Georgia 10th District
Northeastern Georgia is a land where the coastal plains and cotton fields yield to gently rolling hills and, near the North Carolina border, to the Appalachian Mountains. For most of its history, this was quiet, rural country, with courthouse towns and a few small cities, mostly forgotten by national elites, bypassed even by Union soldiers on their march to the sea. But in the last two decades, economic growth has radiated outward from Atlanta and spread across much of the region. The effects can be seen as far away as the old city of Augusta, on the Savannah River across from South Carolina. Founded in 1735, it is rich in history, with an old Cotton Exchange and mansions untouched by Sherman. It is also a center for newer industries that are replacing the paper industry, though the city retains a large share of low-income people. Augusta is best known as the home of the Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the Masters Tournament every year, its entrance barely visible off four-lane Washington Road. The city also houses the Fort Gordon Army base and has become a site for Hollywood film production.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 10th Congressional District of Georgia takes in much of the northeast corner of the state. It includes about 40% of Augusta in Richmond County, but not the city’s heavily black precincts. The 2005 redistricting added Clarke County and the liberal enclave of Athens, home of the University of Georgia, graceful Greek Revival mansions, boxwood gardens, and magnolias—and also, incidentally, rock bands R.E.M. and the B-52s. State planners have discussed a “brain train” to connect Athens to Atlanta. Clarke and Richmond counties are now the two largest population centers here. Columbia County, next to Augusta, and Oconee County, next to Athens, are particularly affluent and also rapidly growing. The Lake Oconee area has more than 100 subdivisions, including gated communities and golf courses that beckon to second-home buyers and retirees. Voters here prefer traditional values: Several counties recently rejected ballot propositions to end a prohibition of alcohol. The redistricting changes increased the African-American population from 14% to 20%, but this remains a solidly Republican district in national politics. In 2008, John McCain led Democrat Barack Obama here, 62%-37%.