Who I’m Voting For, And Why

U.S. Senate: Johnny Isakson – He’s always done what he’s told me he would do. He’s more concerned about getting things done than getting personal credit, which is rare in D.C. His efforts to save Delta’s pension fund (and save the taxpayer from taking over the liability of that fund) shows he’s not afraid to take on both a President of his own party and his own Senate leadership when he believes he’s right. On that issue, he won. Thus, Delta employees and retirees won. The people of south metro Atlanta who’s businesses depend on these customers won. And most importantly, the taxpayer won. Isakson has earned my vote for his re-election.

Governor: Karen Handel. See here. Karen is a mix of someone who understands the current power structure but understands it needs to be shaken up. Her experience as Chairman of the Fulton County Commission give her a unique appreciation of the balance needed between State power and local control. She’s the only candidate to consistently address the needs of local government in her plans. The last two Governors and their general assemblies have tried to see how much power they can consolidate in Atlanta. I want a Governor who understands that governance is best when decisions are made closest to the people. Karen Handel is the candidate for those of us that favor local control.

Lt. Governor: Blank

Secretary Of State: Doug MacGinnitie – I had higher hopes for this race. It should have been one of the better matchups. Unfortunately, Governor Sonny Perdue decided to exercise his very early voting privilege and appoint Kemp after a weekend courtship with Jim Cole went awry. While I have criticized MacGinnitie for going a bit too far in his attempt to illustrate the problems with overseas military voting, this mis-step pales in comparison to Kemp, as the official constitutional officer to maintain election records, deliberately misrepresented MacGinnitie’s voting record both in print and in spoken word.

Campaign antics aside, MacGinnitie has the better background for this office. He is an attorney who understands what it will take to challenge the Justice Department to defend voter verification and deal with ongoing issues related to pre-clearance under Voting Rights Act section 5. His business background has him building a large and successful insurance business. His political background includes alienating a large number of his peers on the Sandy Springs City Council by insisting that their surplus be returned to taxpayers. It’s a record I like, and one that I’ll vote for.

Attorney General – Do I really have to vote here? Two of these candidates will need to develop some maturity and a thicker skin if they’re going to come close to getting my vote in the general election. The pettiness of the candidates and their supporters has turned this race into one where I just about wish there were no winners. The Democrats seem to be working hard for geography to nominate Ken Hodges. If they do, they’ll force me to vote for our nominee. If not, Rob Teilhet has an excellent chance of getting my vote in November. In the mean time, I’m probably voting for Preston Smith, mainly because I haven’t endured childish rants from him or his supporters.

State School Superintendent – John Barge. This one came late and I still can’t differentiate much between the two candidates on the Republican side. I’m told Barge has some administrative experience. That gets him the nod.

Commissioner Of Agriculture – Darwin Carter. I like Gary Black, I look forward to voting for him in November, and I think he’ll make an excellent Commissioner of Agriculture. I’m voting for Carter because I listened to him speak in Fannin County, far from both of our homes. He paid his dues to a Republican Party that no longer exists – but is one we both miss. He worked hard to help build a party in Georgia in the 80’s when Democrats ruled the day. He now is looking for the Republican majority that we thought we had elected: One of limited government, ethics, and an end to insider deals that drive decision making. Neither of us see much of that party when we look around. Consider this vote a belated thank you for his efforts long ago.

Commissioner Of Labor – Melvin Everson. No contest here. Melvin Everson has been an excellent Rep, and has worked the grass roots hard. Mark Butler dates lobbyists, and threatens state employees when they don’t treat his girlfriends well. We need Melvin Everson. We can’t afford Mark Butler.

Commissioner Of Insurance – Gerry Purcell. Gerry Purcell has to be the hardest working person in Georgia Politics this year. He has been everywhere. I can’t think of any public event that I’ve been to that he hasn’t. He has been ubiquitous on the campaign trail, and has a serious energy about reforming this office. He was willing to challenge the ethics of John Oxendine early and publicly. And personally, I just like the guy.

