The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 31, 2016


Tybee is a 7-year old male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Colbert Veterinary Rescue in Colbert, GA.

Tybee is a 7 year old lab mix who is much in need of a new home since he has been in rescue for 3 years now. We acquired him from another rescue when it closed. He is sweet and gets along with Sophie who has been with him for about 2 years. He does not get along with other dogs except for Sophie. He can be adopted with Sophie (for a reduced adoption fee!) or by himself.


Sophie is an 6-year old adult female Black and Tan Coonhound who is available for adoption from Colbert Veterinary Rescue in Colbert, GA.

She is really in need of a new home since she has been in rescue for 3 years now. We acquired from another rescue when it closed. She is sweet and gets along with Tybee who has been with her for about 2 years but is also good by herself or with other dogs. We are unsure if she gets along with cats. (Tybee does not so we just have not tried her.)


Zinnia is a young female Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from Colbert Veterinary Rescue in Colbert, GA.

Zinnia is one of the sweetest dogs we have had at the rescue. She gets along with everyone!

She came from Animals Control with an injured leg that is still healing, She will probably need a skin graft and follow-up (which we will do) but is ready for a new home as soon as possible.


Chumina is a young female Italian Greyhound who is available for adoption from the Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue and is currently fostered in Colbert, GA.

Chumina is a wonderfull IG. She is a little on the large size for a female but that means more of her to love ! She would fit into just about any household but would probably like another dog to play with. She gets along with all dogs, big or small. I don’t know how she would do with cats though.

Chumina only has 3 legs but it does not slow her down in any way whatsoever. She is overall one of the easiest going iggys her foster has ever had the pleasure of fostering. Not only does she have brains but she is absolutely gorgeous.


Here’s a great fundraiser for one of our favorite dog rescue groups, Canine Pet Rescue. Bikes, Barks, and BarBQ will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 31, 2016

The Treaty of Augusta was signed on May 31, 1783, between the Creek Indians and Georgia Commissioners. A second, identical document would be signed on November 1 of that year.

The first graduation ceremony for the University of Georgia was held on May 31, 1804.

On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”

Savannah-born John C. Fremont was nominated for President of the United States by the Radical Republicans on May 31, 1864. Fremont had previously been nominated for President by the Republican Party as their first presidential candidate in 1856. Last year, Bill Nigut at GPB interviewed Cokie Roberts on her book, Capital Dames, and there’s an interesting segment on John C. Fremont and his wife, Jesse Benton Fremont, starting at about 10:30 into the audio track.

The Capital City Club in Atlanta was chartered on May 31, 1889.

On May 30, 1922, Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Inside the memorial is a seated statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French carved from 175 tons of Georgia white marble.

French also created the statue of Jame Oglethorpe that stands in Chippewa Square in Savannah and a seated statue of Samuel Spencer considered to be a prototype of the Lincoln carving. Samuel Spencer was the first President of Southern Railway and was originally located at the rail station in downtown Atlanta before moving to the Southern Railway passenger station in Buckhead in the 1970s and is currently at 1200 Peachtree Street in front of Norfolk Southern.

On May 29, 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

The lone surviving member of the Hillary-Norgay expedition tells his story of the assault on Everest.

In 1953, Kanchha Sherpa was just a young boy and had little idea that he would be part of history.

“I didn´t know much,” says Kanchha, now the lone survivor of the first successful expedition to the Mount Everest. “What I knew was I was on a very risky journey.”

Until then, no human being had ever set foot on the Everest. Edmund Hillary was on a risky mission to achieve that unprecedented feat. He was backed by a group of 16 Sherpas from Darjeeling, India. And Tenzing Norge was the leader of the Sherpas.

“Tenzing was a friend of my father,” says Kanchha, now 83. “So, he took me on his expedition. He treated me like his son. So did Hillary.”

The second Brown v. Board of Education decision was handed down by the Supreme Court on May 31, 1955, ordering the Topeka, Kansas schools be desegregated ““with all deliberate speed.”

Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 31, 1971.

Time Magazine May 31 1971

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The hottest election going today is the Republican Leadership for Georgia 2016 Class Elections. I’m Team Pachyderm, FTW.

If you are an alumnus of the Coverdell Leadership Institute or Republican Leadership for Georgia, contact a current member of Pachyderm to get the password, then confirm your attendance online.

Also on tap for the Friday of the State Convention is a GAGOP Engagement Luncheon at the Pinnacle Club.

Millennials-Minorities-Mavericks:  Convention luncheon featuring nationally recognized speakers, media personalities, policy and political leaders.  Make your contribution to Georgia’s success at winning elections and impacting legislative leadership. Hear from Keynotes including Miami’s Kierstin Koppel,  D.C.’s Karin Agness and a special message from Newt Gingrich.  This is Georgia GOP’s first fundraiser for strategic minority engagement as we plan for election 2016.

The election of Ramone Lamkin over Richmond County Marshal Steve Smith illustrates the growing importance of winning the early and absentee vote.

Marshal-elect Ramone Lamkin, head of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Traffic Division, said his team took advantage of three weeks of advance voting with a tactic to overcome confusion about the election’s move by the state legislature from November to May.

“I had a van going every day during early voting,” said Lamkin, who garnered 52 percent of votes Tuesday. “Everybody said people wouldn’t come out and vote in May. I set out to prove them wrong.”

Lamkin said the Mercedes van’s driver didn’t tell voters how to vote but made them aware of the election and provided easy transportation to the polls.

The effort paid off, according to results. While he and Smith were close in regular voting Tuesday, 9,235 to 9,129, and in mailed absentee ballots, 435 to 453, Lamkin also outpolled Smith in advance, in-person voting.

Results showed that Lamkin garnered 971 more advance in-person votes than Smith, with 3,597 to Smith’s 2,626.

Bibb County School Board member Jason Downey withdrew from the July runoff for his seat, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“After a great deal of prayerful consideration and for professional reasons related to opportunities recently presented to me, I have decided that I will withdraw from seeking re-election to the Bibb County Board of Education Seat for District 6,” Downey said in a statement.

