Around Town: Stoner-Hill race might be closer than expected
by Bill Kinney and Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
October 30, 2012 12:00 AM | 5246 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM has had it that thanks to a Republican-heavy district in the wake of reapportionment, Republican Hunter Hill of Sandy Springs is a shoe-in to oust incumbent 6th District state Sen. Doug Stoner of Smyrna in Tuesday’s General Election. But that hard-fought race could be much closer than expected, thanks to the makeup of the district and to what’s possibly at stake — “reproductive rights” for all Georgians, not just those who live in that district.

Yes, the 6th (which stretches from Smyrna into Sandy Springs and Buckhead) is overwhelming Republican. GOP candidates running statewide netted an average 57 percent of votes in the district in 2010, topped by the 63 percent captured by incumbent U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

But the newly configured 6th is also socially moderate, based on an analysis of past voting patterns of its current precincts. The new 6th gave Rick Santorum, the darling of Christian conservatives, just 10 percent of its votes in last spring’s GOP presidential primary. Looking further into the past, it backed Isakson in his 1996 U.S. Senate race against a strong pro-life candidate (Guy Milner) and President G.H.W. Bush for president over Pat Buchanan in the 1992 presidential primary.


AROUND TOWN was one of the first to report that if the GOP wins the 6th it will give the Republicans a two-thirds “supermajority” in the Senate. If House Republicans manage to gain a similar majority (they are four votes shy at present) in their chamber, the party could then put constitutional amendments on the ballot without interference from Democrats. And according to many Democrats, it’s probable that first up would be a “personhood” amendment that some argue would lead to a virtual ban on legal abortion in Georgia.

So with that in mind, will upscale 6th District Republicans — especially women — who are more moderate on social issues be inclined to “split their ticket” next Tuesday? That is, will they vote for Mitt Romney for president, but vote for Stoner for state Senate? And would there be enough such voters, in combination with voters in the Democratic-heavy Cobb portion of the district, to make a difference?

Party leaders love to push straight-party tickets, but Georgia voters tend to have minds of their own. To cite just a few examples, they supported Republican Bob Dole for president in 1996 but elected Democrat Max Cleland to the U.S. Senate; elected Democrat Roy Barnes as governor in 1998 but Republican Paul Coverdell to the U.S. Senate; voted for George W. Bush for president in 2000 but elected Democrat Zell Miller to the U.S. Senate (that was before “Zig-Zag-Zell” had switched parties in everything but name); and elected Republican Sonny Perdue governor in 2002 but Democrat Mark Taylor for lieutenant governor.

We’ll find out Tuesday if the ticket-splitters prevail.


YOU CAN BE SURE that the Charter School Amendment on next Tuesday’s state ballot will get a lot of attention — probably both pro and con — when the Cobb Regional Republican Women host state Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge as their speaker at 7 p.m. this evening. Barge, a Republican, opposes the amendment, which is strongly favored by many Republicans.

The event will take place at the Cobb GOP Headquarters, 700 Roswell St., in Marietta. Cost to attend is $5, and you do not have to be a member to attend, according to President Neva Lent.

For more, call (443) 324-5522. …

And a reminder that Gov. Nathan Deal will be the speaker at Saturday’s 8 a.m. monthly Cobb GOP Breakfast at the same location. Cost is $10 for breakfast and $2 for just coffee. Contact Cobb party Chair Joe Dendy at (770) 820-6545 for more info or go to


MORE POLITICS: Cobb Democrats will be holding their Election Night party Tuesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at 2055 South Park Place just off Windy Hill Road in Smyrna. … Cobb Republicans have yet to finalize their party plans for Tuesday night, according to Dendy. ... Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren will hold his Election Night party at America Legion Post 29 at 921 Gresham Ave., Marietta. ...

The Cobb Immigrant Alliance and the Cobb United for Change Coalition will hold a joint press conference at 10:30 a.m. this morning in Marietta Square to call for the defeat at the polls next Tuesday of Sheriff Warren. Warren raised the ire of such groups by becoming the first sheriff in Georgia to implement the federal 287(g) program back in 2007. More than 10,000 illegal aliens arrested in Cobb on other charges and taken to the jail have since been turned over to the Immigrations and Custom Enforcement personnel since that time under the program.