I have to give an honorable mention to Senator Seth Harp. Harp is a man of political courage. He’s sponsored the controversial “Sunday Sales” bill for years when other Senators or Reps are afraid to even vote on it. Harp has also publicly called out John Oxendine on his ethics. But I also remember Harp prior to him being a Senator, when he served in some sort of role as parliamentarian with either the 3rd District or State Republican Committee. During my early years of politics, there wasn’t a single County Committee or Executive Committee meeting of the Fayette County party that both sides of the argument didn’t get him on the phone to referee. He, from Columbus, knew the Fayette County party rules by heart. For putting up with that for years, he probably should get my vote. Purcell just locked it down first.

As a side note, there are probably more quality candidates in this race than some of the others combined. A lot have worked hard, and some of the runner-ups may still have a decent future in Georgia Politics should they decide to try again.

Public Service Commissioner: John Douglas – What you see is what you get with John. When most politicians try to see how many shades of gray they can find in an issue, the world he lives in is black and white. He is blunt. Some find that a bit off-putting. I find it reassuring. You don’t question where you stand when you’re talking to Senator Douglas, because you don’t have to wonder where he stands. In addition, he used to spend quite a bit of time on our pages here until he grew tired of attacks from the anonymous. Not sure if I was an elected, I would put up with much of that either. (I guess Buzz can tell us what that’s like in a few months.)

For those that don’t agree with me, take a look at Jeff May. A lot of my friends like him, but I know Douglas better. Either of these gentlemen are far superior to Tim Echols, who brokers free labor from teens to his buddy John Oxendine for personal profit, or Joey Brush, who’s closest political friend is Linda Shrenko.

Cobb Commission Chairman: Tim Lee – Cobb is a well run county. I expect Tim Lee to continue that tradition.

U.S. House of Representatives District 13 – Mike Crane. I haven’t met any of the candidates in the primary for GA-13, and I doubt it matters. David Scott will win re-election big. I’m voting for Crane for the best reason possible: A co-worker asked me to. She’s non-political, and goes to church with Mike. She likes him well enough to go door to door for him. That’s what grass roots politics is supposed to be all about. Because she asked and feels strongly about it/him, I’m happy to give him my vote.


  1. Bens says:

    I am voting for Larry Savage for Cobb County Commission Chair.

    On several occasions, Tim Lee has voted to increase residential density along Paces Ferry Rd in Vinings – against the recommendation of the Georgia DOT. (So has Sam Olens.)

    At a local political forum last Monday night, Lee claimed not to remember the votes – even when questioned closely and with specific documentation.

    A recent article in the “Marietta Daily Journal” listed a number of developers and development companies as contributors to his campaign as well.

    We will see how things go tomorrow. I hope David beats Goliath.

  2. GaConservative23 says:

    Because Doug MacGinnitie has never deliberately misrepresented Brain Kemp’s record…

  3. Doug Deal says:


    You made your admiration for Teilhet clear nearly a year ago, to me anyway. There is no need to insult Sam Olens or Max Wood when you weren’t really open to the GOP nominee in the first place.

    I so not argue your vote, whether for Preston or Teilhet, but you have a lot of nerve talking about childishness, considering the bulk of what you post here.

    • Tyler says:

      What the heck, Doug? I know what Ic is talking about here. We get a lot of stuff in the tipline that never graces the pages of Peach Pundit. Ic’s reasoning for not supporting 2 of the individuals in the AG race are legitimate.

      And, yes, Ic does have a lot of nerve 🙂 If you don’t like the bulk of what he or anyone here post you can always read another blog. Freedom of speech is a wonderful right. If you’d like just tell everyone on here why they should vote for Max Wood, do so. Ic and others can offer a counter argument. The majority of the frontpagers are open about our ballots b/c we want others to know where we are coming from. Don’t take it personally.

      • Doug Deal says:

        Tyler, I know that you an Ic have a special relationship, but that is no reason to jump on each others critics with zealous disregard of your own safety. 🙂

        I like Max Wood, it is true, and I have been a target of a number of personal attacks and threats from some Olens supports, but I do not blame Sam for them. People get a little caught up in political campaigns, and there are a number of people who have done the same for Max who should know better as well. The candidates should not take blame for what people do on their own without sanction or approval. Otherwise the next time I will simply “support” the person I like the least with some of the stuff that Deal supporters post here on Peach Pundit.