Downey was set for a runoff on July 26 against Bob Easter, who picked up 48.54 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election to Downey’s 39.44 percent.

“I’d just like to thank Jason Downey for his service to our community and look forward to bring our community together for the kids for the next four years,” Easter said.

A rarity in Columbus, as a sitting Superior Court Clerk was defeated for reelection.

Unofficial results late Tuesday showed minister Ann Hardman had unseated incumbent Superior Court Clerk Linda Pierce by 60 to 40 percent.

“I’m excited that the people believed enough in me to put me in office,” Hardman said Tuesday night.

Over the next six months, she would examine office procedures “to see how we’re doing” and look for improvements, she said.

She was unsure how she would deal with a lawsuit Pierce has filed against city leaders over her office budget.

Also in Columbus, a candidate who was disqualified from the Democratic Primary election for Sheriff took more votes than any of the other candidates.

Pam Brown today would be the Democratic nominee for Muscogee County sheriff, had she not been disqualified.

She got 5,798 votes in Tuesday’s primary, more than any other candidate on either party’s ballot.

Next came Republican Mark LaJoye with 3,599, then Democrat Donna Tompkins with 2,358, and finally, with 1,702, Robert Keith Smith, whom the county elections board disqualified along with Brown on March 30, a decision a Superior Court judge upheld on April 21.

The board disqualified LaJoye and Tompkins, too, on May 2, but a Superior Court judge reversed that decision last week.

Now as LaJoye and Tompkins go on to face incumbent John Darr in the Nov. 8 General Election, Brown needs about as many people who voted for her to sign a petition to get her back on the ballot: 5,226.

That’s the precise number needed to qualify as an Independent candidate, if not an incumbent like Darr, who has said he will run as an Independent this year. Incumbents are exempt from the petition requirement.

Sylvia Cooper of the Augusta Chronicle has one of the best reviews of local elections I’ve read.

In the Augusta Commis­sion District 1 race, won by incumbent Bill Fennoy, they’re OK with letting the whole county pay the rain tax to try to fix District 1 flooding problems. It’s still going to flood there, though, because that’s what happens when you live on flat land next to a river.

After years of complaining about Richmond County schools, voters in District 5 elected former school board president Andrew Jefferson to fix city government.

In the Super District 9 contest between two mad men, incumbent Com­mis­sio­ner Marion Williams trounced challenger Ronnie Bat­tle, who as usual had nothing to say. In defeating Battle, Williams killed two birds with one stone – Battle and his friend Com­mis­sio­­ner Sammie Sias, who encouraged Battle to run against Williams. Nobody was actually killed, of course. It’s just a convenient figure of speech.

JUDICIOUSLY SPEAKING: In the Richmond County clerk of court race, Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s secretary Hattie Sullivan soundly defeated Earnest Thompson, which shows that secretaries really do run the world.

State Court Judge John Flythe defeated attorney Evita Paschal in the race for Su­perior Court judge. In each of her speeches, Pas­chal asked people to “punch Paschal” when they voted, but since voters don’t really punch anything anymore, they must have been looking around for something to punch and forgot to vote.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of Ms. Cooper’s analysis, but I can vouch that she has a way with words and certainly makes local politics that doesn’t affect me interesting.

In Fulton County, incorrect district lines left some voters in the wrong districts after changes in two house seats.

Fulton County officials got caught by surprise when a data glitch caused some voters to cast the wrong ballot in Tuesday’s primary. Turns out, Georgia officials and state Democrats knew of the problem since February but no one told the county until Election Day.

According to emails shared with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, officials with the Democratic Party of Georgia emailed the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office on Feb. 17 after noticing voter maps for House District 59 and House District 60 — seats held by two Democrats on the south end of Atlanta that stretch into East Point — were coded incorrectly, putting some voters in the wrong district.

That means some voters may have received the wrong ballots and voted in the wrong race.

[Fulton County] officials … on Wednesday said they believe fewer than 40 voters may have cast the wrong ballots. Officials were also able to get the correct ballots to an additional 53 voters before the polls closed Tuesday evening, preventing any further problems. The issue was isolated to one polling location and precinct in East Point.

The race for House District 59 resulted in a runoff between the top two vote-getters, but the number of voters affected by Tuesday’s problem would not have made a difference in that outcome.

This morning, we learned from Tim Bryant via Facebook that Athens-Clarke County Tax Commissioner Mitch Schrader died. Schrader had earlier this year decided against running for reelection because of his health. His Deputy Tax Commissioner, Toni Meadows, won the Democratic Primary on May 24 for the seat, apparently without General Election opposition.

Meadow said she has no immediate plans for the tax commissioner’s office, which she will take in January.

Meadow decided to run after incumbent Tax Commissioner Mitch Schrader opted not to seek re-election for health reasons. Meadow ran for the seat with Schrader’s endorsement, along with the endorsement of Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson, herself a former county tax commissioner.

Meadow, an 11-year veteran of the tax office, said she “always thought I’d retire under Mitch,” but decided to seek the office with his encouragement.

In Carroll County, Deputy Coroner Keith Hancock is in a runoff with Keith Jiles after a three-way election yielded no one with a majority plus one vote.

A Porous Border

Remember the border dispute between Tennessee and Georgia, successful resolution of which would allow the Peach State to tap into the Tennessee River? North and South Carolina are in the midst of a truing-up of their border based on modern GPS technology. Only a handful of residents of either state are affected, but what a difference technology makes.

South Carolina and North Carolina have redrawn the line between the two states with GPS technology that allows them to confirm the boundary lines established under an English king in the 18th century down to the centimeter.

Nineteen homes are changing states. Three currently in North Carolina will end up in South Carolina, while [Dee] Martin and 15 others are going to change residency to North Carolina.

Bills finalizing the boundary change are currently in the North Carolina and South Carolina legislatures.

