Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bloody Tuesday in Georgia and The 'Ox' Got Gored

With very little attention, Georgia held it's primary elections yesterday and while most of the attention was centered on the various races in which the Republicans were competing because of the vast number of candidates, the real news did come out of the race to determine who would be the Republicans choice for governor.

As expected the Democrats simply voted for their incumbents, seems they are resistant to change and only reserve that sentiment for their bumperstickers.

In the governors race on the Republican side there were four candidates who were in serious contention. John Oxendine, the current Insurance Commisioner. Nathan Deal, the recently resigned US Representative, Eric Johnson, former long time state representative and Karen Handel, the former Secretary of State. Throughout the entire race poll after poll showed the 'Ox' leading with the others only being pretenders to the crown. Well yesterday the people spoke, and the 'Ox' got gored. Karen Handel garnered the most votes with Nathan Deal coming in second forcing a runoff on August 10.

Karen Handel (R) 230,446 (34%)
Nathan Deal (R) 155,063 (23%)
Eric Johnson (R) 136,005 (20%)
John W. Oxendine (R) 114,216 (17%)
Jeff Chapman (R) 20,503 (3%)
Ray McBerry (R) 17,064 (3%)
Otis Putnam (R) 2,522 (0%)

The contest is now on to see which candidate can woo the vote of the other candidates over to their camp for the runoff. Adding to the drama is the fact that Sarah Palin endorsed Karen and Newt Gingrich endorsed Nathan Deal.

The early campaign themes are being established with Karen promoting a theme of not being a life long politician and Nathan trumpeting how he is the only true conservative in the race. We will see which message resonates more with the drive by voters, but personally I want more concrete policy plans. You can only go so far on slogans.

On the Democrat side they selected former governor Roy Barnes. The whole thing that cracks me up about the Barnes campaign is that he now has commercials running about how much he loves teachers and basically is willing to bow down to their demands. I say funny because they are the ones who saw to it that he didn't get reelected eight years ago. When he was governor he tried to crack down on the teachers and their union by demanding accountability and pushing other things such as merit pay and school choice which put him at odds with the teachers union and in the subsequent election they showed him who was boss by electing the first Republican governor of Georgia since Reconstruction.

Well I guess Mr Barnes learned his lesson, but I find it so hypocritical. He is proving himself to be nothing more then a politician who will do anybody or anything to get into office. I am hoping come general election time the residents of Georgia will remember this amazing turn around in regards to the Education Politburo that exists in this state. The other thing Mr Barnes has going for him right now is that while the Republicans will still have to duke it out for another 3 weeks he can hone his message, which no doubt will change now that he is gearing up for the general election as opposed to primary battle with other Dems, and we will get to enjoy how much more his message gets nuanced. In Demspeak that means turning 180° on issues and not being called a hypocrite.

Probably the biggest piece of bad news for the Dems is the total vote counts. There were 676,342 votes cast for the Republican candidates compared to only 274,900 votes for the Dems in the contest.

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