As the office of Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday released all the names of people who said they were interested in appointment to the Peach State's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat, one name stood out to pundits and pols nationwide: Jackie Gingrich Cushman, daughter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Considered a top adviser to her father and a key lieutenant in his various projects, Cushman's name emerged on Kemp's reported short list at a time the governor is reportedly leaning toward naming a woman.
Others on the list to succeed Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson upon his announced resignation from office December 31 include State House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, millionaire businesswoman Kelly Loeffler, and Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden (the first black woman to serve in a statewide constitutional office in Georgia).
Given that Cushman has a slimmer resume than any of the other women reportedly on the shortlist, there are some who feel she would be receiving the appointment simply because of her famous father.
Others say, as one Washington wag put it, "she would become the most-watched daughter of a former House speaker since Miss Tallulah Bankhead (the storied actress whose father was Rep. William Bankhead, D-Ala., speaker of the House from 1936-40).
"Jackie would be an excellent candidate with a well-known name, great conservative credentials, a great public speaker and an appeal to GOP suburban female voters," Matt Towery, veteran Georgia GOP consultant, told Newsmax.
So far, Gov. Kemp has offered few clues as to who his choice for the appointment will be.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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