Political Notes — Tom Price’s name being floated for governor’s race

[private]Republican activist Jon Richards has done some sleuthing for the Georgiapol.com website and uncovered some hints that U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) might be looking seriously at the 2018 governor’s race.

Richards wrote:

Price’s pre-Primary campaign filing with the Federal Election Commission (excerpt) shows he gave $2,600 campaign contributions to 28 Republican members of the Georgia legislature facing primary challenges, including Speaker David Ralston, House Majority Leader Jon Burns, House Budget Committee Chair Terry England, Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, and Senate Rules Committee Chair Jeff Mullis.

Perhaps more telling: the domains PriceForGovernor.com and TomPriceForGovernor.com have been registered, although they don’t yet have any content beyond a standard GoDaddy landing page. There are always opportunities for shenanigans by people registering a domain in the hope of embarrassing a candidate. But in this case, the domains were registered by Robert K. McGowan, who is Price’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

The first pushback to such a rumor is to ask why Price would want to leave Washington. He’s an influential Republican who’s currently chairman of the House Budget Committee and has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for speaker some day.

The last time there was an open governor’s election in 2010, when Sonny Perdue’s second term was ending, Price was said to be considering an entry into that race. He decided against it and ran for another term in Congress instead.

If Price did get into the 2018 race, he would be running in a very crowded field. Lt. Gov Casey Cagle is going to be there and it’s long been assumed that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland would run as well.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp is an ambitious politician who’d love to run for the top spot, although he’d have to hope that the media damage from last year’s leak of registered voter data doesn’t hurt his chances. Attorney General Sam Olens is another possibility unless he decides he’s going to stay in his current job (or takes the president’s job at Kennesaw State).

There are lots of names in the mix — so add Tom Price’s as well.

The DOT’s anniversary

The 100th anniversary of one of Georgia’s most important government agencies, the Department of Transportation (GDOT), is on the horizon.

It was in August of 1916 that the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation creating what was originally known as the state highway department to take on the job of paving roads for that new-fangled invention, the automobile.

During Jimmy Carter’s reorganization of state government in the 1970s, the highway department’s name was changed to the Department of Transportation, whose major mission is still to pour concrete and build bridges and highways, although the agency is being urged to pay a little more attention to mass transit.

In any event, Joe Daniell of the Vinings Bank in Cobb County is putting together an Aug. 18 luncheon to celebrate GDOT’s big anniversary.

Commissioner Russell McMurry will give the keynote address and the invitees include former governors Roy Barnes and Sonny Perdue, current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former mayor Andrew Young, former DOT commissioner Tom Moreland, former Atlanta airport chief George Berry, political pundit Bill Shipp, and the usual gang of suspects.

Daniell said he was even able to find a vintage 1916 Ford Model T touring car that will be on display at the luncheon.

Legislator-lawyers team up

State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) is teaming up with state Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) and Bryan Ward at the Holcomb + Ward law firm, according to the Daily Report.

All three attorneys earlier worked together at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.

Parent and Holcomb were first elected to the Georgia House in 2010 from adjoining districts in DeKalb County. Those districts were combined in the 2011 redistricting, so Parent decided not to run against Holcomb in the new district.

She came back to the Legislature in 2014 when she was elected to replace Jason Carter in Senate District 42.

Personnel notes

Stephanie Cho has been named executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta. She had been the organization’s interim director since its founder Helen Kim Ho, stepped down in December.

“I look forward to continuing to build power for Asians and Pacific Islanders in Georgia and the Southeast,” Cho said. “We are dedicated to advancing the civil rights of underrepresented communities and my hope is to create more opportunities for AAPI leadership in the Southeast.”

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Department of Transportation , elena parent , governor\'s race , Scott Holcomb , Tom Price