Now that it’s all over but the shouting, (from some dopey college kids who ought to be locked up for disrupting a public meeting) and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens been appointed President of Kennesaw State University and Chris Carr, the former Commissioner of the State Department of Economic Development, has been announced as Olens’ replacement, we should tip our hats to Irish Pat, who posted not only the widespread speculation about Olens, but also first put Chris Carr’s name forward as a replacement -and generated some highly skeptical comments back in August.
Carr’s appointment is a good thing to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former Governor Roy Barnes, who have both expressed support for him.
“I’ve known Chris for a long time. I think it’s a good appointment. I think he’ll do a great job,” said Barnes, who added that he might also back Carr in 2018. “If folks do a good job, whether they be a Democrat or Republican, then I’ll endorse them then. I have nothing but confidence that he’ll do a good job.”
In baseball, that’s called a “brushback” -a pitch thrown so close to the batter as to make him think twice about crowding the plate. It’s the same thing in politics, and any potential Democratic challengers have just been put on notice that they should hold their horses a bit, and wait to see how Carr performs before making any decisions to challenge him. (And they should certainly wait until after the ashes from the current election have cooled.) State Rep. Scott Holcomb was quick to disclaim any interest in the office, but some fellow Democrats say State Rep. Stacey Evans would be a “phenomenal” candidate.
Endorsements from Democrats will probably only embolden Sen. McKoon, who is already making primary challenger noises. The Columbus Republican has been a champion of “religious liberty,” an issue which may be red meat to Republican primary voters, but which scares the dickens out of the business community, who point to the lost conventions and sports tournaments in Indiana and North Carolina as proof that such legislation is bad for business, bad for jobs, and bad for Georgia. (It’s worth noting that outgoing State Rep. BJay Pak is in the “often-discussed but still silent” category of potential candidates, and that he’s already congratulated his good friends on their respective appointments.)
Georgia Democrats are in a pickle as they try to prepare for the 2018 cycle. On the one hand, the long-awaited demographic tide hasn’t quite turned in their favor and probably won’t by qualifying day, 2018. On the other hand, if there’s only one Republican they think they could beat in a general election that year, it’s Josh McKoon. They’d hate to see Georgia’s volatile Republican primary voters turn Carr out -and miss an opportunity to defeat McKoon.
Irish Pat’s prediction, now that it has come true, presents a genuine quandary for Georgia Democrats.