Just a few extra thoughts on yesterday's somewhat comprehensive analysis of Election 06. We got a few emails, and thought we'd just lump 'em all together.
Concerning Keith Heard's seat, we hear from an anonymous source that Piedmont College professor Holly Ward is considering a run if Heard steps down. Ward is very involved in the community (ACC Multicultural Task Force, Interfaith Hospitality Network, etc), but this would be her first run. She's also, given her background, probably pretty strong on education.
Insurance guy David Hamilton, who is running for States McCarter's seat, writes in to tell us (politely) that he's nobody's man but his own. Hamilton took some umbrage at our characterization of him as States' hand-picked successor. Fair point, but sometimes, all we know is what we read in the paper. In this case what we read in the paper was,
"McCarter still plans to resign his commission post at the end of 2006, and lined up a candidate, insurance man David Hamilton, a resident of the same subdivision, Cedar Creek, that McCarter lives in, to run in his place.
'I don't know him all that well, but I've been impressed with him,' McCarter said." [ABH, McCarter walks away from race, 9/13/05]
Again, a fair point from Hamilton, but the article does make it sound as though he was expressly recruited by States. Of course, never underestimate the ability of the Banana-Herald to distort or misquote. And of course, we'll reiterate that having States on your side in that race is a good thing, considering the political power that Cedar Creek can wield.
Lots of speculation about why Kemp is throwing his State Senate career down the tubes to run for Ag Commissioner. Here's our two cents. Kemp is making a pretty bold gamble here, and if his gamble pays off, you're going to be seeing a lot more of Kemp in the next few years. Y'see, Georgia's top industry is agriculture. Big farmers in Georgia have money, and representing their interests in Atlanta could lead to major donations for a future run at Lieutenant Governor (2010), Governor (2010 or 2014), Congress (whenever Norwood retires), or U.S. Senate (if Chambliss retires). In addition, if Kemp is looking at a future statewide run, then a statewide run on a down-ballot race like this is good practice. Finally, we'd point out that the Ag Commissioner's role in regulating the fuel industry could lead to some good campaign fodder for a statewide race. To sum up, Ag Commissioner is a better jumping-off point for a larger statewide run than State Senator from Athens is. Of course, Kemp's gamble is contingent on him winning, and with a pretty decent sized primary, plus a general election against the man who has been Ag Commissioner since farming was invented, that isn't exactly a sure bet.
Keep the tips rollin' in, kids. Email us here.