Prominent Georgia evangelist, Bishop Eddie Long (pictured at left), is on the defensive this week after three former parishioners filed a lawsuit alleging that Long "utilized his spiritual authority as Bishop [. . .] to coerce certain young male members into engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification." [Matteucci, Megan and Boone, Christian (2010-9-22). Bishop Eddie Long | Third sexual coercion lawsuit filed. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-9-22.]
The allegations, which Long "adamantly denies," resulted in Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes cancelling a fundraiser where Long was to serve as a co-host.
"Roy is the only candidate in this race who has consistently been a friend to our community," Long said in a press release announcing his endorsement of Barnes. "He is the only one I trust to guide our state in a better direction."
The 30-second spot was paid for by RGA Georgia 2010 PAC, an independent committee registered with the Georgia State Ethics Commission. Independent committees in Georgia have no limits on the amount of money they can accept or spend.
With most polls showing former Gov. Roy Barnes running away with the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Attorney General Thurbert Baker broke out the big guns Monday morning with an email to supporters from former President Bill Clinton.
"Thurbert is a rare and special man with a life story that could only happen in America," the Clinton email reads. "Born with next to nothing, Thurbert Baker never forgot where he came from and spent his whole life quietly but firmly opening the doors of opportunity for millions of Georgians, opportunities he never had."
"If you give him the chance and elect Thurbert Baker your Governor, he will open those doors for millions more. You can count on that because he's already done it. I am so proud to endorse Thurbert Baker for Governor of Georgia," the message concludes.
Clinton's endorsement could be seen as a reward for loyalty to Baker who backed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential bid.
While other prominent Georgia politicians such as Congressmen John Lewis and David Scott switched their support to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, Baker stood with Hillary throughout the Democratic primaries.
Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial primary is July 20th. The most recent polling in the race shows former Gov. Roy Barnes with 56%, more than enough to avoid an August runoff [King, Michael (2010-7-9). New Exclusive Poll: Oxendine Still Leads, Handel Challenging. WXIA-TV (Atlanta). Retrived on 2010-7-12.]. However, President Clinton's endorsement brings with it the possibility of radio and tv spots that could enable Thurbert Baker to garner enough support to keep Barnes under the magic number of fifty plus one.
President Clinton was the last Democrat to carry Georgia in a presidential election.
For over a year now, R.J. Hadley has been the only Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in this year's midterm elections.
Now comes news that Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is strongly leaning towards entering the race with just two weeks left until candidate qualifying.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond has told The Associated Press he's leaning toward a run for U.S. Senate.
The 57-year-old Democrat says he is strongly considering a challenge to Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. Thurmond says his experience as labor commissioner would serve him well if he decides to run, because jobs are a top priority for the nation.
Thurmond, an Athens native, says he will announce his decision on Wednesday.
For nearly a year, R.J. Hadley has invested his time, energy and money into a race that no one wanted to take on until now.
If Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond decides to run, I'm casting my vote for R.J. Hadley in the Democratic primary. I have no personal animosity towards Thurmond. I just believe that Hadley should be rewarded for taking one for the team this long.
Candidate qualifying for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat begins April 26th.
CQ Politics rates Johnny Isakson's Senate seat as "safe Republican."
[UPDATE:] R.J. Hadley commented on the possible candidacy of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond --
"It looks like an establishment politician is looking to enter the race at the final hour. We've seen this before. It's politics as usual. We showed the leadership needed to step forward EARLY when everyone said the incumbent was unbeatable. We showed the courage to take our campaign into hostile territory. For me, this is about the people not the politics. Those who will continue to stand and fight with me, I thank you."