Democrat DuBose Porter receives support from unlikely Republican

It appears that newspaper ink is more potent than partisan politics.

Dining at the Commerce Club today were two newspaper men — one Republican and one Democrat. And one of those newspapermen is running for governor.

DuBose Porter, House minority leader (Democrat) who also is editor Dublin Courier-Herald, was having lunch with John Mellott, the former publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mellott, a longtime Republican, told me that he is supporting Porter’s run for governor.

In fact, Mellott said there is a growing group of Republican businessmen from Atlanta who are signing up to be part of the Porter campaign.

All indications are that the 2010 governor’s race is wide open. There’s a myriad of Republican candidates already in the race. And there’s evidence that some Republican Party backers are not enthused about any of them.

The big question is which candidate will the metro Atlanta business community support.

And before that question can be answered, people are watching and waiting to see whether former Gov. Roy Barnes, also a Democrat, will enter the race.

Porter certainly is watching. Barnes has a much greater name recognition than Porter, but he also has political residue left over from when he was governor — especially when he alienated teachers across the state with his plans for education reform.

Porter said today that he wishes Barnes would just join his team. He said it will take someone from outside the Atlanta area to be able to explain to the people throughout the state as to why they should nurture a healthy metro area.

Meanwhile, Mellott, who is now retired, is on board helping Porter spread the word.

Newspaper men stick together.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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