Georgia Senate 2014: Who Runs, Who Doesn’t

With Senator Saxby Chambliss deciding this morning that two terms will be enough, Georgia’s political landscape will now focus on the rare opportunity to have an open shot at the world’s most exclusive club.  It’s enough to stoke the inner wants of all who have unbridled ambition, and the consulting class will pick up the pace of whispering in the ears of those who have ambition about how they can be made king, if they just sign on for a small retainer (plus cut of direct mail, media buys, fundraising….)

Let’s take a quick look at who is likely to run, and who isn’t, by group:

Those whose trial balloons were already floated:

Tom Price: Metro Atlanta fundraising base, overtures to TEA Party over the last year have been well received, but won’t be the choice of Governor Deal who will have a statewide campaign going on at the same time.  Verdict: Wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement today.

Paul Broun: Has been waiting for God to tell him if he needs to run.  May be the only person alive that would confuse Joel McElhannon’s voice with God’s.  Verdict: Science is based on lies from the pit of hell.  Therefore, you pick your own process that determines if he says “run” or “I like my eggs slightly runny in the middle”.

Karen Handel: Could have made things interesting in a primary challenge format.  Now, likely to cede the way to the number of currently elected officials that will throw their hat in.  I would expect that Tom Price’s seat would look attractive should he make a move toward the Senate.

The Other Georgia Congressmen:

Jack Kingston: In Republican Leadership and has powerful appropriations post.  Without changing his views or votes, has moved from being one of Georgia’s most conservative Congressmen to one the TEA Party voters are now suspicious of (see that previously referenced appropriations post).  Gut says he could be competitive but is comfortable in his current role.

Lynn Westmoreland: Would call him the front runner if he wants it.  Popular in much of the state, balances the line between “establishment” and “Tea Party” very well.  Very close to Governor Deal, and could have synergy between campaigns.  Also seems to enjoy position in House and role with NRCC.  Not sure Senate is really what he wants.  His call, we’ll wait.

Rob Woodall:  Hasn’t made much move to a statewide since being elected last year.  I don’t expect him to make this move.

Austin Scott:  Austin really enjoyed his statewide campaign for Governor before moving to his Congressional campaign.  He’s president of the Tea Party class of 2010.  Seems to have taken to Washington well.  I don’t rule him out, but would probably only be considered if others decide to pass.  If he runs, keep an eye on him.

Doug Collins: He’s barely unpacked his office, so smart money would say “no”.  But he’s the Governor (and Lt. Governor’s) Congressman, and could again possibly have access to the Hall County political machine.  Stranger things have happened, and he would probably sell in a statewide primary.

Phil Gingrey: Was many people’s speculative front runner during the whispers leading up to the end of the year on this race.  Recent comments didn’t help him – and in a Republican primary it was the one on limiting the size of gun magazines that hurt more.  I’m thinking he doesn’t go for it, but if he does, he’s got a following.

Tom Graves: Graves does media very well and is a TEA Party darling.  If Broun decides not to run, Graves will likely get a lot of pressure from that base.  Still, Graves is fairly safe where he is.  This move for him would have to be a very calculated risk.

Statewide Electeds:

Casey Cagle: Just got most of his control back over the State Senate.  Is believed to have his eyes on the Governor’s mansion in 5 years.  I’d say doubtful.

Brian Kemp: He’s still amazed that he’s only Secretary of State, has built a full time campaign organization among his inner staff.  Probably doesn’t have the patience to wait to use it for 2018.  He’ll seriously think about it.  Any good celebrity should.

Sam Olens: Also believed to be looking at moving up in 2018.  Have a bit more patience and strategic vision than most also looking.  I expect he’ll keep doing what he’s doing – and doing it well.

Honorable Mentions and Wild Cards:

Bob Barr: His people are wasting no time in getting his name out there.  Expect him to at least very publicly consider this race, if not go ahead and announce.

Erick Erickson: Erick also floated his name earlier before saying no.  He had a better path as a primary challenger, and I don’t expect him to revisit this.

Chris Riley: The Governor’s Chief of Staff, a few occasionally throw his name out there as someone that wants to move up.  As an integral part of Deal’s machine, I wouldn’t expect him to make a jump to the highest level of statewide office on his first run when there’s still work to be done with the Governor.

Former Governor Sonny Perdue: Also a name mentioned, I think he’s busy with Perdue Partners.

