Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2017

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow, voters head to the polls for the last time this year.

In [State Senate] District 6, which includes portions of Cobb and Fulton Counties, the next state senator will have a D next to his or her name.

Attorney Jen Jordan and dentist Jaha Howard, both Democrats, were the two survivors from a list of 8 candidates.

In Marietta’s Ward 1, attorney Cheryl Richardson and retired consultant Jay Davis are facing off for the City Council seat.

In Smyrna, two residents are competing for the Ward 3 seat. Recording artist Maryline Blackburn and business owner Travis Lindley are both hoping to replace state Rep. Terri Anulewicz, who gave up her council seat to run unopposed for her new position.

The first race for Austell’s Ward 1 City Council seat resulted in a 76-76 tie between two candidates.

Marlin Lamar, engineering superintendent at Hilton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, and Ikaika Anderson, manager at Exquisite Catering, are both hoping the scales will tip in their favor this time around.

City of Atlanta voters will choose between Mary Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms for the next Mayor.

Keisha Lance Bottoms faces Mary Norwood. The two city councilwomen advanced to the runoff after Bottoms finished first and Norwood finished second in the Nov. 7 general election.

Aside from returning to a female mayor, Atlanta voters could usher in another change if Norwood wins. If that happens, it will be the first time in the past 44 years that Atlanta is led by a white mayor.

In Senate District 39, voters are deciding between Atlanta Democrats Nikema Williams and Linda Pritchett. They’re competing for the seat left open by Democrat Vincent Fort, who stepped down to run for Atlanta mayor.

In House District 60, metro Atlanta Democrats Kim Schofield and De’Andre Pickett are vying for a vacant seat that includes parts of Fulton and Clayton counties. Democratic Rep. Keisha Waites had resigned from that seat in September to run for chairman of the Fulton County Commission.

In DeKalb County, two Democrats are in a runoff for the House District 89 seat left vacant by state Rep. Stacey Abrams, an Atlanta Democrat who is leaving the legislature to run for governor. Voters in that race are deciding between Bee Nguyen and Sachin Varghese.

Democratic United States Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (NJ) campaigned with Keisha Lance Bottoms yesterday.

At Bottoms’ campaign headquarters on Sunday morning, Booker implored Democratic voters to “keep the fire going” in the final days of the race.

“This is a Democrat, someone who is not afraid to talk about her values, and talk about the issues that are important now,” Booker, a New Jersey senator, said in an interview. “She’ll stand up to the president when necessary. She’s not going to soft-step, or soft-pedal, anything.”

State Senator Rick Jeffares (R-Stockbridge) will resign his seat as he runs for Lieutenant Governor.

He said in an emailed statement that his campaign “has taken off more quickly than I expected.” He said he wants to spread his message and exchange ideas and can’t imagine being able to do that while still representing his district properly.

Online state records show that two other Republicans — Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer and former state House member Geoff Duncan — are also vying to replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor.

Gainesville-area foster care advocates discussed changes to improve the state system.

“My thought is always, what can we change on a local level to send ripples and perhaps a tidal wave” through the current foster care model, said Lindsay Burton, chief judge of the Hall County juvenile court.

On Thursday, Burton was joined by representatives from local churches and nonprofits, state government, foster care placing agencies and foster parents themselves at the East Hall Community Center for an hourslong meeting to address what can be done to improve the existing framework.

Burton and Brian Anderson, CEO of the nonprofit Supporting Adoption & Foster Families Together, asked pointed questions of Division of Family and Children Services and private child placing agencies who contract with DFCS to place children in foster homes.

When children are removed from their home, DFCS workers will look first to Hall’s 26 DFCS foster homes. If no DFCS homes are available, caseworkers begin calling private agencies and may place children outside of Hall County if they feel that’s the best available home, DFCS workers at the meeting said.

Musician Zac Brown has invested in a Dahlonega distillery.

His name will appear on the distillery, renamed the Z. Brown Distillery, and its products through Brown’s Southern Ground brand.

The rebranded business set out to open this fall. There’s still no specific date set, but the end of fall is coming soon. Odem said to keep an eye on the business’ socialmedia accounts to stay in the loop.
Brown’s investment allowed Odem to ramp up production at the distillery and add a 750-gallon copper still to the existing 500-gallon system.

