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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

July 23: Georgia GOP’s House Wingnut Replacement Plan

While most of the meager national attention paid to yesterday’s Georgia primary runoffs was devoted to David Perdue’s upset win over Jack Kingston for the U.S. Senate nomination, there were significant contests also held in the three heavily Republican districts vacated by House members running for the Senate. Remember back in May when people talked about ridding the House of hard-core wingnuts Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, who finished fourth and fifth (respectively) in the Senate primary? Well, their successors are in the same mold, as I noted at TPMCafe today:

Gingrey, never the sharpest tool in the congressional shed, will be replaced by state senator Barry Loudermilk, a more disciplined ideologue who crushed former congressman and 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr in a sign of how far right Barr’s former district has drifted. Broun’s successor as Republican nominee is a worthily wild candidate, Baptist minister and radio talk show host Jody Hice, famed for homophobic outbursts, and for billboards he put up in an earlier race that replaced the “O” in the president’s name with a hammer-and-sickle.
Kingston will not be succeeded by the similarly colorful “constitutional conservative” in his own House district, Dr. Bob “Christian Conservative” Johnson, who lost the runoff yesterday (probably due to elevated turnout attributable to Kingston’s campaign) to state legislator Buddy Carter despite support from the Club for Growth and Sarah Palin. But presumably Carter would follow Kingston’s lead into movement-conservative repositioning if he were ever to run statewide. That’s how Georgia Republicans roll.

Those who like to talk about the GOP “moderating” via “pragmatist” candidates crushing the dying Tea Party Movement need to start taking notice of what’s happening below the headlines.

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