Thoughts on GA Senate Runoff

I will support Jack Kingston for Georgia’s GOP Senate nomination in the runoff against David Perdue, as Erick is doing.

Erick:  I’m not sure being a Congressman’s friend is the best reason to support them (although it helps, there’s a lot of friendly people around, especially friendly to influential pundits and bloggers), yet he is the right candidate for other reasons.

Here’s a few important Georgia-based issues why Kingston is a better choice.

  • Savannah Harbor Expansion Project – this project has been slow-rolled, kicked about, and subject to lawsuits, most recently the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Kingston is well versed in the issue, serving as Savannah’s Congressman in the 1st district, while Perdue knows nothing about it.  The project is vital to Georgia’s continued ability to generate jobs and wealth statewide, and to the viability of east-coast major ports to handle increasingly large cargo vessels.
  • Georgia’s military bases – Georgia hosts two US Army divisions at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart (Kingston represents the Fort Stewart community), as well as Army Cyber Command assets at Fort Gordon, and several Air Force bases, the largest being Robins AFB.  The Navy has Kings Bay submarine base.  Kingston is familiar with the issues surrounding these facilities.  David Perdue grew up in Warner Robins as a boy, but has not lived here in decades.  The military is the furthest thing from his resume. Georgia’s economic engine would be crippled without the military presence (in fact, Robins AFB is the largest employer in the state, and the largest single industrial complex contributing to the state economy).
  • Agriculture – Kingston worked in agribusiness prior to his political career.  While Georgia is slowly moving toward a service-based, technology, and logistics economy, agriculture is still very important.  Perdue’s career in retail, distribution, and marketing doesn’t serve him well in the family/corporate/environmental issues surrounding the agribusiness economy in Georgia.

Finally, there is the issue of egos.  Kingston has worked and played well with others in Congress, becoming a respected member of the Appropriations Committee and several subcommittees related to Georgia’s interests (see above).  He is well-educated but not loud about it, having lived overseas as a boy.  Perdue is better educated, with a technical degree and Masters from Georgia Tech, and considers that a qualification for office (hint: it’s not).

CEO’s tend to have a certain temperament.  There are three classes of people who are susceptible to possessing a “God complex”:  doctors, airline pilots, and public company CEO’s.  This is the reason that I avoid flying with doctors piloting their personal aircraft, or investing in real estate with doctors or CEO’s.  They think they know everything, and the best way to do everything.  The problem is much of what they know isn’t necessarily so.  In the U.S. Senate, the ability to share the glory and center an idea versus a personality is really important.  I don’t think a CEO mentality fits well there (Erick said as much “...I think CEO’s in the Senate tend to be terrible. They make great executives, but build temperaments poorly suited for the legislative branch.“).

David Perdue is the “local boy” in Middle Georgia, specifically Warner Robins, where I live.  He’s part of the local family, cousin to former Governor Sonny Perdue.  But David hasn’t lived here in a long, long time.  I expect he will take Houston County in the runoff (with 7 candidates, he took 52% in the primary), but my vote will go to Jack Kingston.