Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Incumbents win in Georgia.

Nationally . . . not so much.

Republican incumbents who won: Sonny Perdue (Governor), John Oxendine (Commissioner of Insurance), Kathy Cox (State School Superintendent), Jack Kingston (Congress), Tom Price (Congress), John Linder (Congress), Charlie Norwood (Congress), Phil Gingrey (Congress).

Democratic incumbents who won: Thurbert Baker (Attorney General), Tommy Irvin (Commissioner of Agriculture), Michael Thurmond (Commissioner of Labor), Sanford Bishop (Congress), John Lewis (Congress), Jim Marshall (Congress), John Barrow (Congress), David Scott (Congress).

Overall, there doesn't appear to have been any change in the state legislature.

The open seats, of course, are another story. Republican Casey Cagle defeated Democrat Jim Martin and Republican Karen Handel deafeated Democrat Gail Bruckner.

Of course, that gloss doesn't capture the magnitude of the Democrat's defeat; Mark Taylor lost with 38% of the vote - worse than both Jim Martin and Gail Bruckner, and little better than Denise Majette and John Oxendine.

Me, I think he failed to deliver on the promise of his primary campaign. He ran that campaign on the promise of a fair tax system, the opportunity for a college education, and guaranteed health care. After he won, he dropped those themes in favor of punitive rhetoric on crime. It didn't win him Republican votes, and it probably lost him Democratic ones. What if he had kept closer those themes, even as he attacked Sonny's record of cronyism?

I don't know if he'd've won, but I think he would have done better than he did. Witness Jim Martin. He remained focused on social justice - attacking Cagle for his ties to predatory lenders - and while Martin still lost, he did so with a more respectable 42% of the vote.

And, I'd say, his conscience is clear.