There’s a total of 14 candidates seeking their party’s nomination for governor — seven Republicans and seven Democrats. Some are well-known, notably former Gov. Roy E. Barnes of Marietta, the Democrat front-runner, who drew well over 50 percent in a recent poll. Other Democrats with name recognition are state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Georgia House minority leader Rep. DuBose Porter of Dublin and former state Adjutant General David Poythress, who is also a former secretary of state and labor commissioner.
In the Republican primary, the leader in the polls a week out was Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine with about a third of the vote, followed by former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who was edging toward 25 percent even before her endorsement by Sarah Palin, while former Congressman Nathan Deal and state Sen. Eric Johnson polled about 12 percent each.
If you think the gubernatorial races are crowded, check out the Republican field for insurance commissioner (to succeed Michael Thurmond who’s running for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Johnny Isakson of Marietta). There are 10 candidates for insurance commissioner — and nine are Republicans. None is a household name. So do your homework on this somewhat obscure job that’s coveted by so many.
Cobb County races include the contest for chairman of the board of commissioners and two other seats on the board, three school board seats plus legislative races and the congressional seat of Democrat David Scott who has two opponents in his party’s primary. On the Republican side, six candidates are running for the chance to oppose the Democratic nominee.
Voters have their work cut out for them separating the wheat from the chaff in this year’s primaries.