Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Li'l birdie whispers: Barnes is in...so what now?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Now that Roy Barnes has jumped in the 2010 governor's race, where does that leave other Democratic challengers who've already announced their plans? Here's what we're hearing from little birds that land on our windowsill, chirp silly songs, and blurt rays of gossipy sunshine into our dark and twisted lives:

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  • Attorney General Thurbert Baker: Our tipsters tell us that Baker was apparently waiting to hear whether Barnes would run to decide a.) to bow out of the race and join a big-name law firm or b.) make a run for — hold on to your courageous haircuts — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson's seat. Which, judging by Johnny Boy's popularity in the state, might be the same as dropping out of public service. Longtime political gadfly Tom Houck, who recently floated the idea that retiring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears might make a run for governor, relays an overnight rumor that Baker could get a Federal judgeship and drop out of the race. High-ranking Democratic Party officials say they'd like to see Baker in a statewide campaign, however.
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  • House Minority Leader Dubose Porter, D-Dublin: The state House veteran lightly
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  • David Poythress: The Georgia National Guard Adjutant General is in it to win it, he says. Our tipsters said the same. He even took a shot at Barnes, calling him a "polarizing figure."

How Barnes' announcement affects downticket races remains to be seen. We're hearing Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond — "a team player," one li'l birdie says — might make another run for his seat. He'd been rumored to be considering a run for lieutenant governor. "Whatever's the best for the party, Thurmond will do," our source says.

(Photos by Joeff Davis)

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