Luck and timing has a lot to do with politics. And, unfortunately, sometimes that luck and timing are bad. Phil Gingrey is my Congressman and I remain glad that I got to vote for him this past cycle after moving to his district. His record is bonafide Republican. As a medical doctor, he’s been a great Republican voice in leading a discussion about the problems with health care reform.
But in one question and answer session to a group in Smyrna, he managed to outrage folks on both the right and left. The left, buy an inelegant defense of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment. And more importantly for this discussion, on the right for suggesting that he could be open to limiting the amount of bullets a gun can hold.
Fair or not, at a time when Gingrey would be trying to introduce himself to much of the state that is outside his district, these comments will be what many voters first learn about Gingrey. If he can figure out how to move forward around that, he remains quite the viable candidate on paper.
His district was redrawn with future Congressman Chip Rogers or Sean Jerguson in mind. With Rogers now likely out of elective politics and Jurguson unable to move up to the State Senate, apparently the district is now wide open for political columnist Charlie Harper, unless he decides to run for Ga-12, where the Cobb County resident has deep roots in Dublin. (don’t laugh, others have tried it).
Other candidates based more in reality would be former Congressman Bob Barr, who is also considering a run at Chambliss’ seat. Barr took a look at the new 14th Congressional seat held by Tom Graves last cycle but decided to pass. An open 11th including some areas that he formerly represented could provide an easier path for Barr to return to Washington.
On the Southern end of the district, newly elected Senator Hunter Hill or former Senate Candidate Josh Belinfante could/should be considered potential candidates.