And the Democrats:

Most Democrats I talk to hold out hope that some combination of Senator Jason Carter and Mayor Kasim Reed will eventually return them to statewide competitiveness.  When it looked like this could be a Broun-Chambliss primary, many were pressuring for an A-list candidate for this race.  Now that there will be an open primary and likely a competitive field, I would say it’s less likely that either risk a race for what can likely be theirs a couple cycles down the road.

Instead, other names floated this morning by a few folks include Max Cleland  and Shirley Franklin.


OK, as this is clearly a running story, I’ll reserve the right to add a few more, and I’ll just put them all down here for any of you who may be checking back:

Newt Gingrich: I actually did think about adding him, but decided that it wouldn’t be a serious add.  He frankly needs to make some money and I’m not even he would think the Senate would be a good fit for him.  Still, the AJC’s Daniel Malloy is reporting that he will make a statement about the race after speaking with his wife. He’s apparently on a plane back to DC at the moment, says twitter. So…? – additional update, Malloy now reports spokesperson says Newt is out.

John Barrow: One Democrat is telling me he expects others in the party to make a strong push for him to reconsider what he’s already flatly said won’t happen.  I argue that the Dems have the same purity problem as Republicans, and many within the party (and leadership) wont’ back someone who won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi or accept the entire Democratic Agenda as-is.  Other downside is if he runs, GA-12 is a virtual certainty to turn Republican.

David Adelman: With titles of Ambassador and State Senator on his resume, he would have credibility for Democrats trying to find someone who could sell statewide without sacrificing someone on the bench that they want when the state is more competitive.  It’s an intriguing add from one of our commenters below.


      • Nathan says:

        That’s true. I believe that the next Senator would need to carry the conservative pockets of the metro area and bust it out in North Georgia. Of course, I’m biased for north Georgia. 😉

        Bob Barr could be an interesting candidate and someone I could get behind from a personal perspective. I like Tom Graves as my congressman and hope he stays there. His potential of rising up in House leadership is pretty high at this point in time, and I wouldn’t want to go through yet another crowded Congressional race.

        I’m picking Ron Daniels as my 1st dark horse and Ed Hula as my 2nd dark horse.

      • Three Jack says:

        I hope Gingrey runs so it will open his seat to a rational person who doesn’t color his hair (if a woman jumps in, color away).

          • Daddy Got A Gun says:

            I will walk on broken glass to vote for anyone that opposes Ten Round Mag Gringey.

            Tom Price was my Rep and he is really awesome one-on-one and in front of crowds. If he puts in the effort, I’d bet South Georgia would support him.

      • Noway says:

        Agreed. That video would be played over and over. He’ll be lucky to win re-election against a more well-rounded candidate.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        It’ll could be amusing to see candidates trying to get to the right of that in primaries though.

  1. Three Jack says:

    Left off UGA President Michael Adams who is retiring soon. He has political aspirations, this might be a little early, but you never know when powerful folks need to re-stoke their power drive.

      • There’s still a number of socially conservative women in this state. I talked to a number of them this past election cycle, even though social issues aren’t really related to the PSC.

          • Bob Loblaw says:

            There’s a huge # of conservative women that voted democrat this last election. 39% told the WSJ Abortion was their #1 issue. Too much rape talk.

            • GTKay says:

              I would hope that conservative women – all women, in fact – would have the intelligence to look past media-hyped comments blown way out of proportion and see the bigger picture when voting for a candidate for any office, especially one as crucial as senator.

  2. John Konop says:

    I think this was a very good list and great info………., but I would not count out Casey Cagle. I am amazed on what he has pulled off in the last few years. Would anyone had predicted what he accomplished a few years ago?

    • Nathan says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Cagle floats his name out there to see what sort of reception he gets. He may still want the governor’s mansion, but he may try to leap to DC first.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      Wonder if Cagle has any dark secrets that could come out since has been if office for so long probably not as the AJC would have reported it already.

  3. cheapseats says:

    Please refrain from making any public statements that would discourage Broun from running. I want him to believe he can win. I’ll be practicing trying to make my voice sound like G-d so I can tell him.

    We need somebody in the Senate who understands the Soviet Constitution!

    • Scott65 says:

      Find a piece of audio recording software that adds reverb…and a nice subtle echo. Might want a soft peach colored spot to go with that

  4. Bull Moose says:

    Amazing news. I honestly wasn’t surprised as I had heard from very reliable sources back in 2008 that Saxby wasn’t going to run for a 3rd term. I don’t really think it has anything, one way or the other, with his position with any particular voting group in the state.

