Barnes Wins Nomination, Fort Re-elected, Waites in Run-off


(APN) ATLANTA — Here is a round-up of the 2010 Primary Election results from last night, Tuesday, July 20, 2010:


Former Governor Roy Barnes won the Democratic Party’s nomination for Governor last night, winning an impressive 65.6 percent of the vote, and avoiding a run-off.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker came in second with 21.6 percent.

APN Endorsee David Poythress came in third with 5.5 percent.

“Well, we were disappointed of course,” Poythress told APN. “We expected it would go to a runoff with Roy and myself. It turns out of course he won it without a run-off. It’s just the way politics is. I knew when Roy got in the race, I could not outspend him. I would have to basically focus on a ground game and organizing at the grassroots level.”

“I think we did a good job, but you can’t get beyond a certain point with organizing. He [Barnes] had and put very substantial resources into the race and it’s hard to overcome that,” Poythress said.

“It was very conscious decision. We [me and my wife] dedicated a couple of years of our lives. We met great people… all over the state. We had a great time. I don’t regret a minute of it,” Poythress said.

“The race was very slow coming into focus for a lot of people. A lot of people vote based on name recognition or who had more ads. I wish the race received more media attention than it did. I would’ve wanted to see… more press coverage of the race, just in terms of the whole race. It seemed as though no one was really paying much attention. The media wasn’t covering it. People on the street would say, a governor’s race? It was quite troubling. I would’ve liked to have seen deeper coverage of it,” Poythress said.

State Rep. Dubose Porter came in fourth with 4.5 percent.

Barnes will face either former Secretary of State Karen Handel or former US Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) on the Republican ticket in the General Election. Handel led Deal in the Republican Primary. Barnes will also face John Monds, a Libertarian candidate.


In an interesting twist, while Rep. Porter came in fourth for Governor, his wife, Carol Porter, won the Lt. Governor nomination without a Run-off. Carol Porter had previously been helping to run Rep. Porter’s campaign for Governor.

However, after Carol Porter filled in for her husband at a Gubernatorial debate and impressed the audience with her remarks, and after no one else had announced they were running for the Lt. Governor nomination, she decided to run for the seat herself.

Porter won the nomination with 69.7 percent, beating Patricia McCracken–somewhat of a mystery candidate who refused to make public appearances–who received 30.3 percent.

Porter will face Casey Cagle, a Republican, and Rhonda Martini, a Libertarian, in the General Election.


Two candidates emerged from a crowded field into a run-off for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, State Sen. Gail Buckner and State Rep. Georganna Sinkfield.

Buckner previously was the nominee in 2006. Based on candidate interviews with APN and Buckner’s performance as a candidate, APN believes she will be the stronger candidate out of the two in terms of election integrity.

“I’m just so honored to be the lead vote-getter in 144 counties. I’m very appreciative to my supporters around the State who helped me have this great showing. And we plan to work hard through the Run-off so we can move one step closer to returning public service to the Office of Secretary of State,” Buckner said.

Buckner got the nomination in 2006, but lost to Republican Karen Handel in the General Election. What makes her think 2010 will be different?

“Citizens have had the opportunity to observe this Administration for three and a half years. Brian Kemp has clearly indicated he is just simply a continuation of Karen Handel, and that has not served our citizens very well,” Buckner said.

The winner of the run-off will face Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, and David Chastain, a Libertarian, in the General Election.


Ken Hodges won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, with 65.5 percent of the vote to 34.5 percent for State Rep. Rob Teilhet.

Hodges will face either Sam Olens or Preston Smith on the Republican ticket in the General Election, as well as Don Smart, a Libertarian.


Joe Martin won the Democratic nomination for School Superintendent with 54.9 percent of the vote, despite getting in the race at the last minute before qualifying. Beth Farokhi received 27.4 percent and Brian Westlake received 17.8 percent.

At least one voter told Atlanta Progressive News they voted for Joe Martin because they thought he was Jim Martin, who ran for US Senate in 2008.