Since May, more than a dozen employees have been making 10 gallons of bourbon, brandy, whiskey and gin a week.

The bourbon is made with antique white dent corn that’s hand-milled at the distillery, Odem said.

“People that are in the know about bourbons would know that we’re in the family with Maker’s Mark, Pappy’s, (W.L.) Weller’s,” he said.

Some Murray County residents will have new voting precincts in 2018.

Several polling places — not all — will be changed to a new location starting with the special election of March 20, 2018. New polling locations will affect voters in the precincts of Spring Place, Town, McDonald (Eton) and Carters-Doolittle (Ramhurst). These polling changes will be permanent.

All voters in the four precincts being moved will receive a new precinct card in the mail prior to the March special election. This card is simply to remind voters where to go on Election Day. It cannot be used for ID at the polls.

Republican Kelli Gambrill announced she will run for the County Commission seat currently held by Bob Weatherford.

Keli Gambrill has announced she’ll run for the District 1 commissioner post currently held by Bob Weatherford. Gambrill says she’s completed the paperwork to have her name on the Republican ballot for the May 22 primary election. This is her first run for public office.

Gambrill, 48, and husband, Bob, have a son, Robert. She has worked as a consultant since moving to Georgia in 2003. The Gambrills live in Alexander Farms subdivision. An equine enthusiast, she owns a horse and often rides in and judges equestrian competitions.

She believes the No. 1 issue facing Cobb County is the budget and doesn’t agree with the county’s current approach. “I don’t think we should be proud of going from a $21 million deficit to anywhere from a $31 million to a $55 million deficit, especially when our tax base is increasing.”

Former State Senator and GAGOP Chair Chuck Clay has endorsed Travis Lindley in the runoff election for Smyrna City Council.

Cherokee County Board of Equalization members are under investigation by a local grand jury.

The investigation comes after five people on the 12-member board, which handles appeals from property assessments issued by the Cherokee County Board of Tax Assessors, filed a class action lawsuit against the county, demanding they release the complaint made against them.

An interim grand jury presentment was filed Nov. 14 announcing the investigation into board members Bill Dewrell, Donald Sams, J.E. White, Charles D. Heard, Jr. and Patricia Tanner.

The members have also been removed from hearing appeals to the board until the complaint is resolved, according to Clerk of Superior Court of Cherokee County Patty Baker.

District Attorney Shannon Wallace said the grand jury will announce their findings in their presentments which are returned in open court and filed with the clerk at the end of their term.

A copy of the presentments will be sent to the legal organ of the county, the Cherokee Tribune, and the present grand jury’s term expires in the first half of January, she said.

Infant mortality rates in Georgia appear to be declining after several years of increases.

Georgia’s infant mortality rate has risen over the last few years while the national rate has flattened or declined, Department of Public Health statistics show.

In 2010, 6.3 Georgia babies for every 1,000 live births died within their first year of life. By 2015, that number had increased to 7.8.

But Lara Jacobson, director of Health Promotion at the state Department of Public Health, said Friday that preliminary data for 2016 show a decrease in the infant mortality numbers for Georgia.

Georgia was ranked 43rd among states in a recent infant mortality rating from United Health Foundation.

State data show that counties in the southern half of Georgia have higher infant mortality. And there’s a racial disparity as well, with babies born to black women having much greater mortality risk than those with white mothers.

Rural counties have higher infant mortality numbers, Jacobson said.

A  factor in that disparity may involve longer distances to birthing hospitals, which can increase chances for preterm birth. Only 46 of Georgia’s 159 counties have labor and delivery units, with about 75 hospitals in the state routinely delivering babies, according to the Georgia OB/GYN Society.

Gainesville appears to be a hotbed of bass-fishing and its associated economic impact.

“In September and October we had five tournaments (bass fishing) that we were involved with, that we assisted with, provided maybe some meeting space and I brought them some snacks and waters,” [Gainesville’s Convention and Visitors’ Bureau manager Regina Dyer] explained.

“From those tournaments the economic impact was $1.13-million,” Dyer explained surprising everyone in the room who was not an avid fisherman.

Click here to see a spectacular photograph of a Bald Eagle taken near Rome.

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