A bit of good news came out of Georgia this morning.
Saxby Chambliss, the state’s senior Republican senator, announced that he will retire at the end of his term in 2014. For most Americans, this type of news is routine and really doesn’t matter. But, for Georgians it could open up the floodgates to figure out who will run to take his place.
Georgia is a state to watch for a few reasons. It’s growing Latino population and strong African-American presence are turning the state more diverse. Some political observers have thought that Georgia may turn “blue” and vote for a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. It’s a long shot, but people are hopeful especially as the Republican Party continues to fall out of favor with the general public.
Chambliss was an avid supporter of the Iraq war and a big fan of George W. Bush. He is currently serving his second term in the Senate and was poised to win a third. In my mind, he represents the rural and conservative parts of the state without focusing on its growing diversity. His leaving could leave room for a strong Democrat to run for the slot, if someone is willing to do so.
Currently, all the statewide elected posts in Georgia are held by Republicans (governor, lt. governor, atty. general, and secretary of state) — as well as both of U.S. Senate seats, and nine of the 14 U.S. House seats.
Georgia needs new leadership in Washington. It will be interesting to see if whomever takes his place is even a real “leader.” We have a while to go before Chambliss leaves, though….