Martin will face John Barge, a Republican, and Kara Willis, a Libertarian, in the General Election.


Darryl Hicks just barely won the Democratic nomination for Labor Commissioner by 50.1 percent according to 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Terry Coleman received 49.9 percent of the vote.

Hicks will face Mark Butler, a Republican, and William Costa, a Libertarian, in the General Election.


Michael Thurmond, Labor Commissioner, won the nomination for US Senate with 84.4 percent. RJ Hadley, a political unknown who had been campaigning for several months with no opponent, received 15.6 percent.

Thurmond will face US Sen. Isakson (R-GA) and Chuck Donovan, a Libertarian, in the General Election.


US Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was considered vulnerable for several reasons, but he beat back two challengers to win without a run-off. Johnson received 55.3 percent of the vote. Former Dekalb County CEO and US Senate candidate, Vernon Jones, received 26.3 percent. Dekalb Commissioner Connie Stokes received 18.5 percent.

Johnson–probably the most progressive of the three candidates–has been battling hepatitis C and faced negative media attention for a sarcastic remark that the island of Guam would capsize and fall into the ocean. In addition, Johnson had not faced opposition since having been first elected in 2006.


US Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) was reelected without a run-off to US House District 12. The centrist Democrat faced a challenge from former State Sen. Regina Thomas.

This was one of the most closely watched races across the country in terms of the efforts of a progressive Democrat to unseat a centrist.

Barrow received 58%. Thomas received 42%. When she challenged Barrow in 2008, she only received 24%.

“I feel good,” Thomas told APN. “I didn’t even have 42,000 dollars. I didn’t have no money at all. It’s all good. We had a choice. And they made this choice.”

As far as the role of money in elections, “That’s what you need to get your message out. I don’t want anyone to be discouraged. I think they need to run anyway if they are so impassioned about it. That’s why we have so much corruption, no one wants to challenge anyone who’s well-financed,” Thomas said.

As far as why she lost, “In my opinion, it’s voter apathy, the people that’s too lazy to get out and go vote. The turnout was very low. It was less than 20 percent.”

But Thomas says she does not intend to run again in 2012. “There won’t be a next time. I am done. I would not dare put my husband through that again. I have no regrets [leaving the State Senate to run for US House]. It was time to leave.”


Keisha Waites and Joan Garner will head into a run-off for Fulton County District 6. Waites received 42 percent of the vote; Garner received 39 percent.

“Obviously I’m very pleased with the results considering I ran against a candidate that had every endorsement in the race. I think we performed exceptionally well, being an underdog candidate,” Waites told APN.

“We were the people’s candidate, we received the endorsement of the APN which we’re very proud of. I think the voters spoke. We’re running one campaign, the same campaign on the north side and the same on the south side. I think that’s important. We have not changed our literature. We have the same message for Whites and Blacks, straights and gays,” Waites said.

“Turnout will be a major concern. It is our hope to inspire people to come out,” Waites said.

“I think Joan ran a phenomenonal campaign, as a first time candidate. It will be a win for the GLBT community either way,” Waites said, noting that both she and Garner are openly homosexual. “There’s no need to be divisive.”

“The endorsement process I’ve seen occuring in this race is very disappointing, the fact those endorsements were issued so early on, prior to other candidates having the opportunity to qualify- it makes me question how you can determine who the best candidate really is if you don’t know who the candidates were. That puts the endorsement process into question,” Waites said.


State Sen. Vincent Fort was reelected with 67.7 percent of the vote versus 32.3 percent for Graham Balch. As previously reported by APN, Balch received significant support from Atlanta’s downtown business community.

“I feel great. It was a resounding defeat of the Chamber of Commerce. This wasn’t Vincent Fort versus Graham Balch. This was Vincent Fort against the Chamber of Commerce. It shows the Chamber of Commerce can’t buy an election,” Fort said.

