This morning’s New York Times brings us a front page enterprise story by Cheryl Gay Stolberg on the changing face of politics in Georgia. Titled “In Georgia, Politics Moves Beyond Just Black and White,” the article is an examination of the Peach State’s history, its transition from being a Democratic state to a Republican one over the last 40 years, and how the influx of Hispanics and Asians is poised to potentially move the pendulum back to the Democratic camp.
“Georgia is a conservative state — it was a conservative state when the Democrats were in control,” said Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican who has been in public office nearly 40 years. “That Georgia is all of a sudden changing to be a different state, I think, is a myth. Georgia is continuing to be what it has been, which is a growth state with a diverse economy and a diverse population.”
Democrats, though, see a different future. “Georgia is next in line as a battleground state,” said Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee for governor (and a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter). “People may disagree about whether it’s red or blue. But everybody agrees that it’s changing.”
“Demographically, Georgia is changing,” said State Representative B.J. Pak, a Korean-born lawyer, Gwinnett County Republican and the sole Asian-American in the legislature. “Politically, it’s changing. But not as fast as people think.”
The story takes an in-depth look at how the political scene has or has not change in Lawrenceville and Duluth in Gwinnett County, Douglasville in Douglas County, and Waycross in Ware County. While tangentially touching on the Senate and Governor’s races, its focus on Georgia’s rapidly changing demographics and more measured change in political control makes it well worth a read.