Political Insider

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A very (very) early straw poll for Georgia's 2018 governor race

Barrow County Republicans gathered Saturday evening at the Lion's Club for the party's annual BBQ - and also a (very) early straw poll on the 2018 race.

Jon Richards at GeorgiaPol.com passes on the results, which put Secretary of State Brian Kemp at the lead with 20 votes and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle behind him with 7 votes. (Barrow is something of home territory for Kemp, who hails from neighboring Athens-Clarke County.) Kemp's predecessor, Karen Handel, earned a write-in vote.

At least a half-dozen influential Republicans and three high-profile Democrats are mulling a run for the state’s top job in 2018. Some are already lining up staffers, calling donors and holding quiet meetings with their allies to gauge their chances of succeeding Gov. Nathan Deal, who cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Richards adds:

We will note that Sec. Kemp is a familiar face in Barrow County and that he was the only one present at the BBQ. We also note that based on the vote count, many of those present at the BBQ did not cast a ballot, perhaps because they were still trying to get through the 2016 elections.

Yes, it’s awfully early. But, we note that attendees at the 2015 Barrow GOP BBQ a year ago correctly predicted the top two finishers in this year’s presidential race.

More from the archives: Race for Georgia governor is already taking shape.




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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.