    This is an interesting set up on so many levels for Georgians.

    The old guard thinking of the multi-year incumbents in Washington, DC is, hey, let’s get together and only one of us will run. I tend to think that’s now how real leaders think or emerge, so, if someone emerges to run who’s been in Washington DC for 10 years or more, I think they probably will have an edge, but are not what our state or country needs right now.

    You have to pick the best person for the times and the times call for something different.

    I’m so glad that I no longer work in politics and really don’t have much, if any involvement in partisan politics other than an opinion. Primaries can be brutal and can bring out the best… and worse in people.

    I’d like to see someone run to represent our state who embodies qualities of leadership similar to Johnny Isakson. Someone who knows how to get things done without compromising their core beliefs, who knows the difference in getting half way to where you want to be and never getting anywhere.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

    Either way, I will watch how this develops with interest.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Not comprimising their core beliefs like the Johnny “all nominees deserve an up or down vote” Isakson that has been holding up votes on judicial nominees for years?

  5. northside101 says:

    It is difficult (though not impossible) for a south Georgian to win a statewide GOP primary (see Eric Johnson–2010 governor). In 2004, when Isakson won the US Senate primary, about 60% of the Republican statewide primary vote came from north of Interstate 20 (that probably would be higher next year given relative lack of growth below the fall Line). Kingston would be giving up 20 years+ of seniority—can’t see that happening. And Democrats might be tempted to make a serious bid for his seat, which was weakened (from a GOP perspective) in redistricting by giving CD 1 all of Democratic-leaning Chatham County (Savannah). Obama managed a respectable 43 percent in Kingston’s district last year and got 44% in his current CD back in 2008. Price’s district is probably the wealthiest of the 14 congressional districts in the state, which is obvious help with fundraising. And it is a high turnout district in primaries—second among the 14 districts in total votes cast in last year’s GOP presidential primary.

    If Price does indeed run for Senate, then easy to see Karen Handel getting in. Handel, while of course losing statewide to Deal in the 2010 GOP runoff for governor, won Price’s current 6th CD (East Cobb, North Fulton and North DeKAlb) by about 2-1 margin over Deal. And while Fulton is the largest county in the 6th CD, don’t rule out a Cobb canddate, as the gap in voting strength between Cobb and Fulton in the 6th CD is not as great as you might think. In last year’s March GOP primary, the Cobb part of CD 6 cast 34,967 total votes, not far behind Fulton’s total of 36,871 votes (DeKalb’s portion of the CD 6 primary vote ws far behidn at 18,480 votes). Price’s district, though made less Republican in redistricting with the addition of more of DeKalb, still is strongly Republican—Romney 61%, Obama 37%.

    • tdk790 says:

      Think you’re right about statewide voting. Who from Cobb though for 6th CD? Just looked up Cobb from 2010 primary and run-off. Handel won 55% in run-off and took 41% in a 7-person primary. Not too shabby.

  6. dr.darius says:

    Good in depth rundown northside. What are your thoughts we will see a Price, Broun, Kemp matchup. I’m thinking those 3 are the real front runners. They all have pretty strong support from their areas and as you mention, have some pretty wealthy areas inside their respective districts. Maybe could see Barrow too.

    • IndyInjun says:

      A GOP fight might entice John Barrow to take on the ultimate battered survivor.

      After Kemp did his TSPLOST preamble treachery (before than I was supportive in any race he might have entered), I would rather vote for Barrow than Kemp.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Broun is not a frontrunner. He will be an also ran. Won’t eclipse 10%. Praying that he runs so Hank Johnson can return to the #1 most embarrassing elected official representing us in DC.

      • David C says:

        Even if Broun breaks out a bit, that runoff rule should deal with him. Akin got out of Missouri in a three-way. Any runoff with Broun sets up Sane Republican vs Insane Republican, and there are generally more sane than insane in this state, if not always its legislature.

      • dr.darius says:

        @bob I more so mean frontrunner in the sense that he will be one of the first to announce and go on the offensive. Trust me, I don’t think anyone in the whole United States would put money on him to win. Except himself.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          Agreed. I just can’t call a guy that’s first out of the box to announce or to attack a fellow Republican as a frontrunner. The guy is certifiable.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    @Bridget, Doug Collins has done a really great job so far and has made quite a few new fans among tea party activists.