North Carolina’s Senate has passed its bill, sending it to the House. South Carolina’s Senate also took action, although with three days left in South Carolina’s annual session it isn’t clear whether the bill has time to pass in that state’s House.

The bills in both states include several items meant to make it easier for people switching states. North Carolina is allowing their soon-to-no-longer-be residents and their dependents in-state tuition at schools in the University of North Carolina system for the next 10 years, provided they live on the same property.

Children who attend a North Carolina K-12 public school but wind up in South Carolina can keep attending that school for free.

A Predator in Savannah

An alleged predator has been arrested in a series of attacks against girls age 13 to 17 in Savannah, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Between August 2014 and last February, girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were followed, grabbed, [assaulted or worse] as they walked through secluded areas on Savannah’s westside. Most were headed to or from school.

All 11 reported attacks and disturbing encounters within a mile and a half of each other.

The descriptions and circumstances weren’t always the same, but it was obvious young girls in the area were being targeted. Yet the attacks went on and on.

“It should have been known that this was going on so the community could have done more to protect their girls,” said Ruby Jones, a Savannah-Chatham Public School Board member who grew up and attended school in the area. “I had no idea that this was going on for this long. … There is a tendency to overlook what happens with our inner-city students because the attitude is that inner-city violence is normal.”


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 27, 2016


Atom (16-05-1523) is a 120-pound red and brindle Mastiff mix male who is available for adoption from Paulding County Animal Control in Dallas, GA.



Holly (16-05-1510b) is a young female Hound mix, small to medium-size, who is available for adoption from Paulding County Animal Control in Dallas, GA.


Buddy (16-05-1510a) is a young male Hound mix, small to medium-size weighing 27 pounds,who is available for adoption from Paulding County Animal Control in Dallas, GA.

I’m going to guess that Buddy and Holly are siblings.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 26, 2016

On May 27, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams to let Adams know of the death of a mutual friend.

On May 27, 1863, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal district court judge, issued a decision in Ex parte Merryman, which challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Lincoln ignored the ruling.

Today is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill in Paulding County, Georgia, where Sherman’s forces attacked Johnston’s Confederates on May 27, 1864. Among the combatants on the Union side was Ambrose Bierce, who would later write The Crime at Pickett’s Mill.

On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and General Howard was given command. After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Cleburne.

The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.

On May 27, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the United States was in an unlimited national emergency and laid out conditions under which Germany’s expansionism would constitute an attack on the United States.

On May 27, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter blasted the “Stop Carter” movement in a speech in Cincinnati.

Actor Christopher Reeves was thrown from his horse in an equestrian competition in Culpepper, Virginia on May 27, 1995, becoming quadraplegic.

Two years ago today, a poll by Rasmussen showed Democrat Michelle Nunn beating both Jack Kingston and David Perdue in a General Election matchup and Democrat Jason Carter beating Gov. Deal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has gotten their hands on a recipe for unicorn milk strategy memo for the Jim Barksdale Senate campaign.

Building on efforts from high profile mid-term gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in 2014, Democrats are investing in ambitious field program, “helmed by a pair of veterans from battleground states” that are already at work to “identify voters, recruit volunteers, [and] rally them around base-pleasing issues and corral them into votes in November.”

Georgia will inevitably turn blue on demographic changes alone, but it is the impact of the top of the ticket on both non-white and white voters that makes the ground in 2016 fertile.

Donald Trump won Georgia in the Republican primary as a populist outsider taking on the Washington establishment on economic grounds. Many white voters, driven into a frenzy by Trump, will be anti-establishment and looking to change Washington from top-to-bottom. Or white Independent and Republican voters who don’t like Trump may not vote at all. In a recent Atlanta Constitution Journal poll, 27% of Republicans and 61% of Independents viewed Trump negatively.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, once seen as a sure bet for an easy reelection, now faces an opponent that will unite the Democratic base, can spend his own resources, and is well positioned to take on Isakson’s “Gone Washington” record of bad trade deals, raising the age for Social Security eligibility, and a $12.7 trillion increase in the national debt has left him with just 42% believing he deserves reelection and 42% approval, both well under the 50% threshold long seen as a bellwether mark for incumbents.

Investment manager Jim Barksdale, winner of yesterday’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, is an anti-establishment outsider with a simple message: Our national debt is too high, wages are stagnant and government needs to start working for the people instead of special interests and their lobbyists. Jim’s message is both authentic and extremely appealing to voters across the ideological spectrum. The contrast between an outsider with a fresh voice and the longtime incumbent frames Johnny Isakson in a very bad light.

So the Democratic recipe for success looks like this: one-part David Perdue outsider appeal, one-part Bernie Sanders populism. Add a dash of demographics changes, top it with a goofy hat, and bake in the oven for five months. Okay. Got it. Good luck and let me know how that turns out.

Frankly, at this point, Johnny Isakson still looks like he might get a vote percentage equal to or exceeding his age (71) in November.

Governor Nathan Deal discussed the lawsuit Georgia joined over the Obama administration’s bathroom advice.

The governor said the Obama administration flouted local control in drafting guidance that directed public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity, saying a “one-size-fits-all solution to this is totally inappropriate.”

“We thought that this was an appropriate time to challenge that authority. Nothing has officially happened in terms of withholding funds, but the threat was made that it could happen,” said Deal, who said he consulted with Attorney General Sam Olens before the lawsuit was filed. He added: “It’s important enough for us to not allow an arbitrary overreach by the president to take away or jeopardize that constant funding.”

Sarah Fay Campbell of the Newnan Times-Herald takes a look at the Republican Primary Runoff between Mike Crane and Drew Ferguson in the Third Congressional District.

Crane, who currently serves as state senator from District 28, which includes Coweta, received 15,568 votes, for 26.92 percent. Ferguson was close behind with 15,480 votes, 26.77 percent.

Crane said he appreciates the race Ferguson and “really all the other candidates ran. For the most part it was issue driven.”

“We stuck with a positive message and we’ll continue to do so” in the runoff, Crane said.

