Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Electoral Aftermath

First, the results.

GOVERNOR: Mark Taylor (51.65%)
LT. GOV: Jim Martin (41.26%) and Greg Hecht (36.4%)
SEC. of STATE: Gail Buckner (25.45%) and Darryl Hicks (21.88%)
SCHOOL SUPER.: Denise Majette (67.08%)
US CONGRESS, DIST 4: Cynthia McKinney (46.92%) and Hank Johnson (44.52%)
HOUSE 44: Sheila Jones (63.2%)
HOUSE 56: Kathy Ashe (73.2%)
HOUSE 58: Robbin Shipp (40.81%) and Allen Thornell (26.32%)
HOUSE 59: Doug Dean (44.86%) and Margaret Kaiser (40.47%)
HOUSE 65: Sharon BEASTLY-Teague (60.70%)
SENATE 36: Nan Orrock (62.21%)
HOUSE 84: Stacey Abrams (51.19%)
HOUSE 86: Karla Drenner (62.45%)

Obviously, these are all Democratic results. The only remark I will make on the GOP primary is that Ralph Reed was given a stunning defeat with only 43.91% of the vote. There was some cross-over voting, although the Democratic primary had more voters than the GOP primary. This proves that the Theocrats are losing strength, even in Georgia. My only hope is that this will kill any chance of Ralph Reed having a career in politics, and that it's the beginning of the end for Sadie Fields and her minions.

Another piece of relatively good news is that of the candidates that Stonewall Democrats endorsed, only one lost outright: TJ Copeland. More on that race later. Two others, Allen Thornell and Doug Dean, are in the run off August 8 for their respective house seats. Jim Martin also made the run-off in his race after gay-baiting by Greg Hecht's campaign.
My thoughts on the governor's race are ones of sadness. Cathy Cox gave a truly inspiring concession speech last night around midnight. It brought to mind the Cathy Cox whose candidacy once inspired and thrilled me. The one who electrified the hall when she spoke to the Young Democrats convention in April at UGA. I don't know if she fell victim to the Al Gore syndrome of becoming captive to her DC-based consultants or what. Her campaign was a mess, and stumbled badly through the summer. It started with the gay marriage issue which I have blogged about. She could not have handled her response to the amendment being temporarily overthrown more badly if she'd tried. Then she came out to basically say she felt gays should have no protections under the law whatsoever (no civil union rights, no adoption rights, no non-discrimination in housing or jobs rights, etc), all while trying to oddly wink at the gay community. She backed away from the pro-choice crowd, hedging her bets on that issue too. Her commercials were OK, but didn't seem to say much. She fought from a defensive stance all summer, and she paid the price yesterday. If she'd had been the Cathy we all knew she could be, I think she would have run away with the nomination.

Mark Taylor gives you a smarmy feeling. It was strange seeing his child-bride next to him on the stage and his DUI and vehicular homicide charged son standing behind him as he gave his victory speech. Mark is a good ol' boy from the days of when Democrats were the only party in town. He does abuse his power and seems to love power for its sake alone. My only comfort is that I know he'll do anything to win. Sonny better buckle his seat belt, because if Mark can raise the money, he will attack Sonny with a vengeance. Still, I think we'll see Sonny win in November. As bad a governor as he is, Sonny doesn't give you that "I need a shower" feeling that Mark Taylor does.

I'm very happy that a man as decent and good as Jim Martin is leading in the Lt. Gov's race. I hope he can beat the crap out of Hecht on August 8. The smurfling hit new lows in campaigning this past week when he accused Jim Martin of being: a) a child murderer, b)a rapist-lover and c) some kind of firebrand looking to force your children into watching gay porn. Ok, I exaggerate the last point, but Hecht's campaign fingerprints were all over a false call that went out this past weekend to rural Georgia and older white males in Metro Atlanta featuring an effiminate "gay sounding" voice talking about how Jim Martin wants gay marriage and all this other stuff. It was gay-baiting, pure and simple. Jim Martin is a fair minded candidate, and he sees gays as human beings worthy of respect. Greg Hecht sees us as convenient punching bags in his climb up the political ladder.

