That's gotta hurt.
Gov. Sonny Perdue this past week appointed Brad Bryant to be the interim Georgia state school superintendent. He replaces Kathy Cox, who resigned to run a Washington, D.C., think-tank.
In addition to finishing Cox's term, Bryant also plans to run for the post as an independent.
The hurty part? There are two Republicans running for the seat: John Barge and Richard Woods. Some people had expected Republican Perdue would anoint one of them by appointing him to the post, giving him a leg up in the race - as Perdue did with his appointment of Brian Kemp after secretary of state Karen Handel resigned to run for governor.
Instead, Perdue not only didn't appoint one of the Republican candidates to the seat, but he's also backing Bryant in a race for the post - as an independent. Ouch.
Bryant still will need to gather more than 44,000 signatures by July 13 to get his name on the November ballot. Surely Perdue will help there, too.
Incidentally, we likely know which superintendent candidate will win the Republican primary: Kathy Cox.
Wait, you might say; didn't she resign?
Yep - but not in time to get her name taken off the ballot. Her recognizable name, with "Incumbent" by it, appears between Barge and Woods.
The secretary of state's office says votes for Cox won't officially be counted, so the race will tally only Barge vs. Woods. But it'll still be pretty demeaning if a non-candidate beats either of them. Or both.
Meanwhile, though the Democratic primary for governor seems all over except for the re-crowning of King Roy Barnes, the Republican primary is ramping up the uglies as the race tightens.
Pretty much everyone assumes Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine will get the most votes in the primary. Oxendine is trying to tread carefully above the fray, while looking ahead to what his folks expect to be a general election fight with Barnes.
The battle right now, though, is to see who can get into a runoff with Oxendine in hopes of upsetting that assumption. Polls are saying it's essentially a two-way race between Handel and ex-congressman Nathan Deal, with former state Sen. Eric Johnson huffing away behind them.
In the most recent nastines, Deal is attacking Handel for being too gay-friendly (egad), while Handel is doing a horrible job of denying it.
It's so bad that Politifact Georgia's Truth-O-Meter gave Handel's handling of the situation only its second "Liar, Pants On Fire" rating for the issue. (The first, tongue in cheek, went to Barnes for claiming he'd fix education funding even if it meant scraping the gold off the Capitol dome; Politifact checked out and found the cost of removing and refining the gold would actually cost the state $40,000.)
Of course, it doesn't really make Deal look like a prince to be trying so hard to stir up the homophobe vote, either. But around here, the issue that threatens to sink his ship, and Johnson's too, is water.
This past week, during a forum on water issues, both Deal and Johnson spoke favorably of "inter-basin transfers," which every single politician in our area has adamantly opposed for years.
In our community, "inter-basin transfers" is the bureaucratic phrase that means Atlanta would be able to siphon water from the Savannah River. And every leader in our area says not only no to that, but hell no.
Deal and Johnson, in essence, are taking a shoulder-shrugging stance that sounds like "well, it's gonna happen anyway." Handel, and even more so Oxendine, rightly oppose the transfers.
All of them are invited to another forum on the topic at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Thursday.
With the Savannah River roaring past, it'll be interesting to hear them all expand on the issue - or try to backpedal and doubletalk their way around it.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail email@example.com. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.