Three choices for governor

Published 7:57 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

Well it’s on to Aug. 10 to determine who will face Democrat Roy Barnes in the November election for Georgia’s next governor.

Barnes surprised everyone in the Democratic camp by getting enough votes last Tuesday to lockup the nomination without causing a Democratic runoff among six other candidates.

On the Republican side, it’s a runoff between former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former north Georgia Congressman Nathan Deal.

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Most Georgia political pundits predict it will be a nasty, nasty, nasty runoff, with both Republican candidates accusing one another with various forms of misfeasance and miscalculations.

As the voting went on Tuesday, it’s going to be a rural versus urban contest in the runoff. Deal ran big in the northern and rural counties, his home-base as congressman, while Handel won big in 16 of the state’s 20 population centers like Atlanta, Augusta, Valdosta, Macon, Columbus and Savannah.

So will we get any campaign stops from any of these folks way down here in southwest Georgia?

Probably not, since they will be looking for their votes in and around the population centers above mentioned. If your cable service or your TV antenna picks up the Albany TV station, you might expect to get those nasty, nasty, nasty TV ads from which you will not be able to gather any information as to who these people are and what they represent, and what their agenda is for Georgia.

Also, it’s difficult when none of the big state papers no longer circulate in our area, so if you want to gather information on these folks, you’ll need to search their Web sites. They are easy to find, simply type in their names in the search block, and see what you get.

Besides the Web sites, the listings also will give you news reports from newspapers around the state, plus views from political columnists. (Pause here while all Republicans rise up to accuse the media of liberal bias). Please avoid talk-show gas bags.

It should be enough to make an informed decision, unless come November, you vote a straight party line and don’t give a hoot about the best person for the job.

To give you an idea as to how the next few weeks will spin, here’s a comment from Dan McLagan from the Handel campaign on their opponent: “Congressman Deal ran an extraordinarily negative television campaign in the primary. We expect that will be the same modus operandi in the runoff. We are going to need to have sufficient funds to combat whatever phony attacks he comes up with and to get out Karen’s positive message.”

Deal’s communications director Brian Robinson says his candidate’s opponent, Handel, “speaks in platitudes—empty platitudes about 21st Century government without ever telling Georgians what she’s talking about. She’s the only one who’s been declared a fraud because Lord knows her policy doesn’t distinguish her, because she has no policy argument.”

Nasty, nasty, nasty.

Meanwhile, Democrat Roy Barnes began his campaign Wednesday with a snipe at the Republicans saying “this is the beginning to take our state back from the lobbyists and the special interests.” His campaign would be big on education, an end to furloughs and ethical lapses off the office of those under the gold dome.

Well here we are, folks, way down here in southwest Georgia, not politically behind any of the front-running candidates according to votes cast Tuesday in primary elections—actually, not even close to any of them.

Roy Barnes says he is going to campaign more for teachers and not against them, and he plans to visit more rural areas. Maybe he’ll come see us.

My guess is, if you want to know in advance who will be the next Georgia governor, follow the money.

Meanwhile, congratulations to locals Ted Snell and Earl Perry on their wins Tuesday in our local elections. Voter turnout could have been better.