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By Phillip Stucky
Democrat strategists want Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General President Donald Trump fired for for refusing to defend his travel ban, to run for governor in her home state of Georgia.
Yates hasn’t said if she’s interested in the bid yet, but murmurs are beginning among Democrat strategists that she would be a good candidate, reports The Hill.
Former campaign staffer for Barack Obama Tharon Johnson told The Hill that Yates has a stellar resume as far as standing up to the current administration: “Sally Yates’s calm and strong demeanor showed me she could be a great governor of Georgia. … Her bold resistance, and how she stood up to a president who ordered her to do something unlawful and unconstitutional, has catapulted her profile. She will have to give Georgians a really good reason why she’s not considering running for a constitutional office in 2018.”
Yates hasn’t starting taking the steps necessary to run for statewide office.
“She hasn’t been out meeting with the people you have to meet with if you have these ambitions, and I know most of the ones that you have to meet with,” Former state president of the American Federation of Labor Richard Ray told The Hill.
But Democrats still have high hopes for her.
“One thing is certain: Sally Yates is as sterling and devoted a servant of the public as any American,” Pulitzer price winner Douglas Blackmon wrote about Yates in February. “President Trump would have been wise to listen to Sally Yates.”
Despite a strong primary ticket and the fact that Republicans held the Georgia governor’s mansion since 2003, the race is rated a vulnerable one for Republicans by Governing.com, a website that monitors state governments. The central reason behind the vulnerable rating is the fact that Democratic wunderkind Jon Ossoff is still doing much better than he should in a conservative-leaning district. Democrats nationwide poured tens of millions into the race in an attempt to make the Georgia special election to replace former Rep. Tom Price a referendum on Trump.
Democratic strategists like Johnson continued that same line of attack in their support of Yates.
“It strengthens her candidacy — the fact that she’s dealing with issues at a very high level, the fact that she’s gone toe-to-toe with some of the leading folks on the national stage. She can bring that gravitas to the local stage,” an unnamed Democrat said about the potential candidacy.
Unlike Ossoff, Yates actually has a record of publicly opposing the administration, and she also benefits from national name recognition, a benefit that Ossoff didn’t enjoy before House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi began hosting high-dollar fundraisers for the young Democrat in February.
A formal drafting committee hasn’t been filed in support of Yates, but there is an entry to draft Yates on the crowdfunding site CROWDPAC. The campaign has only earned $293 in pledges, far short of the $25,000 goal of the campaign.
Current Republican Governor Nathan Deal is term-limited, meaning that he is unable to run again in the 2018 race. The Republicans have several choices in the state’s primary. Current Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, State Sen. Hunter Hill, and current Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle all already announced their candidacy.