Update on possible party switchers Black and Carter

November 12, 2010 11:49 am

by Jason · 12 comments

The AJC gives us an update on State Reps. Ellis Black and Amy Carter:

State Rep. Ellis Black, D-Valdosta, said Friday morning he remains in the House Democratic Caucus. But when asked about a possible switch to the majority Republican caucus, he said: “I have had discussions with some of the folks about doing something a number of times over the years. We have had some discussions here recently. But at this point and time, we are still just having discussions.”

He said Republican House Speaker David Ralston has been part of those discussions. Asked if a decision was imminent, Black said: “You never know about how the pace of negotiations will go.” But he said nothing would happen before the beginning of next week.
Black also indicated he and Rep. Amy Carter, D-Valdosta, are in the same situation.

“We have done things in the past as a team,” he said. “We are going to handle this as a team.”

Carter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Asked about Black and Carter, a spokesman for the Republican speaker said there was nothing to report, at least not yet.

The House Republican Caucus remains at 111 members.

Tiberius November 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm

“Handle this as a team.” ?

Quite the team. If they don’t switch they will probably find themselves running against each other in 1 Valdosta district.

Jeff November 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Fact of the matter is, given population shifts, there’s going to be a lot of Reps – and maybe even a few Senators – running against each other, and there really isn’t MUCH that can be done to prevent it at this point. At this point, it is in very little doubt that it will happen, and that it will more than likely happen in both parties in South Ga. The only question is the particulars, ie, who?

Tiberius November 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

That is why there were several GOPers in Atlanta quietly muttering that they wish the GOP wouldnt win so many seats in south Georgia—see Porter’s or Shaw’s old seat.

Much easier to merge 2 Dems in a seat than 2 GOPers. However, we have been too sucessful south of the Fall Line.

Chris Huttman November 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

And a little thing called the Voting Rights Act makes it a lot harder to merge or get rid of our seats down there.

SallyForth November 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Pretty sad that Dems now pin everything on holding black districts/seats by force of federal government. Yes, that’s the same federal government that Repubs use so successfully to whip up their voters in GA. Puts us at cross purposes with trying to draw enough moderate voters to actually carry any other districts or statewide races. That VRA argument might be something you need to keep in the closet with our crazy aunt, Chris.

Chris Huttman November 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I actually favor the Georgia v Ashcroft interpretation of the VRA which states that districts don’t have to be majority minority in order to be protected districts. So for example, a district that is 45% African American may be considered to be a VRA district just the same as one that is 70% AA.

I think what you will find is that the Republicans will be the ones that try to pack as many AA seats as possible into the new map as that reduces districts where white Democrats can win.

The point I am making is that if you choose 5 districts from South Georgia, for example Districts 149 (Greene – R), 150 (Dukes – D, VRA), 171 (used to be Royal – R), 172 (Maddox – R), 173 (used to be Keown – R) and you look at that geography, after the next census is released those same areas will probably only qualify for 4 districts. That means one district has to be eliminated. It pretty much cannot be Dukes – the only Democrat, which means when they play musical chairs there are only 4 chairs for 5 people, 1 chair is reserved for the Democrat and 3 chairs are left for the 4 Republicans.

Now here’s the other wrinkle. Even though Greene is now a Republican, it’s possible that his district is also considered to be a VRA eligible district since it close to being majority African American (and may have become AA since the previous census).

So that means that potentially 2 of those 4 chairs are now reserved for Democratic leaning districts, meaning the 4 Republicans now have to share 2 chairs.

In politics, you play by the rules of the game. Do I personally agree with everything in the VRA, particularly when it comes to redistricting? No, that’s why I supported challenges similar to Georgia v Ashcroft to change the law.

However, now that the rules have been set, I’m going to play by them and if any individual rules benefit my party, I’m going to take advantage of them. Republicans do this all the time and don’t go around apologizing for it, and neither should the Democrats (just look at how they are trying to game the rules in MN Gov race for example).

Harry November 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm

One reason Georgia is now a super-majority Republican state is that former Democrats have decided they don’t like the VRA “rules” and would rather support the team that is not the beneficiary of said “rules.” In other words, the VRA as a weapon in the hands of the Democratic Party becomes self-destructive.
The 2011 redistricting, will undertaken by newly-elected GOP-controlled legislatures around the country in already red states that have gained a boatload of new House seats as well as quite a few states where legislatures just turned red. It’s bad timing for Democrats. The results will only serve to drive home the point that the Voting Rights Act does not deliver as advertised. Sure, a few seats will get gerrymandered, but so what? It just means a far greater number of districts will be even “redder”, and those Republicans and independents who find themselves entrapped in districts with stupid, corrupt Democratic congresspersons will be even madder …which suits me fine!!

Gerald November 15, 2010 at 10:26 am


“t just means a far greater number of districts will be even “redder”, and those Republicans and independents who find themselves entrapped in districts with stupid, corrupt Democratic congresspersons will be even madder …which suits me fine!!”
As mad as the Democrats and independents who are now trapped in the state run by Sonny Perdue, Nathan Deal, Casey Cagle and Glenn Richardson? Or madder? But it is ever so obvious that GOP stupidity and corruption suits you just fine also.

Harry November 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

I told two state reps my county to get rid of Richardson a year before it happened, and they told me it wasn’t going to happen. I supported Karen Handel and have called out Deal for his shady practices. I have also called out Perdue for inside dealing and Cagle for ramrodding the hospital tax. I am a critic of bad actors on all sides. Can you say the same? I doubt it..

Gerald November 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

“I think what you will find is that the Republicans will be the ones that try to pack as many AA seats as possible into the new map as that reduces districts where white Democrats can win.”

Sorry. The Supreme Court ruled that illegal a long time ago. And yes, they did it when a white Republican was gerrymandered into a black Democratic district. Sorry guys, you won’t be able to disenfranchise folks like the good old days. You are going to have to get out, address a broad range of issues (broader than Atlanta-bashing and cutting taxes that is), and win races on merit.

GOPObserver November 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Rep. Carter issued a statement to the AJC today stating that she is considering a party switch.

“As a moderate conservative, I am concerned about the recent direction that the Democratic Party has taken. I fear it has become disconnected from rural Georgia. Ultimately, I have a lot to consider, but I will not make a final decision until I have had time to fully evaluate the desires of my district,” Carter said.


Gunlvr November 15, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Rep. Amy Carter is a welcomed addition to the GOP. Rep. Ellis Black is a concern. He was listed as a endorser of Sanford “Nepotism” Bishop. Not sure how you can say that the democrat party is leaning too left yet support Bishop.

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