Georgia Democrats are energized ahead of the 2014 elections. They have two high-profile candidates in statewide races-state Senator Jason Carter running for governor and Michelle Nunn running for U-S Senate.
Members of the state’s minority party also say they have a third person generating enthusiasm and interest- Georgia Democratic party Chairman DuBose Porter.
The Democrats’ 2014 campaign kickoff last month had the air of a tent revival.
People came out to the kickoff to see Carter and Nunn. But they were also drawn to Porter, a former state legislator from Dublin who took over the party this summer.
The Democrats were broke. But since then, Porter has created a small donation program. The kickoff alone pulled in more than $150,000.
Lowell Greenbaum heads the Richmond County Democrats. He says Porter’s can-do spirit has set the stage for aggressive political campaigns in 2014.
“He knows which buttons to press, whether it’s Washington or Atlanta or Augusta. He knows what to do and he has energized the whole party within a few months after being elected,” said Greenbaum.
Porter served in the state legislature for two decades and ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2010. He began his political career as an intern for Nunn’s father, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn.
Joe Wisenbaker is a Democratic activist from Clarke County. He says Porter's enthusiasm makes him a great asset to the party.
“Politics is just something DuBose seems to have immersed himself in for the vast part of his adult life, and he has a way of engaging people, I think, that is extremely well-informed and at the same time extremely positive.”
Porter faces a tall order to revitalize the party. Democrats currently hold no statewide offices and fewer than half of the seats in Georgia’s Congressional delegation.