“This race is about restoring America to Constitutional government and when you do that, everything else works out. You want to have prosperity and economic growth. You don’t do it by picking winners and losers. You do it be creating a marketplace everyone can compete in and you do that by broad-bases, lower tax rates instead of special tax breaks to one industry or the other.”

“We are excited to be in the runoff,” said Ferguson. “We started with very low name ID and some doubts as to whether or not we would be able to be competitive and we worked and we worked, and that’s a testament to our campaign team and the folks around us.

Ferguson said he feels “we’ve got a group of voters out there who really are excited about the future. As tough as things may appear in America, I think they see the opportunities. I think they’ve seen what we have been able to do in West Georgia. They’re hungry for success. They want to know what the formula is.”

Runoffs used to be 21 days after an election. Now the runoff is a full two months away.

As for the Democratic Primary in the 3d District, I’d frankly forgotten there was one.

Grantville resident Angela Pendley has narrowly won the Democrat nomination for the U.S. Congress District 3 race.

The Democratic race was about as close as it could be: Newnan pastor Tamarkus Cook trailed Pendley by a mere 56 votes, out of a total 12,930 votes.

The vote margin was close enough for a recount, and Cook is requesting one.

State Representative-Elect J. Collins, after a twelve-day campaign, has a great idea: fix the election code to eliminate absurdities like twelve-day campaigns.

J. Collins said Wednesday he’ll work to change state law that led to a confusing Georgia House of Representatives District 68 contest that allowed just one day of candidate qualifying and, as one candidate put it, “disenfranchised” some early voters.

The seat became vacant when former state Rep. Dusty Hightower, R-Carrollton, was appointed by Gov. Deal as a Superior Court judge. Hightower, at the time, was the only candidate on the ballot for District 68, and early voting had already begun. Those early voters were not allowed, by law, to vote again after the three new candidates qualified.

“If the numbers hold at this time, I would like to congratulate J. Collins for winning the District 68 House race,” said [candidate Tim] Bearden. “However, I do wish the citizens of District 68 in Carroll and Douglas counties had more time than just 10 days so that they could actually hear the platforms of the candidates, all three of us, for the very important issues that are going to be discussed in this upcoming session of the General Assembly. Everything from religious liberty to campus carry, transportation and infrastructure, I just wish the voters and the candidates, all of us, had more than just 12 days to get that out to the citizens.”

Bearden said he is standing behind his statement of ensuring what happened to the “disenfranchised” voters of District 68 does not happen again to any other citizens across the nation.

Collins agrees the issue needs to be addressed.

“I certainly didn’t like the one day qualifying and few days to campaign,” he said. “But by having to play by those rules, I will try to do something at the state level to get it changed so that no one has to go through it again.”

Speaking of goofy voting, Sandy Springs will see a Special Runoff Election for City Council District 3.

With 1,907 ballots counted, none of the five candidates vying for the City Council seat received a majority of the total votes plus one.

In accordance with state law, voters will choose between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes: Chris Burnett and Joe Houseman.

The runoff election will take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 between the hours of 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Hammond Park, Round Program Building, located at 6005 Glenridge Drive.  Advance voting will take place June 13-17, 2016 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Hammond Park, Round Program Building.

Columbus and Muscogee County will hold at least two runoff elections in July.

Muscogee County is to have at least two runoffs, in school board Districts 1 and 7, on July 26. Early voting for the runoff will begin July 5.

At least one disqualified candidate for sheriff has mentioned possibly mounting an independent bid in November. The deadline for independent candidates to file their paperwork will be July 12.

The Augusta Chronicle looks at the runoff election for Senate District 24 near Augusta.

[Lee] Anderson has been a member of the Columbia County School Board and County Commission before election to the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2012, he won a crowded primary to earn the right to face Democratic Congressman John Barrow, only to lose in the general election that year.

“I think it’s just people know that I have the experience to be a good senator and be a good servant and not a politician,” he said.

Grzybowski has been unsuccessful in his quest for office, losing in 2015 in his try for a seat on the Columbia County Commission.

But that defeat may have helped him in this race, according to Edge, who narrowly lost a spot in the runoff to Grzybowski.

“He had established name ID from when he ran last year,” Edge said.

Color me surprised by this one: Mark Newton beat Wright McLeod in House District 123.

In a closely-watched Tuesday race, physician and businessman Mark Newton eked out a win with 51.8 percent of votes over attorney Wright McLeod for the state House District 123 seat.

Polling was very close in McLeod’s hometown of Augusta, where he garnered 89 fewer votes than Newton.

Newton polled better in Columbia County…. In all, Newton received 456 more votes than McLeod in Columbia County.

Overall totals were Newton with 3,930 votes to McLeod’s 3,385. Candidate Lori Greenhill garnered 269 votes.

McLeod said he expected to win and was unsure whether his work as an attorney for area homeowners’ associations, a sign-stealing incident involving one sign citation or some other factor cost him support.

“We’re still trying to determine what occurred and what we could have done differently,” he said. “All I can say is hats off to the guy that won.”

Read more here:

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 26, 2016


Bosco is a young male Basset Hound & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Bosco is the cutest little low rider! He looks like a little foot stoo! Just as cute as cute can be. He seems to love other dogs as he gave one sweet kisses. Bosco sits when you ask him to. He arrived at the shelter as a lost dog on 5/17 and no one ever came to find their little boy. But the good news is now he can be your new best!

Bosco is up to date on shots, neutered, heartworm tested negative and will be microchipped when adopted. He is 1 1/2 years old, his ID is 584368, he is in run 54 and weighs 48 lbs. Hurry on in to meet him!


Shiloh is a female Hound and Vizsla mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Shiloh is sweet and shy. She has the cutest little face. She has not made a sound in her run, she just sits quietly watching everything going on around her taking it all in. She will be so happy to get out and into a home with a nice soft bed. She was brought to the shelter on 5/15/2016. She is only about 2 years old and 44 lbs.

