The Political Domino Effect In Georgia’s 166th House District

So, since the senior US Senator, Saxby Chambliss, decided to retire from the US Senate, it has caused quite a domino effect throughout state politics. Congressman Jack Kingston jumps into the senate race, State Senator Buddy Carter jumped into the race to replace Congressman Kingston’s soon-to-be-vacated seat, State Representative Ben Watson is jumping into the fray to replace Senator Carter.

Now, we have about three folks looking to replace Representative Watson in House District 166 down in south Georgia:

Martin Sullivan who is set to announce on Thursday at 11a at Lake Mayer. From Facebook:

“I hope you will join me at Lake Mayer this Thursday at 11:00 am as I kick off my campaign for the Georgia State House District 166! It would be an honor to have all my friends and family join me at this big event! Hope to see you this Thursday at 11!”

Sullivan is the former political director for Gary Black’s campaign and a senior advisor to the Commissioner of Agriculture for Policy and Outreach at the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Carl Smith is the Southeast Regional Manager of CET Fire Pumps and the former fire chief for the Thunderbolt Fire Department. He was also the Republican Party chairman for Chatham County as well as a GOP contender for the GA-12 congressional seat in 2010. He was runner-up to Ray McKinney in a runoff after a four-person primary.

Jesse Petrea is currently backed by Representative Ron Stephens and has hired Dave Simons as his consultant. From the Savannah Morning News:

Petrea, who has never run for elective office, is the co-owner of Altrus Assisted Living Inc. and Coastal Home Care Inc. Those Savannah-based businesses, he said, employ more than 1,000 people and provide community-based services to more than 2,300 elderly, developmentally disabled and mentally ill.

“We do home care and assisted living, so we kind of have the entire spectrum for providing services for people who need care, want to remain in the community and avoid institutional placement,” Petrea said. “We provide care to people to make sure they can live where they want to live.”

So, “crowdsourcing” the punditry…will having the backing of Rep. Stephens help the political newbie Mr. Petrea? Will Mr. Smith have an advantage of having ran a congressional race and almost winning? Will Mr. Sullivan get the backing of the fairly popular Gary Black as well as appeal to the strong agriculture down there?

Special thanks to Lawton Sack for giving us the details about the 166th House District race.


  1. Just Nasty and Mean says:

    Thanks to District Chair Lawton Sack for his fair and balanced information for this race.

    • drjay says:

      this district is pretty gop, it’s the coastal islands east and south of sav’h. this is, essentially, the seat kingston had in the state house back in the 80’s, then eric johnson and then burke day…ben watson took 80% in 2010…

    • Ellynn says:

      I vote in this district. My precinct results for the 166 had less then 10 votes for the democrate. I can’t even tell you who ran against Watson at this point. All the county and school board seats in the 166 were picked in the GOP primary. GOP candate for DA Meg Heap lives in this distict and she carried the islands 75 to 1. Not a single Demoracte holds a non- Commissioner level elected office in Chatham County. Most races did not run a democate on the ballet. Very little of the city of Savannah is in the 166. It mainly east side Chatham and east side Bryan Counties.

  2. northside101 says:

    Dr. Jay is right on as pertains to this being a very Republican district. Under current lines, HD 166 gave Isakson 75% in his 2010 Senate re-election and Deal 68% in his election as governor. Romney polled 70% in the district last November. There are many “country club” voters in the district—Romney carried the district also in last year’s presidential primary (Chatham being the only county outside of metro Atlanta to back Romney over Gingrich in that contest).

  3. Romegaguy says:

    I swear reading Sullivan’s press release you would think he invented the internet with Al Gore

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