A lot of folks (and me) didn’t give the possibility of “President Trump” a lot of serious thought. Sure, we talked about it in theory, but there are a lot of folks who are going to have to get up to speed on a transition that is already underway.
This transition should be kind to Georgia. Many of the first folks on board the Trump train have Georgia ties. Trump appears to value and reward loyalty. Many Georgians stepped out early, held on through the rough times, and as such, will have the President’s ear. Some will also likely get appointments.
Let’s get a basic list started. If I miss a few, I’ll blame the fact that I’m writing this at 4am and it’s been a weird week, even before politics intervened. Ready? Let’s go:
Senator David Perdue: One of the earliest, highest ranking elected officials. Rumors of a Cabinet position have been in the mix for the beginning. Maybe Commerce Secretary? Maybe more?
Side Note: This would create an opening for U.S. Senator should this happen. Governor Deal would select a replacement after confirmation, and if my memory stands on how this works, this new Senator would stand for election in 2018 for the remainder of the term, then presumably run for re-election again for a full six year term in 2020. I’ll let y’all speculate on who that may be in the comments.
Randy Evans: Evans was preparing the GA GOP base as early as the county conventions (specifically, a lengthy Q&A at the Cobb GOP Convention in…March? saying Trump was likely the nominee). Not sure what he wants, but an ask has been earned.
Newt Gingrich: Never far from Evans’ reach is Gingrich. He’s been one of Trump’s most loyal surrogates. He didn’t get VP, but will likely get a top position of his choosing.
Bubba McDonald: We’ve all seen his RV. It has a cool Trump wrap and has seen most corners of this state. Where does a PSC member want to be in a Trump administration? Maybe EPA Administrator?
Jack Kingston: Does he want an appointment? I dunno. He’s got a decent gig in DC now. Has great relationships with senior GOP members of Congress. Has the ear and loyalty of the new President. Could take an appointment and go fix some things, OR, could add a zero to his private sector salary and make some money. His call, probably.
Judge Keith Blackwell: He’s on the list of possible SCOTUS nominees. I imagine there’s quite a few GOP attorneys that are looking for positions in the Justice Department that will receive a thorough cleansing. Maybe throw Brad Carver in that list, among others.
Bruce LeVelle: Was one of the first national African American GOP leaders to put his name behind Trump. Became an integral part of the campaign. He’ll either be in Washington or have influence there.
Early in the campaign, very few elected officials would risk their name to be aligned with Trump. A few took a risk in Georgia. Senators Bert Jones and Michael Williams, and Representative Steve Tarvin did. That’s likely worth something.
Billy Kirkland took over Georgia operations mid-campaign, and also has close ties to Senator Perdue. His stock just went up a lot.
Again, I’m sure the list is longer. I am not on it. As such, I won’t claim to know who else may have been working hard on the inside, though I know there are many others.
The point is this: Trump will be brining a lot of new people to Washington to remake the executive branch. A strong portion of them will have a Georgian accent. And if Senator Perdue is tapped for a promotion, an entirely new set of dominos will begin to fall here in the home state.