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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Georgia Right to Life endorses state candidates

Georgia Right to Life has given its approval to a laundry list of candidates for office in Georgia.

The Lawrenceville-based anti-abortion group sometimes recommended no one for office or recommended several candidates who share its stance on the sanctity of life.

In the two local congressional races, Republican Cory Ruth was given a nod for U.S. House District 4, while five of the seven Republicans vying for the District 7 seat were given endorsements. Those include Clay Cox, Jody Hice, Tom Kirby, Tom Parrott and Rob Woodall.

The only Gwinnett state Senate race to include an endorsement went to District 8's Don Balfour.

Nods for the state House went to District 51's Tom Rice, District 101 candidate Buzz Brockway, District 103 incumbent David Casas, Distric 104 candidate Timothy Swiney and Barrow's District 108 Terry England.

In three local races, more than one candidate garnered the endorsement: Josh Clark or Wayne Hill for District 98, Steve Allen, Linda Carsten or BJ Pak for District 102, and Brett Harrell or Warren Auld for District 106.

No Democrats were tapped in statewide races, and neither was Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

For governor, endorsements went to Republicans Jeff Chapman, Nathan Deal, Eric Johnson, Ray McBerry, John Oxendine and Otis Putnam. Casey Cagle got the nod to remain as lieutenant governor.

Both Brian Kemp and Doug MacGinnitie got the go-ahead for secretary of state, and Preston Smith and Max Wood were endorsed for attorney general.

The group OK'd a long list of insurance commissioner candidates: Dennis Cain, Rick Collum, Ralph Hudgens, Tom Knox, Stephen Northington, Gerry Purcell and Maria Sheffield.

Mark Butler and Melvin Everson both got endorsements for labor commissioner, as did John Barge and Richard Woods for state school superintendent. Nods were also given to agriculture commissioner candidates Gary Black and Darwin Carter and Public Service Commissioner candidates John Douglas, Tim Echols and Jeff May.

Casas, Swinney

get endorsements

Casas, who faces competition for his Lilburn-based seat, also announced the endorsements of the National Rifle Association and the Tea Party of Georgia.

"I have always stood for the principles these groups embrace: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Casas said in a press release. "Each group certainly adheres to those principles and I appreciate their support in my re-election."

While the national Tea Party Patriots does not endorse candidates, local chapters have the discretion to do so.

Swiney, who is running for the Lawrenceville-based District 104 seat, got the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Realtors Political Action Committee.

"If Republican voters want to unseat the Democrat incumbent, then they need to select the strongest candidate during the upcoming primary," Ramona Rudd said of Swiney's campaign team. "With these major endorsements, it should be clear to the party that Timothy Swiney is the strongest candidate who not only can but will defeat the incumbent in November."

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.