There’s no election for Harbin’s seat yet, but candidates are ready

[private]They haven’t set an election date yet to replace Ben Harbin in the Legislature, but candidates are already swarming around the vacated seat in the House of Representatives.

Steve Crawford of the Columbia County News-Times (no relation to this correspondent) reports that four people have already announced their intentions to run in the special election in House District 122.

They include Columbia County Commissioner Mack Taylor; Pat Goodwin, former chair of the local Republican Party; Jodi Lott, a registered nurse and business owner; and Joe Mullins, a developer and entertainment promoter.

Harbin, who was in the middle of his 11th term in the House, resigned from the Legislature last week to take a job with Southern Strategy Group, a lobbying firm with offices in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

The governor’s office confirmed Friday that Gov. Nathan Deal has not yet issued the call for a special election to replace Harbin. Under Georgia’s election law, the next authorized date for a special election or referendum would be in September.

This has been an unusually active year for special elections, as seven House members have either died or resigned from the Legislature.

There are special election runoffs coming up Aug. 11 for seats in House District 80, House District 146, and House District 155.

The House District 80 runoff in DeKalb County between Republican J. Max Davis and Democrat Taylor Bennett is the only runoff involving candidates from the two major parties (the winners in House District 146 and House District 155 will be Republicans).

Former congressman Jack Kingston has endorsed Davis in the runoff – Kingston once served in the Georgia House with Davis’ father, who was also named Max Davis.

“Just like when I served with his father, J. Max Davis embodies the Republican principles of limited, local and efficient government and lower taxes for all citizens,” Kingston said.

Bennett has picked up the support of the liberal advocacy group Better Georgia, which is raising funds for Bennett’s runoff campaign.

“A victory by Bennett will signal the beginning of the end of one-party rule in Georgia and mark an important shift in Georgia’s political landscape,” said Better Georgia’s director, Bryan Long, in a fundraising solicitation.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Ben Harbin , special legislative elections