        I am not a fan of Olens, mainly because I dislike his apparent world view of powerful elites (like himself) telling the rest of us how to live our day to day lives and what’s best for us. I appreciate more market driven solutions rather than central planning. Yes, diffculties can arise, but those difficulties are actually negative feedbacks that prevent things from going to far. With government dictated solutions, there is usually no break as the problems then get blamed on not going far enough.

        That being said, I do not think that he should be blamed by the actions of his fruitloop supporters from the Cobb GOP or Max blamed for his. For some reason, the extremes of McGinnittie, Handel and Tom Graves supporters (two candidates I voted for, and one I could not since I live out of district) are overlooked because the authors of this website have closer ties to their campaigns. This cost PP credibility, a commodity that have been vastly depleated since it was turned into the monolithic thinkers club.

        As much as I agree with the biases of the website, I am tired of the cheerleading and want some real debate. Ron Daniels only goes so far.

        • “I am tired of the cheerleading and want some real debate. Ron Daniels only goes so far.”

          Add to that Jason Pye. I enjoy his commentary as well, as it’s usually not directed at supporting one particular candidate over and over and over…

          • drjay says:

            i have been steering clear of most debates and haven’t really told many people who i support in most of these races and have not wanted to draw the ire of friends that i have in various opposing campaigns. having said that, i like max wood a lot. i like his experience as a us attorney, prosecuting the york case is a feather in his cap, from what i understand the work he did in iraq was to help them set up a post hussein judicial system, and in my limited experience with him, he seemed to have the demeanor for the job, also a couple of lawyer friends (whose opinions i value) are supporting him. i know he wants to create an office of solicitor general, and while i would generally be opposed to creating new gov’t offices, it is not keeping me from picking him tomorrow…

  4. AthensRepublican says:

    I have not switched decisions in any race in the last few weeks.
    Governor-Eric Johnson
    Sec. State-Brian Kemp
    Attorney General- Max Wood
    Insurance Commissioner-Ralph Hudgens
    Labor Commissioner-Melvin Everson
    Ag. Commissioner- Darwin Carter
    P.S.C.-John Douglas
    School Sup- John Barge

    • EllaPatriot says:

      Why do you like Kemp over MacGinnitie? I have been going to candidate events for over a year now and have never seen Kemp anywhere or at any event. The fact that he is so elusive worries me. With MacGinnitie, I have had the chance to listen to him and talk to him one-on-one. I think Kemp missed the boat on reaching out to voters.

      Hudgens, in my opinion, is part of the problem. Questionable ethical funding of his campaign for Insurance Commissioner — ignorance to the rules after all the years that he has served, just doesnt seem plausible.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        Probably because I know both men. MacGinnitie has not given a good reason to kick out the incumbent. I think Brian will do as fine job as a Secretary of State.

        Ralph Hudgens has run a clean race. He is a little tone deaf at times but overall a good man. And I don’t buy the desperate arguments of those candidates that are down in the polls. There are several good candidates in this race though. Harp is the only one that I personally really don’t care for and that has more to do with personality not anything on policy.

        • BuckheadConservative says:

          “MacGinnitie has not given a good reason to kick out the incumbent.” Invalid from you. You were in the bag before the appointment. Further, Kemp became an incumbent through some pretty unforunate means. You can’t give him that benefit just because he’s connected and managed to get himself installed. This is still a job interview, and Doug MacGinnitie is by far and away the guy showing up with the best resume.

          • AthensRepublican says:

            You are right but were you in the bag for MacGinnitie before the appt.? I agree that I don’t like the way the appointment was done. The Governor should have picked a placeholder for the position since both men had been running for more than six months. Kemp will win by a comfortable margin.

  5. EllaPatriot says:

    I am new to Peach Pundit — I have been reading all of the posts and the comments and am thoroughly intrigued by it all. I have been quietly on the sidelines listening to the candidates, watching what they say, how they behave on and off the campaign and the tactics that they use in their campaign.