Shiloh is current on her vaccines, spayed, and has tested negative for heartworms. Shiloh will be microchipped when adopted. Her ID at the shelter is 584303 and she is in run 18. Her run number could change, so please make a note of her ID and ask for assistance if you don’t find her in run 18.


Piper is a 10-month old, 61-pound male Labrador Retriever & Pointer mix, essentially a big puppy, who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Piper is a happy and playful pup who has lost his home through no fault of his own. His family said they had no time for him and were making him live in a cage all day while they worked and the kids did their thing. They said he is house trained, crate trained, good with kids and other pets. He will sit when he is told and takes a treat very gently from your hand. Being just a youngster he will be easy to train to do just about anything you want him to do.

Piper is already neutered, current on his vaccines and micro-chipped. He will be tested for heart worms when adopted. You will find this sweet baby in run 801 and his ID# is 585511. Hurry in to meet him.


Daisy is a young adult female Labrador Retriever and Pointer mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Daisy is super sweet, good with kids, and very cute. She knows basic commands also. Daisy’s family is moving out of the country and they will not be taking her with them because of the cost. Daisy was brought to the shelter as an owner turn in on 5/21/2016, and she seems a little confused by this change, but she is ready to go home with her new family as soon as you come to adopt her. She is current on her vaccines and spayed.

She is about 3 years old and 38 lbs. She will be microchipped and heartworm tested when adopted. Daisy’s ID at the shelter is 585469 and she is in run 848. Her run number could change, so please make a note of her ID number and ask for assistance if you don’t find her in run 848.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 26, 2016

Georgia Militia under General John Floyd began rounding up Cherokee Indians on May 26, 1838.

General Robert E. Lee wrote a letter dated May 26, 1861 to Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown asking the state to send any weapons available for Georgia volunteers who arrived in Virginia unarmed.

President Calvin Coolidge signed the “Comprehensive Immigration Act” on May 26, 1924.

Many Americans saw the enormous influx of largely unskilled, uneducated immigrants during the early 1900s as causing unfair competition for jobs and land. Under the new law, immigration remained open to those with a college education and/or special skills, but entry was denied to Mexicans, and disproportionately to Eastern and Southern Europeans and Japanese. At the same time, the legislation allowed for more immigration from Northern European nations such as Britain, Ireland and Scandinavian countries. A quota was set that limited immigration to two percent of any given nation’s residents already in the U.S. as of 1890, a provision designed to maintain America’s largely Northern European racial composition. In 1927, the “two percent rule” was eliminated and a cap of 150,000 total immigrants annually was established.

The law particularly angered Japan, which in 1907 had forged with U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt a “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” which included more liberal immigration quotas for Japan. By 1924, strong U.S. agricultural and labor interests–particularly from California, which had already passed its own exclusionary laws against Japanese immigrants–favored the more restrictive legislation signed by Coolidge. The Japanese government viewed the American law as an insult, and protested by declaring May 26 a national day of humiliation in Japan.

Fort Frederica National Monument was established on St Simons Island, Georgia on May 26, 1936.

May 26, 1949 was named Clay Day in Marietta, Georgia in honor of General Lucius Clay, who spoke at the courthouse square.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Attorney General Sam Olens has joined a lawsuit against the Obama administration over the transgender bathroom “advice” letter.

Georgia sued the Obama administration Wednesday over a directive to public schools over transgender bathroom rules, joining a group of 11 states challenging the federal government over the controversial guidelines.

It was a surprising move from state leaders, who last week blasted the guidance that directed public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity as a “federal overreach” but stopped short of endorsing a lawsuit.

Attorney General Sam Olens said Wednesday, though, that Georgia was compelled to act because of the implicit threat that the federal government could withhold funding from schools if they refuse to comply with what he called a “legally unsound mandate.”

“The guidance letter is yet another example of the president’s unconstitutional overreach,” Olens said. “The Constitution gives only Congress the power to write and rewrite laws.”

The biggest surprise to me on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning was not that Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee is in a runoff, but that he is in second place going into the July 26 runoff. From the Marietta Daily Journal,

According to unofficial results, Boyce had 17,662 votes, or 49.1 percent, compared to Lee’s 14,529 votes, or 40.4 percent.

Retired businessman Larry Savage had 3,775 votes, or 10.5 percent, to finish third. With no candidate earning the 50 percent plus one vote majority needed to win outright, the top two vote-getters — Boyce and Lee — will face off in the July 26 primary.

Boyce listed three factors leading to his success on Tuesday.

“First of all, it’s my volunteers, who were numerous and hardworking,” Boyce said. “Second of all, it’s the voters in Cobb County being informed and really wanting to hear their voices being heard. And third is our constant theme of, ‘You can vote on the $40 million park bond, why can’t we vote on a ($368 million) stadium bond?’ That’s how we framed it.”

Late Tuesday evening, Lee said he was preparing for his runoff.

“I am proud of what we had accomplished over the last several years and I plan to work harder than ever to communicate our record of conservative wins for Cobb over the coming weeks,” Lee said.

Here’s some analysis of the Cobb races, also from the MDJ,

While some political pundits have said the 2016 election year has been one dictated by an anti-incumbent wave, such a movement was not to be seen in Tuesday’s Cobb primaries, with perhaps one very notable exception.

“A lot of folks that thought they were going to have tougher races actually turned out to have easy races,” said Kerwin Swint, a professor of political science at Kennesaw State University, who cited U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, state Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, and Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott as just a few of the incumbents who coasted easily to victory. “The big outlier is the (Cobb) chairman’s race, which I think was a surprise.”

Swint said the chairman’s race was the county’s only race that saw a strong incumbent backlash. That race saw retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce come less than 1 percent short of an outright victory against incumbent Tim Lee.

“The Cobb County Republican base is pretty conservative, the folks who show up in the primaries, and very anti-tax,” Swint said. “In the case of Lee and Boyce, you had a lot of controversy there that Boyce was able to take advantage of, and he’s been pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, showing up at meetings and has built a real following out there, a passionate following.”

