#PANIC: Eric Johnson endorses a Democrat in Savannah mayoral race

Eric Johnson, former State Senator and GOP candidate for Governor, has endorsed a Democrat over the Republican-backed candidate in the Savannah mayoral race:

Eric Johnson — perhaps Chatham County’s most prominent Republican — is supporting Democrat Edna Jackson for mayor of Savannah.

Johnson, former state Senate president pro tem, is doing so even as local GOP chairman Carl Smith and other party activists back fellow Republican Ellis Cook.

Jackson, mayor pro tem, received one of the top three annual awards bestowed by the Chatham County Democratic Committee in 2002 and 2007.

Although city elections are officially non-partisan, no Republican has been elected mayor of Savannah since 1991. Four of this year’s six candidates are avowed Democrats.

So far, Jackson leads the field in campaign contributions and widely is considered the frontrunner in the Nov. 8 election.

Johnson, who ran third last year in a seven-way race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, was effusive in his praise for her.

“I believe Edna brings a unique resume to this election,” he said. “She has critical recent experience on City Council. She has a detailed platform that will allow Savannah to create jobs and improve the economic environment.

“And Edna has the ability to blend the old with the new — to merge the existing city’s leadership structure with new ideas and a needed partnership with the business community.”

Johnson, one of the nicer and more straightforward politicians I’ve met, has not been shy to lend a hand to the occasional Democrat — particularly when it comes to those willing to break ranks with party on the issue of school choice.

19 comments

  1. Tiberius says:

    Excellent. This will give a good test case on who has a greater infuence on GOP voters: a party leader who few have heard of or an elected offical who spent two decades in the legislature providng local serice and has high name ID.

    Let’s keep an eye on those GOP leaning Savannah precincts on election night.

  2. ricstewart says:

    I don’t have any problem with a Republican endorsing a Democrat, or vice versa. Especially in municipal elections, where party affiliation doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) matter. I’m a conservative supporting Regina Thomas for mayor.

    I am surprised at WHICH Democrat he chose to endorse. Whoa.

  3. dewberry says:

    Savannah republicans are obviously a joke. They threatened me with a lawsuit during the 2008 election – I guess to get me out of the r party. I’m not real sure what the threat of lawsuit was about so you will have to ask them about that. To them I am not a republican http://www.dewberryformayor.com . Edna Jackson is as corrupt as they come and surely Eric Johnson fits in very well.

  4. dewberry says:

    “She has a detailed platform that will allow Savannah to create jobs and improve the economic environment…” How exactly does Savannah create jobs Johnson? Is it tax and spend or tax and squander Jackson/Johnson? Edna has been at this for 16 years and with growing poverty, unemployment and incredible Savannah/Chatham tax payer abuse, our/your golden boy republican Johnson thinks more of the same is just what we need? Yes, Johnson fits right in with the republican party. Hey Jackson/Johnson ticket, how’s granny going to tackle the ongoing murder spree in town?

    • saltycracker says:

      So what do the demographics and the political powers of Savannah tell you the future course will be ? Is the (non-public) working class growing, becoming more affluent and calling for change ?

      If not, as any wise low country boy knows, get out of there until the tide turns (unless you have so much money you can stay high & dry).

      • dewberry says:

        Yes, it is a terrible mess. The biggest problem is ignorance in this city which surely extends across the entire nation. I met a college professor the other day and long time resident who had no idea who the candidates were in the race or any of the recent fiascos coming out of city hall yet she knew who she was going to vote for. The incumbents depend on the stupid vote while I depend on the informed vote. Even though stupid might win again and again someone has to take a stand against it. The “news” media is no help either. Everyone knows Steve Jobs died, Michael Jackson’s doctor is on trial and who won dirty dancing last week but know nothing of the candidates. We had a forum last week and the “news” showed the faces of the candidates on TV but didn’t mention a word about what exactly was discussed. The “news” paper spoke only of harbor dredging questions yet said nothing of the other positions, claims and facts that were presented. I won’t take Johnson’s position of if you can’t beat em join em. I won’t go there.

        • saltycracker says:

          “Even though stupid might win again and again someone has to take a stand against it. ”

          If you are not stupid then you must have a better reason for standing there.
          General Custer’s Aide de camp

          • dewberry says:

            I have a great number of reasons for running but here is a short list.

            – Edna Jackson is incompetent and corrupt.

            – Jeff Felser is incompetent and corrupt.

            – Ellis Cook running for only one term proves he has something to cram down the tax payers’ throat. While he has great hair he’s still a has been.

            – Floyd Adams is a has been and quit the school board to run for this.

            – Regina Thomas want to be damn sure the city pensions are protected and paid out in full (possibly on demand) and wants to keep full coverage healthcare costs below $100 to insure an entire family on the city’s benefit plan. Her husband is a retired police officer.

            Me? I’M NOT A FUDDY DUDDY OR CAREER POLITICIAN AND I’M THE ONLY BALD HEADED GUY IN THE RACE. Oh, I’m conservative too.

            More details here http://www.dewberryformayor.com

            • saltycracker says:

              Well you have a different take on deepening the port than many favor on this site.
              Doesn’t seem logical that it would add no jobs.

              One thing not on your list is the fiscally unsustainable defined pension programs of most democrat controlled cities. The only way they can stay churning is by growing new hires and pointing to well paid actuarian’s forecasts of future earnings. Most local politicians will not touch that hot button until the day of reckoning, far beyond their terms. If you put new hires on 401k’s you can pay them more from the get go.

              Congrats on promising term limits – every promise so far on this dissipates soon after a comfort level sets in & realization of quick benefit vesting.

  5. Could one of the Johnson supporters from the governor’s race, who slathered over him and assured us that he was the “true conservative” in the campaign, please explain this endorsement, and explain what’s wrong with Ellis Cook?

  6. The Big Kahuna says:

    Looking for a 2010 supporter\endorser of Eric J.? Try state Senator Fran Millar, who by the way is supporting a Democrat for Mayor of Dunwoody.

  7. dewberry says:

    State Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) suggested that Edna Jackson was the lesser of the evils in the Savannah mayor’s race. This was his response when I asked him what liberal democrat he was going to endorse. He was on the radio this morning WTKS 1290 AM Savannah. You can’t make this up. What do they know about everyone else in this race that I do not? I want to know.

  8. dewberry says:

    I should have put that in quotes. Stephens said “lesser of the evils”. I can hear Eric Johnson now “Ya, I know Edna Jackson is evil but she’s not as evil as the rest of the boogers in the race. What? You don’t believe me? Ask Ron Stevens. He knows. ” This can only get better RIGHT EDNA?

  9. saltycracker says:

    Voting for the lesser of the evils is how most of us vote but for our reps to endorse one they believe tainted is a red herring. Look closer.

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