    Icarus… I appreciate your input. I have already made my decisions on who I am voting for and we differ on a few races. With that being said, I appreicate you adding your reasoning on why you are voting for who you are.

    • polisavvy says:

      Welcome to Pundit. You’ll become a junkie if you aren’t careful. As for Icarus, well he’s my favorite. He always states how he feels and his reasons. I like that in a person. No beating around the bush with him. Once again, welcome. Hope your picks do well tomorrow (even if they aren’t my picks). Good luck!

      • EllaPatriot says:

        become a junkie?!?! — too late! I’m hooked. I heard there was a rehab for political junkies…its going to be in the chat room on Peach Pundit. LOL Thanks for the welcome, polisavvy! It is appreciated.

        Good luck to you and your picks as well.

        • polisavvy says:

          Sorry. Wish I could have reached you sooner. At least the rehab will be fun!! To be quite frank, as long as Austin Scott wins the 8th, I’ll be a very happy camper!!

          • B Balz says:

            Hey Ella,

            PP rehab meeting tonite at Manual’s. Welcome to the mix, and remember, “Nothing but pixels on a screen…”

  6. Georgia Judge says:


    Kemp has been campaigning all over the state,he just didnt play the local GOP Straw poll game,which btw is a total joke(although Kemp did beat McGinnitie at the Fulton GOP gathering,which I find very interesting).
    Mcginnitie will lose this race and has hurt himself greatly for future opportunities.His campaign left much to be desired in how they conducted themselves……very ameurturish to say the least.

    • EllaPatriot says:

      Hi Judge, I’ve been to more events than just the GOP — I just have never seen him anywhere. I’ve been to tea parties, rallys and have looked for opportunities to meet him and speak to him to no avail. I have confirmed with tea party hosts that he was invited and they all say the same thing — no response. I think, in my humble opinion, he should have been where the voters were.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      Well, at least one good thing will come out of Tuesday. We don’t have to read your constant trolling around this blog running down Doug. The Kemp trolls think if they walk around saying something enough it will become true. MacGinnitie hasn’t hurt himself for a number of reasons. For one, I think he has a great shot at winning tomorrow night. And number two is demostrated well EllaP here. The GOP base has been very warm to his candidacy because he’s a different kind of candidate. A good one. One who’s in it for the right reasons. I know he hasn’t endeared himself to the establishment by having the AUDACITY to stay in the race after the annointment, but they rarely have the good of the state in mind anyway.

      You just want him to go away because he’s a threat to the status quo. A smart, accomplished, articulate, well funded outsider. Geez, if he can do this without the establishment backing, who really needs them anyway?

      • AthensRepublican says:

        Not me. I talked with Doug and liked him. If Brian does not win I have no problem supporting MacGinnitie against a Democrat. Of course, as a Republican, I guess I am “already in the bag.” 🙂

    • HowardRoark says:

      Hurt himself terribly! Kemp campaign staff will never ever ever ever vote for Doug MacGinnitie! All of them! That’s like .0000025% of the GOP!

  7. voter4 says:

    Notes for Icarus – on Commissioner of Agriculture…..
    Just a couple lines enforcing your decision tomorrow.

    SUBJECT: Sorry Mr. Black, the Department of Agriculture belongs to the people of Georgia, it is not for sale!

    Today a friend shared with me some interesting reading. I just saw copies of the latest campaign contributions donated to my opponent, the lobbyist, Gary Black. Frankly, it is frightening. He shows big steady flows of cash coming in from exactly the same people he will be in charge of regulating, if elected. Hundreds of thousands of dollars from big corporate donors are flowing in to Lobbyist Black. Big money wants him to run the Department for them.

    Do we want his lobbyist cronies to run our Department of Agriculture? Do we trust our food safety to lobbyists? To political hacks? To Monsanto? That is where we are headed, if we don’t decide take a stand. Stop the lobbyists, NOW!

    We’ve got just 1 day and it will be over. We’ve got 1 day to allow a life-long conservative farmer to do the work of the people’s in our state’s Department of Agriculture. Or, if we aren’t careful, in 1 day the inmates will be running the asylum! Black’s slick corporate buddies will have what they have been working toward for years!

