Gauging the mood of Georgia Democrats | Political Insider | www.ajc.com

1
Sep

Gauging the mood of Georgia Democrats | Political Insider | www.ajc.com

The Democratic Party of Georgia’s meeting Saturday to select a new leader lasted four hours. And most of that time was spent tallying the votes or bickering about how to tally them. So we had plenty of time to gauge a few of the prevailing sentiments from the party ahead at a pretty pivotal moment.

They are optimistic. State Democrats have a feeling there’s nowhere to go but up. That’s partly because they can’t go down much further. With Republicans in control of all levers of state government, much of the talk centered on picking up the open Senate seat next year. But there was rumbling about fielding candidates for statewide seats – ex-state Sen. Connie Stokes announced her bid for governor at the gathering – and the prospect of turning the suddenly open superintendent’s job into a beachhead.

They are divided. One activist said that if Democrats exerted as much energy fighting Republicans as they did each other, they’d be a formidable force again. And he wasn’t kidding. Intraparty politics can be the most brutal, and clear factions emerged over the fight for the party’s next chair. The victor, DuBose Porter, enjoyed the backing of House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and other House stalwarts. Stoner was supported by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and state Sen. Jason Carter. Abrams, Reed and Carter are young, they are ambitious and they will continue to shape the party’s direction, whether they stand together or not.

They are gleeful over GOP infighting. Democrats take solace that they don’t have a monopoly on internal bickering. Five high-profile Republicans are fighting over the Senate race, tea party factions are threatening other GOP incumbents and Gov. Nathan Deal is facing primary challenges from Dalton’s David Pennington and Superintendent John Barge.

via Gauging the mood of Georgia Democrats | Political Insider | www.ajc.com.

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