    I think many of the candidates mulling a challenge against Sen. Chambliss will re-consider now that Sen. Chambliss will not seek re-election and the field will be quite crowded with challengers.

    What I am looking for in a candidate:

    1. Someone that advocates and votes for tea party and conservative values of fiscal responsibility and Constitutionally limited government. Someone that is just a social conservative won’t cut it . Limited government leads to a more effective and efficient government.

    2. Someone that has a proven track record of standing up to leadership when it is needed to advance tea party and conservative principles. Someone that had already expressed interest in the race before Sen. Chambliss announced he was not running would have be one up in my book. They have courage.

    3. Someone that will have no major October surprise that could happen or somone that would not make the mistakes that the candidates in Missouri or Indidana made.

    4. Someone that can raise large sums of money or has large sums of money in their war chest now to be competitive in both primary and general election.

      • Three Jack says:

        Actually Collins has been one of the few to consistently go against house leadership. There was a story about this in Sunday’s AJC if I recall correctly. But it is way too soon for him to jump in a senate race no matter how much he has suppressed his socon beliefs.

        • Napoleon says:

          He was taken to the woodshed when he stood up to Richardson at the hight of his power and Doug was still a fairly new rep. Georgia could use a few more Doug Collins.

      • debbie0040 says:

        @Bridget, Collins is not going to run for Senate. I was not talking about him when i listed what I was looking for in a candidate. I was talking about his Congressional seat. He did stand up to leadership on several votes. In particular, he voted against the debt ceiling deal.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “Someone that will have no major October surprise that could happen or somone that would not make the mistakes that the candidates in Missouri or Indidana made.”

      …What Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock did in the General Election were not surprises as their candidacies were the result of primary manipulation by the Democrats in their respective states.

      In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill manipulated GOP Primary voters into supporting Todd Akin by broadcasting commercials and talking openly of how Akin was the most scarily conservative candidate in the race so that the conservative base of the party would gravitate straight to him in a crowded primary field.

      In Indiana, state Democrats manipulated GOP Primary voters into voting for Mourdock by making a big deal out of Senator Richard Lugar’s residency (or lack thereof) in Indiana as Lugar had not kept a residence in Indiana since moving to Washington, D.C. after first being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976.

      In both Missouri and Indiana the cunning manipulation of the GOP Primary U.S. Senate races by the Democrats in those respective states was like taking candy from a baby.

      The crafty manipulation by Democrats of Senate races in Missouri and Indiana should serve as cautionary tales for Georgia Republicans who are entering into an era where rapidly-changing demographics of their state could threaten to make their current era of complete and total dominance a thing of the past in future years.

      • David C says:

        McCaskill may have been sneaky in Missouri (although going, ‘Please, please, nominate anyone but him!’ is the basest kind of reverse psychology guys), but Mourdock over Lugar was all about the Club For Growth getting behind him and plugging in millions of Super PAC $$ behind him. Throw in the embarrassing residency issue that played into Mourdock’s argument that ’36 year Senator Lugar’s been in Washington too long’ and had some ethics issues behind it, and Lugar lost. But the Dems, outside of making sure in Donnelly they had a reasonable alternative, didn’t do much manipulating there. And if Mourdock doesn’t go crazy/stupid in the last few weeks, he wins that election anyway.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Well, since 200% fewer GOP Primary voters align themselves with the term “tea party,” that means he starts out running from behind.

        • IndyInjun says:

          TP is forgotten. It got hijacked early on. I went to a TP rally and the speakers were establishment GOP all the way. The attendees were too. Santelli’s rant was spot on, but got silenced pretty quickly. TP reps the corrupt corporate parasites and the Occupy folks the social welfare parasites. I got excited by both, but excitement quickly dissipated.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          Did you get that figure from the same “poll” that you claim has Deal at 37%?

          A Rasmussen poll says that the proportion of Americans identifying as Tea Partiers is down from 24 percent in 2010 to only eight percent now. The oft-quoted conservative blogger Erick Erickson at concludes that the Tea Party “is in disarray.”

        • seekingtounderstand says:

          Debbie as someone who viewed the tea party as people holding government accountable, the establishment GOP with a little help from the left did sucessfully destroy that image of the tea party.
          Drop the name the tea party and move to a new position of discouraging corrupt elected officals. The demand is still there and much needed. I admire your courage.
          Never give up!

