My Take on the 2010 GA Races
Here’s a rundown of how I think the GA Races will go:
Governor: Incumbent GOP Governor Sonny Perdue is term-limited, thus setting up a free-for-all on both sides. On the GOP Side, In the GOP Primary, Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine, Secretary of State Karen Handel, former State Senator Eric Johnson, Congressman Nathan Deal, State Senator Jeff Chapman, Ray McBerry, and State Representative Austin Scott are in the running. On the Democratic side, former Governor Roy Barnes, Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Ray City Mayor Carl Camon, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, and former State Adujant General David Poythress. Third Party candidates in the race are Libertarian John Monds and Write-In candidate Sam Hay III. I expect Oxendine to win by a bigger margin than most people expect. 35-16 in the Primary, and 55-45 in the Runoff. The Democratic Primary is less certain. While I expect Barnes to come out ahead 45-39 over Baker in the July 20 Primaries, I get the sneaking suspicion Baker will win the Runoff, and it won’t be that close. 54-46 is my prediction at the moment. Currently, I have Ox as the next Governor over whoever the Democrats nominate. GOP HOLD.
Lieutenant Governor: Incumbent GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is so far running for re-election and he probably won’t have much difficulty winning. Democrats have been trying to recruit Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond, Ray City Mayor and current Gubernatorial candidate Carl Camon, State Senator Tim Golden, State Representative Debbie Buckner, and former State Senators Floyd Griffin Jr and Michael Meyer Von Bremen. Thurmond is the only one who can give Cagle a race, and he’s shown little to no interest in running. Cagle will defeat anyone the Dems nominate, especially Von Bremen(if you want proof, look at his disatrous campaign for Court of Appeals in 2008). GOP HOLD.
Secretary of State: Incumbent GOP Secretary of State Karen Handel is running for Governor. On the GOP side, former State Senator Brian Kemp and Sandy Springs City Councilor Doug MacGinnitie are in the running. On the Democratic side, Attorney Gary Horlacher and Public Relations Executive Michael Mills are in the running. In the GOP Primary, I expect Kemp to narrowly win over MacGinnitie 52-48. In the Democratic Primary, it is unclear to me who will get the nod. One thing is clear, the GOP is headed for a big victory here. GOP HOLD.
Attorney General: Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker is running for Governor. On the GOP side, Cobb County Commission Chair Sam Olens and former US Attorney and USAF Veteran Max Wood are in the running. On the Democratic side, State Representative Rob Teilhet and former Dougherty Circuit District Attorney Ken Hodges are in the running. In the GOP Primary, I expect Sam Olens to win by about a 65-35 margin. The Democratic Primary is a Tossup. Whoever wins will be in a tight contest with Olens. TOSSUP.
State School Superintendent: Incumbent GOP School Superintendent Kathy Cox is running for re-election. In the GOP Primary, Incumbent Kathy Cox, School Administrator Richard Woods, and former State Representative Roger Hines are in the running. In the Democratic Primary, University Administrator Beth Farokhi and Teacher Brian Westlake are in the running. In the GOP Primary, I expect Woods and Hines to go to a Runoff and Hines wins 53-47. The Democratic Primary is unclear at the moment. Hines will crush whoever the Democrats nominate. GOP HOLD.
State Agriculture Comissioner: Incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin is retiring. In the GOP Primary, GA Agribsuiness Council President Gary Black and former USDA Official Darwin Carter are in the running. Nobody has announced for the Democratic nod as of yet. However, the Democrats have plenty to choose from in State Representatives Alan Powell and Mike Cheokas, Ecosystem Scientist Rand Knight, Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Oscar Garrison, and Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Terry Coleman. Coleman and Garrison are the strongest options, and Coleman seems likely to run. While I support Carter, I have a feeling Black is the strongest option for the GOP. In the GOP Primary, Black wins big, 57-43. With Democratic candidates like these, it will be close to the end. TOSSUP.
State Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent GOP Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine is running for Governor. On the GOP side, State Representative Tom Knox, Peachtree City Mayor Harold Logsdon, Insurance Broker Stephen Northington, Health Benefits Consultant Gerry Purcell, Attorney Maria Sheffield, and State Senators Seth Harp and Ralph Hudgens. The Democrats have unified behind former State Senator Mary Squires. The GOP Primary is very uncertain at this point. Whoever the GOP nominates will defeat Squires handily. GOP HOLD.
State Labor Commissioner: Incumbent Democratic Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind State Representative Melvin Everson and the Democrats are unifying behind Thurmond. At this point, Thurmond should be given a slight edge. DEM HOLD.
US Senate: Incumbent GOP Senator Johnny Isakson is running for re-election. The GOP is unifying behind Isakson, the Democrats are unifying behind former Rockdale County Commission Chief of Staff RJ Hadley, and the Libertarians are unifying behind Chuck Donovan. At this point, IsaKson easily wins 59-37-4. GOP HOLD.
US Congress: GOP holds Districts 1, 6, 7, 10, and 11. Dems hold Districts 4 and 5.
GA-02: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop is running for re-election. The GOP has unified behind State Representative Mike Keown and the Democrats have unified behind Bishop. Bishop has a slight edge, but that will probably change as the year progresses. DEM HOLD.
GA-03: Incumbent GOP Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is running for re-election. The only announced challenger is Independent Alan Weaver. If the “Throw the Bums out” mentality holds through to November, Westmoreland could be in serious trouble. But for now, GOP HOLD.
GA-08: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Jim Marshall is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Central Fellowship Christian Academy Dean Ken DeLoach, Businesswoman Angela Hicks, Technical Writer Valerie Myers, and former Bibb County GOP Chairman Paul Rish are in the running. As I see it, DeLoach and Rish are the frontrunners. In this political climate, anything could happen, but Marshall is so far favored. DEM HOLD
GA-09: Incumbent GOP Congressman than Deal is running for Governor, setting off a free-for-all in the GOP Primaries. Announced candidates on the GOP side are Danny Benton, Whitfield County Commissioner Mike Cowan, Businessmen Tom Dooley and Jeremy Jones, former State Transportation Board Member Mike Evans, State Representatives Tom Graves and Bobby Reese, State Senator Lee Hawkins, Retired Neurosurgeon Bert Loftman(my horse in the race), former State Senator Bill Stephens, and Chickamauga City Councilor Steve Tarvin. The Democrats have unified behind Hall County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Freeman and the Independents have unified behind Marketing Executive Eugene Moon. The GOP frontrunners are Evans, Hawkins, and Graves. Anybody the GOP nominates will win, easily. GOP HOLD.
GA-12: Incumbent Democratic Congressman John Barrow is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Thunderbolt Fire Chief Carl Smith and Businesswoman Jeanne Seaver are in the running. On the Democratic side, Barrow and former State Senator Regina Thomas are in the running. Smith will handily win his primary, while the Democratic side is in question. If Barrow wins, the GOP has an outside chance. If Thomas wins, this is a lost cause. DEM HOLD.
GA-13: Incumbent Democratic Congressman David Scott is running for re-election. The only announced challenger is Independent Michael Frisbee. If the “Throw the Bums out” mentality holds through to November, Scott could be in serious trouble. But for now, DEM HOLD.