Who's the money talking to in the 11th District congressional race?
by Dick Yarbrough
September 07, 2013 12:00 AM | 2367 views | 2 2 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
Eight months and counting. That is how long we have until next May’s primaries when we will select a Republican and a Democratic candidate (if one ever gets around to running) to replace incumbent 11th District U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) in November’s general election. Gingrey is running for the U.S. Senate seat of Georgia’s retiring senior Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) who has decided he has had all the fun he can stand in Washington.

As of this writing, there are six Republicans vying for the job. They include former Republican Rep. Bob Barr; Georgia House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey of Buckhead; state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cartersville; Tricia Pridemore of Cobb County; Allan Levene of Kennesaw and retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Mrozinski of Woodstock.

Nobody in the Democratic Party seems to be interested in the job at this point, although that could change as we get closer to the primaries. Wake me if they do.

If you go by money raised so far, the odds favor Barr. According to the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, for the period April 1 through June 30, Barr’s campaign raised $251,782.

Next is Lindsey, whose campaign reports $172,898, including a $15,000 personal loan from the candidate.

Loudermilk has raised $97,174, and Pridemore $93,254, plus a $50,000 personal loan to her campaign.

Levene shows $125 in contributions and Mrozinski zero.

If you don’t have eye-glaze by now, allow me some general observations about the campaign thus far.

While Barr has raised a good deal of his money in Cobb County and around North Georgia, many of his donors are from out-of-state. Barr also has the most contributors who have given the maximum amount of $2,600. It is obvious that the former congressman has high name recognition locally and nationally and that will be an issue for the other candidates in the 11th District race.

Lindsey has already taken a shot at Barr, calling him a “Republican defector,” and a “failed 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate-cum-Mad Hatter.” Speaking of the House Whip, he gets my nod for the most self-serving comment of the campaign. After Sen. Loudermilk said he would resign his Georgia senate seat to devote fulltime to the congressional race, Lindsey cited advice from his daddy about “the best way to get a job is to do well at the job you have.” Therefore, he intoned, “I will not abandon Georgia.” What Lindsey clearly implied was that he intended to keep his job in the state Legislature, win or lose next May.

Now, Lindsey is saying that isn’t what he meant. In a comment in today’s Around Town, the legislator says his House term is up in 2014 and it is “up or out next summer in the primary.” That is not the way his news release read. Nowhere in his release did he indicate that he would not remain in the House if he lost in the Republican primary.

I like Edward Lindsey. He was more than a worthy adversary during the charter school amendment battle and matched me adjective-for-adjective in his support of the amendment and my opposition to it — and we all know how that came out. If he is up for some unsolicited advice, he might want to tell his campaign strategists to spare us the self-aggrandizing shtick and clearly state what their candidate means. As political pundit George Will says about politics, “If you have to explain what you said, you’ve already lost the argument.”

Tricia Pridemore trails the major contenders in the money race at this point, but she has gathered some well-known support in Cobb County, including former Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway, retired Cobb County Sheriff Bill Hutson and Earl Smith, the former chairman of the Cobb County Commission, among others. How that will translate into votes is yet to be seen, but I don’t think it will hurt.

I don’t know Barry Loudermilk. Obviously, he must think he has enough political horsepower to win the Republican primary and then the November election since he gave up what seems to be a safe seat in the state Senate to make the run. Good for him in going all-out for the job.

As for Col. Mrozinski and Mr. Levene, I wonder if they really and truly think they have a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of winning the Republican primary. If so, they had better get to hustling. Their opponents are raising money and raising their profiles and at this point, these two candidates have neither.

If you want to check out who is giving money to what candidate, go to www.fec.gov and examine the campaign reports for yourself. The site isn’t easy to navigate but it’s worth the effort.

In politics, money talks, and you might be interested in seeing who it is talking to in the 11th Congressional District.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 07, 2013
Everyone knows you can't run for two different seats at the same time in Georgia. Step up your game MDJ, No one else was confused by his comment.
Patrick Thompson
September 07, 2013
Stop with the money comparisons! This just shows a voter who is bought and paid for. I want a representative who works for me not for money. Get money out of politics.
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