Coming as no surprise, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said yesterday that he won’t be supporting Democratic Party of Georgia chairman DuBose Porter’s bid to helm the party for a full term.
“I do not believe the kind of failure we saw in November 2014 should be rewarded in politics,” he stated in an interview with the Associated Press. “I think he should have taken greater personal responsibility rather than blaming the president who did exactly what the party advised him to do, which was to stay away.”
The rift between Porter and Reed has amplified in the wake of disappointing election results. The Atlanta mayor’s criticisms of the DPG’s strategy has gone beyond the above comments, too. Reed blasted the controversial Ferguson mailer on Twitter last week and in the AP interview, calling it “last-ditch attempt to generate enthusiasm that you should have been working at for a very long time” and saying it likely had a “significant impact” with “independent and swing voters.”
“I believe that Ferguson could have been an appropriate topic but it is a topic that had to be used very delicately and thoughtfully,” he said in the interview. “It, in my mind, after Michelle had spent an entire year and tens of millions of dollars campaigning as a bipartisan, non-divisive candidate, was the exact opposite of that.”
Porter, meanwhile, has defended the party’s performance in the 2014 election as strides in the right direction. He’s also bristled at Reed’s criticisms, charging the Atlanta mayor neglecting to be fully supportive of Jason Carter’s bid for governor. The email Porter sent out earlier this week announcing he was running for re-election as chairman never called Reed by name, but carried several sniping comments pointed his way.
Reed’s desire for a different DPG head has only amplified following the election. He didn’t support Porter’s bid to become chairman in the first place last year. He instead supported former state Senator Doug Stoner. RJ Hadley, an also-ran candidate in that race, has already announced he’s running for chairman again but it remains to be seen whether or not a Reed loyalist will enter the fray.
The implications, of course, go beyond a 2014 autopsy. Whoever wins the party’s chairmanship in February will preside through the 2018 election. Though he’s downplayed his interest, Reed is thought by many to be a probable gubernatorial candidate that year. Jason Carter, vanquished by Governor Nathan Deal this year, has already said he’s open to a second bid as well.