Someone isn’t too happy with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
The AJC is reporting that Georgia Democrats are being hit with robocalls slamming the mayor, now the top elected Democrat in the state, for “not doing enough” to boost Jason Carter’s 2014 campaign for governor, which came up short last week.
Audio has yet to be posted online, but the call reportedly questions whether or not the mayor considers himself to be a “true Democrat.”
Though it isn’t yet who is responsible for the robocall, it marks further escalation of the internal sniping amongst Democrats following last week’s election results. Reed has chastised the party for not doing enough to engage and turn out minority voters, which has been met with sharply-worded pushback from Democratic Party of Georgia chairman DuBose Porter.
“I think his numbers are way overstated. And I wish he had done more to help in this election,” Porter said just days ago. That’s a sentiment evidently echoed in the robocall.
To put it mildly, the relationship between Reed and Carter himself was frosty throughout much of the 2014 election cycle. Prior to the latter’s entry into the gubernatorial race, the Atlanta mayor had called for focusing on the race for an open Senate seat, as opposed to pouring resources into unseating Governor Nathan Deal. Following that, he repeatedly declined to offer Carter a direct endorsement, only saying that he intended to support the Democratic ticket, specifically Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Only in the waning days of the campaign did Reed roll up the sleeves and boost Carter, hosting a fundraiser in September.
While it’s not exactly a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party of Georgia, the ongoing bickering is only going to further hamper the party’s push for relevance in the state.
Disappointing election results have been followed by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson’s getting set to announce he’s running for a third term, denying Democrats a shot at another open seat. Isakson is the most popular incumbent politician in the state, and he comes carrying popularity with incumbency and a sizeable campaign warchest.
Much like the early debate over whether or not to pursue a serious challenge to Deal, Democrats will likely have to grapple with whether or not they wish to fund a serious effort against Isakson. Not only that, but the party will gather in February to elect a chairman, be it Porter or someone else. Given the current trajectory, it could make for an interesting confab. And, farther down the line, Reed is considered by many to be a potential gubernatorial candidate for Democrats in 2018, as is Jason Carter, so the early, insider fights now potentially carry considerably greater long-term implications.
Update: Following the initial report of the robocall, Reed mounted a vigorous defense, and reminder, of his critiques of the DPG’s 2014 effort via Twitter. Most notably, he blasted the controversial mailer sent out by the party that referenced riots in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year. You can view the tweet below.