Andrew Young May Emerge as Democratic Senate Candidate
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is considering running to become the Democratic candidate to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Zell Miller.  Young, a former United Nations Ambassador and Congressman, has told State Democratic Party Chairman Calvin Smyre that he is considering entering the race.  

If he decides to run, Young would be the consensus candidate the Democrats seek to challenge the winner of the Republican primary who will likely be Representative Johnny Isakson or Representative Mac Collins.    

Young could provide a shot in the arm to the statewide Democratic ticket in 2004.  His candidacy would likely draw high voter turn-out among the state?s African American community, which would benefit all Democratic candidates running for office.
Snow Keeps District 1 House Seat
Democrat Mike Snow, a 17-year veteran in the Georgia State House of Representatives from Chickamauga, held off Republican Jay Neal in a special election held Tuesday, July 22, 2003, in Walker County in Northwest Georgia.  Snow?s margin of victory was 80 votes.

This was the third election for the District 1 seat since November.  Neal won the November election by 197 votes, but Snow won an appeal for a second election based on faulty vote casting and ballot content (Snow?s name did not even appear on ballots in some parts of the district) resulting from newly drawn district lines in Rossville.  Snow won the second election, which was held in January, by 73 votes.  Those results were then challenged on Neal?s behalf, which resulted in the election held July 22.  Neal made it clear there would be no challenge of these results coming from his campaign.
Look into the Future in Georgia
As the Georgia Democratic Party looks towards to the future, several prominent individuals are likely to play key roles.  Among the most influential Democrats are Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor and Secretary of State Cathy Cox.

Mayor Franklin recently made indications that she plans to unload the albatross of City Hall East.  Such a move would likely increase her popularity among the city?s business community and taxpayers.  The city purchased this former warehouse on Ponce de Leon Avenue in 1991.  Its enormous size has been criticized over the years by those that opposed the building, believing that having such a large space encouraged city bureaucracy to grow to fill it.  

Franklin?s popularity could play an important role in the 2006 Democratic Governor?s race.  The rumor mills are filled with speculation that Taylor will match up against Cox for the Democratic nomination.  Mayor Franklin could be critical to either Taylor or Cox.  

If Franklin were to actively support Cox, it could help boost her viability as a candidate.  This powerful coalition of women could counter Mark Taylor?s ?good old boy? image.  Taylor is not widely popular among the female electorate at large, who make up 54% of the registered voters as well as 54% of those who regularly cast ballots in the state.  Although Franklin?s support would help either candidate, her support for a Cox campaign would exert the greatest influence.    

Many political insiders have speculated that Cox would prove to be the Democrat?s most viable candidate.  However, Mark Taylor should by no means be counted out as the Democratic nominee.  He has very adroitly handled his position in the Republican controlled Senate.  And, at a recent Barbecue held in Northwest Georgia to rally support for Democrat Mike Snow, the Lt. Governor was heard telling the locals, ?I?m going to run [for Governor in 2006] and I?m going to need all the help I can get.?  Onlookers can expect Taylor to work extremely hard to regain control of the State Senate on behalf of the Democrats in 2004.  

Second Quarter Presidential Fundraising in Georgia
The Federal Election Commission released data on Presidential fundraising for the second quarter on July 15, 2003.  Reece & Associates has done an analysis of the data to determine support for the leading candidates from Georgia.  President Bush, who held a fundraiser at Reynolds Plantation on June 20, 2003, far outpaced any of the Democratic candidates.  

In total, Bush/Cheney 2004 Inc. raised over $2.2 million from the state in the second quarter from 1,390 contributors.  The average size contribution to Bush from Georgians during the second quarter was $1,751.

The leading Democratic fundraiser in Georgia during the second quarter was John Edwards, who raised $247,523 from 164 individuals.  John Kerry secured support from 124 individuals for a total of $114,950.  Enthusiasm for Joseph Lieberman, Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt?s campaigns appears to be far less in Georgia, with each receiving less than $50,000.  