Boyce on Wednesday said his grassroots efforts since January — he says he and his campaign had visited since then more than 23,000 homes and made more than 47,000 phone calls to voters — were among the factors that led to his first-place win Tuesday.

“That was the gist of our campaign — not the social media, not the website — it was getting out there and meeting people, and convincing them that our message, that their concern is my concern, and I need them to vote for me so I can express their opinion that their voices were not being heard and that their money was being spent without their approval,” Boyce said.

The MDJ also looked at voter turnout in Cobb County.

When the votes were tallied Tuesday, 13.3 percent, or 51,614 of Cobb’s 389,533 registered voters, had cast their ballots, according to unofficial results.

In 2012, the previous presidential election year, 31.4 percent of Cobb voters cast a ballot during the general primary. The number of registered voters in the county has also decreased by nearly 10,000 since 2012.

Voter turnout was higher in 2014, a non-presidential election year, when 17.61 percent of Cobb voters cast ballots in the general primary.

“I have no idea why voter turnout was so low,” [Cobb County Elections Director Janine] Eveler said. “I can never answer the why because I don’t know what gets people encouraged to vote and what doesn’t.”

We already mentioned a couple of State House runoffs, but the AJC looks at two long-time GOP State Representatives who wound up in runoffs this year.

Two prominent Georgia House incumbents facing runoffs after failing to get enough votes Tuesday are being promised help from the chamber’s Republican leadership, including colleague cash expected to flow into their campaigns ahead of the July 26 election.

Ninety-four-year-old state House Veterans Affairs Chairman John P. Yates, R-Griffin, the last World War II veteran serving in the Georgia Legislature, is one of them, locked in a tight race with Griffin chiropractor Karen Mathiak. The other, state Rep. Tom Dickson, is the retired schools superintendent of Whitfield County and a subcommittee chairman on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He fell 16 votes short Tuesday of defeating two challengers outright and will now face Chatsworth farmer Jason Ridley in a runoff.

[House Speaker David Ralston said,] “I’m going all out” for Dickson and Yates. “They’re both great men,” the speaker said. “John Yates is a World War II hero, and Tom Dickson is probably the most solid guy in the Georgia House. We need both of them back.”

One incumbent House Democrat, veteran Rep. Darryl Jordan of Riverdale, who was first elected in 2000, was forced into a runoff with Rhonda Burnough. In the Democratic primaries, Rep. Rahn Mayo, D-Decatur, was beaten by medical sales representative Renitta Shannon, and Rep. Earnest Smith, D-Augusta, was ousted by retired U.S. Postal Service worker Sheila Clark Nelson.

In the Democratic Primary for House District 142, second-place finisher Gerald Harvey will challenge the election results, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The state of Georgia counted 2,923 votes for Miriam Paris as of Tuesday night. The tally for Gerald Harvey was 2,445 votes.

The state did not count an additional 844 votes that were cast for disqualified candidate Frank Austin.

Harvey contends that voters were not necessarily aware that votes for Austin were invalid. He said he thinks that if voters had been better informed, some of those votes would have gone his way, possibly changing the outcome.

“I’m in the process of launching a formal challenge,” said Harvey, who told The Telegraph he has met with an attorney and they are working on a strategy. He said they are doing the local legwork to build a case.

“If who won didn’t win, I say let’s do the whole damn thing over again,” Harvey said.

In Meigs, Georgia, a recall election was held Tuesday and passed by 94 votes to 48, setting up an eventual special election for Mayor.

Changing the Guard

DeKalb County elected Sherry Boston as the new District Attorney, ousting incumbent Robert James.

By casting District Attorney Robert James as part of DeKalb’s problems, Solicitor Sherry Boston was able to win a resounding victory Tuesday and replace him as the county’s top prosecutor.

Boston doubted James’ ability to eliminate corruption and questioned his personal integrity, citing missteps with his official spending, dealings with investigators and campaign finance filings. As a high-ranking incumbent running for re-election, he bore the brunt of voter angst over a county government stained by years of criminal behavior and dubious decisions.

Boston’s pitch to voters — that DeKalb needed a prosecutor they could believe in — worked. She unseated James, receiving 62 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, and she’ll become the county’s next district attorney because no Republican is running in November’s general election.

She further dinged him for agreeing to pay $2,850 in fines for failing to file a campaign fundraising report and other required financial disclosures on time.

Forsyth County voters ousted incumbent Duane Piper with resounding support for challenger Ron Freeman.

Freeman’s lead of 64.88 percent, or 12,393 votes, put him well on his way to beating Incumbent Sheriff Duane Piper’s 35.12 percent, or 6,709 votes. Both candidates are Republicans.

Freeman, who spent 26 years at Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office before helping build the Brookhaven Police Department as its deputy chief of police, said he was humbled by the results.

He won every precinct, according to the Secretary of State website.

He said voters turned out for him as a “matter of transparency and integrity, and the fact that we ran a race on the issues facing Forsyth County.”

In Terrell County, incumbent Sheriff John Bowens faces challenger James Driver, Jr. in a July runoff election.

Congratulations to John Breakfield on winning his election for an open seat on Hall County State Court. Billy Powell was reelected to Hall County Commission District 2.

Al Scott will continue as Chatham County Commission Chair after winning reelection.

Congratulations also to Walker Garrett on a 2-1 win in two separate elections on the same ballot for Columbus City Council District 8.

Walker Garrett, one of two political newcomers seeking to replace a legend, the late Red McDaniel, on Columbus Council, prevailed easily Tuesday in the District 8 race.

Garrett, an attorney, topped electrical contractor Jonathan Davis 1,053-554 (or 66-34 percent). During a vigorous campaign, Garrett, 31, said he wants to see success that’s seen in some parts of the city spread city-wide.

“When I grew up here, you didn’t go downtown. It wasn’t safe,” Garrett said. “Now we see a vibrant community. I want to see that same community throughout our city.”

There was one quirk in the District 8 election, because it was actually two elections. One was to see who would serve the next term and one was to see who would fill out the rest of McDaniels’ term through January. Garrett won that election by practically the same margin.

