Georgia Pol Puts Tom Price on Notice

Posted March 4, 2015 at 1:22pm

Although he’s technically been out of politics for a dozen years, former state lawmaker Mitchell Kaye gave Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., an ultimatum Tuesday: Stand your ground on the Department of Homeland Security funding fight or prepare to be primaried.  

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kaye played the don’t-make-me-challenge-you card in a strongly worded letter provided to HOH by a tipster. “Hope you and your family are doing well!” the polite-sounding missive opens up.

Mitchell Kaye letter to Tom Price

Four paragraphs and 300-odd words later, Kaye drops all the pleasantries.  

“If you do not keep your campaign promise and vote and use your growing influence to kill our President’s illegal immigration action through this DHS bill, I will be a candidate for the Republican primary in the 6th district in 2016,” Kaye warns.  

Not that he had anything to worry about.  

Price, the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, has aligned himself with conservative interests (Republican Study Committee, Tea Party Caucus), and was not party to the one-third of the GOP that bit the bullet with Speaker John A. Boehner and adopted the Senate’s no-strings-attached funding plan.  

But that doesn’t mean he’s totally off the hook.  

Per Kaye, who told HOH he wasn’t particularly chummy with Price (“We were colleagues … [but] we didn’t really work together,” he said of the purely professional relationship.) during their overlapping tenures in the Georgia Statehouse, other outstanding issues might still force him into the race.  

One prospective impetus: the next debt ceiling hike (not that again ).  

And while he’s not gung-ho about heading back out on the campaign trail — Kaye has devoted the past decade to building an appraisal business and raising his children — the one-time pol said the current state of the union has given him pause.  

“Sometimes you just can’t sit by when the future of your country is at stake,” he counseled. “And now we’re empty nesters, so …”  


The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress


Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.