THE COBB SCHOOL BOARD will hold a called meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday to review the SPLOST IV Notebook, then convene in executive session to discuss the evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa.

The meeting will take place at the Central Office board room at 514 Glover St., Marietta.


SPEAKING OF HINOJOSA, during a recent meeting with the district’s calendar committee, he got in a few shots on behalf of his wife, Karen, who just moved to Georgia after retiring from a school system in Texas.

“She wanted me to tell you that when she married me I was handsome but dealing with this calendar thing is eating me alive and I’ve lost my touch. When she dropped me off she said, ‘Remember to tell them that,’” he said.


THE MARIETTA/COBB MUSEUM OF ART will host its quarterly “Martinis & Music” night from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday evening. Music will be by The Gentlemen of Swing (Chris Corso, Bob Lewis and Phil Smith), with paintings by Thomas Arvid and with the MDJ’s Joe Kirby as guest author signing copies of his latest book, “The Lockheed Plant.” Admission is $8. Call Sally MacAulay at (770) 528-1444.


COBB LIFE magazine’s eighth anniversary will be celebrated Sunday as the magazine publishes its November issue featuring Jimmy De Martini, fiddler for the Zac Brown Band. De Martini, a Marietta resident, has been an integral part of the band for many years. The Zac Brown Band has been one of the nation’s most successful studio and live acts the past few years, earning them eight No. 1 singles on the country charts, top-selling albums and numerous awards, including a Grammy. The magazine also features alternatives to roasting a turkey, its annual gift guide and articles that include style, home and more.

In addition to being inserted into the Marietta Daily Journal, Cobb Life is mailed to subscribers and available at dozens of bulk drops throughout the county with a total circulation of more than 30,000. You can get updates on the magazine by following them on Facebook, twitter and their homepage,


YOU’VE HEARD about the Indy 500, but what about the Undy 5000? The Undy 5000 5k Run/Walk to fight colon cancer is slated to start at 9 a.m. Saturday in Marietta Square. Participants are encouraged to run in their underwear as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the area affected by colon cancer.


POOR AUBURN: Southern Polytechnic University President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher was speaker at the Oct. 17 Marietta Kiwanis Club meeting and bragged on how well her school’s sports teams are doing. She lamented, though, that the SoPoly lacks a football team. When new Kiwanis President Bobby Tharpe regained the podium at the conclusion of her talk moments later, he quipped, “That’s OK, Lisa. Apparently this year, Auburn doesn’t have a football team, either.” …

Auburn lost again Oct. 20 to lowly Vanderbilt, and things didn’t get much better for Auburn at last week’s Kiwanis meeting. Piling on was Kennesaw State University athletic director Vaughn Williams, who was the guest speaker. He was asked by member Liz Owens why KSU chose the horned owl as its mascot.

“Over the last year, people have told me we gotta get rid of the owl. But I’m here to tell you, we are the Horned Owls!” Williams explained. “They are high on the food chain. They are predators. They are vicious! They will beat a bald eagle, I’ll tell you that much! So I’d rather have a Horned Owl as mascot than a War Eagle. Sorry, Auburn fans!”

Auburn’s miseries continued when the clawless Eagles fell 63-21 on Saturday to Texas A&M.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 31, 2012
To the "award-winning" MDJ editors: That's "shoo-in" - unless you have a foot fetish.
West Cobb voter
October 30, 2012
I just received a flyer in the mail that states that SHERIFF Neil Warren and former Cobb School Board Chairman - SENATOR Lindsey Tippins have both endorsed Brad Wheeler for his school board race in West Cobb
October 30, 2012
Tippins speaks out of both sides of his mouth. During the Republican Women's Forum back in the Spring as Tippins watched ALL of the Republican candidates running for School Board Post 7 answer questions Tippins commented to those around him that it appears these days you don't have to know anything to run for school board. Brad Wheeler was among those Republicans on stage at the time. Tippins along with Olens have the gullible bunch in Cobb fooled including the MDJ.
WheelersA fool
November 01, 2012
That flyer is a joke, he is not endorsed by most of those on the list. He took liberties when he shouldn't in trying to show he has Republican backing. If voters has seen him in the Cobb republican Womens forum back in the summer, they wouldn't say he was qualified to be on the CCSD board, but then again, neither is Banks.
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