July 21st, 2010
09:02 AM ET
12 years ago

Comeback Kids list keeps growing

Washington (CNN) - Add Democrat Roy Barnes to the list of former governors coming a step closer to winning their old jobs back.

Tuesday Barnes, a former one term Georgia governor, easily captured his party's nomination, winning nearly two-thirds of the vote in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Barnes won the office in 1998, but was defeated in his 2002 re-election bid by Republican Sonny Purdue, who is now term limited and prevented from running for re-election this year. Barnes will face off in November against either former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel or former Rep. Nathan Deal, who meet in an August 10 runoff.

On June 8, Jerry Brown easily won California's Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Brown, the state's attorney general, served for two terms as governor from 1975-1983. The same day Terry Branstad captured Iowa's gubernatorial nomination. Branstad previously served four terms as governor, from 1983 to 1999.

In May, former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, won his party's gubernatorial nomination.

Robert Ehrlich is expected to join the list in September, when Maryland holds its primary. The former governor is considered the presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee. Ehlrich will face off against incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley, who defeated Ehrlich in his 2006 bid for re-election for a second term.

Will this "back to the future" push by former governors seeking to reclaim their old offices have legs come November?

"Even in an anti-establishment political environment, some former officeholders will be appealing to voters, especially if they served in good economic times and can trumpet competence and past results," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Georgia • Roy Barnes
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    I won't say Barnes was all that great, but Purdue REALLY wasn't good. I guess Barnes is preferable to Handel since Palin is in the equation, but to be honest, it was slim pickings for governor this year.

    July 21, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. Keith in Austin

    Democrats battling Democrats will be the easy part of these elections. Most will get slammed in the general elections when they face conservatives!

    July 21, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. Shawn-Ga

    There is a reason he spent $20 mil and still lost last time. He will NEVER win again. Just like our President right now, Barnes is a 1 and done.

    July 21, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Rick

    not going to happen, the rebellion to take back America from the obama crroks has started

    July 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. D.

    Experience Matters!!!

    July 21, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Baby Boomer

    I voted for Gov. Barnes in 98 and again yesterday. I'd really like to see him as Georgia's Gov. again. We need some balance in this red state and I think Roy Barnes will give us that balance again...

    July 21, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. gt

    there old , tired, be there done that, politicains,,, get a real job will yea !!

    July 21, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Republicans for Roy Barnes

    I am going to switch my vote to Roy Barnes if Handel win republican primary, Sarah Palin need to stay out of Georgia election. We are organizing a group call Republicans for Roy Barnes.

    July 21, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. snow

    Georgia does not need to re-elect another tax and spend demorat when the rest of the country is getting ready to send alot of them home from DC. You threw barnes out once, why put him back in office just to have to throw him out again.

    July 21, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    One of the key issues in the 2002 defeat of Gov. Roy Barnes was Barnes previous removal of the Confederate battle flag from the GA state flag. The symbol, considered racist by many, was added in the early 50's in response to integration laws. Sonny Perdue campaigned against 'King Roy's flag', and received support from a vocal, protesting group known as the flaggers. but after Sonny was elected he changed the flag again, at considerable cost to rural counties, and still left off the 'Stars and Bars'.

    Wonder if karen handel will promise her conservative supporters a knew flag??

    July 21, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Bertina

    When Georgia turns purple with the election of Barnes, then I will say that some of the Tea Party movement of voting for change in government is right. You can't vote the bums out if they continue to be Republicans in the south.

    July 21, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |