Cecil Staton’s Departure

February 4, 2014 7:41 am

by Erick · 6 comments

Cecil Staton’s election to the State Senate was the first race I ran on my own. He really got me into political consulting. I’d helped with his congressional race in 2002, expanding my role over the year of that race. We made it to the runoff, but lost. Two years later, Cecil asked me to take the reins on my own for his State Senate race.

This morning, as Buzz noted, he is announcing his retirement from the State Senate.

Cecil, and his wife Catherine, are good friends. Over the last decade, Staton led a number of efforts in the state legislature, including the 2005 voter identification law. Here in Middle Georgia, he was fairly instrumental in helping the Mercer Medical School continue to get money from the state to fund rural doctors.

Cecil was not a natural politician. The aw-shucks baby kissing that comes so easily to others wasn’t really his thing. He is a policy guy. He is a small businessman. He understands those issues and excelled at working on the policy and legislation around those. I consider Cecil Staton a friend and I want to publicly thank him (for better or worse) for giving a kid a break and getting me into politics in a way I had not previously been involved. I’m not the only one out there who benefited from his generous spirit.

The race he leaves behind already has two challengers — Spencer Price, a doctor from Thomaston, and John Kennedy, a lawyer from Macon. Both were in the race before Staton’s departure. Kennedy is actually a good friend of mine. With Cecil not in the race, I’ll definitely be supporting John Kennedy. He has already raised over $50,000.00 and has been working really hard behind the scenes reaching out across the district.

Suddenly the 18th district becomes a serious race. And I hear it won’t be the only Senate district in play due to a retirement.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) February 4, 2014 at 7:41 am

New post: Cecil Staton’s Departure http://t.co/nhqSc5KV4L #gapol

Charlie Harper (@IcarusPundit) February 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

Cecil Staton’s Departure — Peach Pundit http://t.co/pcTLOCYGjv #gapol #gagop #gadems #tcot #p2 #macon

Dave Bearse February 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

Georgia’s voter photo ID law, initially unconstitutional as both a poll tax and because dozens of Georgia counties did not have a location where an ID could be obtained, doesn’t say much for the only legislation cited for a”policy guy”.

Meanwhile 1500 fraudulent absentee Brook County ballots are racked up after the legislation increased the chances of voter fraud.

Bloodhound February 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm

GeorgiaGunOwners.org sent people door to door in Sen. Stanton’s district telling voters that the Senator, along with Sen. Chance, killed the ‘college carry” bill. They pretty much claim to be the cause of his retirement on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/gagunowners

Salmo February 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Alas, Beth Merkelson, we hardly knew ye.

northside101 February 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Some basic political data on the district:

2010 US Senate: Isakson 65%, Thurmond 32%

2010 Governor: Deal 59%, Barnes 37%

2010 Lt Governor: Cagle 58%, Porter 39%

2010 Sec of State: Kemp 64%, Sinkfield 33%

2012 President: Romney 62%, Obama 37%

There were about 102,000 active registered voters in the district in the Nov 2012 presidential election, of whom 27% were black, 67% white, 1% each Asian or Hispanic and 4% “others”. The district includes portions of Bibb and Houston Counties, and all of Crawford, Monroe, Peach and Upson Counties. The Bibb portion of the district had about 34,000 registered voters in that election, followed by abt 16,000 each in Monroe and Peach, abt 15,000 each in the Houston part of the district and in Upson, and 7,000 in Crawford.

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