Interesting Tidbits From Qualifying

When HR1162 passed the House on February 22nd, 16 Democrats voted yes. HR1162 as you’ll recall, is the proposed Constitutional Amendment allowing the State of Georgia to approve and fund Charter schools rejected by local school boards.

Of those 16 Democrats…
4 retired: Kathy Ashe, Elly Dobbs, Elena Parent, and Sistie Hudson.
Ralph Long is running again but was drawn into a distict with fellow Dem. Simone Bell who voted no.
Scott Holcomb is unopposed in the Dem. primary but is in a district more Republican than when he first won election two years ago.
4 face primary opposition: Alisha Morgan, Margaret Kaiser, Shelia Jones, and Carol Fullerton. Morgan and Kaiser co-sponsored HR1162.
Only 6 of the 16 Democrats voting yes on HR1162 are assured of reelection: Karla Drenner, Stacey Evans, Bob Bryant, Billy Mitchell, Mary Margaret Oliver, and Rahn Mayo face no opposition.

On a slightly related topic, y’all might be interested to learn what’s happened to the 17 House members targeted by the Peach TEA PAC for defeat for either failing to support HB954 or for not being pro-life enough for their tastes. Amazingly the Republican Senators who voted to weaken the bill by amendment and almost killed the bill altogether received no similar threat of defeat.

Of the 17 House Members Targeted…
1 retired: Amos Amerson, but his retirement had been announced long before the vote on HB954.
4 face Democratic challengers: Mike Jacobs, Jay Powell, Ron Stephens, and Rusty Kidd. The pro-life status of these Democratic challengers is not known at this time therefore we can’t say for sure they were recruited by the Peach TEA PAC.
8 are unopposed: Tommy Benton, Mickey Channel, Sharon Cooper, Harry Geisinger, Richard Smith, Tom Taylor, Joe Wilkinson, and Wendell Willard.
4 face primary opposition: Judy Manning, Don Parsons, Chuck Sims, and Kip Smith. It should be pointed out that the challengers for Parsons and Smith filed their declaration of intent well before the first House vote on HB954 and thus could not have been recruited by the Peach TEA PAC. Additionally the challenger to Manning is the Cobb Chairman of the Ron Paul campaign and not likely to have been recruited.

Therefore it’s possible that somewhere between one and six of the 17 targeted House members face challengers recruited by the Peach TEA PAC. It’s also possible none of them were.

The final incumbent/challenger spreadsheets for the House and Senate are ready for viewing.


  1. saltycracker says:

    1162 / state funded I assume means they are not requiring any county tax revenue to be used for something imposed on them by the state. Favoring charter schools should not trump
    local preference for tax revenue use.

    • If the voters approve HR1162, their local school systems will be funded for every student who shows up at their school, just like they are now. No local money will be used to fund a charter school the State authorizes.

  2. cheapseats says:

    Redistricting is responsible for many of these challenges – some of the numerical designations of the House seats no longer represent the same sets of voters.

    I repeat my previous stated points here: the hard lesson the Democrats had to learn are going to be visited upon the Republicans – when you leave the “other” party with nobody to vote for, they have no choice but to vote in “your” primaries so, you don’t necessarily get the results you may have been expecting. In these times when the Republicans have taken over all the seats, you’ll get the orphaned Democrats voting in the Republican primaries and they won’t go for the hard-liners so, there are likely to be some surprises.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      And when not actually orphaned, there will typically be no reason to vote in a Demoratic primary when there are few if any choices other than lame referenda available. The crossover vote can take a different turn in that circumstance.

      The crossover vote can be organized to carry extremists to the nomination that might not fare well in the 53-47 split districts that were the 2010 redistricting standard. In a 53-47 environment it’s necessary to change but only 1 in 30 votes in the General Election. Crossover concerns are the reason why the GOP establishment is considering the need to require party registration for primary voting—GOP primary referenda No.4.

      • cheapseats says:

        Open primaries can render party identification rather meaningless but I will staunchly refuse to register with any political party because they are all just plain bad for our country, our states, our counties, and our cities. Nothing good has ever come about because of a certain political party – more good comes in spite of them.

        So, if I don’t register with any party and there are only partisan contests on future ballots then, why would my tax dollars be used to hold elections in which I’m not allowed to vote? Sounds like a big government hand-out to political parties…(tongue only slightly in cheek).

        • USA1 says:

          If the Republicans want party registration then they should also do away with any ballot access restrictions for third parties and independents. I don’t think they’d do that, but if they did then I would probably support closed primaries.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          As I understand it you’ll be able to vote, just not in partisan primaries or primary referenda. Currently well under half of Georgians have zero choice in their General Assembly representation. If enacted, three-quarters of Georgians such as you will have zero choice. It’s another measure for the establishment to empower itself, something we’ve come to expect in GA.

          Georgia peers TN, SC and AL are considering party registration legislation as well. Seems like something that could have an ALEC origin.

          • Really? When I was presenting an election bill in the floor of the House this year, a Democrat asked me if I would support party registration.

            Personally I don’t like it but the are people n both sides of the aisle who do.

            • Dave Bearse says:

              Yeah, but would it even matter if any GA Dems supports registration? Every Dem at the Dome could support it, but it wouldn’t get to a floot vote unless approved by the establishment.

  3. John Vestal says:

    So now we read that Jim Bouton’s favorite Georgia state senator signed Common Cause’s ethics reform pledge on Friday?

    Wait…is this the same Senate Rules Chairman who sat on an 11th-hr conference committee on Day 40 that added an amendment to a bill about fishing/hunting license personal data privacy? The completely non-germane amendment that would have SHIELDED certain ethics violations from the public? The amendment which was reportedly NOT mentioned when the bill was re-presented to the chambers, but which led to the defeat of the bill when word about it made its way thru the House before a vote (after already passing a blindsided Senate)? THAT Senator?

  4. Bob Loblaw says:

    Dan “All Bark” Becker! Shows up to the Capitol and calls out legislators and says he will run primary challengers against those who dare defy him and his goon squad of carnival barkers.

    Unless Chuck Sims’ opponent decided to qualify for office because of his vote on the as-passed version of the House, then the real number is ZERO candidates against those who defied Becker’s sicko taunts and threats. Will all due respect, Buzz, those four Democrats did not qualify at Dan Becker’s request.

    Dan “ALL BARK” Becker. Has a nice ring to it.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    Thanks for sharing the sheets Buzz. It clearly required considerable effort to prepare them.

    Beyond the simple facts that 3/4 of the General Assembly seats will have no competition, and that only 1/4 of the General Assembly seats will have primary competition, the competition for open seats / retiring-leaving for other reasons demonstrates the pathetic state of ballot competitiveness in Georiga. Only 4 of 10 open seats, and 2 of 14 retiring-leaving for other reasons seats will feature a choice on General Election Day. Combined the same 1/4 as incumbents. Without choices, Georgia’s relative decline will continue for the forseeable future.

  6. ricstewart says:

    Rusty Kidd, Independent, is listed as a RINO by the Peach TEA folks.
    It’s quite an accomplishment for an Independent to be a Republican in Name Only.

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