Hodges gearing for next round

ALBANY -- Fifteen months ago, Ken Hodges hit the ground running in an effort to become Georgia's next attorney general.

Despite having to wait until his Republican opponent is selected in a runoff on Aug. 10, Hodges says he's still running hard.

Hodges will face either Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens or state Sen. Preston Smith in the Nov. 2 general election.

"I'm campaigning just as hard today as I did 15 months ago," said Hodges, who was in town Monday to complete some legal work for his law firm. "But I am working and campaigning at the same time."

Last month's primary showed a wide gap between Democratic and Republican voters in the AG race. More than 576,000 voted in the GOP primary, while the Democratic race attracted slightly more than 338,000 voters. Despite the disparity of more than 200,000 voters, Hodges is unconcerned headed into November.

"Those numbers don't worry me at all," he said. "You have to remember that there were more hotly contested races on the Republican side. I've had many people tell me they voted in the Republican primary because the races were more heated.

"These people will vote for me in the general election. They thought I'd be OK in the primary, and thank goodness they were right."

As for which Republican he'd rather face in the general election, Hodges said he has no preference.

"It doesn't matter to me who we face in November; we are well-positioned to beat either once," Hodges said. "I am still the only prosecutor in the race."

Hodges appealed for help from his fellow South Georgians.

"I need help from people down here who know me," the former Dougherty County District Attorney said. "Help me get out my message. People down here know what kind of job I did as their district attorney. Volunteer ... help us win."

Hodges pointed out that there is more at stake for South Georgia after the election is over.

"It's important to remember that if I am elected I will be the only constitutional officer from outside of the metro Atlanta area," he said.