The implosion of the Hall County GOP is quickening to such a degree that now there are outward signs of the fracture.

Let’s look back only a few years ago. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and sitting Congressman Nathan Deal lived within miles of one another, comfortably nestled in the valleys of Hall County. Between the two of them, they controlled a large portion of this state’s governing. Conventional wisdom said that Cagle would be our next Governor, and Deal would be the 9th district voice in DC for as many years as he could stand.

Now, Deal is in a Governor’s run-off that he can’t win. Cagle is hobbled by poor health and can’t run for larger office- although many think his bad back is from toting the weight of his own unproven scandalous issues.

Both of them are in danger of being unemployed; one by reaching too far, and the other by reaching too often.

The Forsyth GOP had been a reliable ally, but the recent contentious election to fill Nathan Deal’s congressional seat pitted Hall’s state senator against a Forsyth representative. The two counties have diverged in their political aspirations. Each voted for their own; Hall went for Hawkins, while Forsyth went to Graves.

The bitter campaign has driven a wedge between the two counties. Forsyth voted against Hall resident Nathan Deal in Tuesday’s governor election.

Witness: Republican Bobby Banks gets primaried by TWO different opponents. This is unheard of in these parts.

It’ll get worse before it gets better. Whoever loses the Lutz and Banks battle won’t go quietly into that good night. Lutz may run for his Flowery Branch council seat again. Either might go after the state representative seat in two years.

They wouldn’t do it now, of course, but if Hall’s GOP keeps losing power and influence, what’s to prevent these newcomers from being emboldened by their recent forays in elected office?

It’s fascinating to watch. Hall County has had a disproportionate influence in state politics for years. Slowly, that grip is loosening, and the local GOP back-benchers don’t like it.

Local Republicans have gotten complacent. Their pride has made them slow. Their success has made them lazy.

Now, their reckoning is upon them.

I’m under no illusion that Hall is turning blue anytime soon. But the fracturing and splitting of loyalties will continue.
It could be a rough few years for our comfortable Republicans- those who enjoy the ladies and the power and the leisurely luncheons that power has afforded them.

As I said earlier, it’s fascinating to watch.