Political Notes – Carter for congress? Well, maybe

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One of the longest faces at the capitol during the recent special session on redistricting was the visage of Sen. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler).

Carter had been seriously considering a run for the congressional seat in the 12th District, which included quite a few people who also live in the Chatham County portion of Carter’s legislative district.

When the congressional lines were finally drawn, however, the portion of Chatham that had been part of the 12th District was pulled back into the 1st District of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, the Savannah Republican who plans to run for another term – apparently shutting off Carter’s congressional hopes

Carter said Tuesday he is still considering a campaign in the redrawn 12th District, although he did not assign it a high probability.

“I don’t live in the district and they took all of my base out of the district,” said the Pooler pharmacist.  “I wouldn’t rate the chances as very good, but I am thinking about it.”

There are no residency requirements to run for congress, so if Carter decided to make a try for the 12th District seat he would be in the same position as the current Democratic incumbent, Rep. John Barrow of Savannah.

Barrow was forced to move out of Clarke County when legislative Republicans redrew the 12th District in 2006 and he’ll now be forced to move out of Savannah to continue residing within the district – which is something Barrow says he will do.

There have been a few congressmen in recent Georgia history – such as Saxby Chambliss, Phil Gingrey and John Linder – who also did not live within the House district they represented, so Carter would be following an established precedent if he decided to run in a redrawn 12th District that does not include any part of Chatham County.

“It’s something that I’m keeping in the back of my mind,” Carter said.  “If Tommie Williams gets in, I’m out.  If Max Burns gets in, I’m out.”

State Rep. Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) filed the paperwork Monday to run for the GOP nomination in the 12th District race.

Barry Paschal of the Columbia County News-Times reports that Rick Allen, who runs a construction company and is the brother of Columbia County Commissioner Charles Allen, also plans to run.

Dour outlook among small businesses

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) said its latest small-business optimism index survey shows that small-business owners are continuing to lose confidence in the economy.  The August report showed that small-business optimism fell 1.8 points to 88.1.

“While the survey doesn’t drill down to the state level, what we’re hearing from our members tell us that’s happening here reflects what’s happening all over the country — namely, that small-business owners are still really worried about where the economy is heading,” said Kyle Jackson, NFIB’s state director for Georgia.

“The tumultuous debate over the nation’s debt ceiling and a dramatic 11th hour ‘rescue’ by lawmakers did nothing to improve the outlook of job-makers,” said NFIB’s chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg.

Wise testimony

Public Service Commission Chairman Stan Wise is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday to talk about the impact of EPA’s proposed power industry regulation on electric reliability.

Wise will be testifying to the energy and power subcommittee, which is chaired by Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, and includes Reps. Phil Gingrey of Marietta and John Barrow of Savannah among its members.

Rest in peace

Linda W. Beazley, who was the state elections director for nearly eight years before she retired in 2004, died Monday at the age of 71.

Beazley was the executive director of the Richmond County (Augusta) Board of Elections for 20 years and then became county administrator in 1993, but was pushed out of the job when the city and county governments consolidated in 1996.  She went to work as the state elections director for then-secretary of State Lewis Massey in February 1997.

From the Augusta Chronicle’s report:

“She gave her whole life to the county,” said Patrick Rice who served as the first chairman of the Richmond County Board of Election when Beazley became its first executive director in 1973.

Beazley was the driving force to bring the county’s election process into the modern age and it wasn’t an easy task in Richmond County where partisan politics have been contentious many times in past three decades, Rice said.

People were distrustful of new voting methods, but Beazley knew the law and how to answer people’s questions to calm fears. There was a lot of city-versus-county bickering in the days leading up to consolidation, and Beazley was the one person everyone trusted, he said.

“She was always fair and unfailingly polite. She was the kind of public servant you wish they all could be.

“You just wish you could have hugged her neck one more time,” Rice said.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: 12th Congressional District , Buddy Carter , John Barrow , Lee Anderson , Linda Beazley , Max Burns , NFIB , Stan Wise , Tommie Williams