Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Roy Barnes is In

Dick Pettys from InsiderAdvantage Georgia Reports that Roy Barnes will announce later today that he will be in the 2010 Race for Governor:
(6/3/09) Former Gov. Roy Barnes, whose defeat after a single term in 2002 sent shockwaves through Georgia politics and set the stage for Republicans to control state government for much of the past eight years, will announce today he is seeking his old job back.

That ends months of speculation about whether he will seek to swing the state back into the Democratic column, at least at the chief executive level. Winning back the Legislature is not something most observers see in the cards for Democrats for the timebeing.

The announcement is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Marietta, but the campaign won’t begin immediately. Between now and July 1, the official launch date, he will be wrapping up current commitments.

While the decision doesn’t exactly come out of the blue, given the amount of speculation it had spawned, it does set Democratic politics spinning.

An InsiderAdvantage / Majority Opinion Research poll conducted May 21 showed Barnes the prohibitive favorite in the Democratic race for governor should he decide to run. He was at 38 percent, compared with 3 percent for Attorney General Thurbert Baker, 2 percent for former Adjutant General David Poythress and 2 percent for House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, with some 53 percent of likely Democratic voters undecided.

It also impacts the Republican calculus, putting a name with star power into the mix in what some had rated as a pushover field for whoever captured the Republican nomination. Barnes knows the state and in the past showed himself to be a prolific fundraiser, although that skill did not help him fend off the surprisingly strong challenge from Sonny Perdue. (He outspent Perdue $20 million to $4 million.)

I will be covering the rest of the campaign responses as they come out. This is a game changer in the race.