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Friday, July 16, 2010 - 11:17am

Mystery Candidate Worries Challenger

An internet search for Patricia McCracken turned up little more than a home address in Augusta. So I tried to pay her a visit but no one was home.

A handful of computer printed signs in the front yard seemed to be the extent of McCracken’s campaigning. Since qualifying in late April she has refused to do interviews and consistently avoided political events.

McCracken is the lone democratic challenger of Carol Porter in the primary deciding who will face incumbent Casey Cagle in the general election.

Porter has also never held office but has years of experience working alongside her husband DuBose in the general assembly. She says McCracken’s candidacy troubles her.

"In the early polls it looks like maybe 20 percent of Georgia has already voted for her and she doesn’t have one statement on any issue facing Georgia," said Porter. "It makes it a very difficult race to run against someone who doesn’t have anything published anywhere."

Political analyst Tom Crawford says McCracken seems like Georgia’s version of Alvin Green, a political unknown who was able to win South Carolina’s senate primary. Like Green, McCracken’s name will be the first one voters see when they enter the booth.

"If your name is listed first on the ballot, and the names are always listed alphabetically, that’s worth a few percentage points for you when the votes come in because there are a certain number of voters who will just automatically vote for the first name they see listed on the ballot," said Crawford.

And with thousands of undecided voters and predictions of low turnout, those few percentage points could be enough to give McCracken the edge over Porter.