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Commissioner Oxendine sees rise in polls

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's exit from the 2010 governor's race may have boosted the campaign Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who lives in Duluth.

A statewide poll, conducted in the wake of Cagle's decision to seek re-election because of impending back surgery, shows Oxendine in the lead among possible candidates for the GOP nomination.

He has 35 percent to Secretary of State Karen Handel's 16 percent. Austen Scott, a state representative from Tifton who launched his campaign this week, has 1.8 percent.

With 38.5 percent of the 1,226 GOP primary voters undecided, possible candidates Sam Olens, Cobb County's chairman, had 6.2 percent and Rep. Mark Burkhalter had 2.5 percent.

In a press release about the poll, Oxendine said he received checks and commitments of more than $123,000 from Cagle supporters.

During his announcement this week, Scott described himself as the forgotten man in the race, but he said he wants to champion ethics in his campaign.

"Today we start a mission that will combine the experience of 14 years in the legislature, the commitment to a higher ethical standard, and a campaign that represents the hard-working taxpayer who deserves for their voice to be heard," he said.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.