Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) has been racking up endorsements for his bid for the Republican nod for Lieutenant Governor. Among those are current Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, former Congressman John Linder, The Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Senator Shafer is adding another name to that list: Bob Barr. The Senator’s campaign sent a statement from the former Republican Congressman and 2008 LP nominee for President of the United States on why he’s backing Shafer for LG:
“David Shafer has a proven track record of advancing conservative ideals. He wrote the state’s zero based budgeting law. He authored the constitutional amendment capping the state income tax. He is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and the only candidate for Lieutenant Governor rated A+ by the National Rifle Association. I judge politicians based on their accomplishments, not their promises. David Shafer is the clear choice for Lieutenant Governor and I am proud to endorse him.”
Bob Barr is a recognizable Georgia Republican-turned Libertarian-turned Republican who still has some clout among libertarians and Republicans alike. Barr, who currently sits on the board of the National Rifle Association, points to Shafer’s A+ rating with the organization as a strong reason for his endorsement.
There’s always the question of what value endorsements bring to a race. Inside baseball folks may not be easily swayed by endorsements, but the line up of names do show what audience that a candidate is trying to court. Sometimes, the endorsements go straight for the ground game at the local level. For instance, current Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle released a list of county sheriffs who endorsed his bid for governor in 2018. County sheriffs tend to have a good deal of sway in local political circles.
The 2016 presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz, who earned a 3rd place finish in Georgia’s Republican Presidential Preference Primary and had a strong following among social conservatives, endorsed Shafer last week. The endorsement from Cruz looks to capitalize on the continued popularity of Cruz in Georgia. Endorsements from both of the former Congressmen seem to scratch the itch of fiscal matters (tax policy) and gun rights…two issues that tend to be near and dear to the hearts of Georgia Republicans.
No doubt the Senator will use the endorsements, including forthcoming local endorsements, to work the conservative circuit and court the support from different factions in the Republican Party in order to maintain his front-runner status based upon some of the straw polling done at local GOP BBQs*.
*straw polls are straw polls are straw polls (i.e., not scientific), so YMMV.