    • Scott65 says:

      How about high ethical standards. Someone that does whats right as opposed to the party, or even when necessary, the TP line? An ideal candidate is one who uses the facts presented and makes wise decisions

    • GTKay says:

      Interesting that Debbie listed “tea party” AND “conservative” values, and even more interesting that she listed “tea party” first.

      • John Vestal says:

        Only “interesting” to those who don’t quite “get it”.

        Keep in mind the two aren’t exactly the same. The true TEA PARTY movement is primarily all about FISCAL conservatism/accountability and constitutionally-limited government. “Conservative” encompasses a much broader agenda that includes social issues, and many “conservatives” take that part of their agenda to an extreme that actually works against true constitutional freedoms and liberties.

        This is why many of the social conservatives subsequently starting hijacking and bastardizing the “Tea Party” moniker in attempts to lend legitimacy to their extra-TEA philosophies that otherwise repelled many in the TEA movement.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Interestingly, in your list of what you’re looking for in a candidate, the word “Republican” does not appear anywhere.

    • Baker says:

      He just started the radio gig so maybe he doesn’t want to leave so early as he would have to to campaign. Before he ran for president I really liked him, and I liked 9-9-9, make fun of it if you must but I don’t see any other of those jokers really pushing reform.

      Plus, a Senate run attracts a lot of cameras and Herman seems to be fond of those, until what’s her face came around, Bunny Pizzalady I believe her name was.

  8. debbie0040 says:

    Newt is out as well. I spoke to an aide and he said no.
    They are issuing a press release stating that.

  9. Bull Moose says:

    I think that Northside 101 has offered the best analysis so far.

    If Price jumps in, I feel confident that Karen would strongly consider running for his House seat and should easily be able to clear the field and become a Member of the US House of Representatives.

    I do wonder though if Democrats could recruit a strong candidate to run?

    I think what would be really great, and it likely will never happen, is for someone to run as an independent!

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      She ain’t “easily” clearing the field. You haven’t spent much time in Atlanta lately if you think so. Her fundraising would be a heck of a challenge. Might have to dip into those book sales’ proceeds.

      • tdk790 says:

        If by Atlanta you mean the capitol, yes, that’s probably not where her money will come from. However, I think you’re overstating the challenge a bit…

    • UpHere says:

      I am in 6 and I can tell you she would have a hard time “clearing the field.” Personally, I would like to see Jan Jones run if we are talking women.

  10. Brian J. says:

    What about state legislators? Loudermilk, Setzler? Clearly lack statewide name ID, but stranger things have happened in packed primaries…

    • Noway says:

      I was thinking Loudermilk a week ago. With his self-serving advocacy of a white legislator’s apology for slavery and of course, the “pureness of his heart”, he’s a shoo in, don’t you think?

  11. northside101 says:

    Dr. Darius, I can’t see both Paul Broun and Brian Kemp running for the Senate seat—they would just cut into the base of the other. But is the Secretary of State more interested in rising up the statewide ladder within Georgia (translated: Governor Nov 2018) than going up to DC? Right now I’d say he is solid bet for re-election to SOS next year.

    Incidentally (courtesy of SOS), turnout by congressional district in the March 2012 GOP presidential primary (from highest to lowest, with the district’s current congressman):

    CD 9 (Doug Collins)—94,658
    CD 6 (Tom Price)——90,318
    CD 11 (Phil Gingrey)—90,115
    CD 3 (Lynn Westmoreland)—85,751
    CD 10 (Paul Broun)—79,983
    CD 7 (Rob Woodall)—73,065
    CD 14 (Tom Graves)—68,501
    CD 8 (Austin Scott)—61,014
    CD 12 (John Barrow)—57,989
    CD 1 (Jack Kingston)—55,199
    CD 2 (Sanford Bishop)–40,933
    CD 13 (David Scott)—40,547
    CD 4 (Hank Johnson)—40,307
    CD 5 (John Lewis)–23,090

    Notice the top 7 districts in turnout are all or mostly above the Fall Line.

    As for the Democrats, their challenge in a statewide election is rural and smaller city Georgia (North Georgia mountains, southeast Georgia areas such as Waycross, Jesup, Dublin, etc). It is not widely known, but Obama carried metro Atlanta (whcih is now 28 counties) in both 2008 and 2012, though last November, just barely (50% to 49%). In the other 43% of Georgia (in terms of votes), it was Romney 59%, Obama 40%. Similarly in 2010, Deal just narrowly led Barnes in metro Atlanta, but trounced him elsewhere And in 2002, Barnes and Perdue basically ran even in metro Atlanta (back then it was 20 counties), but Perdue won by double-digit percentage in rest of the state. That means for a Democrat to win statewide in Georgia, he or she needs a large margin in metro Atlanta to offset the more conservative rest of the state.

