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Graves, Hawkins vie to replace Nathan Deal in Georgia

As voters go to the polls in a slew of races across the country tomorrow, there's only one race where a new Member of Congress will actually be chosen: the special election between former state Rep. Tom Graves (R) and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins (R) in a special election runoff in Georgia's 9th district.

Graves, who came out on top with 35 percent in the May 11 special election primary while Hawkins finished in second place with 23 percent. (With no candidate winning a majority of the vote in the seven-candidate field, a runoff was required to pick the replacement for former Rep. Nathan Deal who resigned his seat to run for governor.)

Graves is backed by FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth; in recent days, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has also come out for him.

Regardless of who wins tomorrow, the victory will be short-lived; voters will go to the polls again next month in the regularly scheduled primary for the seat. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote on July 20, the race will go to an August 10 runoff -- meaning that Georgia voters will be voting five times in seven months (in May, June, July, August and in the November general).

In fact, Georgia voters are already voting as early voting began today for the July primary.

According to the secretary of state's office, the quick succession of races means that the winner will not have "incumbent" listed next to his name on the July ballot, because those ballots have already been printed -- and given the current anti-incumbent mood, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Both Hawkins and Graves have filed to run in the July primary; Hawkins' camp says he will "absolutely" be on the ballot in July. Graves' campaign says it's focusing on the race its running at the moment, and will make a decision on July after tomorrow.

The race has been viewed as a test of the strength of the tea party; both candidates have been courting those identifying with the movement, although none of the dozen or so local tea party groups in the district has made an official endorsement in the race. Graves has been endorsed by the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, but that group is outside the 9th district.

No matter who wins tomorrow -- or in July (or August) -- this seat will stay in Republican hands. The northwestern Georgia district is one of the most conservative in the nation. It voted 75 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 and 77 percent for George W. Bush in 2004.

-- Felicia Sonmez

By The Fix  |  June 7, 2010; 4:37 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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According to a Field Poll estimate, only 33 percent of registered California voters are expected to turn out for today's gubernatorial primaries. If that number holds, it would be even lower than the state's previous all-time low of 34 percent in the 2006 gubernatorial primary. (PostPolitics)
I don't get how a record low turnout in CA translates into a CA Republican resurgence. Doesn't look like the conservatives are flooding to vote for their primary candidates. It's only on the R side, that the primaries are hotly contested.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A guy who spends his every waking minute on a blog and clearly has never dated a woman commenting on obama's manliness - hilarious.

Posted by: drindl | June 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

A new WaPo poll CC seems to be willfully ignoring... guess he doesn't like the results:

"The poll also finds growing disapproval of the "tea party" movement, with half the population now expressing an unfavorable impression of the loosely aligned protest campaign that has shaken up politics this year.

And at a time when Republicans anticipate significant gains in House and Senate elections, there is also fresh evidence of the challenges facing the GOP. Six in 10 poll respondents say they have a negative view of the policies put forward by the Republican minority in Congress, and about a third say they trust Republicans over Democrats to handle the nation's main problems. "

60% have a negative view of R 'policies' -- jokes, is more like it -- and only a third trust Repubicans over Democrats. So much for that landslide.

Posted by: drindl | June 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Real Men don't need to have experts in a college seminar atmosphere to find out whose "ass to kick."

It is ridiculous - Real Men KNOW whose "ass gets kicked"

Not only is Obama out-of-touch with the American People, Obama is out-of-touch with his own emotions - and his own manhood.

Metrosexual - that is the best way to put it -

The bottom line - Obama is completely worthless and ineffective.

Yea, but the liberal media keeps on saying - WHY is Obama worthless and ineffective ? WHAT is missing ???

Most of the country will tell the liberal media that Obama never had it - he was ALWAYS A BUNCH OF LIES AND DECEPTIONS.


When did YOU first notice ???


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Whichever Rep wins this race, the NW counties will still have more liberal representation than they've had in the past. From 1974-83, part of the current 9th was represented by Larry McDonald, a Democrat so conservative that he was head of the John Birch Society. As for Dems here today, they were pretty much wiped out in the 2002 redistricting. This district could change big time in 2012; Forsyth and Cherokee Counties could almost be their own district in the next decade. It'd be much more suburban and exurban than it is now.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | June 8, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post article today says that BP had a history of accidents, falsified safety reports, and run-down equipment.

So much so that the EPA was considering taking away BP's rights to federal contracts.

So if Obama did a year-long review of offshore drilling, WHY DIDN'T OBAMA ADDRESS ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS.

Obama took almost a million dollars from BP.

Expanded Offshore Drilling WAS OBAMA'S POLICY - he can't blame Bush for his own policy, right ?

I know he is trying.




Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse


I am the same person as before - I really don't care to prove it - so I never tried.

I left because I was sick of the Obama people gloating - and I thought I would come back when I had some material to work with.

