David Shafer Encouraged To Run For Lieutenant Governor

While everyone had their attention focused on the aftermath of the CD 6 special election, the world of Georgia politics kept on spinning. On Wednesday, the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce held a legislative recap luncheon where State Rep. Chuck Efstration made it clear that fellow Gwinnett Republican and Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer is being encouraged to run for lieutenant governor in 2018. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that Efstration made the following remarks:

I’m very excited right now that as discussions about statewide races for constitutional officers takes place, I know Sen. Shafer is being encouraged by many people, including myself, to consider running for lieutenant governor. I don’t think we’ve ever had the kinds of opportunities that we do right now for additional influence in Atlanta.

Shafer did not say much in his own remarks, only that there would be an announcement shortly. The pro tem is known for keeping his cards close to his vest, so read into this what you will. His calculus might have changed with State Rep. Geoff Duncan’s entry into the race, although Duncan’s run was widely expected. Shafer is a powerful player in the state senate as is, with 15 years of experience and plenty of statewide connections. He was going to run for lieutenant governor in 2010, but he withdrew after Casey Cagle stepped away from his gubernatorial run and decided to return to stay in his position as lieutenant governor.

The other opportunity Efstration was referring to is State Rep. Buzz Brockway’s announced run for secretary of state. Brockway represents the Lawrenceville area and previously headed up the Gwinnett County GOP. He will face at least one challenger in that race as State Rep. Brad Raffensperger has also announced.

3 thoughts on “David Shafer Encouraged To Run For Lieutenant Governor”

  1. You have to wonder if some Republican candidates are weighing whether to go the lieutenant governor route this time versus governor, the case for the latter perhaps being that politically the state will be more competitive in 2026 than in 2018, thus the odds better next year for a GOP win. Henry County on Atlanta’s southside certainly is moving in the D direction (going Democratic for governor in 2014 and president in 2016), and Cobb and Gwinnett are too (2018 will show whether Clinton’s wins in both Cobb and Gwinnett were an aberration or something more substantial and long-lasting). Clinton’s wins in the three counties mentioned above were the first time Cobb and Gwinnett had voted D for president since 1976—as in Jimmy Carter—and the first time Henry had done so since 1980s. Rural Georgia probably will still be Republican in 2026, but D-trending metro Atlanta certainly will have a larger share of the statewide vote in 9 years than next year. Metro Atlanta accounted for 58% of the state’s total votes in the last presidential election. For Democrats next year, unless the party can make inroads in the “other” Georgia, they are left to roll the dice on a big win in metro Atlanta to win statewide offices—but metro Atlanta has not yet arrived at the point that it is solidly Democratic, like say the Chicago area or metro DC.

    1. The other thing to think about in terms of 2018 vs. 2022/26 is what kind of midterm it will be. Right now, 2018 looks like a bad midterm for the GOP (as is typical for incumbent Presidents, 1998/2002 being exceptions due to Impeachment/Economic Boom and 9/11/Iraq). If Trump loses reelection, 2022 and 2026 would take place with a Dem in the White House, something that could make the environment more friendly for a GAGOP Gov candidate. You have to go back to 1986 to find the ‘in party’ making gains in a midterm election. While it’s no guarantee for ‘waves’ on gubernatorial level (2002 saw Dems flip 11 governor’s mansions mostly in the midwest, great plains, and southwest, while the GOP flipped 9, mostly in the northeast and deep south, including Georgia).

      But agree that while ATL may eventually become Georgia’s version of NOVA and dominate the state, right now those changes will at most be felt downballot in congressional districts like the 6th and 7th, plus state house/Senate seats.

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