Political Notes — State parties put on their game faces for general election

[private]With the primary elections behind them, the chairmen of the state’s two major parties are already woofing at each other over the upcoming general election and what they think will be the outcome of that event.

“Together, we can stop Hillary Clinton from ever stepping foot back in the Oval Office,” Republican Party Chairman John Padgett said in a call for party unity.

“Together, we can protect our Red State status and re-elect Johnny Isakson to the U.S. Senate,” Padgett added.  “Together, we can defeat liberal Georgia Democrats up and down the ballot.  Now is the time for unity because Together We Win!”

Democratic Party Chairman DuBose Porter, as might be expected, saw it a bit differently than his GOP counterpart.

“Over the next several months, Georgia Democrats will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their failed policies and divisive politics of exclusion,” Porter said. “And we will certainly hold them accountable for creating the most dangerous presidential candidate of our lifetime — Donald Trump.”

“By promoting policies that lift people up rather than push them down, and breaking down barriers instead of building walls, voters will have a clear choice on November 8,” Porter said.  “Georgia is ready for a change, they’re ready to move forward, and they’re ready to elect Democrats.”

Voter turnout in party primaries is not always a foolproof indicator of what will happen in general elections, but here’s a comparison of the turnout in the only contested statewide race, the one for the U.S. Senate:

There were 571,629 votes counted in the Republican primary for Sen. Johnny Isakson and his two challengers, Derrick Grayson and Mary Kay Bacallao. There were 303,302 total votes in the Democratic primary for the nominee, Jim Barksdale, and the now-vanquished Cheryl Copeland and John Coyne.

That’s nearly a two-to-one advantage for the Republicans in raw numbers, but state Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) was still sounding a note of caution on Facebook: “Canary in the coal mine? Georgia GOP primary turnout down almost 300,000 over 2012.”

Barksdale campaign manager Dave Hoffman distributed a memo that contended:  “Measurable demographic shifts in Georgia have left Democrats bullish on the prospects of turning the state blue in 2016.”

Of course, Democrats were saying similar things in 2014 about the prospects of Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn, so it’s always a good idea to take these pronouncements with a few grains of salt.

Allgood will chair the GPA

The Georgia Ports Authority’s board of directors has elected James L. Allgood, who runs a pest control business, as the new board chairman, effective July 1.  Ken Cronan, a former business partner of Gov. Nathan Deal, will be vice chairman.

“With more than 40 years experience as a business leader, Jimmy Allgood provides the insight and leadership skills necessary to continue GPA’s progress toward a prosperous future,” outgoing Chairman James Walters said.

“With our harbor deepening under way, the infrastructure investments we’re making on terminal, and the improvements to road and rail connections we’re building in Georgia, there is a wealth of opportunity ahead of us,” Allgood said.

Wise appointed to petroleum council

Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to the National Petroleum Council for 2016-2017, where Wise will represent state views in public policy decision making.

“This appointment especially fits in well with my long time interest in natural gas issues,” Wise said.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: general election , Georgia Ports Authority , party chairmen , Stan Wise