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Coattails not automatic advantage for locals
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
October 31, 2012 03:14 PM | 1292 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local political leaders said last week heavy turnout for either presidential candidate Tuesday does not mean the same level of support will be given to all of that party’s candidates on the same ballot.

Douglas County Democratic Party chairman Bill Willis said candidates in local races tend to see support from either party’s supporters because voters often choose the person rather than the party on the local level.

“If the Republicans win, I don’t think it will sweep in local [Republican] candidates in places like Douglas County,” he said. “In local races, the coattail effect will have less significance.”

Party labels take on greater significance in state and federal races because voters likely are less familiar with those candidates, he noted.

Bert Blood, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, said he did not feel Mitt Romney’s level of support in the county will affect county-level races like county commission chairman.

Incumbent Tom Worthan — a longtime Republican office holder at the state and county levels — has high name recognition and may win comfortably even if Democrat Barack Obama does well in Douglas County, he said.

By the same token, a majority of voters in the Democratic-leaning Georgia House District 66 may choose Republican nominee Bob Snelling over Democrat Kim Alexander because they are more familiar with Snelling, Blood said.

Democrats may see Snelling — a former four-term House member from Douglasville — as more attractive than another, lesser-known Republican because Snelling is considered more of a “statesman” than highly partisan, Blood said.

However, Glenn Richardson, a longtime Republican House member from Hiram and former House Speaker, said he felt party labels do matter in the District 66 race because of the presidential race. Richardson is seeking the Republican nomination for the State Senate District 30 seat in a special election Tuesday.
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