The Secretary of State's race stunned me the most. The two most qualified candidates were BY FAR Shyam Reddy (16.51%) and Scott Holcomb (11.52%). Yet, they came in 4th and 5th respectively. Even more appalling is that Glamour-shot photo Angela "Vote for Miss Angela" Moore came in THIRD with 17.53% of the vote. That a bad joke like Angela Moore could beat Shyam and Scott is something that Democrats should be deeply ashamed of. If I weren't such a political junky, this race alone would have shaken my faith in the system to its core. I can understand why people don't vote when I see results like this. The two candidates that seemed to come out of nowhere were Gail Buckner and Darryl Hicks. I am not suprised that one of the two black candidates got into the run-off. With the black vote nearly 1/2 (it might have even broke the 50% barrier yesterday...the numbers have not been released) of the primary vote, it makes sense. At least it was Darryl and not "Miss Angela". Gail Buckner is the one who stunned me. I don't know if she even really campaigned, but she came in first. As a friend told me yesterday, I had to remember that she was the only viable woman on the ballot, and she was listed first. In a 6 person primary, most people didn't know WHO to vote for, so they go with the first name or the girl. Especially since the office was "SECRETARY" of State. Anyway, in the run-off, my vote goes to Gail Buckner hands down. Darryl Hicks is a corporate tool from Atlanta Gas & Light, and I view him with a LOT of suspicion.

Denise Majette won on name recognition alone. She may be the only name that stands a chance against Kathy Cox, but Kathy will run away with his election in November. The only way Denise makes this a contest is to hit hard and consistently on Georgia's low test scores and standing in the nation. It would help too if she could articulate a plan to turn the education system around.
Another surprise of the night was Cynthia McKinney being forced into a run-off. This race doesn't affect me anymore since I am now in John Lewis's district (THANK YOU GOD!!!), but I hope that all the GOPers in North DeKalb who didn't vote yesterday rush to the polls on August 8 to send Cynthia home for good. She's an embarrassment to the Democratic party, to DeKalb County, and to Georgia.

In state house races, it looked at first like Robbin Shipp would get the nomination without a run-off. As it turned out, her strongest precincts came in first, because her vote percentage kept lowering as the evening wore on. In a majority black district, Robbin being the only black candidate meant that she would make the run-off and probably come in first, both of which happened. Luckily, Allen pulled away from his competition in the end to survive to fight again on August 8. Hopefully people will turn out for him that day and send the first openly gay man with HIV to the legislature to join Karla Drenner.

Speaking of Karla, I was glad to see her beat back a challenge from a woman whose sole argument was, "This is a black-majority district, and we need a black woman to represent it, not some honkey lesbian." Karla's district rebuffed this argument and sent her back to the state house. She will be sorely needed when the GOP goes after gay families through adoption.
I'm very happy to see Nan kick ass in her primary. She will be such a forceful progressive voice in the state senate. I look forward to having her there.

The race between Sharon BEASTLY-Teague and TJ Copeland lives me sickened the most. TJ ran a brilliant campaign. He walked all over that district, went door to door, did all the right things a candidate should do. All this against an incumbent who does nothing, barely shows up when the legislature is in session, and is an anti-gay bigot. TJ is as fine and upstanding a man as I've seen run for office. That his district would vote for a woman who doesn't do her job, doesn't pass bills, and works against the interests of her district, says a lot about them. South Fulton residents can go to hell as far as I'm concerned. They get the government and representation they deserve. I hope BEASTLY continues to shit all over them and that they are starved of resources. I hope their schools continue to fail. Voting for what witch over a hard worker like TJ shows they don't deserve him. I will never lift a finger for South Fulton in the future.

Finally, in DeKalb, the tool of developers and Vernon Jones, Jeff Rader, won his county commission seat. It was much closer than I thought. Don Broussard had a lot of silent support, but he lost in the end. I think Gail's (the retiring commissioner) call the day before the election talking about what a bad man Don was to be "lying" about Jeff Rader may have made the difference. It looks like Vernon's majority on the commission just got stronger....God Help Us.


Button Gwinnett said...

You're exactly right about Cathy Cox not being "Cathy Cox" during her campaign. I am and will remain a supporter of hers. But next time she would do better to be more "authentic." She got such bad advice from her advisors after Morton left, and she paid a price for listening to them.

jogger said...

Don lost because of his ethics complaints and that Gail asked him yo resign from the commission and he did not. He has noone else to blame but himself.