Posted: 2:19 pm Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Michelle Nunn sees GOP Senate race as a “drive to extremes in ideology” 

By Greg Bluestein

030714 qualifying democrats

U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, brought a large group of supporters with her to officially sign up for her Democratic campaign on Thursday. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Democrat Michelle Nunn formally qualified for the open U.S. Senate seat on Thursday, a race that will only attract more national attention and dollars as her party tries to keep its majority in the chamber.

Nunn faces several primary rivals, but she’s the clear front-runner in the May 20 contest. The Republican field is much murkier, with five well-known candidates in the race. Nunn has so far avoided events with them, but on Thursday the nonprofit executive had this to say about the GOP side of the ledger:

“It seems to be a kind of drive to extremes in ideology and they seem to be fighting each other for those extremes.”

Nunn’s candidacy hinges on her ability to paint herself as a moderate  in the same strain as her father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. Republicans, meanwhile, have eagerly cast her as a “national Democrat” who will blindly follow President Barack Obama.

Complicating her political debut was Tuesday’s news was the White House’s ill-timed snub of Savannah’s port funding, which came as Vice President Joe Biden – the project’s most high-profile endorser – was raising money for Nunn in Georgia. Said Nunn:

“I told him how important this is, how it’s been an example of how people across all political parties and affiliations have said this is important for Georgia, it’s important for the Southeast, it’s important for the nation in terms of the economy and we need to get it done. And he agreed.”

But Biden’s words only go so far, as Georgia leaders rudely learned this week. When asked whether the vice president made any specific promises, Nunn said he did not.

“The Vice President said he was going to keep working at it and he believes firmly on the importance of the port and the investment in infrastructure projects,” she said.

***

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan walked through a gantlet of her supporters after she qualified to run for superintendent as a Democrat. It was hard to miss one of her fans waiting for her on the other side: Leo Smith, the Georgia GOP’s director of minority engagement.

Morgan isn’t exactly a favorite within her party over her support of the 2012 charter school amendment, drawing the ire of teachers groups. So much so that Democrats are openly recruiting a challenger who is expected to soon qualify. She doesn’t think the party’s distancing will ultimately hurt her, and points to endorsements from former Gov. Roy Barnes and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.030714 qualifying democrats

“I am an unapologetic champion for parents and I make no apologies,” said Morgan. “I’m fully confident that other parents who understand what it means to make the right choices for kids will be absolutely supportive. I’m proud of my bipartisan record to be able to work across the aisle.”

The Republican field for the wide-open race to replace Superintendent John Barge, who qualified Thursday to run for governor, is among the hottest tickets in Georgia. Nine GOP candidates have already qualified, and that number is expected to grow.

But if a long-shot GOP candidate emerges and Morgan prevails in her contest, we wouldn’t be surprised if Republican powerbrokers quietly throw support her way.

20 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I hope that Democrats will offer a challenger to Alisha Thomas Morgan's candidacy for State School Superintendent.  I do not believe that Rep. Morgan understands fully the political intent behind Georgia's charter school movement, which is to dismantle traditional public schools as much as possible for non-profit or quasi-private public schools.  Morgan's intense support for the Charter School Amendment to Georgia's Constitution, which she had first co-sponsored as a House Resolution along with ALEC-member and now Republican House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, disqualifies Morgan to be a fair and impartial State School Superintendent for all of Georgia's public schools, imo.


Moreover, Alisha Thomas Morgan's political/educational vision appears, to me, to be too intense to foster harmonious relations, and goodwill, among all educational/political constituencies in Georgia.  I do not believe that Alisha Thomas Morgan will foster wisdom and prudence within the state's Department of Education.  Rep. Morgan has not reached a level of maturity, imo, that I believe a state's School Superintendent should possess in order to be an effective, fair, and humane administrator for all Georgians.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen. Figures, just another bed-wetting member of the Socialist-Democrat Party. Isn't it funny when a Socialist-Democrat is losing an argument she has to start using name-calling? Amen, Bill

NWGAL
NWGAL

The purse strings are not in the President's hands. The House controls them. And the House right now has decided to bicker and stall rather than do their jobs. What is this - the fiftieth time they have voted on ACA? When the party in control of the House considers government to be evil, then governance is wishful thinking. Republicans weren't like this even fifteen years ago. They made sensible suggestions. Now it is about obstruction, not governance.

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

I would love to see her win. We desperately need senators not beholden to a crazy right-wing ideology and one that can actually discuss things with other leaders and get things accomplished.  The ones who already in Congress are part of that group of congressmen that get absolutely nothing done except hold votes to try and overturn ACA. The other option would be Karen Handel...but what a joke that would be on Georgia.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Republicans Motto...I am more Extreme and Crazyier than the Next GUY or Gal...just watch me and see!

DS
DS

"White House’s ill-timed snub of Savannah’s port funding..."

Not a snub. Under current law, federal improvements to ports must be authorized by Congress, which hasn't done that in seven years. 

Congress has a Water Resources Reform and Development Act before it, which would be the first step in satisfying this requirement. The ball is in their court.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Blog headline: "Michelle Nunn sees GOP Senate race as a 'drive to extremes in ideology'."

We won't be seeing a balanced headline as to what a Republican thinks of her lack of experience or coronation in the left wing AJC.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Michelle Nunn should look into just why it is—that no Democrat holds statewide office. 

Maybe because of her own party's extreme stances on issues?

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

Must be slow day Jim. She has to  get voters like me to vote for her and its not going to happen.

honested
honested

@Bill OrvisWhite  

billy, 

Who is the Socialist-Democrat?

All I have seen so far is mushy centrist Democrats.

We do need a good, strong Socialist to help show just how far wrong the current gop has fallen.

Kamchak
Kamchak

If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen. 

You zigged when you should have zagged, and you have to break some eggs to make an omelet. What you see, is what you get, but remember variety is the spice of life when everything is up for grabs. Take the bull by the horns, save the drama for your mama, and read the fine print. Quick as a New York minute, perception becomes reality and we're off to the races.


The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@DS - While I agree with with your analysis, it was certainly a snub as Democrats Biden, Reed and Nunn have admitted, and Republicans roundly point out.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Noun, verb, liberal press.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr As so many of the repups posting here like to remind us, at one time the state was all Dem, no repuppy held state office. Things change, and it will be a blue state again, not soon enough, but soon.
Maybe because of your own party's extreme stances on issues?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@leefrommeeks - Galloway often turns his blog over to the newer AJC Democrats, Bluestein and Malloy - like this one.

honested
honested

@The_Centrist @DS 

Of course, it is possible that the White House and Democratic leadership have had a tet-a-tet with people who have shown them what a permanent boodoggle the ill conceived destruction of the lower Savannah River would be.

honested
honested

@NWGAL  

I guess it is also punctuated with a belch, but we may never know.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Noun, verb, liberal press. You are very consistent, Pseudocentrist.