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The Perennial Candidate Returns To The Lt. Governor's Race...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rumors have it that Al Bartell has made an official foray into the 2006 Lt. Governor's race, this time hoping to get on the ballot as an independent.

In order to do that, Bartell would have to secure 40,000 valid signatures. Which means, for those of us who pounded the pavement back in 2000 to get former state senator Ginger Collins on the ballot as an independent, Bartell will really need about 25% more, or 50,000 signatures to cover all of his bases.

Bartell previously ran in 2000 for the Public Service Commission and won the Republican Primary by default (no other candidate ran) but only obtained 41.9% of the vote against David Burgess (D).

In 2002, he ran for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket against two others, Mike Beatty and Steve Stancil. He lost in the primary.

We don't know whether Bartell has decided to just throw-up his hands on running as a Republican, or, more likely, he is trying to obtain the bigger spotlight by running as an independent.

We suspect Bartell will get some help from a novel source: The Democratic Party of Georgia. Why? Strategy, and, an interesting play.

In all likelihood, the Dems will figure whatever votes Bartell might gain in the General, he would gain them by peeling-off votes from the Republican nominee, due to the previous times his name has been on the ballot in the General Election. That would mean there might be enough votes out there in the General to split the GOP vote so that the Dem candidate will achieve the 50%+ 1 required to win.

And, in fact, we have a sneaking suspicion that the Dem's primary sneak, Chairman Bobby Kahn, actually had a hand in encouraging Bartell to run as an independent. Maybe not a direct phone call, but some influence in Bartell's decision.

If Bartell gets the required signatures to get on the ballot, you will know that it was the Dems that helped him. Because there would be no reason for Republicans to help him and take a chance on screwing-up their chances, however slight his chance in making a significant enough impact on the outcome of the 2006 General.

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