Voters: Don’t forget the Run-Off August 21st
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 10, 2012
By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Good morning, Jim. Voters might not have known just how important the opinion questions were on the ballot, but at least one incumbent lost his seat for being on the wrong side of the gifts-from-lobbyists issue. A question about that was on both Democrat and Republican ballots and voters, overwhelmingly, said such gifts should be limited.
Ironically, while voters were answering that question, incumbent Representative Kip Smith was being defeated by newcomer John Pezold, who was elected in the Primary, because he has no Democrat opposition in the General Election. A contributing factor to Representative Smith’s defeat could have been his failure to sign a petition supporting limited gifts from lobbyists to legislators.
The Republican ballot asked whether voters should register by political party 30 days before Primary elections, a subject that might be put on the front burner, so party members can select their candidates without interference from election-day party switchers.
Was the TSPLOST vote responsible for the doubling of Republican voters in the Clarke County Primary or was it a “switch-parties-for-a-day” strategy to defeat Republican incumbent Representative Doug McKillip? When Mr. McKillip lost re-election by 66 votes on July 31st, 3,200 Republican ballots were cast, compared to 1,900 Republican ballots cast in a previous Primary.
When districts were redrawn to comply with population shifts recorded in the 2000 Census, two different Senate districts included two Democrat incumbent senators each. They had been drawn into the same district. So, of those four incumbents, only two Democrat senators could survive the Primary, regardless of which incumbent won.
Three run-off races – two Democrat and one Republican – will be decided August 21st. Voters in Senate District 44 will decide between incumbent Senator Gail Davenport and former Senator Gail Buckner. Senate District 26 will vote for incumbent Senator Miriam Paris or former Representative David Lucas, who wants to be a senator.
In the Republican run-off, voters in Senate District 31 will decide between the incumbent Senator Bill Heath and challenger Bill Carruth.
Voting was VERY close for some of the incumbents, who might want to reaffirm their professed conservative roots when they introduce bills and vote in the upcoming legislature. Voters are beginning to wonder what happens to conservative values of some elected officials. Is there a strange delusional vapor emitting from the golden dome? For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.