David Perdue leads Georgia’s Senate race, while Nathan Deal leads the Governor’s race in a new Insider Advantage poll for Atlanta’s Fox 5 and the Morris News Service.

Here’s where potential voters in the Senate race stand:

David Perdue: 19%
Jack Kingston: 15%
Karen Handel: 13%
Paul Broun: 11%
Phil Gingrey: 9%

32% are undecided just one month before the primary election. The poll has a margin of error of 3.4%, which means Kingston and Handel are statistically tied, and the margin between Kingston and Perdue may be smaller than it appears.

Meanwhile, Nathan Deal appears to be running away in the race for the Gubernatorial nomination, with 61% in his corner. David Pennington has 7%, while John Barge has 4%. 28% remain undecided.

Insider Advantage’s Matt Towery focused on the large number of undecided voters in the Senate race:

“The most notable number in the poll is the solid 32% who are still undecided. From years of experience, I can usually get a feel for likely voter turnout based on the percentage of undecided voters in a poll prior to early voting. While any good news-quality poll will have a bigger undecided percentage than a partisan poll or consultants’ polling, this number is higher than usual. Voters are not focusing on this race, or any others, and that is in part due to the non-competitive gubernatorial primary,” Towery said.

“If voter turnout continues to appear ‘uninspired,’ the race could be a matter of just a few points separating the first- and second-place Senate candidates who make the runoff from those who miss ‘the big dance’ by just a few points.


Governor Nathan Deal and College Republican National Committee Chair Alex Smith are among the featured speakers at the Georgia Association of College Republicans 2014 convention, to be held on April 25th and 26th in downtown Atlanta. Other speakers include Georgia GOP First Vice Chair Michael McNeely and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

The two day convention features a banquet on Friday evening at the Capitol Park Hotel on Capitol Avenue and a business session on Saturday afternoon at the Capitol. Convention delegates will elect leadership for the 2014-15 academic year, and celebrate the success of the current one.

The convention is open to the public, and is a great opportunity to connect with the college students and recent graduates who will be shaping the Republican Party in the not too distant future. You can get more information and register for the convention here.

Sponsorships are also available. For more information on sponsorships, contact Chairman Will Kremer.

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Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter is looking for a song for the spring campaign season.

Here’s the message that went out on Thursday via Twitter:

Peach Pundit’s Mike Hassinger says he will buy a drink for the best response from our readers.

We also did some searching for other memorable Georgia-related campaign commercials.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find any audio or video from one of our all-time favorites: Paul Coverdell’s 1992 campaign commercial featuring an elderly lady who sang, a capella, a ditty about how Georgia wanted then-incumbent Wyche Fowler out of the U.S. Senate “because he’s just like Teddy Kennedy.”

But we did find one from his grandfather’s 1976 presidential campaign:


As Mike Hassinger covered in the Peach Pundit Daily (sign up here), Governor Nathan Deal won’t be attending the Atlanta Press Club’s primary debate.  That’s not terribly unusual for an incumbent who has poll numbers that tell him he’s not in danger of losing in a primary, so no reason to go play to rhetoric of Republicans that want him to move to the right when he needs to be focused on keeping the middle away from Jason Carter in November.

What is unusual, as noted by staunch right wing Nathan Deal apologist Thomas Wheatley of Creative Loafing, is that the Atlanta Press Club sent out a press release noting the Governor had declined their invitation.  None of us  can ever remember the Press Club announcing someone was snubbing them. Ever.

So, me being me, I sent an email asking why they were singling out Governor Deal.  I received the following response: [click to continue…]


Judge Gene Lowery Passes Away

April 17, 2014 9:49 am

by Nathan

Catoosa County Probate Court Judge Gene Lowery passed away yesterday evening after battling melanoma. He was a fine gentleman who loved God and loved his community who served as Catoosa County’s probate court judge for a number of years.

He will be sorely missed here on Earth.

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Senate candidate Jack Kingston is out with a new ad, this one highlighting his proposal to require able-bodied adults to work in order to receive welfare or food stamps. You may remember the outrage generated when Kingston was captured on video suggesting a requirement that children do some sort of work before receiving a free or reduced lunch.

According to the Kingston campaign, the ad will appear on broadcast and cable stations in every media market in Georgia.


