Valdosta Daily Times

State News

September 1, 2013

Ga. Democrats elect Porter as state party chair

NEWNAN, Ga. — Georgia Democrats have chosen former House Minority Leader DuBose Porter as their next state chairman during a special election, as the state party looks to rebuild itself after recent fundraising challenges and ahead of major elections next year.

Porter defeated former state Sen. Doug Stoner of Cobb County and Rockdale County Tax Commissioner R.J. Hadley on a second ballot Saturday in a special election. About 250 members of the party’s state committee voted after hearing similar messages from the three candidates.

The difference, perhaps, was in tone as Porter gave an impassioned speech that focused on his experience and his plan for raising money by seeking regular contributions from the party faithful and hosting more big-ticket fundraisers.

“We have a big challenge ahead of us, and I know you and you know me,” said Porter, who also is co-owner and editor of The Courier Herald newspaper in Dublin, Ga. “We’ve been shoulder to shoulder for years and now we have to look at our party and how we can move it forward.”

The special election was called after Mike Berlon stepped down as chair in June, citing personal issues. The attorney had been reprimanded by the State Bar of Georgia, sued by a client and was on the defensive after the party reported weak fundraising ahead of the 2014 statewide and congressional elections.

Specifically, financial reports showed the Democratic Party of Georgia had just $30,734 in cash on hand at the end of April, compared to $631,960 for the Georgia Republican Party.

The crowd of Democrats from around the state heard from party treasurer, state Sen. Lester Jackson, D-Savannah, who said the party has started to turn around its finances and now had total assets of $152, 791. He noted that party leaders had taken action in recent months to cut the budget and reduce expenses.

“We were bleeding,” Jackson said. “This was not easy. We had to cut our budget and frankly hurt a lot of people.”

The dearth of fundraising has been a major cause for concern from party leaders.

“A lot of the money follows who controls the political process because they are the ones who get things done,” said Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker.

He said he was confident that as demographics shift and create more opportunities for Democrats to bring in more voters, momentum will build.

“There is a benefit to us, as people see we may be possibly leading the state in the future, more and more people will be willing to donate and sacrifice,” Henson said.

Candidate recruitment was also a major topic during the meeting, and Democrats received some good news with former state Sen. Connie Stokes announcing plans to run for governor in 2014.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed had stirred some controversy among the party faithful in June when he said he thought Republican Gov. Nathan Deal had done a good job and that Democrats should focus on the 2014 U.S. Senate and the 2016 presidential races.

Among those not attending was Michelle Nunn, considered the top Democratic contender in the U.S. Senate race. Two of the other Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate — former state Sen. Steen Miles and physician Branko Radulovacki — addressed the crowd.

 

1
Text Only
State News
  • Ga. woman sentenced in child abuse case

    The mother of a 1-year-old boy who was hospitalized with a fractured skull in 2012 has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kingston’s loss means less clout for Ga.

    For two decades, Rep. Jack Kingston was a congressman who routinely crushed his opponents on election night — winning a new term every other year with vote totals between 63 and 77 percent.

    July 28, 2014

  • salmonella 2 copy.jpg Trial nears for suspects in salmonella case

    Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georgia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2 injured in western Georgia small plane crash

    Fire officials say two people were hospitalized after small plane crash in western Georgia. 

     

    July 27, 2014

  • Nuclear Construction_Rich(1) copy.jpg Promises of easier nuclear construction fall short

    The U.S. nuclear industry has started building its first new plants in decades using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and money and revive the once promising energy source.
    So far, it’s not working.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Battle of Atlanta_Rich copy.jpg Civil War battle sites have a mobile app

    This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta, one of the key conflicts of the Civil War, and researchers at Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship have released a mobile app for the tour.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingston, Perdue make final pitch in Senate race

    U.S. Senate hopefuls Jack Kingston and David Perdue hit every corner of the state in one final scramble before Georgia Republicans will choose one of them to take on Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn this fall in one of the nation’s most significant midterm election matchups.

    July 22, 2014

  • Senate race zeroes in on metro Atlanta, north Ga.

    Neither Republican running in Georgia’s closely watched Senate race has a natural advantage in metro Atlanta, where the state’s most populous area and a ring of northern exurbs are serving as the key battleground ahead of Tuesday’s runoff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Kingston, Perdue: Teamwork begins after runoff

    Businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston have plenty of criticisms for each other as they appeal for votes ahead of Georgia’s Republican Senate primary runoff.

    July 20, 2014

  • Senate-Georgia_Rich copy.jpg Kingston, Perdue offer few details on budget fixes

    Neither Rep. Jack Kingston nor businessman David Perdue has detailed a clear course for changing the nation’s fiscal situation, instead broadly railing against government spending and debt in their campaign for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results