One thing to clue you into: Dorchester and Congress is the corner in Boston where the original Tea Party took place.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse


And still there are hundreds of birds dying.

Seven weeks into Katrina, Bush had everyone out of New Orleans, the city was drained, and RAINBOWS WERE EVERYWHERE.


OBAMA IS SO UPSET ABOUT THE OIL SPILL because he knows he just came out in favor of expanded offshore oil drilling - and he just did a year-long safety review - and HE ASSURED EVERYONE THAT THE SAFETY STANDARDS WERE UP FOR THE TASK.

He cant understand why the country isnt slamming him harder for that.

See Obama's health care plan is TICKING DEFICIT BOMB.


ALL Obama's policies are a disaster.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse


And still there are hundreds of birds dying.

Seven weeks into Katrina, Bush had everyone out of New Orleans, the city was drained, and RAINBOWS WERE EVERYWHERE.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Proof that NY Times Readers are Smarter than WAPO Readers-

Today's NY Times Gulf Response Blog-

June 7th, 2010
12:46 pm
How Can You Tell When A Lawyer's Lying to the American People on the Anniversary of D-Day ?

NY Times yesterday-

"In his weekly radio address broadcast Saturday, President Obama emphasized that the federal government had “mobilized on every front” to contain and clean up the oil spill, and called attention to the plight of some of the shrimpers and oystermen he met while visiting the Louisiana coast on Friday."

AP yesterday-
"With no oil response workers on Louisiana's Queen Bess Island, Plaquemines Parish coastal zone management director P.J. Hahn decided he could wait no longer, pulling an exhausted brown pelican from the oil, slime dripping from its wings.

"We're in the sixth week, you'd think there would be a flotilla of people out here," Hahn said. "As you can see, we're so far behind the curve in this thing."
At the mouth of Alabama's Mobile Bay, hundreds of seagulls squawked on a beach dotted with countless small tar balls but not a cleanup crew in sight.

Recommended Recommended by 31 Readers

Posted by: thecannula | June 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

28% are satisfied with Obama's response to the Oil Spill

Who are these 28% ???

Clearly those who are still delusional about Obama - glad to see people are waking up.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

GOP bad dream: Birther on ticket

Looks like some GOP strategists think there's a decent chance Orly Taitz can win the Republican nomination for California's Sec. of State

And they aren't happy about that.

“It’d be a disaster for the Republican party,” says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. “Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado — both of whom might have a chance to win in November — had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama’s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”

“There is no Republican candidate for statewide office that would be willing to have her campaign with them,” says Adam Probolsky, a spokesman for the Orange County Republican Party.

But longtime California GOP strategist Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the California Target Book, says a Taitz victory is entirely possible. “It will be a complete embarrassment if she wins, but these things can happen,” he said.


Should be fun for the GOP nominees for Senate and Guv if Taitz wins.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Just an update on tomorrow's Montana primary. The only race state-wide is that for the at-large congressional seat held by incumbant Republican Denny Rheberg. His only primary opposition is from two un-funded candidates, none of whom are beating the Tea Party drum.
On the Democratic side, it's more of a contest. And that's unusual. Because Rehberg has usually been challenged by unfunded Democrats who have no state-wide recognition.
But this time there are four Democratic candidates. Three of whom figure to either win or heavily influence the outcome of the election.
The top contenders, and the only two who have raised serious money, are Tyler Gernant, a 27-year-old Missoula lawyer, and Dennis McDonald former chair of the state Democratic party. McDonald bills himself as a rancher, which he has been for the last 20 years. But he used to be an attorney in California who represented a famous mafioso.

The two are close in fundraising. McDonald starts with the advantage of the state party position which gives him name recognition. Gernant may have an advantage in hailing from the state's second largest most Democratic town, Missoula. A large Missoula win for Gernant may well carry him to a win if the voting is close elsewhere. Then there is Melinda Gopher, an Indian rights activist. She hasn't spent a dime on the election. She has little chance to win the nomination, but, she certainly has the potential to take the majority of the Indian vote, which is especially important in a Democratic primary.
And if she bottles up the largest share of that vote, she may well determine whether Gernant or McDonald is the state-wide winner.

Whoever wins, it will be the first Democratic House of Representives nominee in some time to have come out of a hotly-contested primary.

That spells a stronger challenger to Rehberg. The smart money still says Rehberg was no worries in the general election, but it will be interesting to see what develops.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | June 7, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse


The Vandals were originally an ethnic group -

They were allowed into the political system - and many held political posts.

Until the whole lot of them invaded the whole place and brought down the Roman Empire.

Hence the word today..........

We all use VANDALISM.

you draw your own conclusion.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...I think the Republicans might finally win a special election with a candidate who is actually kind of Conservative.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 7, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama is to spending like Cocaine is to Binge.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

no mention of the Barack effect on today's stock market?

Maybe if the Wa Po looks under enough rocks it could find a single good thing to say about the Obamination we are experiencing.

Posted by: bumblingberry | June 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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