Hatfield Bus Trip Through S.E. Georgia

Last Thursday I joined several of my House colleagues on an RV travelling through SE Georgia. We were campaigning for Rep. Mark Hatfield, who is now running for the Senate seat left open by the retirement of Greg Goggans. Hatfield threw his hat in the ring along with Republicans Tyler Harper and Rodney Vickers as well as Democrat Gene Mitchell. I’m not an expert of SE Ga politics, but I did stay at a Holday Inn Express Wednesday night. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

I rode down on Wednesday with Rep. Stephen Allison and Rep. Sam Teasley to Waycross. Rep. Delvis Dutton of Glenville joined us at the hotel. We kicked off the tour Thursday morning at The Okefenokee Restaurant in Folkson and spoke to a reporter from the Charlton County Herald who’s paper is published weekly. The next stop was the Ware County Courthouse in Waycross then a stop at the Waycross Journal-Herald, on of the last family owned daily newspapers in Georgia.

The lunchtime stop was in Blackshear at the Oak Plaza Restaurant where we were joined by Rep. Alex Atwood (picture l-r Sam Teasley (looking right) Alex Atwood, Stephen Allison, Mark Hatfield (standing), Me, Delvis Dutton.

Atwood has a way of delivering memorable quotes so when asked by the Mayor of Blackshear why he should support Hatfield for the Senate, Alex said Mark was honest, independent, and smart. “He’s not a ‘yes’ man and sometimes you need to say the baby is ugly. Mark Hatfield isn’t afraid to speak out when it’s needed.”

That’s the key issue for me. We need independent thinkers and people with backbone in elected office. I don’t agree with Mark Hatfield on every issue. In fact there were a couple of times while serving on a committee with him that I strongly disagreed with him. However I always knew his views were his own and he arrived at those views because he thought they were in the best interests of his constituents. Believe me, the last thing the Senate needs is a person unsure of himself or easily swayed. I don’t know which “team” Mark Hatfield will join if he’s elected. I doubt he’ll join either team that currently exists in the Senate GOP Caucus. I trust he’ll continue to do what he thinks best for his district, even if he has to stand alone.

One other thing I’ll say about Mark Hatfield. As you all know redistricting placed him in a district with another GOP incumbent. When his constituents found out a group of them rented a bus and made the four hour trip from Waycross to testify on Mark’s behalf before the the House Reapportionment Committee. How many other elected officials have such loyal supporters?

Leaving Blackshear we traveled to Alma for a rally at the Bacon County Courthouse then Douglas to visit people at the Coffee County Courthouse. The day ended at the Coffee County GOP for a ribbon cutting opening their campaign head-quarters. We met a lot a good people on our trip, ate a lot of good food and were pretty much worn out at the end of the day. Hopefully we helped Mark Hatfield in his Senate bid.

31 comments

    • Calypso says:

      Yeah, I thought the redistricting was to boot his laughable butt out from under the gold dome?!?

  1. Lawton Sack says:

    Serious question that may not be that important, but I am still curious: Is he at all related to the Hatfields of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud?

  2. CCFRG says:

    Buzz- you look pretty dumb campaigning for a birther, intentionally drawn into a district with another member by the leadership, whose lack of a presence in Atlanta almost got Waycross College closed down.

    • Funny but the other college the Regents “merged” was in Gainesville, home of the Governor and the Chair of the Highed Ed. committee in the House. Do they lack presence in Atlanta?

      Besides, the era of “let’s bring home pork so I can get reelected” is over.

      • sunkawakan says:

        Perhaps there are, Harry. And I’m sure you’ll all be left behind when your Rapture occurs, given the level of false witness amongst your cabal. And doesn’t Proverbs say that God hates “a false witness who breathes out lies.”?

    • Engineer says:

      CCFRG, as somebody raised in Pierce County, I gotta say, I was left thinking the same thing.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      CCFRG, You have to remember, Buzz “mistakenly” signed on to Birther legislation as co-author and then subsequently withdrew his name….he’ll claim he “didn’t know what he was signing” and his friends will try to cover for him.

      Buzz may be a nice guy, and stays assesable even after getting elected, but when it comes down to it, he’s one of them.

    • CCFRG says:

      Buzz- the community in Gainesville was very supportive of the merger 1st.

      2nd you never addressed my comment about your house leadership trying to remove Mark Hatfield from the House.

      • Engineer says:

        I’m sure that making Georgia look like a bunch of kooks and hicks on national and international media had nothing to do with the house leaders trying to remove him.