    This is our last best chance to tell the Lobbyist Gary Black NO! The Department of Agriculture is not for sale!

    Stop The Lobbyist! Stop Black! Support Darwin Carter!

    • B Balz says:

      OK, you got my vote. Actually, Ron Daniels sealed the deal when he said most of his neighbors support Mr. Carter.

      This is an agrarian State, despite Atlanta, and what is good for the farmers is good for me.

  8. zigmaster says:

    I got a “DOUG MACGINNITIE INTERNED UNDER RONALD REAGAN” mail piece today with a huge picture of Reagan. Kind of sick of the over-the-top style of campainging from those folks.

    Voting Kemp.

      • BuckheadConservative says:

        I think the last presidential primary set the record for most references in one debate.

    • EllaPatriot says:

      “Reagan Conservative” and “the Tea Party Candidate” hold no weight with me. In my opinion, if you have to claim in a press release that you are a consertive, then you are likely not the most conservative and only play one in press releases and youtube videos.

    • ZazaPachulia says:

      I’ll be voting Kemp, too. Everyone once in a while that candidate comes along who has a lot of trouble hiding his / her extreme ambition — never a good sign (see: MacGinitittie, Doug; Handel, Karen; and Edwards, John)

      Other than that, I match up pretty closely with Mr. Icarus (I never knew PP was so populated with us Ga-13ers…)

      Except of course I won’t be voting for Handel. I’ll take Chapman for now and hold on to my dignity for another couple of weeks…

      And I like Harp over Purcell.

      • New Blood Please says:

        Right…but Kemp, who will run for any state wide office (“pick an office, any office”) isn’t transparent in his ambitions? Please.

        • ZazaPachulia says:

          Doesn’t matter, Kemp is the lesser of two evils here, but you can pretty much count on me (and a lot of us Georgians) going with Democrats in the S.o.S., Lt. Gov., and maybe even Governor’s race come November. I never thought I would say that, but here we are…

            • It shouldn’t be about party loyalty… it should be about ideas loyalty. I’d be all for eliminating political parties altogether and making people run on their ideas. At the very least take the letter beside the candidate’s name off the ballot. If you know nothing about the person you’re voting for other than the political party listed beside their name on the ballot you shouldn’t be voting for them.

      • B Balz says:

        We share many of the same ideas and for the same reasons.

        Dignity is overrated, I just hate having to explain being a Republican to everyone else…

  9. bluedogdem says:

    Icarus…Johnny Isakson voted for the Bailouts, Tarp, and continues to support a war which I supported at first. How has this worked out for us…NOT TO GOOD!!!!
    He has been living off the gov’t for far to long and needs to go into retirement.

  10. HowardRoark says:

    I’m interested in what sort of pettiness has come from the Wood campaign. Max seems like a level-headed, good guy. I would be interested if the trouble came from his campaign or just some over zealous supporters (he does have some of those) Olens on the other hand is pathetically thin skinned and helplessly petty. The idea of that coniving little child even getting close to the governor’s mansion one day is horrifying.

  11. Dawgfan says:

    While I might disagree with some of your choices I repect the reasoning behind them. I would warn you away from Tielhet though. First, his specialty is Worker Compensation Law a very niche field. Second, He’s not even the best at it. Most importantly his attacks on Hodges have been proven false and misleading. These attacks play on the worst instincts and predjudices in Georgia politics and history. I just think no politician should be rewarded for that type of politics. And just to be clear I’m voting in the Republican Primary so I’m not shilling for Hodges. I just think that Tielhet’s type of politics should be rejected.

  12. chefdavid says:

    I just wish someone had the star power like Wamp:
    I have not made up my mind. Some of my thought. I will vote for the best looking candidate for the job. That doesn’t seem to be working for me with corn rolls, and to many candidates with dunlop disease. I must move on to another method. How about who will bring the most entertainment. That sounds like a winner but that would only knock out a couple of the Republicans. If I was voting democrat it might only leave Barnes. So maybe my best method is to use a combined annoyance scale of which candidate sent me the least amount of mail terestrial and virtual, had the least amount of robocalls, da#n that doesn’t help anybody got a better method?

