Tea Party Republican Paul Broun who made ‘birther’ accusations in regard to President Barack Obama’s citizenship, currently represents Georgia’s 10th congressional district, and is likely to run again for Congress in 2012 as the incumbent.
However, Broun’s new congressional district is likely to look much different this time around if the Justice Department and the federal courts approve the reapportionment maps. These maps were drawn by the Republican-dominated Georgia Assembly and endorsed with Governor Nathan Deal’s signiture.
One of the signatures that endorsed these maps endorsed by conservatives is Milledgeville’s Rusty Kidd.
Baldwin County is proposed to be one of 25 counties to be included in this new district and will have an impact on whether this district will have progressive representation for the first time in several election cycles.
One of the big changes is that Richmond County, which includes all of the Augusta area, is not a part of Broun’s district anymore.
Broun, Kidd and other conservatives are hoping that moderates who had voted for George W. Bush and John McCain along with former Rep. Jim Marshall and Rep. John Barrow who tried to help derail legislation such as President Barack Obama’s health care reform law will cross over and continue to support obstructionist policies that adversely affect the middle-class and the working poor.
Baldwin County will be a battleground and Census figures show that the loss of jobs may have had an affect with a population shift in Milledgeville, a city which is 40 miles northeast of Macon.
Baldwin County’s total population is approximately 45,000 residents according to the 2010 Census with African-Americans comprising 41.5 percent of the county population.
Milledgeville had been a majority-minority city with a plurality of whites, but the latest Census figures show that Milledgeville’s white population has increased to 52.4 percent .
Another example is Putnam County. The county seat is Eatonton which is Putnam’s largest city and has an African-American population of approximately 58 percent. However, if one look at the county numbers, the African-Amercan population has dropped dramatically.
In 2000, Putnam’s Census figures showed that blacks had comprised 42 percent of the county. In 2010, a decade later, the number has decreased to 26 percent — a 16 percent drop. Incidentally, overall county population has increased in the last decade by approximately 13 percent and some of that is attributed to more affluent residents attempting to live near Lake Oconee.
Can a Democrat win the 10th congressional district? The answer is yes and even though there are some demographic changes, a Democrat who is able to promote progressive ideas and solutions along with being a strong advocate to protect Social Security and support public education can be successful.
However, it is all about voter turnout–especially in cities such as Milledgeville, Eatonton, Lincolnton, Monticello, Wrightsville,Sparta and Sandersville.
Could someone such as Sandersville’s Mack Jackson, Milledgeville’s Floyd Griffin or Sparta’s Helen ‘Sistie’ Hudson be willing to run for Congress?
State Rep. Mack Jackson, an African-American Democrat from Sandersville –a city which 60 miles northeast of Macon– is currently part of Georgia House District 142 which includes parts of Burke, Emanuel, Jefferson and Johnson counties along with all of his home county, Washington.
However, under the GOP-proposed plan, Jackson’s district would become House District 128. Washington County is still the largest population center of this proposed Georgia House district, but Burke and Emanuel counties would be axed.
Additionally, majority African-American counties–Hancock and Warren–would be added along with the sparsely populated, but conservative Glascock County. Jackson will still represent the northwestern part of Johnson County and the southern part of the Jefferson County.
Sistie Hudson, a progressive white Democrat, is from Sparta in Hancock County and was first elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives in 1996.
Prior to being elected to the Georgia General Assembly, Hudson served on the Sparta City Council from 1982-1986 and served as the city’s mayor from 1986-1992 along with being the county commissioner for Hancock County from 1995-1996.
Hudson currently represents House District 124 which includes Glascock, Hancock, McDuffie, part of Putnam, Taliaferro, and Warren Counties.
However, Georgia Republicans proposed map would potentially pit Sparta’s Hudson and Sandersville’s Jackson. In essence, the proposed changes by Republicans drew Hudson out of her district and ‘packed’ Jackson’s district with more African-Americans.
Hudson’s newly proposed Georgia House District 120 would not include Hancock or McDuffie, but includes Putnam, Taliferro, Oglethorpe, all of Greene County and the western part of Wilkes County.
Even though Georgia Republicans are trying to marginalize white Democrats and pit them against Black Democrats, Hudson is someone who is a veteran legislator that is capable of beating Paul Broun in 2012 and if Hudson is successful it would send a resounding message to Republicans and to state Democrats.
Many of these counties are rural counties with sizable progressive populations such as Washington, Jefferson, Jasper, Johnson, Wilkes and Greene counties.
Clarke County and the city of Athens–home of the University of Georgia– still provides the largest population center of this particular district. Broun is hoping that the conservative parts of Gwinnett, Henry, Walton and Oconee counties will be able to negate the mostly progressive Clarke County and other rural counties with large black populations.
The congressional district leans Republican and in 2008, 60 percent of its voters had voted for John McCain. Even though Republicans voted for McCain, will the obstructionist, right-wing, birther politics of Broun be appealing to the majority of this newly proposed re-configured district?
Broun has been mostly an ideologue who has done nothing for the majority of his congressional district and President Barack Obama demanding Tea Party Republicans to stop their obstructionist tactics and do something such as passing the President’s Jobs proposal to help middle-class Americans and folks who are living paycheck to paycheck such as the working poor.