  3. South GA Bulldog says:

    This is my first post but I have been viewing Peach Pundit for years. I have tried to not comment but this is one of the occasions where a comment is warranted. Buzz, I think that you are correct that you do not know anything about South Ga Politics. It is funny that you had to get a few of your friends to travel down to South GA to show support for Rep. Hatfield. Where is his support from the South Ga Reps? I saw that Rep. Dutton was with you but the rest were from Atlanta. The people down here are tired of Rep. Hatfield hurting South GA. You really need to keep to Atlanta and let the people down here decide this race. We sure don’t need anymore people from Atlanta trying to tell us what we need to do in South GA.

    • What’s funny is that the Harper camp has been telling people that nobody in Atlanta likes Hatfield therefore support Harper. Now when some people from Atlanta show up to support Mark they say “We sure don’t need anymore people from Atlanta trying to tell us what we need to do in South GA.” You can’t have it both ways.

      • South GA Bulldog says:

        The people in South Ga don’t really care what the people in Atlanta think. I have not personally heard this from the Harper camp but I believe that they mean the leadership not a group of Freshman or one 2nd term legislator. It will be interesting to see where the South GA Reps come down in this race. By the way, Buzz I think that you are a good person from what I can tell. This is not personally directed at you. However, how would you like South Ga Reps coming into your district and telling your people that they should be supporting someone else over you?

        • I didn’t take it personally but thanks.

          In an open seat if people who had served with someone, even for a short time, came and campaigned for a candidate I imagine voters would factor that in.

          Endorsement are rarely decisive. Mine certainly won’t be and I doubt endorsements from South Georgia Legislators will be either.

          This was a show of support not “Atlanta” telling you what to do. Remember 3 of the 5 of us who were there weren’t from Atlanta. Two of the three were from south of the gnat line.

          • Napoleon says:

            Alex Atwood is from the coast. Allison is from the North GA Mountains. Sam and Buzz are from Atlanta, but it looks like you have most of Georgia represented in that delegation.

            I don’t agree with Hatfield on the birth issues, but Atwood is right, you need a few people under the Gold Dome who are not afraid to call the baby “ugly.”

            Of course, it is up to the people of the district to decide if that is the kind of representation they want.

    • Harry says:

      I won’t tell you what to do in south Georgia, but I know what the vast majority of legislators and congress-critters in South Georgia are already up to. It’s all about bringing home the bacon – that’s the limit of you people’s horizons. You’re no better than any other of the special interests that are killing the country. The word I got is that South Georgia is a bunch of losers, and it shows.

      • South GA Bulldog says:

        You probably need to check your facts. The South Ga Reps. that I know have not been advocating for “bacon”as you call it. They are conservative unlike some of the Metro Reps. You should look at the budget and see where the “bacon” is spent. Really, all you have is name calling. I thought you were smarter than that. But if you want to come down to South Ga we will be glad to show you around.

        • Harry says:

          In fairness to South Georgia it’s no different than most of the rest of the world, which isn’t a compliment.

  4. bowersville says:

    In an open seat if people who had served with someone, even for a short time, came and campaigned for a candidate I imagine voters would factor that in.

    Now couple that statement with: I’m not an expert of SE Ga politics,

    You can add to that: not an expert on NE Ga politics after you and Allison rode the A train off into Tallulah Gorge. What people factor in is what goes on in a campaign and who won.

    You have bigger fish to fry with the ethics legislation. Why soil your shoes with a birfer?

    • Howard Roark says:

      I thought that A train was going to run through Franklin and Hart counties. I guessed it ran off Hartwell Dam. Oh well.

  5. Medic8310 says:

    Where was Hatfield’s “backbone” when he left a committee meeting early in hopes of “not having a quorum to vote” on an issue he was against? This man is crazy. He was an embarrassment to so many citizens of the House District he represented. And an embarrassment to GA also. We do not need or want him representing Senate District 7. The House is glad to be rid of him and the Senate doesn’t want him. Neither do we!!!

  6. Carlyle says:

    Buzz,
    I appreciate your public service and agree on many issues with you,but you have missed this badly.Hatfield would be a very poor choice for Southeast Ga.He lacks the ability to build anything similar to a consensus among his peers but rather is a very polarizing figure.His lack of proper representation has cost Southeast Ga greatly,end of story.

    Harry you remind me of that old saying it’s better to be quiet and thought a fool,than to speak and remove all doubt.

  7. Nixonstheone says:

    Hatfield’s been no friend to local governments – I hope no county commissioners and council members are supporting him. He didn’t support them.

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