    • EllaPatriot says:

      If that leads you to the conclusion to vote for Eric Johnson… I’m all for that logic 🙂

  13. georgiaguy1 says:

    Without trying to sound like one of the childish ranters . . . I urge you to look at the record of Ken Hodges and consider voting for him for Attorney General. His 12 years prosecuting the hard cases (like the Sidney Dorsey murder trial) should speak for itself. I think we need someone in charge who isn’t afraid to take on establishment figures. Now allow wild rantings to ensue in the comments below . . .

    • AnyoneElse2010 says:

      As someone from Albany, Ga please pick anyone but Ken Hodges. Ask anyone in that town who has had to work with him and they will let you know immediately that he is a slime ball. And yes I have worked in law offices in that town when he was the DA.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        We have heard several comments similar to this one. Thanks for sharing it. Good to know in case Hodges is the nominee in November.

  14. Cloverhurst says:

    Brian was smart to avoid the GOP events where the same people show up month after month and week after week, instead he was invited to Chamber gatherings, Rotary Clubs etc because he has friends all over the state who are members of these organizations. He will win and do much better in Fulton County and Sandy Springs in particular than Doug could imagine.

    Darwin Carter is a broke joke- he had nothing to do with rebuilding the GOP, he lost a Congressional Race and then took a job he wasn’t qualified for that was offered as a thank you for putting his name on the ballot

    Gary Black will win tomorrow and in November

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I agree Gary Black will likely win. I am still voting for Darwin though. I am glad to hear Brian might do better than expected in Fulton County.

      • New Blood Please says:

        Yep. He’ll carry those voters who blindly vote for all UGA grads. Who knows…might be enough to win. But I doubt it. Most voters actually do think and would like someone who can do the same to run their elections and business licensing. There’s nothing “wrong” with Kemp. He’s just lacking in intelligence, initiative, appropriate background…Why would you ever choose a mediocre candidate over an exceptional one? Oh right, as another commenter put it earlier today, “You just want him to go away because he’s a threat to the status quo. A smart, accomplished, articulate, well funded outsider. Geez, if he can do this without the establishment backing, who really needs them anyway?”.

          • New Blood Please says:

            No, not at all. If he wins, good for him. I just happen to think he’s not remotely qualified for the office he was anointed to and is in over his head already..Ag was a better fit maybe. I totally agree with BC that Mac is seen as a threat to the old guard GOP status quo, and it’s remarkable to see how resistant they are to new blood. It’s not bitterness. I just think it’s sad, as I think the future of this party depends on new bright young minds and the sort of brains and drive that will come from the private sector.

  15. Scott65 says:

    Nobody is mentioning Lt Governor…big surprise. I will not vote for Cagle. I will be voting for Carol Porter for that position, and I believe many of you are too considering your silence on the issue.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Lt. Gov. Cagle may have the largest margin of victory in statewide races after Sen. Isakson. I expect most of you to disagree and make allegations about rumors, but the general public isn’t keeping up with any of that. We will see in November.

      • Scott65 says:

        I think you are wrong about that. Casey Cagle is just part of the overtly corrupt politicians under the dome…this video is very convincing to me

        • Doug Grammer says:

          With 363 current views, what percent of the voters in November will ever see this? I think you just proved my point. Not even going to watch the video or get into allegations. Mrs. Porter won’t raise enough money to make them public enough for the average voter to know about, or much less, to decide the truth for themselves.

  16. Jane says:

    Governor-Eric Johnson
    Attorney General- Max Wood,
    Labor Commissioner-Melvin Everson
    Sec. State-Brian Kemp
    Insurance Commissioner-Dennis Cain, old friend of mine
    School Sup- Richard Woods
    Ag. Commissioner- Gary Black
    PSC.-Tim Echols

    I am glad we do not have any teenagers making Max Wood, Woodie or Richard “Dick” Woods jokes. I am glad we are above that.

    • Icarus says:

      All those teenagers are busy going door to door for Ox so your buddy Tim Echols can make five figures off their free labor.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Dennis Cain is a great guy. I know all his family and think a lot of all of them.

Comments are closed.