State capital power balance up for grabs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State capital power balance up for grabs

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November 2, 2004

Atlanta-- Democrats are trying to regain control of the State Senate, and Republicans hope to win their first House majority since Reconstruction.

Every seat in the Georgia House and Senate will be decided tonight. And, the state Democratic and Republican parties are pushing hard to fill those seats.

Republican Representative Ed Rynders says, "The Republican party is backing people more than ever before. They've told me that they've raised more money than ever before."

Both parties spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on political advertisements for candidates in local and state races. "They are definitely going all out to promote the candidates that they feel are in close races."

Two years ago, Republicans gained hold of the Senate after generations of Democratic control when four Democratic senators switched parties soon after the election. Now, Republicans hold a 30-26 edge in the Senate, and have their sights set on the House.

"If Republicans took control of both chambers, I feel you would certainly see a more efficient, stream-lined government. This budget doubled in the last ten years prior to the Republican Governor arriving," Rynders said.

Democratic Senator Michael Meyer Von Bremen says the budget is one example of how Republicans have hurt the state. "Last year in the Senate for the first time that I can remember, the mid year budget was unbalanced coming out of the Senate."

The first time the Senate has been in GOP control. Meyer Von Bremen and Rynders agree that politics too often mires down important legislation. "That's because of the division, the inability to agree and work things out. The dig in your heels attitude. We're not budging they're not budging. And, that's just not good for Georgia."

Democrats currently control the House. Republicans would need 12 new seats to reverse that control. Democrats need only three seat to take back Senate control.

If Republicans won control of the House, the GOP would have statewide power under Governor Sonny Perdue's Republican administration.

posted at 4:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com