ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell Mayor Jere Wood was the latest Republican official to host a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s re-election, with one eye on 2014 and the other on what Cagle may do in 2018.
While Cagle roundly insists his eyes are only on re-election next year, he is widely considered to be the frontrunner for governor in 2018. Wood made no bones about it in introducing Cagle at his home Dec. 10 to well-heeled Republicans of old Roswell.
“We like the job Casey Cagle is doing for us in the Senate as lieutenant governor, but I’m looking ahead to the governor’s race [in 2018],” Wood said. “I didn’t think Roy Barnes could be beaten, and Sonny Perdue showed he could.
“And I backed Karen Handel because she was a friend and our hometown girl. I want to be on the winning side in the next  election,” Wood told his guests.
Cagle was quick to say he is concentrating on his 2014 re-election, but he did nothing to quash the notion of a run at the top job in the following election.
He has also worked with North Fulton legislators to move the bills they are interested in through the Senate. This makes them successful back home and likely to maintain that relationship should Cagle move into the “big house” on West Paces Ferry.
Cagle brings a message that resonates with North Fulton residents and business people. It is a message that extols what separates Georgia from the rest of the Deep South, and its ability to do business and anticipate what it needed to do to become not only a national player but an international player.
That included the vision of Atlanta to build an international airport that is today Hartsfield-Jackson, for Gov. Zell Miller to promote Savannah to be one of the important ports on the Eastern seaboard and for Fulton County Commissioner Michael Lomax to pioneer Ga. 400, which became the road to dot.com businesses, corporate headquarters, upscale housing and schools of excellence.
“[North Fulton] made the significant infrastructure investment upfront to ensure its success,” Cagle told the Republican faithful gathered at Wood’s house. “Ten percent of all goods sold in the U.S. come through the port of Savannah. And Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is simply the busiest in the world.
“Fortune 500 companies and research industries make their home in Atlanta and North Fulton,” he said. “We have the No. 1 workforce education system in the country. None of this got here by accident.”
Cagle said that the foresight and the courage to follow up on it has poised the state for great things in the 21st century, and he said that is what he wants to see state government support to the fullest.