WHY IT MATTERS: Among other ho-hum duties including administering incorporations and maintaining the state archives, the serious-sounding yet very unsexy position of secretary of state oversees Georgia's elections.
THE LOWDOWN: After Karen Handel skipped out of office to focus on her unsuccessful gubernatorial run, Gov. Perdue appointed Brian Kemp to fill her post, a move that gave the former Republican state senator and businessman — who'd already announced a run for secretary of state — the ole incumbency advantage. The lantern-jawed Athenian's nine-month term has seen some noble initiatives, including a one-stop, albeit slightly clunky, online voter's resource. But filing a lawsuit to coax the federal government into OK'ing Georgia's overly aggressive voter ID law — and not pushing harder to provide voters with electronic voting machines that offer a verifiable paper trail — doesn't earn him points.
Democratic nominee and state Rep. Georganna Sinkfield of Atlanta — who opposed the lawsuit — says she wants to remove politics from the office, which is more about serving businesses and helping Georgians exercise their right to vote.
OUTLOOK: In addition to better name recognition and that GOP zeal, Kemp's campaign has about $89,000 on hand — nearly 12 times what's sitting in Sinkfield's war chest.