Georgia Primary election analysis

By: Tom Campbell
By: Tom Campbell

Tonight's results just set up the next round--either the party runoffs or the general election in November.

Four years ago, Republican Sonny Perdue won his first term as governor by beating democrat incumbent Roy Barnes. Tonight Perdue rolled to an easy win in the GOP primary over Ray McBerry, who campaigned on the state flag issue.

Perdue didn't have to spend much, if any, money on the primary, so he has at least $10 dollars right now.

For the Democrats, Taylor has spent millions in the primary just to defeat Cox, so now he's basically starting over to raise money for November, where he's facing the incumbent and is sure to again see some of the mud Cox has been throwing at him in the ad wars.

At the same time, you have to ask this question--does Ralph Reed have a political future?

State senator Casey Cagle defeated Reed in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. It was another nasty battle over ethics on both sides, and Reed, the former Christian Coalition leader, didn't fare well among the voters.

For the Democrats, former legislators Greg Hecht and Jim Martin will have a runoff August 8 for the right to face Cagle in November. Both are getting about 40 percent of the vote in the five-person race.

Two other notes: The power of incumbency didn't do Earnestine Howard much good in the state District 121 race...and pastor Hardie Davis ran very well in District 122 for the Democrats. He couldn't avoid a runoff, but easily led the way, considering the other candidates criticized him for voting in Republican primaries in the past.


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