Don’t Write Off Glenn Richardson

As Buzz mentioned in his Morning Reads this morning, former State House Speaker Glenn Richardson has qualified for the Senate District 30 special election. I don’t know Glenn Richardson personally, but I did have the pleasure of meeting and talking with him after the first 14th Congressional District GOP Convention this past April (that may have been his first public political activity in a while if I’m not mistaken). My impression from him was that he has changed. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt mainly because the friends that are closest to him say that they have seen a positive change in Glenn. Admittedly, I have misgivings about sending a man back to the lion’s den, and I suppose that it would be easy to just write him off due to what occurred almost 3 years ago. However, this was the man that led the Republican Party from the minority to the majority in the House for the first time in 100 years. He’s a sharp man and astute legislator.

With that said, it won’t be an easy race for him.  He lost the public’s trust, and it won’t be simple to gain it back.  Glenn will need to convince voters that he is ready to go back into the lion’s den…armed with more than just a trident and net.


  1. Baker says:

    I’d welcome some historical insight here for the 2000-2009 period as the Republicans were taking over the House at the Gen. Ass. but is it not fair to say that was an inevitable happening? Unless you were a complete buffoon, or say Glenn Richardson of the 2009-2011 period, anyone could’ve led the Repubs in a state that overwhelmingly went for W.
    Point being, does Richardson really deserve that much credit for helping the Repubs take over?

    • Nathan says:

      It’s my understanding that he helped raise money for challengers to the entrenched Democrats down in south Georgia. Some of these Democrats had been in the General Assembly for 20+ years. After all, he was the minority leader during that time. Inevitable, yes, but there are still a few Democrat strongholds in the state due to Legislator/Commissioner/Sheriff so-and-so has been in office since Herman Talamadge was Governor and “seems to be doing a good job, so why change?”

  2. bird says:

    Richardson’s failings in office were monumental. Why support him? There are other choices on the ballot.

    Simply put, I can’t see a credible argument for picking Richardson over the three others on the ballot, including a sitting Representative.

    The only thing Richardson has going for him is left over cash. It’s regretable he has that advantage.

  3. I have a little brother that has struggled with drug addiction for about 20 years. These justifications for Richardson sound a lot like the justifications that I have heard from or about my brother. (I am not saying he is a drug addict, stay focused here. I am talking about people saying “He is OK” or “He is doing better.” These are lifetime issues that we are talking about.) I say the following with full kindness and care for Glenn Richardson, not for any kind of political gamesmanship: The harsh reality is that the best plan of action is for Richardson to do not expose himself to this, especially in a Senate that has some leadership voids and some questions about ethics. Emotional scarring takes a long time to heal. These scars sometimes hide us from the reality, though, and I have a feeling that is what is happening here. I am very concerned that a relapse of the previous problems could occur, and I don’t think that there are enough rewards to outweigh the obvious risks.

    • Nathan says:

      I honestly believe that if I were in the same position as Glenn, I wouldn’t want to go back to that dark place. At least, I would hope that I wouldn’t.

      • It seems to me the best process would be to start small. Volunteer for the local Republican Party or a community organization. Prove to yourself and others that you can handle small amounts of responsibility. Then, slowly build up from there. Jumping directly back into it in a contested race for the GA Senate is like an recovering alcoholic trying to get a job as a beer distributor. That raises a lot of red flags for me.

      • It seems to me the best process would be to start small. Volunteer for the local Republican Party or a community organization. Prove to yourself and others that you can handle small amounts of responsibility. Then, slowly build up from there. Jumping directly back into it in a contested race for the GA Senate is like an recovering alcoholic trying to get a job as a beer distributor. That raises a lot of red flags for me.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          Start small? How bout being invited to chair the 14th District convention? He did that.

          You sure are willing to micromanage the activities of another person to an odd and quite frankly, creepy degree. You have zero knowledge of where Glenn Richardson the human being is at this point in time. Yet you compare him to a substance abuser. Substance abuse and depression are so different that its laughable that you compared the two. You’re operating with absolute ignorance of the man’s current condition. But you’ve already given him a “path back” that involves volunteering for a county party? You can check that off your list. Glenn went bigger–at the invitation of the 14th District GOP.

          Let him run. This is politics. We don’t need to coddle the guy. His kids say they’re behind him as is his mother. They know him. You don’t.

          • As I was very careful to call out I was not comparing substance abuse with Glenn Richardson. What I was doing was comparing very serious lifetime issues that must be handled very carefully. As I also stated carefully, my concerns are dealing with Glenn himself and I was offering advice, not micromanaging somebody’s life. If you go back and read it, I did not even mention about telling Glenn Richardson what to do. I shared my personal experiences of being extremely careful in this situation, and it would be the advice that I would share with anybody, regardless of the situation, if I was asked. I have counselled many people over the years as a minister, and I truly have a concern for Glenn Richardson. The ultimate decision is his, but I would be very, very careful if I was somebody in that situation.

          • Ken says:


            You’re doing what you accuse Lawton of doing.

            And no one is telling Speaker Richardson not to run but for those of us who remember his bullying, power-seeking indifference to the intent of the state constitution and his failed attempt to saddle the state taxpayers with the price of a $300 million gift to Atlanta Gas Light at the same time he was sleeping with one of their lobbyists and the state was broke, we’ll express our opinions on the matter. Personally, I would rather the man do something that is not so potentially dangerous to the future of our state.

            If you want to see a trainwreck so badly, go build your own railroad.

        • Ken says:

          Yes, but the power to give away $300 million in taxpayer money to the bosses of the chick you’re sleeping with is at the Capitol. The ability to subvert the intent of the state constitution by destroying the committee process and disenfranchising the voters of the elected representation is at the Capitol.

          You know that, Bob. You don’t wear naive well at all.

    • Ken says:

      A thoughtful and, as far as I’m concerned, very accurate assessment.

      More selfishly, I also worry about the damage to the state of Georgia if he is placed in a leadership position of any kind in the future.

    • John Konop says:

      In all due respect drug addiction and mental illness is no different than breaking your leg in terms of being a medical issue. I think we in society make it harder for people seeking help from the attitude of just tough it out. Also we have criminalized the behavior over treatment which only created a larger underclass. A person gets caught and now faces, time in jail, huge court cost, suspended driving ……If that person does not have a strong support system can you not see the problem?

      I have no idea if this is an excuse or a real problem for Glenn Richardson. But, I do know we should all be pushing for people to seek treatment and make this a medical issue not a criminal issue. Finally we as a society must be more excepting of people who have issues. I realize this is a very personal issue for you and I hope you do not take the comment like I am judging your particular situation. Because as you know I do like and respect you.

  4. SallyForth says:

    Let’s hope the voters in that district will remember the old “once burned, twice shy” thing when it comes to voting – and pick one of the other candidates. For gawd’s sake, save Glenn from himself!

  5. Ken Stepp says:

    I wish him luck. I like to see him come back. Life sometimes becomes very tough. He’s human. I really don’t know what issues matter to him, but would like to see him succeed again. Everyone loves an underdog I guess.

  6. AMB says:

    I’m sorry. When did this become about his mental issues? Didn’t he try to sell his vote for a piece of extramarital lobbyist?

Comments are closed.