I dare you to frown listening to this song.
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State Senator Buddy Carter has released his own ad that lays out the platform for his congressional candidacy:

Titled “Prescription For America,” the ad lays out Carter’s campaign platform and touts his experience as a businessman and pharmacist.

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As you are all aware, Senator Cecil Staton is not running again. However, he is still involved in politics, seeking out the opponent of Rep. Jason Spencer and endorsing her sight unseen.

Staton stated his opposition to Spencer in a letter to the media.

“The current incumbent is an extremist who has alienated himself from other legislators becoming beholden to the fringe-radical groups of our state,” Staton wrote. “It is important to send a mature person who will be taken seriously and who will work for the betterment of our state, not extreme individuals who are an embarrassment.”

Zach Louis, an aide for Staton, said the senator’s support for Stasinis is unsolicited.

“We reached out to her,” he said. “We said we want to support her campaign.”

Spencer said Staton has a branding problem.

“He is not a true conservative,” Spencer said. “I find his assessment of my politics… appalling.”

The feud between Staton and Spencer reached the boiling point during this year’s legislative session as Spencer was pushing for his bill, HB707 which prevented most of state government from implementing Obamacare. The bill got caught in the legislative meat grinder and a frustrated Spencer lashed out at what he termed “Republican Benedict Arnolds.” The bill eventually passed after being attached to HB943 and even had Staton’s yes vote on the bill. One wonders if that makes Staton beholden to those same “fringe-radical groups of our state?”

Before putting too much stock in an endorsement from the retiring Senator, one should read this article where Staton boasted of stopping last year’s Second Amendment bill and his intention to do the same this year unless he got what he wanted. One should also note that Staton only made the boast after the House passed a piece of legislation he termed his legacy. I advocated for him, asking House Leadership to pass his resolution at the expense of my version of the proposal, even as the Senate Rules Committee was prepared to move mine forward.

One should also consider this is not the first time Staton has been critical of his Republican colleagues. Should Rep. Spencer also expect a letter of opposition from Beth Merkelson?

Staton is certainly free to support or oppose whomever he pleases and to criticize members of the House with whom he disagrees with philosophically, but we are also free to put his criticism in it’s proper context.

Full Disclosure: I am supporting Rep. Spencer for reelection and have contributed to his campaign.


Georgia’s 10th Congressional District runs from Gwinnett County on the west all the way to the South Carolina border on the east. Its current representative, Paul Broun, is doing his best to get elected to the Senate, leaving an open seat that’s being contested by no fewer than seven candidates. With first quarter fundraising numbers in hand, let’s take a look at the candidates and see where they stand.

Mike Collins: Son of former congressman Mac Collins, Mike Collins has not hesitated to bring his dad with him on the trail. He also raised awareness of his campaign by putting together a campaign video parodying Jean Claude Van Damme’s Volvo commercial. In the first quarter, he came in third in contributions, with just over $61,000 contributed, and a whopping $214,097 cash on hand. Of course, he also made the largest loan to his campaign, at $150,000. Depending on how much of that loan he’s willing to turn into a contribution, he can certainly get the word out on his campaign. He definitely has a good chance of being in the runoff that is likely to occur in July.

Donna Sheldon: As the former chair of the Georgia House Majority Caucus, Donna Sheldon has a lot of name ID, and likely the support of many of those serving under the Gold Dome. She has raised more in contributions than any other of the candidates in the race at $434,318. Her first quarter haul of $82,282 gives her $128,398 cash on hand, second only to Collins. Once you take out the $30,000 loan she gave her campaign, she has more money than the others. She has a reasonable opportunity to make it to the runoff.

Stephen Simpson: Colonel Simpson brought in $33,595 in the first quarter, and has $67,184 cash on hand. However he loaned his campaign $52,700, and his report shows the campaign having over $80,000 in debt. Simpson ran and lost to Broun in 2012, and it’s unclear if voters will be willing to hand him a victory in 2014.

Jody Hice: Hice brought in the most cash in the first quarter, with $88,660 raised. He also spent the most during the quarter at just over $124,000, leaving him with $47,023 cash on hand. He is the only major candidate who has not had to make a personal loan to fund his campaign. Hice got into a runoff with Rob Woodall in 2010, before the district lines were redrawn. I fully expect him to make one of the runoff slots this year.

