Political Insider

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Democratic Columbus mayor mulls a run for governor, secretary of state

Over at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Chuck Williams sends word of another possible entry in the 2018 Democratic sweepstakes:

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is considering a possible run for statewide office in 2018, she confirmed Wednesday morning.


Tomlinson, 52, has been approached by state officials and those affiliated with the national Democratic Party and asked to consider runs for governor, attorney general and secretary of state as a Democrat. She did not release the names of those she has spoken with about the offices.


She has taken attorney general off the table and is considering runs for governor and secretary of state. Both of those offices will likely be vacant at the end of the term. Gov. Nathan Deal is finishing his second term and is not eligible to seek re-election. 

That's because Secretary of State Brian Kemp has already announced his run for governor, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has indicated he will run as well.

Tomlinson has long been rumored as a contender for statewide office, though she earlier told the AJC she has no plans to mount a run. But she said Wednesday she's open to the idea.

"These are important positions and, therefore, weighty decisions," she said in a text. "I'm going to give them the thoughtful consideration and time they deserve."

Her supporters hope Tomlinson, the first female mayor of Columbus, could be a fresh face who could appeal to working-class white voters and the party’s traditional base.

A run for governor would likely set up a bitter primary battle against House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who has for years been plotting a campaign. Other Democrats, including state Rep. Stacey Evans and former state Sen. Jason Carter, are also mulling a bid.

Williams says we can expect a decision from Tomlinson within the next week or so.

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Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.