“These seats are owned by the people and only by the people,” Fort said. “This guy had an almost unlimited amount of money and he thought with an open checkbook he was gonna win. He found out different yesterday.”

“If the Chamber of Commerce had been able to beat me, it would’ve discouraged other candidates or sitting elected officials to speak up for working people. They [the Chamber] had their money and their ego. What they didn’t have was 14 years of working on the grassroots community level,” Fort said.


Former State Sen. Gail Davenport was re-elected to her old seat with 60.3 percent of the votes. Davenport had been unseated in 2008 by Gail Buckner, who is now running for Secretary of State.

State Rep. Mike Glanton got 31.5 percent of the vote, while Dawn Randolph got 8.2 percent.


State Sen. Donzella James was re-elected to her seat without a run-off with 66.5 percent of the vote. Torrey O. Johnson received 24.9 percent, while Roberta Cooper received 8.6 percent.

“Of course I am elated that the people were confident in my service and sent me back for another term. We don’t have a challenger in the General, so now we have time to listen closely the community and work to formulate solutions to our problems and be ready for the next Session in January,” James said.


State Sen. Horacena Tate won the Democratic nomination for State Senate District 38. Her challenger Michael Adams was disqualified from the ballot after Tate raised a challenge regarding his residency.

“Administrative Law Judge Stephanie M. Howells ruled during a July 6 hearing that Adams does not live in the home he claims to reside in,” according to the Neighbor Newspapers website.

Adams had been appealing the decision according to the Neighbor Newspapers, but Adams told APN he abandoned his campaign about two weeks ago.

Republican candidate Beth Beskin, who will face Sen. Tate in the General Election, told APN that she visited several of the polling locations and noted that, according to the precinct-level tallies, Adams did receive quite a few votes, which were not aggregated to a total. He received those votes despite the fact that notices were placed throughout the District’s polling locations stating that Adams had been disqualified.

Jim Nichols won the nomination in State Senate District 17 with 62.8 percent of the vote. He will face either Republican Rick Jeffares or Jeff Hilton in the General Election.

Valencia Seay beat back two challengers to win without a run-off in State Senate District 34.


In State House District 55, former State Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas failed in her bid to regain her old State House seat. She had vacated the seat in 2008 to run for US House against John Lewis.

State Rep. Rashad Taylor, who has served since 2008, won with 56.1 percent of the vote, versus 43.9 for Thomas.


Brian Mock almost upset an incumbent, State Rep. Pedro Marin, a Democrat, in State House District 96. Marin received 52.3 percent of the vote, while Mock received 47.7. The actual vote difference was 31 votes, between 354 for Marin and 323 for Mock.


State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, a Democrat, was re-elected with 73.4 percent of the vote in State House District 39.

State Rep. Sheila Jones, a Democrat, was re-elected with 82.5 percent of the vote in State House District 44.

State Rep. Ralph Long, a Democrat, was re-elected with 72.9 percent of the vote in State House District 61.

State Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague, a Democrat, was re-elected with 76.1 percent of the vote in State House District 65.

State Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam, a Democrat, was re-elected with 62.6 percent of the vote in State House District 74.

Sandra Scott, a Democrat, was elected to represent State House District 76, for the seat vacated by State Rep. Mike Glanton. Carlotta Harrell received 30.4 percent in the race and Thomas Pough received 18.8 percent.

Sandy Murray became the Democratic nominee in State House District 80, to face State Rep. Mike Jacobs, a Republican, in the General Election. Murray beat Keith Gross, 68.4 percent to 31.6.

State Rep. Earnest “Coach” Williams, a Democrat, was re-elected with 63.9 percent of the vote, in State House District 89. Rev. Kenneth Samuel, a progressive activist, received 36.1 percent of the vote.

Dar’shun Kendrick became the Democratic nominee in State House District 94 and will face Steve Conner, a Republican, in the General Election.

Allan Burns became the Democratic nominee in State House District 103, and will face David Casas, a Republican, in the General Election.


About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for The Atlanta Progressive News and is reachable at

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