19 JUL 06: ED IN
The Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus began a two-day stand at the Columbus Civic Center Tuesday. Yet somehow, the presence of all those elephants did NOT increase the Muscogee County turnout in the Georgia Republican Primary....
Columbus-area Democrats gave State Senator Ed Harbison an overwhelming win over Reginald Pugh, by a margin of more than two to one. Pugh must have been surprised to turn on WXTX "News at Ten," and see Harbison actually standing in Columbus to thank supporters.
"All negative" was how an aide to Ed Harbison described Reginald Pugh, when I tried to arrange an interview with the incumbent last week. Perhaps if Pugh had declared himself a "really, REALLY good man...."
Ed Harbison actually ran a campaign commercial in Spanish, on WHAL "Viva 1460." Well, someone else spoke in Spanish - then Harbison added a few words in English at the end. Next time, Mimi Woodson should give him some lessons.
Reginald Pugh took the loss to Ed Harbison rather hard. He told one reporter the incumbent will represent only a select group of voters. C'mon now - is that really fair? Big donor AFLAC seems to hire a wide range of people....
Reginald Pugh says he had a busy election day, visiting at least 16 polling places. Pugh's on a 30-day leave of absence from the Columbus Urban League -- so either that, or sit at home and watch soap operas all day.
The evening news climbed inside the Urban League's "ride to the polls" van - and what do you know? There were NO political statements or name-dropping by the driver. In fact, they didn't even put a glossy photo of Reginald Pugh on the dashboard as a hint.
The Ed Harbison win could be seen as another blow against Columbus civil rights groups. William Howell of Rainbow/PUSH may still be sitting outside Senator Arlen Specter's office in Washington, waiting for a meeting. But at least Bill Madison of the NAACP isn't talking about pretend bombings anymore.
At the top of the ticket, Mark Taylor held a firm lead at our deadline in the Democratic primary for Governor. Did anyone dare ask at Taylor's victory party whether the caterers were prison inmates?
Did you see the tape of Mark Taylor waving a campaign sign, along the side of an Albany street? Do that enough times in the summer heat, and he might not be "The Big Guy" much longer.
The apparent loss by Cathy Cox in the Democratic primary will disappoint some local lawmakers. Cox was backed by Rep. Debbie Buckner and Rep. Carolyn Hugley -- so if I was Hugley's husband (ahem), I'd send Mark Taylor a Columbus city government wish list in a hurry.
(How many journalists quitely are thrilled to see Cathy Cox lose -- so they won't confuse her with the Georgia School Superintendent anymore?)
Incumbent Sonny Perdue coasted to an easy win in the Republican primary for Governor, over Ray McBerry. McBerry tried to run on Perdue breaking his promise about the state flag - but when everyone pretends you don't exist, it's very hard.
Back at Burkard Awards time [1 Jan], I declared Sonny Perdue the incumbent LEAST likely to win re-election. Now I'm not so sure about that. He's been given more clues for beating the Democratic nominee than the detectives usually see on "Law and Order."
The Lieutenant Governor's race in Georgia may have received more national attention - and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed lost the Republican primary to Casey Cagle. Maybe evangelical voters really want Reed to go on the revival circuit with Roy Moore.
Casey Cagle warned in one Republican debate that Ralph Reed's connections with lobbyist Jack Abramoff might get Reed indicted or arrested by November. At least Reed doesn't have anything else on his mind now....
(Of course, Cagle could be arrested by November as well. All it takes is one lead foot in the wrong small town.)
And how about the Republican runoff for Lieutenant Governor in Alabama? Luther Strange defeated George Wallace Jr. - but maybe that shouldn't be considered so, well, strange a result. After all, Wallace changed parties faster than his dad changed his mind about school integration.
Back at the local level, results from the Talbot County Commission races seemed to come in very slowly Tuesday night. That's what happens when you put some of the polls inside a locked-up recreation center....
Sher'Londa Walker knocked off Talbot County Commissioner Vernon Allen Jr. But Commissioner Robert Lanier won his primary race easily - so in his district, voters seemed to pooh-pooh the "poo-poo pots."
Other things happened on Georgia Primary Day as well. For instance....
+ The mother of Kenneth Walker went before Columbus Council, claiming she received no help from the Public Safety Advisory Commission. Emily Walker sounds like a desperate woman, who's knocking on any door she can seeking help. We'll know she's desperate if she asks the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to try a second recall of the Sheriff.
+ WRBL showed plans for renovating the old Eagle & Phenix Mill along the Chattahoochee River. W.C. Bradley plans four floors of loft homes and two restaurants - which means one more restaurant will fail there, than did at Johnson Mill.
+ The Columbus Catfish lost to Augusta 7-4, in a special 11:00 a.m. "Youth Day" game at Golden Park. We're waiting to hear about many youngsters gave their parents away as cheaters, by showing up at the game wearing "I voted" stickers.
+ Instant Message to the owners of Hickory House Bar-B-Q at U.S. 80 and 280 in Phenix City: "Thanks for the memories," indeed. I didn't know you had shut down. Please don't tell me that intersection is going to have pharmacies on THREE corners now.
(BLOGGER'S NOTE: Our post time will change for the next couple of days, to around 8:00 a.m. ET. So you late-night blog readers really should get some rest....)
Free Frisbee Sundays begin this weekend, introducing Power Frisbee in Valdosta and Albany! A Columbus pre-season stop is planned August 13. Find out where and learn all about our new game at the official Power Frisbee web site; then offer your comments about it at the P.F.G. blog.
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