  12. Noway says:

    And just so yall don’t fret, Herman announced this am that he will not run. I was really worried about that! We can now all sit back and watch the FM stations cut into WSB’s 9-12 numbers until he’s let go.

  13. Noway says:

    Other than Coach Adams who was mentioned earlier, does anyone see anybody from outside of elected office who might have a prayer?

  14. Noway says:

    Sorry for serial posting right now but what about CLELAND???????? You know, he just might have a chance in today’s climate!!

  15. Noway says:

    You know, the Dems would love to get even for the perceived questioning of Max’s patriotism by Saxby in 02. With the leftward tilt of the nation with Obama’s re-election, why would Georgia be an exception? Obama would be down here on weekly basis bolstering him. He’s run umpteen statewide races, from Sestate to Senate. Cabinet member of the VA. This dude has the resume. I know we’ve focused on the Repubs so far on here but with a manic mental burst of the last 15 minutes, I cannot think of who on the Dem side brings as much to the table. Somebody help me out here. Who else?

  16. GAgadfly says:

    I think the analysis here thus far has missed the boat a bit and ignored the elephant in the room, no pun intended. Charlie nailed it when he said Westmoreland is the favorite if he wants it. The dominos falling today virtually guarantee the Governor clear sailing for re-election, and he/his machine will flex muscle in this race. If indeed Price is in, axes from 2010 will be ground in 2014, and as Charlie said, Westmoreland and Deal are close. There were once whispers that if an appointment needed to be made to finish out Saxby’s term, Westmoreland would likely have been the guy. Regardless of who else may get in, I see Price and Westmoreland slugging this one out in August 2014.

    • debbie0040 says:

      If Gov. Deal comes on strong for Lynn and attacks Tom, that will hurt Lynn in tea party circles. Gov. Deal isn’t exactly a tea party favorite with his support of T-SPLOST, Tricia Pridemore for GA GOP Chair, what he did with the budget of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler last year, what is happening with the budget of John Barge this year, the re-shuffling of the Medicaid bed tax, the apparent support of public funding for the new Falcons stadium, etc.

      I think Gov. Deal will be worried about his own race to get too involved with another race. I don’t expect he will have serious opposition but I think he will have some opposition from what I have been told.

      • debbie0040 says:

        The latest poll I saw gave Gov. Deal a 37% approval rating. That is extremely low for a sitting governor. I think Gov. Deal will be smart enough to stay out of the fray and stay focused on his race and governing.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          What poll were you looking at? Jan 20, 2013 Fox5/IA:

          Approve: 55%

          Disapprove: 29%

          Undecided/No opinion: 16%

          The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.6%

      • UpHere says:

        Maybe in your tea party circles but he is popular in mine.

        Most tea party folks I mingle with approve of his governance thus far. Just because you have disagreements with him and most of the General Assembly for that matter, don’t be so broad in stating “tea party circles” because I think you might be just speaking of yourself .

        • IndyInjun says:

          I agree with Debbie on the Governor’s lack of popularity except amongst members of the legislature, who are not exactly lionized either, but disagree that he will stay out of this race.

        • debbie0040 says:

          UpHere, don’t even pretend you are with the tea party because you are not. You are a Deal person and have been from the beginning. You don’t like Tom Price, you don’t like Karen Handel, you oppose caps on lobbyist gifts, etc. etc. All one has to do is to research the things you have posted in the past. You are not fooling anyone. Tea Party activists got upset with his strong support of t-splost. They are upset over what happened with the bed tax, they are upset over his support of the internet tax. You really want me to go on? You want me to post what other activists have said about Gov. Deal in our google group?

          If you think that Gov. Deal is popular with tea party activists then think again. In fact, I have been rather muted in my criticisms compared to many activists. I have actually praised Gov. Deal when he makes right decisions and we are giving him an award for his stance on refusing to set up the healthcare exchanges. I can assure you that there are other tea party activists that don’t feel the same. I talk to activists across the state on a daily basis.

          • Charlie says:

            I answered this in another thread, so I won’t repeat myself. Instead, I’ll just suggest that Bama might be about to outkick it’s coverage.

