Four major candidates and two much less well known ones are running to succeed U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, (R-Marietta), who is running for Senate instead. There is no Democrat running, so the 11th race will be decided in the May 20 Primary.
Loudermilk (R-Cassville), released poll results this week showing him a hair ahead of Barr (12.3 percent to Barr’s 12.2 percent), based on a telephone survey March 20 to 24 of 600 likely Republican Primary voters in the district. (Margin of error +/-4.08 percent.) The poll was conducted by RightPath Strategic Affairs, which is headed by former Newt Gingrich campaign manager Scott Rials.
They were followed by Tricia Pridemore of Marietta (3.7 percent), former state Rep. Ed Lindsey of Buckhead (2.7 percent), retired Col. Larry Mrozinski (0.3 percent) and self-styled “official write-in candidate” Allan Levene (0.3 Percent).
“With only 55 days remaining, this campaign is in a dead heat between Barry Loudermilk and former Congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr,” Loudermilk’s pollster writes. “Loudermilk is showing a solid base of support in all four counties of the 11th. (He) leads in Bartow and Fulton, is tied in Cherokee with Barr and is in a solid second place in Cobb.”
It argues he also is leading among women primary voters.
BUT NOT SO FAST, says Lindsey. His campaign released a poll that, like Loudermilk’s, points to a possible runoff, but has himself as Barr’s opponent. Lindsey’s poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates of Alexandria, Va., the pollster for Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. McLaughlin called 300 likely Republican Primary voters in the district on March 10 and 11. McLaughlin says it also did 60 interviews with cellphone users to reach its conclusions, and has an error margin of +/-5.75 percent.
Lindsey’s poll has Barr in first place (25 percent), himself (15 percent), Loudermilk (13 percent), Pridemore (4 percent) and other (2 percent).
“When looking at the ratings, Lindsey is in the best position to drive up his favorable precipitously,” McLaughlin writes. “Barr has the highest name awareness. However, one in four Republican Primary voters are unfavorable to him. This demonstrates Barr will be vulnerable in a head-to-head matchup.”
Added Lindsey this week in a fundraising letter, “With no clear front-runner, this race appears to be heading into a runoff. But with just days until the March 31 fundraising deadline, I need your help to secure my spot in the runoff with career flip-flopper Bob Barr.”
Retorted Derek Barr, the candidate’s son and campaign manager, “This is simply politics as usual for candidates who trail the front-runner. The one thing both these polls have in common is the name Bob Barr as the candidate to beat. Bob’s political opponents have verified what we have said all along — that Bob Barr is the front-runner in this race.”
MARIETTA’S PRIDEMORE told Around Town her campaign has yet to do any polling and discounted the showings of her opponents’ polls.
“We’ll start doing some polls closer to the election,” she said Friday. “With 54 days to go, the leader in every poll, including theirs, is ‘Undecided.’”
True enough. The number of undecideds was 65.5 percent in Loudermilk’s poll and 41 percent in Lindsey’s.
“Last Saturday, my team and I knocked on 1,431 doors in the district, and the vast majority of the people we talked to have not made up their mind who they’re going to vote for,” Pridemore said. “In fact, many of them are not even aware the primary is coming up so soon.”
“We’re meeting as many voters as we can, and we believe when we get our message out, we’ll win.”
A sentiment shared, no doubt, by all of the candidates in this race.
MORE POLITICS: The Cobb Regional Republican Women and the Cobb GOP will co-host a District 1 Cobb County Commission Debate from 1-2:30 p.m. April 5 at the Cobb GOP headquarters, 799 Roswell St., Marietta, GA. 30060. Moderator will be radio talk host Martha Zoller, with questions from WSB-TV’s Ross Cavitt and possibly others. For more, contact CRRW president Patricia Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org. ...
Pridemore has been picked as an “On the Radar” candidate as part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” Program. The program was founded by U.S. Reps Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and others and recognizes candidates running in competitive congressional seats who have demonstrated an ability to meet crucial campaign benchmarks. During the 2010 election cycle more than two thirds of the NRCC Young Guns (62 of 92) won election to Congress and in 2012 it helped elect 35 new Republicans to that body. ...
Barr will be speaker at this morning’s Madison Forum breakfast at The Rib Ranch in east Marietta.
THE GEORGIA CHAPTER of Mothers Against Drunk Driving awarded Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan its Golden Shield Award as Prosecutor of The Year this week. A fundraiser for Morgan is slated from 7:30 to 9 a.m. April 9 at the offices of Bentley, Bentley & Bentley.
THE VININGS VILLAGE CIVIC CLUB will sponsor a non-partisan political forum at 6:30 p.m. April 7 at the Cochise Club, 3795 Cochise Drive. The Club has held such forums every two years since 1954, according to spokeswoman Barbara Limardo.
PARTY: Lydia Howren, Toria Morgan and Alice Summerour will host a meet-and-greet for Barr from 6-8 p.m. April 21 at the home of Bob and Toria Morgan, 741 Cheatham Hill Trail in Marietta. RSVP by April 17 to Summerour at (770) 420-3505.
AROUND TOWN shares its condolences today with Marietta School Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck and husband Harry, on the passing of her mother this week in Florida. ... We also regret learning of the death in North Carolina of the mother of Renee Owen of Marietta, director of pastoral care at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
EVENTS: Northwest Cobb District 1 County Commission candidate Bill Byrne and wife Babe are making a party of their 22nd wedding anniversary on April 11, courtesy of a “Boots, BlueJeans and $22” event, with all proceeds going to The American Cancer Society. The 5 to 7 p.m. shindig will be at Shillings on the Square, with casual dress. ...
Brumby Hall and Gardens will present well-known Civil War artifact collector Beverly “Bo” DuBose III at 7 p.m. April 24 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The event will focus on events in Cobb and feature examples from DuBose’s extensive collection. Cost will be $10 for adults, $5 for students. For info call (770) 424-7135. ...
The City of Austell dedicates its Veterans Memorial Park at 1 p.m. today. It was designed by Sandra Jerkins, wife of Mayor Joe Jerkins, and paid for with $90,000 in SPLOST funds and a grant from the Austell Area Community Improvement Commission.
PEOPLE: Warren Hutmacher, who served as assistant to the city manager in Marietta from 1999-2003, has been hired as city manager of John’s Creek, reports former city PIO Audrey Griffies. He currently is city manager of Dunwoody.
CONGRATULATIONS to Georgia Gwinnett College professor Dr. George Washington Darden IV and wife Kacie, parents of twin boys born on Thursday at the Atlanta Medical Center (formerly Georgia Baptist Hospital). Darden is son of former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden (D-Marietta) and wife Lillian, who left the couple’s bedside on Thursday just long enough for Buddy to introduce Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugh Thompson as speaker at Thursday’s Marietta Kiwanis Club meeting.
The Dardens christened the identical twins Candler Richard and — you guessed it — George Washington Darden V.