One of the premiere contests on this year’s Republican Primary ballot is that for governor, where incumbent Nathan Deal is being challenged by Georgia school Superintendent Dr. John Barge and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington.
Deal has proven to be a stronger and more effective governor than some had predicted. And he has been much more active — and pro-active — than his immediate predecessor in that office.
He has worked hard to make Georgia one of the most business-friendly states in the country, as recently recognized with a No. 1 ranking by Site Selection magazine.
While few doubt Deal’s conservatism, he has been willing to work across party lines for the good of the state, as witnessed by his excellent working partnership with Democratic Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on a number of items, most notably the push for federal funds for the deepening of the Port of Savannah. That project is crucial to ensuring Georgia is not bypassed by the large cargo ships that will dominate trade once the Panama Canal widening is complete.
Closer to home, Deal allocated nearly $1 billion for the new reversible toll lanes scheduled for Interstates 75 and 575 in 2018. Those additional two lanes along the west side of the interstate are one of the biggest road projects in Cobb history and will give commuters relief in this heavily congested corridor.
In short, Gov. Nathan Deal has more than earned another term.
THERE ARE no incumbents in the race to succeed the retiring Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate. But there is a crowded and potentially capable field of Republicans running to succeed him, including U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta. It’s probable there will be a runoff election to determine which of two finalists will face presumed Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn in November.
While it might be tempting for conservatives to vote for the most far-right conservative of their primary hopefuls, the better rule of thumb is that urged by conservative “founding father” William F. Buckley, who advised the best course was to “always support the rightwardmost candidate who is electable.” That is, the Republican whose views are conservative yet still moderate enough to have appeal to substantial numbers of independent voters, who often provide the margin of victory in general elections. And we suggest Republican voters keep that in mind as they go to the polls.
SUCH FACTORS are less of a consideration in the race for the 11th District congressional seat being vacated by Gingrey, as there is no Democrat running for that seat. It will be decided May 20 or, as many predict, in a runoff.
Four well-known candidates (former Congressman Bob Barr, Barry Loudermilk, Ed Lindsey and Tricia Pridemore) and two lesser-known ones (Larry Mrozinski and Allen Levene) are seeking to replace Gingrey. All are solid conservatives (although Barr wandered over to the Libertarian camp and back in the 2000s) and any one of the four leaders would be an improvement over many of the congressmen other states have inflicted on Capitol Hill.
Barr and Pridemore are from Cobb, and a good argument can be made that Cobb would be best served by having a home-based congressman. Lindsey and Loudermilk can counter that they have experience in the state Legislature, where Lindsey was the House majority whip and Loudermilk a state senator. Republicans have an embarrassment of riches in this race from which to choose.
THE CROWDED race for state school superintendent to succeed Barge features enough candidates to field a softball team, were they so inclined. But of those nine, Fitz Johnson is the most conservative, a West Point grad with an entrepreneurial background that would be a breath of fresh air in the halls of the DoE offices downtown. …
Lauren “Bubba” McDonald has done an effective job balancing the needs of consumers and the utility industry and has earned another term on the state Public Service Commission.
THERE ARE TWO contested local primary races for state legislature. Veteran Rep. Don Parsons has been a steady performer in District 44 and has earned another term. But we diverge from our usual endorsement philosophy when we come to District 34 representing Kennesaw and parts of west Marietta. There, the preferred candidate is Marietta lawyer Bert Reeves. Georgia Tech grad Reeves is a traditional conservative with a well-demonstrated passion for serving this community and can be counted on to represent Cobb well, if elected.
Incumbent Charles Gregory ran a “stealth” campaign in 2012, making little mention of his allegiance to Ron Paul and his movement and upsetting Rep. Judy Manning. Gregory repeatedly has been the sole vote (or one of just two or three votes) on his side of various issues. But voters send representatives to the Capitol to represent them and their district, not to embark on quixotic crusades. Gregory has carved a niche as the most ineffective legislator in Atlanta and shows no sign of changing. District 34 voters would be well-advised to make a change May 20.