Many Apologies Kids,
I got so fired up prepping for the impending Special Election here in State Senate District 42 that I completely overlooked the current Special Election in State Senate District 22 over in Augusta. What can I say, I live in Decatur and all politics are local but I have lived in Richmond County as my father did a couple of tours at the US Army Signal School at Ft. Gordon way back in the way back. Another story for another time.
First question, where in hell is District 22? We knew you'd want to know:
So the Libertarian Party has a candidate running for office in District 22, a regular Joe named Taylor Bryant (L) who makes a living turning wrenches on mostly import cars. The guys is active in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) LP affiliate and is currently serving as the CSRA LP's Public Affairs Director. Good on you, Sir.
Georgia Senate District 22 is having a Special Election because the sitting Senator, Ed Tarver(D), has been selected to serve as the US Attorney for the Southern District. Congratulations Mr. Tarver. Tarver was elected in a Special Election in 2005 to replace then sitting Senator Charlie Walker (D) who ran afoul of the law and is currently serving a 10 year sentance at Club Fed for 127 counts of tax evasion, mail fraud and conspiracy. District 22 was Charlie's stomping ground from 1990 until his unfortunate incarceration in 2005.
Seeing how Senator Tarver's replacement will be decided by another Special Election, I thought I'd take a look at the 2005 election that put Mr. Tarver in his seat. In 2005 there were three candidates for the slot, Mr. Tarver, a guy named Ben Allen and a guy named George Brown. The Sec State's election website doesn't list their political affiliations, probably because Special Elections are non-partisan. Any way the vote totals are listed below:
September 20, 2005 Special Election - Senate District 22
Ben Allen 3815 29.91%
George Brown 838 6.57%
Ed Tarver 8075 63.31%
Write-In 27 0.21%
Nice to see Write-In getting some ballot love.
So a sitting senator got his start with 8075 votes. Neat Huh? As a comparison, the vote totals for Charlie Walkers last race in 2004 are shown below:
STATE SENATOR - DISTRICT 22 2NOV04
100 % of precincts reporting
DON CHEEKS (R) 21,629 43.2 %
CHARLES WALKER (D) 28,460 56.8 %
While we're at it, lets look at the results from 2008, this race saw Senator Tarver re-elected in a landslide and he was challenged by a republican, a cat named John Butler.
State Senator, District 22
100% of precincts reporting
Candidates Party Votes % of Votes
Ed Tarver Democratic 43,579 79.5%
John Butler Republican 11,235 20.5%
Total votes in the 2004 general election: 50,089
Total votes in the 2005 Special Election: 12,755
Total votes in the 2008 general election: 54,814
So it sure looks like Georgia State Senate District 22 is what you would call a "safe" democrat seat seeing how they've sent democrats, to the state house for the last 19 years. So how can a Libertarian compete? Pretty effectively as it turns out. In the 2008 general election, John Monds, the Libertarian Party candidate for the PSC Southern district picked up 26,688 votes in Richmond County while running against the incumbent republican. I think you could claim that district 22 has a resident base of Libertarian leaning voters who will go to the polls and 26,000 votes should do the trick if you look at the special election results from 2005. I mean just 12,000 total votes were cast in that race and that profile fits nicely with common wisdom on Special Elections.
So what to do? First step is get the buzz going in Libertarian Circles. Second step send Taylor Bryant some money and contact his campaign to see if you can do something to help him out. Third step, blog your asses off and make sure that anything that shows up at the Augusta Chronicle, WAGT, WFXG, WBEK, WJBF, WRDW, WGAC and any other media outlet in District 22 has at least one good thing to say about Libertarian Candidate Taylor Bryant. This race will be decided on 5 JAN 2010 and it would be a great beginning for next year if our guy was sitting in the Senate.
More to follow from your friendly neighborhood libertarian community organizer!
Vote for Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, and More Freedom! Vote for Taylor Bryant for State Senate District 22! Vote Libertarian!