Regina Thomas still running against John Barrow

Dave Weigel reports that Regina Thomas, who lost to Rep. John Barrow in the Democratic primary in July, will run as a write-in candidate in November:

On Monday, former State Senator Regina Thomas will file papers to run as an official write-in candidate against Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), a more conservative Democrat who beat her in the 2008 and 2010 primaries. Official status will allow votes for her to be counted as she runs a regular campaign. Barrow is white, Thomas is black, but Barrow has been successful up to now in winning enough black votes to fend off his challenger.

“I’ve had a lot of people asking me to run,” Thomas told me in a phone interview. “The people deserve it. Those who voted for me on July 20, and those who didn’t vote because they didn’t realize I wouldn’t be on the ballot – they deserve a chance to restore some honesty and integrity to the relationship between this district and its representation.”
“It is what it is,” said Thomas. “You deal with it. You can’t let it stop you. Look, if they’re pleased with his voting record, with begging him to support the president, with him embarrassing the president with his votes, that’s fine. The president does not live in Georgia. They don’t live in Georgia.”

[UPDATE] ChefDavid points out in the comments that Georgia has a “sore loser law,” preventing candidate that lost in the primary from running in the general election, including running as a write-in. I knew about the “sore loser law,” but didn’t know it applied to write-in candidacies as well.


  1. slyram says:

    I was thing this situation might happen with R.J. Hadley and Jim Marshall.

    For all the Democrats who can win without their party, a runoff would be the test of that. No coat tails.

  2. chefdavid says:

    Did I read this wrong or do they have better eyes than I?

    (d) No person shall be eligible as a write-in candidate in a general or special election if such person was a candidate for nomination or election to the same office in the immediately preceding primary.
    O.C.G.A. § 21-2-133

    Just curious. If this could happen than why wouldn’t any candidate that lost in a primary come back and run in the general. If you were an incumbent with a lot of money you could get your competition to spend all their money in the primary not worry about loosing and then come back as a write in after they had no money left and clean that clock.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      It’s just the law. Dems have never had a problem going around it. I doubt she will be allowed to qualify due to the law you cited, but if they find a way to do it, it improves the GOP candidate’s chances.

  3. fishtail says:

    I live in the coastal area. Regina Thomas is an absolute idiot. She can hardly put a coherent sentence together. How she thinks she can beat John Barrow is beyond me.

    • drjay says:

      she has a constituency, whatever opinion you have of her, she is well liked by those she represented in ss2, she won chatham better than 2:1. i don’t think she thinks she’ll beat barrow, i think she just really doesn’t like him…

    • Actually unbeknownst to the Thomas campaign, we have the results of one of the most accurate polls in this area….it is called the July Primary. Maybe they missed it!

      It would be interesting to see where the Barrow/Mckinney race is polling….but obviously the intent here is to siphon votes…is that what it takes to shake up the political constipation?

  4. The U.S. Supreme Court has a history of striking down state laws that add additional requirements to Congressional elections. The idea is that the Constitution says that Congress shall be the judge of their own elections. I wonder if their would be a decent legal case that Thomas could file? My gut feeling though is the court would find this law narrowly tailored enough to promote an important state interest, to prevent confusion at the ballot box. Either way, it would make for an interesting legal challenge.

    • bowersville says:

      Which brings up valid questions. Does this law apply to both federal and state candidates or only the state candidates?

      Is there a previous SCOTUS ruling to over ride this state law?

      Has the Georgia Attorney General issued an opinion as to how this state law applies to Congressional candidates in similar circumstances?

      • Not this type of law, but they did override a state law a few years back that put limits on a federal election. I forget which state it was, but the legislature passed term limits and applied them to members of Congress from that state. The SCOTUS overturned the law as a violation of the right of Congress to be the judge of its own elections.

        • One of the laws that’s been kicked out in the past is the state law that prevents members of the legislature from raising money during the session.

          The law originally was can’t do any fundraising. Doug Teper was flirting with a Congressional bid one year and sued in Teper v Miller and the court said when it comes to Federal fundraising, the state can’t bar it any time of the year.

          • Thanks Chris. I wasn’t aware of that one. It would seem to indicate Thomas would have a decent chance of getting the law overturned…if she gets enough write-in votes to win. If she doesn’t, the court would likely say the issue is moot since there is no case in controversy.

            • drjay says:

              the election section of the ga code, based on my brief perusal talks a lot about state, county and municipal elections, but seems rather vague or even lacking on comment about federal elections, i am thankfully not a lawyer so i very easily could be missing something obvious…

  5. gatormathis says:

    Sooooo…..if a person runs, do they have to pay a “qualifying fee”…..file pertinent paperwork…..register the campaign or campaign committee…register how they want their name “wrote in” on the ballot….and all the other stuff that any other candidates have to do…..or do they just say “vote for me” and it’s a done deal….nice of a lady to offer herself up so graciously to try to help the peoples…..

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