Gary Gerrard: The Athens lawyer netted $26,744 in the first quarter and had $21,734 cash on hand at the end of March. With a personal loan to his campaign of $40,000, his campaign is technically upside down. Gerrard has promised not to take a congressional salary until the country has a balanced budget.

Mitchell Swan: Swan is a Marine Corps Colonel and a late entrant to the race, announcing his candidacy this year. As a result, the $11,531 he’s raised in the first quarter is also all he has raised for the race. Having spent most of that, he’s left with $1,258 cash on hand.

Brian Slowinski: I couldn’t find any campaign disclosures for this TEA party candidate on the FEC website. Slowinski is known for his videos and his children dressed in fluorescent green campaign shirts at campaign events.

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Yesterday, David Pennington’s campaign issued a presser saying that he had a major announcement. We now know what that announcement was, and apparently there is a lot of intrigue. From the Political Insider over at the AJC:

One reporter asked the tea party candidate what, exactly, his major announcement was. Pennington said he would leave a formal invitation to Deal to attend the upcoming debates and urged the governor to pack it in if he didn’t.

It appeared to me mostly political theater and not much substance. No earth-shattering announcements or anything like that. Just a challenge to the governor to debate. Governor Nathan Deal will more than likely not participate in a debate, and that’s his choice.

Check out the rest of the story at the Political Insider blog to see how it unfolded.


You can read the full presser below the fold, but as the AJC article explained, it didn’t go so well for Pennington and the press conference was essentially hijacked by Randy Evans, the governor’s attorney.
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Smart Girl Politics weighs in on a Georgia race: sgp

Smart Girl Politics Action is proud to endorse Karen Handel in the Georgia U.S. Senate Race.

Karen was the first Republican Secretary of State in Georgia and fought the Obama administration to ensure photo-ID remained in place so that only US citizens could vote.

Karen has been successful in both the public and private sectors, including time as the Vice President of Public Policy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, where her pro-life beliefs made her a target of the far left.

Karen recently received the endorsement of Sarah Palin and the American Future Fund. Karen has a strong conservative record and is a proven leader, which is why we fully support her candidacy.

Georgia’s primary is May 20. If you live in the Peach State, please be sure to get out and vote. Every vote counts!


The Jason Carter gubernatorial campaign has sent a message to supporters claiming it doesn’t have enough money to buy TV ads.

Campaign manager Matt McGrath is asking for $5 donations “to help get Jason’s message out.”

Here’s the message: 

“We’re in trouble.

“Gov. Deal just spent more than a million bucks to plaster his new commercial on every TV across the state.

“I’ve been looking over our budget, and we simply can’t afford to go on the air to tell Jason’s story yet. So we need your help.

“Chip in $5 to help us get Jason’s message out.

“Deal has spent years stockpiling millions of dollars for his campaign. There are a lot of deep-pocketed special interests who want to beat Jason in this race. We need to count on you to stand against them.

“Deal’s ad is full of distortions about his weak record as governor. But until we can afford to match his ad buy, it’s the only message that most Georgians will hear about this race.


Matt McGrath
Campaign Manager
Carter for Governor”


In his state of the state address, Governor Deal promised significantly more money for education. Working with the Legislature, k-12 education received an additional $25 million or so in the amended fiscal year 2014 budget, over and above $135 million for enrollment growth. Additionally, there was as an additional $314 million the fiscal year 2015 budget over the previous year’s funding. The desire was expressed by the Governor and Legislative leaders that some of this money be used for teacher raises. However based on what Legislators heard from Superintendents and local Boards of Education, raises for teachers were not mandated.

Two of the state’s largest school systems will indeed raise the salaries and wages of teachers and other employees. Cobb will end furlough days, hire new teachers and give all employees a raise.

Public school employees in Gwinnett also received some good news:

For the first time since the 2008-09 school year, employees will receive a cost-of-living raise of two percent, and teachers will receive the first step increase, a calculation based on experience, since 2009-10. Ninety eight percent of teachers will receive a step increase and a cost-of-living raise, and the average salary increase will be 3.8 percent.

Bus drivers will receive a $1.25 per hour increase, while school nutrition workers will receive a 51 cents per hour raise as the district aims to close the cap with other school districts around metro Atlanta.


The Georgia Legislature needs to start selling drone-shooting permits. Not only for the fun of it, which would be considerable, but so that we too can have campaign ads like this one.