After winning reelection in an uncontested race, Floyd County Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach spoke about mental health court.

One of his own projects, with the help of others, has been the creation of a mental health court. The mental health court just started hearing cases at the beginning of the year and Niedrach believes it is making a difference for the participants.

Thirteen participants are enrolled in the program at this time, but there is room for probably 13 more, Niedrach said.

The mental health court is an accountability court, like a drug court, where the participants receive treatment and supervision.

The goal of the court is to improve public safety, improve the response to mental health issues and save tax dollars spent on incarceration and use them in a more effective manner — meaning treatment and supervision. “It’s a win-win for those involved,” he stated.

Hopefully the education the participants receive will stick with them for the rest of their lives, Niedrach added.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 25, 2016


Poppy is a female Dachshund mix puppy – she and a sibling or two are available for adoption from The Pixel Fund in Macon, GA.

Little Poppy is a great gal. She’s a little Doxie mix who is a bundle of fun and full of puppy kisses. She’s great with other dogs, large and small, children and kitties. These soulful puppy eyes do not lie! She’s a love. Rescue your pup today!


Bellarina is a young, small female Yorkshire Terrier Mix who is available for adoption from The Pixel Fund in Macon, GA. She’s got ears that Mrs. GaPundit would fall in love with if our home were not already full of dogs.

With a scruff most men would envy, and ears that will entertain you, 6 month old Bellarina is as adorable as they make ‘em! When she’s alert those ears stand at attention, and in her more relaxed state, they flip over. Up/down, on/off . . . it’s hilarious, really! Bellarina’s got loads of sweetness inside that compact little body (we expect her adult weight to be in the 20-25 lb range) and she’s fabulous with kids.

A little on the submissive side and scared of hyper large dogs, she told us her perfect home wouldn’t have “one of those”. Ballerina is housebroken, crate-trained, AND, as if she isn’t cute enough, she’ll bring you her leash when it’s time for a walk! This Yorkie/Terrier scruffy love is most likely hypoallergenic. Our little Bellarina can hear you talking about her . . . just get that application in!


Tuxedo is a young male American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption — along with several siblings — from the City of Macon Animal Control Department in Macon, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 25, 2016

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787.

With George Washington presiding, the Constitutional Convention formally convenes on this day in 1787. The convention faced a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as it had been defined by the Article of Confederation.

The process began with the proposal of James Madison’s Virginia Plan. Madison had dedicated the winter of 1787 to the study of confederacies throughout history and arrived in Philadelphia with a wealth of knowledge and an idea for a new American government. It featured a bicameral legislature, with representation in both houses apportioned to states based upon population; this was seen immediately as giving more power to large states, like Virginia. The two houses would in turn elect the executive and the judiciary and would possess veto power over the state legislatures.

William Patterson soon countered with a plan more attractive to the new nation’s smaller states. It too bore the imprint of America’s British experience. Under the New Jersey Plan, as it became known, each state would have a single vote in Congress as it had been under the Articles of Confederation, to even out power between large and small states.

Alexander Hamilton then put forward to the delegates a third plan, a perfect copy of the British Constitution including an upper house and legislature that would serve on good behavior.

Confronted by three counter-revolutionary options, the representatives of Connecticut finally came up with a workable compromise: a government with an upper house made up of equal numbers of delegates from each state and a lower house with proportional representation based upon population. This idea formed the basis of the new U.S. Constitution, which became the law of the land in 1789.

The Battle of New Hope Church was fought near Dallas, Georgia May 25-26, 1864 between Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal troops under General William T. Sherman.

On May 25, 1907, an equine statue of John B. Gordon was unveiled on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held on May 25, 1962 that the Georgia General Assembly was malapportioned and ordered the reapportionment of the State House and Senate.

Star Wars opened on May 25, 1977.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday could be called, “The Empire Strikes Back,” after the vast majority of incumbents were reelected.

Last week on “Political Rewind,” I predicted a very strong finish for Senator Johnny Isakson, saying, “Isakson’s challenge is to get a percentage of the vote that equals or exceeds his age.” Unofficial returns show Sen. Isakson receiving 77.45% of Republican Primary votes, and his long form birth certificate indicates his age at 71.

Also victorious against GOP challengers were Austin Scott (8th District, 77.75%) Doug Collins (9th District, 61.27%), Barry Loudermilk (11th District, 60.28%), Rick Allen (12th District, 78.96%), and Tom Graves (14th District, 75.64%).

The North Georgia incumbent State Senators who were challenged all beat back their GOP opponents: Bill Cowsert (46th District, 76.24%), Frank Ginn (47th District, 80.58%), John Wilkinson (50th District, 69.63%), Steve Gooch (51st District, 73.12%), Jeff Mullis (53d District, 66.55%), and Charlie Bethel (54th District, 75.33%). Senator Jesse Stone in the 23d District took 76.83% to win. Senator Fran Millar stomped his opponent, taking 79.95% to retain his seat.

Blake Tillery, a first-time legislative candidate beat former State Rep. Delvis Dutton with 57.62%, more than double the second-place candidate’s total, in a three-way race to take the District 19 seat vacated by Sen. Tommie Williams. Matt Brass took nearly 82% of the votes in Senate District 28 to claim the seat being vacated by Mike Crane.

In Senate District 21, Brandon Beach, whom I thought the most vulnerable Senate incumbent, beat back Aaron Barlow’s challenge with 58.33% of the vote, and winning both the Cherokee and Fulton county portions of the district.

We’ll have several State Senate runoffs to look forward to.

In Senate District 23 around Augusta, former State Rep. Lee Anderson (36.19%) heads to a runoff on July 26 with Greg Grzybowaki (18.75%).

On the Democratic side, Senate District 43 will see a runoff between former State Rep. Tonya Anderson (46.05%) and current State Rep. Dee Dawkins Haigler (34.45%) to take on Republican JaNice VanNess in November.