The Democratic candidates appear to be having trouble raising money in Georgia.  Although touted as the economic heart of the South, results indicate that Georgia likely lags behind candidates high fundraising expectations.   John Edwards had 3.7% of his contributors come from the state during the period, followed by John Kerry at 2.3%.  Lieberman, Dean and Gephardt had less than 1% of their contributors from Georgia.

Although George Bush held a successful fundraiser in Georgia, only 6.2% of campaign contribution dollars and 6.9% of his contributors can be traced to Georgia.
Largest Bush Contributors From Georgia
According to Reece & Associates estimates, Georgia residents with ties to the following companies contributed the following to the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign in the second quarter.  

Southern Company-$38,250 (includes $5,000 PAC donation)
AFLAC-$38,000
King & Spalding- $31,550
The Cola-Cola Company-$21,000
The Home Depot-$16,000 (includes $5,000 PAC donation)
United Parcel Service-$13,000 (includes $5,000 in PAC donations)
Mike Kenn Leaves Fulton County Commission
The Fulton County Commission?s Chairman announced that he will resign his position to head Georgians? for Better Transportation (GBT), an industry association that works to promote highway construction in the state.  

The move is seen as a politically savvy one as Kenn, a Republican, will now oversee efforts to promote traffic relieving initiatives.  Since coming to office, Governor Perdue has been standoffish towards the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRETA), created by his predecessor, Governor Roy Barnes, to focus on solving Metro Atlanta?s transportation problems.  Kenn and GBT may now get energized to work for the Northern Arc, a controversial toll road proposed during the Barnes Administration and opposed by Perdue.  Kenn is in a great position to make a deal with the Republican Governor and Republican controlled State Senate.  

Not everyone is excited about Kenn?s new role and the clout he will bring with him to Georgians? for Better Transportation.  Sally Flocks, the President and CEO of PEDS, a pedestrian advocacy organization in Atlanta, expressed skepticism that he will bring better transportation to everyone in the metro area.  She reiterated what others have said about him, labeling him as the new head of the ?asphalt lobby? looking to fund and build roads at every turn.

With the lowest motor fuel tax in the country, funding for new roads has always been a challenge in Georgia.  GBT has tried to address this issue in the past in an effort to spur funding for new projects.  Without increased funding, projects that promote smart growth, clean air and lasting infrastructure, will continue to get trumped by short-term fixes that lead to more problems in the future.  Kenn may be the key to jumpstart a solution to the city?s crippling gridlock problem.    

Some of Kenn?s supporters are encouraged by the move and view it as a stepping-stone to higher office.
Search for New DOT Commissioner
Tom Coleman will leave his powerful position as Georgia?s Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner on August 31, 2003.  Governor Perdue has taken a hands off approach towards the appointment of the replacement, which is made by the State Board of Transportation.  In the past, Democratic Governor?s have taken a very active role in the selection of the Commissioner, but with a sitting Republican Governor, such control may not be easily exerted on a board appointed by Democrats.
Roy Barnes Forms Law Practice
Former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes announced the formation of The Barnes Law Group, LLC ? a specialty litigation firm which will devote ten percent of its time to pro bono cases.  The firm will have offices in Marietta and Atlanta.  Joining the former Governor will be his daughter, Allison Barnes Salter and her husband, John Salter.
Perdue Criticized for Lack of Diversity
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an article on July 27, 2003 highlighting the fact that most of Governor Perdue?s appointments since coming to office in January have been white males.  The article, entitled ?White Males Dominate Perdue?s Appointments,? listed Perdue?s appointments and gave voice to both those criticizing and supporting Perdue?s appointment record.
Ex-Prison Chief a Possible Inmate?
Bobby Whitworth, a public servant for nearly three decades in Georgia?s corrections divisions, was indicted in Fulton County on July 25, 2003, on a felony charge of public corruption.  Prosecutors charge that Whitworth took money from a private company in order to illegally influence the adoption of a legislative bill, which is a violation of a Georgia statute related to the conduct of state employees.

www.reeceassociates.com
Email Wayne Reece