At this stage prior to any reapportionment special session, there begins to be quite a lot of “informed speculation”, with much of it never coming close to materializing in the real world. The exercise, however, prevents idle hands during the lazy days of summer, and hopefully keeps enterprising consultants, lobbyists, and other assorted oberservers and hacks from causing any real trouble elsewhere.
While is it a virtually accepted fact that the soon to be birthed 14th district will contain a Hall County base – with both Martha Zoller and Rep. Doug Collins retaining consultants and interviewing staff – there are 13 incumbent districts with which we can
make stuff up ponder the implications of soon to be redrawn maps.
Jim Galloway tackled one rumor earlier today, one which I also heard for the first time over the weekend: That DuBose Porter may be interested in challenging Rep. Austin Scott. I do write for DuBose and Carol Porter’s newspapers, but frankly haven’t asked him about it. Let’s just say I would be surprised if he wanted to challenge Austin, and leave my opinion/speculation at that.
But Jim does add a wrinkle that I would say is quite possible if not probable. That there will be a tradeoff between Democratic pricincts and Republican ones between Scott and Rep. Sanford Bishop.
Porter said, no, he’s not running. What’s more, he thinks Macon may not be part of Scott’s 8th District come 2012. Porter says he’s hearing a great deal of talk that the Republican-controlled Legislature next month could hand Macon and its mid-state Democratic environs (Fort Valley, etc.) over to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop and the 2nd District.
In return, the heavily Republican city of Thomasville near the Florida voter – which is now in Bishop’s district – would be shifted over to Scott. Both congressmen would benefit from the deal.
Now I’ll add my own speculation to the above, and you of course I hope will feel free to add yours as well. Bishop needs a few extra Democrats in his district, but Scott isn’t exactly in need of the additional Republicans. Despite his district previously being held by Democrat Jim Marshall, it’s quite Republican Red already.
Thus, what Republicans Scott may gain from Bishop on the southern flank of his district, he may offer to John Barrow as a gift from the eastern side of his district. Perhaps even the part that contains one Porter family from Laurens county.
Updated: After posting the above, I got an email about 20 minutes later with from a friend who just happened to have a map similar to what is described above. Make of it what you will.