As predicted in the last column, new developments for the 2010 elections continue to change the political landscape on a near daily basis. This column is written early because I will have been hospitalized during its deadline period.
State Reps. Carl Rogers and Doug Collins have considered, but declined, to seek the state Senate seat being vacated by Lee Hawkins, who finally announced for Nathan Deal's 9th District congressional seat.
Butch Miller became the first to announce for Hawkins' post. The Republican isn't likely to be unopposed. I've heard of several considering it, some from the potential candidates themselves.
State Rep. Bobby Reese of Gwinnett County jumped into the GOP congressional race. Former State Rep. Stacey Reece of Gainesville became a candidate for the state highway board to fill an unexpected vacancy.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sent me a message that he won't withdraw from his re-election race and will win. My view: He removed the doubts I had and likely will remain unopposed in the primary. He will be favored in a closer general election depending upon the Democratic opponent and how voters react to him and Deal being from the same county, assuming Deal is the GOP nominee. Hall County should benefit from Cagle's re-election either way, especially should Deal lose.
That's the way this will continue for a while. More will be jumping in, some jumping out, some switching races and some alliances changing before this settles down.
That's why in last week's column, I may have come across as being frustrated with the many who had been urging me to analyze what's going on. I apologize to you if so. I do understand that with so much changing situations you do want to understand. It's humbling that you would think I'd be a good source. The Times' news department is doing a great job in keeping up with these developments as they happen, so you're going to be reading plenty.
I'm not too disappointed in Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation. We knew before we voted for Barack Obama that we would get liberal justices. That's a president's constitutional prerogative.
Replacing a liberal, she doesn't change the current balance of the court immediately. She apparently is a well-qualified judge. I have a sneaking idea most mainstream conservatives eventually will concede she's about the best we reasonably could have expected under existing circumstances.
What does worry me big time about the administration is the demand for some kind of a health bill to be passed this year will lead to passing something with or without GOP support. I want my doctors, free of expensive "defensive medicine" to avoid dollar-chasing malpractice suits, telling me what treatment and medications I need and why, not insurance companies. A bill rammed through under current conditions is a proven recipe for disaster. We don't need a bankrupting socialization of our medical system.
Plenty of time remains for a bipartisan bill to be crafted if we and our legislators put the interest of the country ahead of partisan interests, bite the bullet and anger significant segments of constituencies.
As in all legislation, there must be give and take. Some will have to forego some things they really want to get some provisions they need even more.
Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor of The Times. You can reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears every other Tuesday.