing Oxendine does not make you the best candidate for insurance commissioner.

    I’m not a big fan of Sen. Hudgens either, but I would take Sen. Harp’s candidacy more seriously if he had actually served on the senate insurance committee or ever shown any interest in insurance prior to the open commissioner seat.

    Purcell, Northington, or Sheffield would be better than this baby-ish back-and-forth among the career politicians.

    • Booray says:

      Or Tom Knox, who’s worked in insurance all his life, has nothing bad to say about any of the other candidates, and was the first Republican House Insurance Chairman.

    • JRM2016 says:

      I have known Seth Harp for 17 years. He has been a coach, a mentor and a friend to me. When I think about the kind of person you want in government, I think of Seth for two reasons. One he is one of the most ethical people you could ever hope to have in public office and two he has a passion for public service. It has been on display the entire time I have known him, from giving up hours of time to coach high school mock trial, to volunteering for numerous community projects, serving his church and yes his lifetime involvement in the Republican Party.

      I’m not sure why on the one hand you suggest Seth is not qualified for this office because he did not serve on a particular Senate panel and then reel off the names of candidates, who while they all have their own qualifications they bring to the table, have never served in elective office.

      I voted for Seth and I hope you will too.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        He’s qualified and may be all of those things but so many people don’t like him because of his personality.

        • I personally don’t care about his personality. So long as he makes the right decisions (pro-limited government, anti-nanny state) I’m fine with him.

  3. GaConservative23 says:

    Seth’s got my vote.

    I’m surprised he was rude and arrogant to some of you. I’ve met him a few times and he was always extremely friendly.

  4. ZazaPachulia says:

    Seth’s got my vote, too. This nine person race was actually one of the easiest ones for me to figure out.

    If only we had candidates of Seth’s caliber running for governor, SoS, Lt. Gov., etc.

  5. GeorgiaLawyer says:

    Every time I’ve heard Seth Harp speak he focuses on war stories from Vietnam. While I am humbled by his service, he doesn’t seem to bring much to the table in terms of Insurance Commissioner. Aside from the arrogance and personality issues (which aren’t too terribly important to me, but I understand others being put off I guess), he’s in the good ol’ boy network and voted for the hospital bed tax which means he lost my vote .

    Gerry Purcell won my vote when I saw him at an event in Macon earlier this year. He was the only one that immediately launched into the issues, what the challenges are, and what his plan was once in office. Sheffield is too close to Ox (rumors are he fundraises for her), Hudgens has ethics issues himself (no bid contracts in Athens, really?), and the others seem to focus on good ol’ boy politics more than anything else.

    Aside from a few signs I haven’t seen anything out of Northington.

    I do like these candidates more than any of the candidates for governor, though.

    • GARepublican2010 says:

      I’ve seen Gerry Purcell quite a bit, so I’ll give him that he’s a good man and that he’s active. However, I still haven’t heard him mention much beyond general Republican primary platitudes (Yes, it’s good that you’re free market and like Reagan: join the club) or stuff that while agreeable, is beyond the scope of the Insurance Commissioner’s office.

  6. EthicsEther says:

    Seth is/was an honest man, and a good man. He is ALWAYS accessible to his constituents. He has/had a very deep sense of fairness.

    However, balancing all of that with the undoing of the Willard Ethics Bill through Seth’s Anathema of an Ethics Bill, SB 17, was a travesty upon the entire state.

    SB 17, Seth’s Travesty, undid all of the Ethics Reforms in the Willard bill, such as campaign to campaign contribution limits, etc. The Willard Bill came out swinging against the Glenn Richardson debacle. When Republicans cannot keep their fly closed they need to go. Others suggested reform to highlight their moral superiority–but it was all a ploy. It got lots of PR and everyone said: “We will have ethics reform.”

    So, with the public all primed for Republican Reform, the ethics bills made a hit in the press. After priming the public on the sweeping Republican Ethics Reform, the Willard Bill was tabled and the Seth Harp SB 17 was set up to replace it- but the public did not know that it was in fact a deceptive ploy upon the public.

    Seth Harp is not a good Republican, but he is a good politician who works the Governor’s and the Speaker’s agenda. He and Rep. Richard Smith, who sponsored HB 1055, the largest tax increase in GA history are from Columbus. Both have lost their way and are high on party sanctions like members of a mafiosa family that need the organization’s approval to sleep at night, while they count bodies to drift off.

    Ox’s money laundering while he caters to protecting the unborn will perhaps trump Seth’s travesty upon the entire state?

    Both need to go-BTW, Who will oppose Smith? He has sold out and become a closet west coast wannabe.

    • ECSnob says:

      Lol… The governors agenda… Sunday Sales, SB 169 opposition, tort reform constitutionality… nailed it on that one. Sonny and Seth go together like peas and carrots.

  7. EthicsEther says:

    Nice guy, active-oriented- not cocky- answers his constituents and for that you have to give him credit.

    He was the would-be- winner until he wrote the “Ethics Bill”. That circulated, and people did not like it. Too many letters to the editors by activists, and too many little old retirees who did not trust after that little spectacle. They vote in primaries.

    Nice guy, but time to get out. We will see if his replacement makes the same mistakes. Following lock step with the power elite toward ever increasing self interests tends to dethrone the best of them.

    His replacement was involved with Common Cause- we will see if he is courageous enough to create an ethics bill that is a real ethics bill.

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