Sunday, March 12, 2006

And the Georgia Governor's Race

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a local die-hard (as in Bush Ranger) Republican. He asked who I thought would win the Democratic primary for Governor. I told him that I hoped Democrats would have the wisdom to choose Cox. He said, "I hope you choose Taylor. We're much more afraid of Cox."

This is not the first time I've heard this. Cox is widely viewed as the Democrat Sonny fears. Fine with me. But do you agree? Does Cox have the best shot in November? And will she win the primary? Weigh in as the real race begins.


Button Gwinnett said...

Both Cox and Taylor are loyal Democrats that espouse Democratic ideas. Their stances on everything from education to jobs will be very similar. And both will bring out and carry the corps voters that the Democratic Party attracts.

Where they differ is leadership and how each chooses to run their campaign. Taylor's tainted with all of the partisan bickering that he's engaged in with the Republicans. And so far the only reason the Taylor campaign can come up with to vote for him is that Cox can't raise enough money. First of all, everyday Georgians are tired of that kind of attitude. And secondly, Cox has shown she can more than hold her own.

Meanwhile, Cox is talking about issues. She's sticking to her strength which is to meet people of various interests all across the state face to face and answering their questions directly. She's hitting the Gov. hard, but fairly, on ethics, open government, and his tendency to use divisive issues to polarize the state.

Taylor will be tough to be in the primary. But Democrats and progressive need to realize right now that he has almost no shot in Nov.

If Democrats are interested in winning the Governor's mansion, they'll choose Cox. Taylor is divisive and will bring in very few votes outside of the Democratic corps - which in 2006 would fall at least 5 to 8 points short of winning the election.

Cox's tent is possibly the biggest of any gubernatorial candidate in recent Georgia history. She appeals to women, African Americans, members of the GLBT community, Republicans, Independents, teachers, farmers, business leaders, etc. And only Cox can take enough votes away from Perdue to win.

Amelia said...

At first, I was intrigued by the fact that a woman is running for governor. Right away, I leaned towards Cathy Cox. I am very excited that us women are starting to be taken more seriously in the political arena. However, as you look deeper, there is no question as to who the better candidate for the next governor of Georgia is.

Cox's following will drop as they educate themselves more, closer to the election. They will then see, as I do now, that she is a candidate lacking any substance.

"Where they differ is leadership" is exactly right. What has Cathy Cox really done? Who has the 20 year senate record? Who has made the idea of a college education more feasible? Who is making sure that every child in Georgia has health care? Who has proven that during tough times, they can come out on top?

Cox has gotten where she is now by luck. She has run practically unopposed in past races. What has she done? Voter ID? Come on!

Who knows if she will crack under pressure? No one knows! How can she expect to be hired for a position while her resume is full of inexperience and fluff?

Maybe she will be a good governor someday, but we have no way of knowing. Cox needs more experience before she can just jump in. I hope us Georgians are not dumb enough to elect someone just because they are a woman and that's the hip thing to do. We are better than that, Georgia!

Button Gwinnett said...

Surely you don't believe that Cathy Cox is short on substance? Her career might not be as long as Mark Taylor's, but that doesn't mean that Cox hasn't been a part of some dynamic changes in Georgia during her public career. Her actions speak very loudly.

When faced with a staggering 94,000 undervote count that would've made Georgia look as badly as Florida had it been closely contested, she went into action. She was the first SoS in the nation to move on this idea of bringing uniformity in voting systems using the best technology available. Because of this, Cox was able to secure federal funds to help defray the costs of upgrading our systems in one of the country's most populous states.
We need that kind of person in the Governor's mansion.

If Cox is lucky, it's because she made her own luck. She's dynamic and not afraid to take risks, but always with careful consideration. Taylor's record is okay - not necessarily great. Besides, we don't decide our leaders solely on seniority. His ideas of the future aren't being met with the greatest of enthusiasm. Such as when he recently gave his spiel about universal health care to the GA Chamber of Commerce. They were visibly and audibly underwhelmed.

And education is a huge part of the Cox campaign - including college education which is a key to many things, including attracting more businesses to GA.

As I said earlier, they're not going to differ very much on issues. But Cox looks to be the one with the greater ability to bridge gaps and get things done. Taylor has all too often allowed himself to be lured into mud slinging with the Republicans. Diplomacy just isn't one of his strengths.

If Taylor should win the nomination (and I think he's the favorite to do so)he's got my vote - as long as he keeps the primary campaign clean. ABS - Anybody But Sonny.

But the original question was who has the best shot in Nov? Political experts agree that the formula for Democrats in GA is still the automatic 40% with the need to find the extra 5 to 8% amongst independents and undecideds. Taylor does not have that kind of draw. Cox does.

Tina said...

Maybe it's "too early" but I would like to see both Cox and Taylor come out strongly on my pet issue, which is the underfunding of (and attempts at dismantling) the public mental health programs in Georgia. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill gives Georgia a "D" in mental health funding/care. According to the Georgia Hospital Association (2004) Georgia ranks 3rd highest in the nation with individuals who suffer from a serious mental disorder. Georgia is also one of the fastest growing states. Our MH care is not keeping up.

Button Gwinnett said...

Tina, Cox recently spoke about the situation in Coweta County. Apparently because of the lack of funding, many emergency facilities have had to be closed. Because of this, when the Probate Court in Coweta has to issue an order to apprehend for examination, they are now required to have the sheriff's dept. transport these individuals to Savannah - a five hour trip. Before the cuts their receiving facility was only about 30 minutes away.

As you well know, these evaluations may not result in the patient having to stay overnight. So the Coweta Co. Sheriff Dept. is spending a lot of money on DAILY trips to Savannah. Other counties are in the same boat on this. These people deserve immediate attention in facilities that aren't 5 hours away from home. And it's a huge burden to the counties who now must have extra officers just for transporting purposes.

Cox wasn't pleased with this and knows that we have to do better.