Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until last week, the 2010 Georgia gubernatorial race was going to be a snoozer. Popular U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson was going to coast to victory in the Republican primary and the general election. Yawn.
But that was before a startling revelation that seems certain to doom Isakson's gubernatorial aspirations: Isakson announced he is running for reelection in 2010 instead.
The result is a wide-open race for the Republican nomination, as evidenced by this brand-new poll from InsiderAdvantage:
John Oxendine: 17%
Casey Cagle: 17%
Jack Kingston: 10%
Karen Handel: 7%
Lynn Westmoreland: 6%
Jerry Keen: 2%
Oxendine is the state insurance commissioner, Cagle is the lieutenant governor, Kingston is a congressman and Handel is the secretary of state. The absence of Isakson from the race should also give the Democratic nominee (whoever it might be) a better chance to win.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway also points out that Sonny Perdue, the current governor who is term-limited in 2010, may have his ambitions affected by Isakson's decision:
What hasn't been mentioned is the fact that, by staying put in Washington, Isakson has put a limit -- at least for the time being -- on an extension of Sonny Perdue's political career once he leaves the Governor's Mansion.
For there was always the possibility that Isakson and Perdue could simply swap jobs in 2010.
Now there's nowhere for Perdue to go -- unless John McCain has something for him.
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