Skip to comments.Jockeying begins for Norwood’s seat (U.S. House special election)
Posted on 02/15/2007 6:44:59 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
The jockeying has already started to succeed U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood, who died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.
At least one Republican state lawmaker has thrown his hat in the race, and political experts say there's a good chance the northeast Georgia district will likely remain in GOP hands.
''This is a very Republican district,'' said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, which is in the congressional district. ''Realistically, I don't see a Democrat having too much of a chance.''
Whatever way the race goes it won't have any impact on control of the U.S. House. Democrats hold a comfortable 31-seat majority.
Georgia's governor does not get to appoint an interim congressman to fill a vacant seat until a special election is held. Instead, under Georgia law, the governor has 10 days after a seat is vacated to call for a special election. At least 30 days must then elapse before the election takes place.
State Sen. Ralph Hudgens, a Republican from Hull, a bedroom town to Athens, wasted no time on Tuesday making his intentions clear.
''I'm going to resign my state Senate seat, and yes, I am going to run,'' Hudgens said.
The 64 year-old conservative Republican made his fortune in the propane business and now operates a billboard company with his son. Hudgens lost to Norwood in the 1994 Republican primary for the congressional seat, which was the year that Norwood was first elected, becoming the first from his party to represent the district since shortly after the Civil War.
''I felt like he was casting my vote for me the whole time he was up there,'' Hudgens said of Norwood. ''I did not disagree with a single vote that he took.''
(Excerpt) Read more at dailyreportonline.com ...
It looks like Ralph Hudgens is the front-runner. At 64 y/o, he doesn't look likely to serve a very long time. But he first ran for the seat in 1990 (losing the general election then and 1992, narrowly losing the 1994 GOP primary), so this must be a lifelong dream of his.
Although I'd generally prefer a younger go-getter, this statement is reassuring. Hudgens has obviously put in the time and has earned his shot. I didn't hear any mention about Norwood's widow being a potential candidate, which is often the case with such vacancies.
Good. It really rather irks me when anyone's primary qualification for election is that she was married to a politician.
Well, as you know, once women were permitted to serve in office, it was usually considered respectful for the widow be allowed to serve out the remainder of her husband's term. Presuming the gentleman didn't marry a moonbat, I would give her the first opportunity to serve out the remainder. Anything after that would have to be on her own merit.
I'd agree that just being married to a dead politician isn't qualification enough, but being the widow of a statesman is, as Mr. Norwood certainly was.
"Well, as you know, once women were permitted to serve in office . . ."
I went back and checked, and my recollection was wrong. The first female Senator, appointed to fill a vacancy and serving only 1 day, was Senator Latimer of GA in 1922, which was a couple of years after the 19th Amendment was adopted. And the first female House member, the pacifist appeaser Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was elected in 1916, two years after women were given the right to vote in Montana. But it is indispitable that women were *eligible* to serve in Congress prior to getting the right to vote, so long as they had been U.S. citizens for at least 7 years (in the case of the House) or 9 years (in the case of the Senate) and were at least 25 years old (in the case of the House) or 30 years old (in the case of the Senate).
I always believed it applied to women that if they couldn't vote, they couldn't serve. Aside from Rankin's successful 1916 run, I don't believe any women actually ran legitimate serious major party candidacies for Congress (aside from some 3rd party minor runs for President in the 19th century, such as Victoria Woodhull and Belva Lockwood). It would've been interesting to see if a woman had been elected to Congress in the 19th century if she would've been refused her seat on the grounds I cited above.
If a 19th Century House of Representatives refused to seat a woman who had been duly elected, was at least 25 years old, had been a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years and was a resident of the state she was elected to represent, then the House would have acted unconstitutionally. Think of it this way: felons are denied the right to vote in many states, but if a felon was elected to Congress it would be unconstitutional for the House to exclude him. Of course, the House could always expel him (with a 2/3 vote), and I guess that the House could have similarly expelled a woman elected to the House before women were allowed to vote, but that's far different from being able to say that a woman did not meet the constitutional qualifications for office and thus was excluded (by simple majority vote).
Ralph Hudgens has a primary opponent. That would be state Senator Jim Whitehead, who is nabbing endorsements right and left. Hudgens' announcing before Norwood's funeral was seen as opportunistic and tasteless.
Yeah, this looks bad for Hudgens, though the voters will ultimately decide, he might not get his dream of serving in Congress.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.