|Born||January 25, 1968|
States' Rights Movement
Ray McBerry is one of the leading proponents of the restoration of the Constitutional Law concept of States' Rights found in the 10th Amendment. In 2010, he hosted the first national Tenth Amendment Summit in U.S. history in Atlanta, Georgia, which featured, in addition to McBerry, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Andrew Napolitano of FOX News as keynote speakers .
In support of the principle of States' Rights, McBerry has also been a spokesman for Southern heritage issues, including serving as spokesman for the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans on national radio and television networks including FOX News, CNN, Headline News, and MSNBC.
He is a two-time Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, having run in 2006 and 2010.
2006 Georgia Governor's Race
In 2006, Ray McBerry was recruited by a coalition of conservative groups in Georgia which included pro-life, Second Amendment, constitutionalists, and Southern Heritage organizations to oppose fellow Republican Sonny Perdue in his bid for reelection. Most of McBerry's supporters, along with McBerry, himself, had worked to get Perdue elected in 2002 as the first Republican governor of Georgia since Reconstruction; but they were not happy with Perdue's failure to keep campaign promises on many conservative issues. At the urging of these groups, McBerry announced his candidacy the very week of qualifying; and with approximately ninety days in which to campaign, he garnered nearly 50,000 votes in the Republican primary.[better source needed]
2010 Georgia Governor's Race
With no incumbent in the governor's race, there was a crowded field of candidates in the Republican primary including state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Secretary of State Karen Handel, state Senators Jeff Chapman and Eric Johnson, Congressman Nathan Deal, and businessman McBerry. McBerry did well early on in straw polls from online sources and at the Cobb GOP. In the straw poll taken at the 11th District GOP Convention on April 18, 2009, McBerry came in second. The poll included both announced as well as potential candidates. Later in April 2009, the Monroe County Reporter, a local paper, stated that McBerry had won a poll in Monroe county by a majority, defeating John Oxendine (who had previously been leading in local polls) and three other candidates.
The morning after the first of four major televised debates in which all of the candidates appeared on stage together, Athens radio talk show host Tim Bryant declared that after the debate, the overwhelming majority of attendees in the live audience flooded the stage to meet McBerry like he was a "rock star." McBerry's response to the problem of illegal aliens received the most applause from the audience on the evening when he said that the problem was created by the federal government and the illegals should be put on a "big yellow bus" and dropped off at the White House.
The second major debate took place in middle Georgia near Warner Robins; and the Macon Telegraph reported that McBerry "received the most resounding applause with his fiery anti-Washington rhetoric and his call to 'get rid of every vestige of socialism.'”
After the media reported that McBerry received more applause from the live audiences of the first two major debates, plans were made for straw polls to be conducted among the live audiences of the final two major debates in LaGrange and Statesboro. With nearly 300 polled in LaGrange following that debate, McBerry received 57 percent of all votes as announced by the host organization—more than all other candidates combined. And, again, in the straw poll conducted after the final major debate in Statesboro the Effingham Herald reported that McBerry won that poll, as well.
The momentum that McBerry was gaining after hosting the first-ever national Tenth Amendment Summit and after winning the four major televised debates was stymied when two Libertarian bloggers made statewide news by accusing McBerry of having had an affair with a sixteen or seventeen-year-old woman a decade earlier. McBerry filed and ultimately won a libel suit when the bloggers chose to settle out of court prior to the beginning of the trial. In the settlement agreement, the court ordered the defendants to sign a confession and apology, turn over ownership of their website on which they had first published the accusations, and pay a monetary award. Unfortunately for McBerry, the libel suit took three years to win; and the 2010 election was long over by the time the lawsuit was successful.
With the libel suit victory still three years away, McBerry finished the race but only received approximately 13,000 votes—far fewer than his bid during the 2006 election.
- Yates, Paul: Ray McBerry Makes Bid for Governor, Retrieved on July 22, 2009
- James Salzer, Aaron Gould Sheinin: Open season for political campaigns, Retrieved on July 22, 2009
- Georgia gubernatorial election, 2006