Former Governor Roy Barnes joined a growing list of current and former elected Atlanta-area Democrats supporting Doug Stoner’s bid to lead a Democratic Party of Georgia in dire straits Friday.

“It is in that spirit of unity, drawing on the experiences of past leaders and embracing the energy of our youth, that I come to you with my support for Doug Stoner as the next chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia,” read a letter from the former governor, posted to Stoner’s Facebook page. “I have known Doug for many years. He is a fighter. He is not afraid of a challenge, and I believe he is the kind of person who can help us bridge the gaps necessary to move our Party forward.”

Barnes’s endorsement comes a day after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed came out in support of Stoner’s bid, and less than two weeks after state Senator Jason Carter did the same.

Former state Rep. DuBose Porter, Rockdale County Tax Commissioner R.J. Hadley, and former state Senator Mary Squires are also vying to replace Mike Berlon, who resigned amid personal scandal.

The election itself will be held on August 31st, with the 300 members of the party’s executive committee casting ballots.

Despite what appears to be a coalescing of sorts from powerful Democrats in and around Atlanta around Stoner, rumors indicate that Porter, who touts his Dublin roots and time as Minority Leader as proof he can unite the floundering party, has lined up support from several leaders on the committee itself.

He also emerged a resounding victor in a post-forum straw poll conducted early in the month, taking 51 percent to Stoner’s 23.

-Brandon Howell