            • debbie0040 says:

              Here is my answer :@Charlie, I am not pre-empting anyone. I like and respect Lynn a great deal and think he would make a great Senator. He has made a great congressman. I have spoken to him numerous times the past weeks.

              I was simply replying to what GAgadfly said about Lynn about Gov. Deal and his potential involvement. I was simply pointing out there was a down side to Gov. Deal getting involved.

              For that matter, I think most of the other potential candidates mentioned would make great Senators . It comes down to which ones are the best campaigners and which ones have the least amount of baggage. Mitt Romney would have made a great President had he been elected, but he was a horrible campaigner and had RomenyCare as baggage.

              • Romegaguy says:

                speaking of downsides to people getting involved with candidates… How did the whole Rules thing work out for you Debbie?

        • debbie0040 says:

          Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that just because Gov. Deal’s office has an open dialog with one or two activists that is refective of the way activists feel. We will praise him when he is right but will not hesitate to criticize him when he tries to implement bad policy like trying to expand his authority by taking control of the the money of the offices of two duly elected representatives the people elected – Department of Labor and more recently the Department of Education.

      • GAgadfly says:

        I don’t disagree about Deal’s standing with some of the grassroots, but I also didn’t say that Deal would publicly do or say anything. There are numerous ways in which a sitting Governor can help someone he likes and/or damage someone he might hold a grudge against. With no real challenge himself, it is ridiculous to believe he will sit idly by.

  17. Scott65 says:

    I think a lot of these guys are still to far to the right…I’ll make the prediction now. If there is a Democratic candidate that can energize their base…they have more than a shot if a Price, Broun, or similar are the Republican choice. Obama didn’t lose by a huge number and they spent next to no money here, and Republicans in VA, OH, and PA are doing themselves and the R brand no favors trying to change the rules. I dont know what the republican registration advantage is (or if there is one)…but dont forget…pride cometh before a fall…writing off the other side is never a good strategy

  18. Bill Simon had a very interesting argument that Gov. Deal is the best option for Senate–don’t think that’s going to happen, but very thoughtful. Also, Sonny Perdue–haven’t heard much from him but it could be him. Newt Gingrich would be an interesting choice as he’s got lots of seniority–he’s go in at a very high level, if I understand the rules.

    I think there will be a couple of congressmen and a couple of unexpected candidates and while money is of paramount importance–at least 2.5 million to be considered serious–

    But it’s still early and too soon to tell.

    On a personal note: after Sen. Chambliss’ bout with cancer, my sister was diagnosed with cancer and ultimately succumbed to the disease. My heart is still broken in that place and I miss her terribly. Throughout that time, Sen Chambliss would call and see how things were going. He was kind. He didn’t have to do that. If nothing else, this life, even this political life, is about relationships. When it’s all said and done, these are people who have offered themselves for service. We may not agree with them, we may wish they would exit the stage or we may want them to continue on–but it’s about relationships.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Yes, Martha. I am adamantly against Isakson, too, after supporting his first Senate race. Johnny is a very, very nice man. I can say that about most of the politico’s.

      However, I DO keep track of voting records and have done everything in my power to hold them accountable and that includes trying my best to vote them out, even if it means suffering a term with a darned Dem in there. I have not spared folks who I supported personally, loudly, and financially.

      Rewarding perfidy with reelection doesn’t work.

      I even have supported those who returned, or wished to, after being sent packing with my help.

    • Noway says:

      Martha, I may be wrong but Newt’s seniority in the House, even as Speaker, wouldn’t translate over into the Senate.

        • Noway says:

          I’m not following, Chuck. Are you saying his congressional time would help for senior/plum committee assignments or leadership positions in the senate? The VP is the only senate officer that breaks 50/50 ties.

          • David C says:

            Chuck’s right, but it doesn’t amount for much. Seniority is by and large determined by who’s been there the longest. Then, if you all come in the same day (as is often the case due to elections) then there are tiebreakers. They are:

            1. Former US Senator
            2. Former US Representative
            3. Former President
            4. Former Vice President
            5. Former Cabinet Member
            6. Former Governor
            7. Population of State based on most recent census
            8. Alphabetical by last name (If 2 senators from the same state come into the senate on the same day with the same credentials)

            Within the category, it then falls on length of term. So a 3 term former Senator who reclaims their seat would be senior to a single term Senator who reclaimed their seat. Ditto for Representatives: Someone who advances to the Senate after 20 years in the House would be senior to someone who advances after 6. So Newt’s twenty years in the House (but not his Speakership) would likely make him close to the front of the new Freshman class of Senators. But it would still make him pretty far to the rear of the actual Senate–the current Senior Freshman elected last year is 89th–and, taking office at 71 and 5 months, he wouldn’t have much of a chance at sticking around long enough to become a senior, powerful Senator for Georgia (the way, that Sam Nunn, elected at 34 and Richard Russell, elected at 35, were able to).

    • debbie0040 says:

      Sen Chambliss is to be commended for his years of service and for putting the best interests of Georgians over his political ambitions by stepping aside now. Many Senators would not have done that. (IE: Arlen Specter)

      • Bob Loblaw says:


        Saxby has been putting his political ambitions aside to work on saving this country from its strangling debt. The best interests of Georgians has been Saxby’s life’s work. Talking about him like you are, as if he needs to leave the Senate in Georgia’s best interests, is insulting. Basically you are saying thanks for leaving, Saxby. You did a good job by not running again.

        You are so not a Republican.

          • Bob Loblaw says:

            Saxby personifies statesmanship, working across the aisle, representing his state’s #1 industry with phenomenal success and was chosen to be the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, which shows the level of trust his colleagues place in him and his ability to keep national security secrets to himself.

            He is a Republican. These folks that think TEA before Republican are actually the RINOs.

  19. Nonchalant says:

    Re: The return of Max Cleland–

    The guy who lost because he was fighting to allow the TSA to unionize is not going to win. The TSA took care of that.

  20. political arsonist says:

    I really would like to see Karen Handel run. And if she does, I hope she has more women advising her. I did not like “bring it on” , it was was masculine so it did not suit her.

    • IndyInjun says:

      If Karen Handel gets an early start, she will be hard for the boyz to handle. Frankly, the longer the Reps have been in DC, the worse their chances. I think people are really sick of GOP Congressmen and the longer their tenure, the greater the public distrust is getting. Kingston has a terrible record because it spans so many GOP failures. Gingrey came in post-9/11 and missed some of the more damning votes, but fell for Medicare D and the rest of the Bush Agenda. The rest are better, but are hardly untainted.

  21. Salmo says:

    Possible Democratic candidate: David Adelman. He’s been the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore since 2010, but was previously the Minority Whip in the state Senate. He’s sharp as a tack, fwiw. He was an early supporter of Obama and is also tight with the Clintons, so you have to figure his ability to fundraise is as good as anyone within the party given their complete disarray in Georgia.

    Whereas Kasim and Jason Carter would be risking early career momentum on a long shot and Barrow would be likely be ceding his seat to a Republican, there is very little risk for Adelman. If he loses, the President will just give him another ambassadorship for the remaining two years of his term. If Broun emerges from the primary, he’ll have a legitimate chance at winning and would reflect well for the party as a whole regardless of the outcome.

    Or John Lewis could run so Kasim has a path up without having to run statewide yet. Given his age, that’s probably doubtful.

  22. Tiberius says:

    I am sure this has been stated above but with Congress as wildly unpopular as it is, this is a wonderful time to run against a member of the House for a Senate seat. And we all know how easy it is to demagogue a voting record—especially in a Republican primary.

    • IndyInjun says:

      No, it is easier to FLOG them with their own records. As posted elsewhere, the longer in DC, the longer the trail of perfidy.

    • Salmo says:

      People hate “Congress” as a whole. They don’t hate their own Congressman or even those from their own state and party near as much. It is always “if everyone else up there was as good as my guy, they’d be getting a lot more accomplished.” That’s why those folks keep getting re-elected.

      Besides, we just had a House member elected Governor (while running a very flawed campaign) against two constitutional officers, a former state Senate leader, and a former Governor despite Congress being wildly unpopular in 2010. Don’t see why 2014 will be much different.

      • IndyInjun says:

        I cannot disagree short of some sort of financial collapse that focuses public attention better. You have no better proof than Broun’s handy defeat of Simpson. What I am saying is that being in Congress longer than an opponent from Congress is a detriment.

      • Tiberius says:

        People hate Congressman other than their own, this is true but 1 CD does not a state make. Price, Westmoreland, et al. will do well in their CD but may get lambasted in the other 13 if their opponent runs the right kind of campaign.

  23. jim2011 says:

    I’m hearing rumors that Steve Oppenheimer is thinking about running on the D side. He ran a competitive statewide race against Chuck Eaton and has already proven to be a top fundraiser.

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