As Ed posted earlier, Politico is reporting that 6th District Congressman Tom Price is in the running to be president-elect Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. Local rumors also have him as a front runner to be the Office of Management and Budget Director. As many Americans are now coming to terms with, it seems that the good people of Georgia’s 6th district may like their doctor and be losing him anyway.
The political ripple effect of a Price vacancy could be felt across the north metro Atlanta area and is sure to upset more than one ambitious plan for higher office. After a weeklong break from electoral politics, aimless speculation as to who an open congressional seat benefits looks to be just what the doctor ordered!
A quick note: our look at the Georgia Constitution seems to indicate that any state or local elected announcing a bid for the open congressional seat would have to vacate their current position in order to run. Which means…more speculation.
To the line!
From the Georgia House:
Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones:
Representative Jones is probably one of the strongest potential candidates to fill this seat for a variety of reasons. Her fundraising numbers have been strong for the House caucus and she’s shown an ability to sit down at a table to get things done across political and ideological lines. The biggest hindrance to a run? Jones has put in a lot of time and effort into moving up the ladder of House hierarchy. Taking a leap towards Congress may not be worth throwing that all away.
Representative Betty Price:
Following Jan Jones, Betty Price would also start in a strong position if she were to run. Besides the obvious advantage of the Price political and fundraising network, Rep. Price has demonstrated policy chops in her first cycle in the General Assembly and could clear the field of a good number of potential challengers.
Representative Chuck Martin:
Rep. Martin could benefit from favorable geography that puts him in a good position to make a run for an open 6th District seat. On the other hand, his ability to fundraise in a potentially crowded field would be put to the test while running against better known opponents. Also, a bid for Congress would mean leaving prime spots on the House Appropriations Committee, Ways and Means, and the chairmanship of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee.
From the Georgia Senate:
Senator Brandon Beach:
The surest bet to throw their hat in the ring may very well be state senator Brandon Beach. After an impressive re-election win that at times looked in doubt, Beach looks to have the “fire in the belly”. His strong fundraising ability and stated interest in a vacancy make him impossible to overlook.
Senator John Albers:
For those wanting a rematch from 2010, Senator Albers could once again face a former primary foe, Senator Beach, in a congressional seat tangle. Albers has been kicking the tires with supporters, so a large field may include his name.
Senator Hunter Hill:
Despite hailing from the 11th congressional district, with a little ambition you could see Senator Hill on the ballot for Price’s seat. A compelling personal story centered around his military service could help propel Hill to Congress — he would just have to relinquish influential committee placements on Rules, Appropriations, and Finance to name a few.
Senator Judson Hill
When Congressman Price seriously looked at a Senate bid in 2014, Sen. Judson Hill tested the waters with national GOP higher-ups in case of a vacancy. Now that he may get his wish, Hill’s policy chops could help him get to Congress.
Big Fish To Watch:
This is her back yard. Any north Fulton multiple choice question will have the former Georgia Secretary of State as a potential answer. Most think she wouldn’t challenge the Price family if Betty decided to run, but if Handel is looking at getting back in it, she could emerge as the early front-runner with her grassroots network.
Well-liked and very well-regarded in her time steering the Georgia Department of Revenue, Riley would be a dark horse to make the race interesting.
Doug Macginnitie may look to re-enter the political arena after falling short in a run for Secretary of State in 2010. Bruce LeVell, a member of Trump’s national team may try to call in some fundraising favors to get to D.C. Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann knows the area and may be looking for a change of scenery. No speculation post would be complete without mentioning the newly minted Attorney General, Chris Carr. His folks adamantly state that he’s staying put and will run for election in 2018. But, there’s not an open congressional seat close by…yet.
Deserving A Mention:
All politics is local, and anyone with a corner of 6th district local politics could carve out enough fundraising from a fairly wealthy district to make a run for a presumed tight special election. Ones to watch? Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson, Johns Creek City Councilman Steve Broadbent, Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray, Sandy Springs City Councilman Gabriel Sterling, and Sandy Springs Mayor and former GAGOP Chair Rusty Paul.
If you’re reading this post, potentially plan on potentially running for Congressman Price’s potentially vacant congressional seat, and I didn’t include you in this post… I regret the error and blame others.
Comment below on anyone you think we missed or shouldn’t have included.