I’m going to cover most of the House races tomorrow, but two deserve special mention today. In Brookhaven’s House District 80, Meagan Hanson and Alan Cole advance to a July 26 runoff.

In House District 91, controversial former State House member and former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones heads to a runoff with just under 49% of the vote, barely below the threshold for an outright win.

Finally, in House District 68, where the election campaign lasted twelve days from when the Georgia GOP re-opened qualifying after Rep. Dustin Hightower resigned to take a judgeship, former Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins beat former State Rep. Tim Bearden by piling up a large margin in Carroll County, while losing in the much smaller Douglas County portion of the district.

Tim Echols wins PSC nomination

Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, one of five elected statewide, and the only one on this year’s ballot, won the Republican nomination with 68.93% against two opponents. This race is where I think we can see the best measure of the much-ballyhooed “anti-incumbent” sentiment this year.

In taking nearly 70% of the statewide vote against two challengers, Echols also won every single county in Georgia. Compare that to the 2012 Republican Primary elections for Public Service Commissioner.

That year, incumbent Chuck Eaton took just under 60% of the vote against a Republican challenger who had previously donated to Barack Obama, and incumbent Stan Wise took 56.5% against his challenger. In that contest, Wise lost thirteen counties, including Gwinnett, Hall, and ironically, Echols County.

The PSC is as good a measure of the effects of incumbency as I can think of. Incumbency is probably the strongest influencer on reelection to the PSC from an historical perspective, and individual voters are much less likely to have a personal relationship with a member of the PSC than their State Representative or State Senator.

Fraternity Members also win

The other winner of the 2016 Republican Primary elections was fraternity members. The Public Service Commission candidate who railed against fraternity alumni came in dead last, as did a State House candidate who made an insulting comment about “frat boys.”


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 24, 2016

Jaco (top, male), Jabez (middle, male), and Jacey (bottom, female) are three of five Labrador Retriever puppies from the same litter who are available for adoption from the City of Macon Animal Control Department in Macon, GA.





Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 24, 2016

John Hancock was elected President of the Second Continental Congress on May 24, 1775.

Then-Lt. Governor Marvin Griffin announced his candidacy for Governor on May 24, 1954.

John Smoltz tied the record for most strikeouts by a Braves pitcher, throwing 15 Ks against Montreal Expos on May 24, 1992.

Happy 75th Birthday to Bob Dylan, who was born on this day in 1941.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is election day from 7 AM to 7 PM. Take a photo ID when you go to vote. The AJC reports a dramatic increase in early voting in this year’s primary over 2014.

More than 329,000 Georgia voters cast early ballots ahead of Tuesday’s primary, a significant increase over the last big state elections season two years ago.

Early voting wrapped up Friday, with state and local election officials now prepping for Election Day. In 2014, more than 239,000 early voters cast their ballots ahead of the state primary.

The LaGrange Daily News has more on the pace of early voting against previous elections,

Secretary of State Brian Kemp predicts solid turnout Tuesday based on early voting numbers.

Kemp’s office reported about 329,000 people cast or mailed in ballots by Friday, the last day for early voting before Tuesday’s primary.

That’s a 38 percent increase from early voting totals in the 2012 primary. But it’s still far behind the more than 417,000 who set an early voting record in Georgia before the March presidential primaries.

Pay special attention if you’re in the City of Sandy Springs, as the Special Election for City Council, you have to vote in a separate election from the primary elections for state and county offices. For the state and county elections, go to your normal polling place, and to vote for City Council, go to the Hammond Park Round Program Building at 6005 Glenridge Drive.

Special Election for Sandy Springs City Council Seat – District 3

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that, in accordance with O.C.G.A. §21-2-540, a non-partisan special election will be held in the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, to elect a member of the City Council, District 3, to fill an unexpired term. The special election will be held on the 24th day of May, 2016.

Only registered voters who live within District 3 in Sandy Springs can cast a ballot for this election, with the only polling location on Election Day, the Hammond Park Round Program Building located at 6005 Glenridge Drive.

Candidates Seeking the Sandy Springs City Council Seat for District 3 include:

  • Chris Burnett
  • Brian Eufinger
  • Joe Houseman
  • Suzi Voyles
  • Larry Young


Click here for more voting information for Sandy Springs.

Peachtree Corners voters have a similar situation in the Special Election for City Council Post 2 – ballots may be cast today only at Peachtree Corners City Hall, 147 Technology Parkway, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092.

House District 68 will see the only day of voting after qualifying was reopened twelve days ago. I suspect it’ll be between former State Rep. Tim Bearden and former Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins.

Some of the races I’m watching today:

Georgia Public Service Commission – I’m voting for Tim Echols, a client and friend, and a great conservative. Fresh on the heels of the second recent reduction in electric rates, Tim Echols is likely headed for the winner’s circle without a runoff.

Cobb County Commission Chair, where I suspect incumbent Tim Lee will end up in a runoff with Mike Boyce.

Cobb County Commission District 2, where incumbent Bob Ott faces Jonathan Page, who is a client of mine.

DeKalb County CEO, where I’d bet Michael Thurmond will win, possibly without a runoff.

DeKalb County District Attorney, where incumbent Robert James is challenged by Sherry Boston.

DeKalb County Commission District 4, where voters can choose the thoroughly corrupt incumbent Sharon Barnes Sutton or Steve Bradshaw, a fine upstanding man. Here’s a mailpiece extolling the virtues of Commissioner Sutton.

Sharon Barnes Sutton Comparison Mailer

DeKalb County Commission Super District 7, where Warren Mosby, a political consultant and sometimes-boyfriend to Sharon Barnes Sutton is challenging incumbent Commissioner Kathie Gannon. Here’s a direct mail piece from that race.

Mosby Gannon Mailpiece

DeKalb County has two races I’d call “Anybody but” elections. In the race for Tax Commissioner, I hope my fellow voters do not choose Stan Watson, whose tenure on the County Commission has been disgraceful. In House District 91, some folks are calling for “ABV” – “Anyone but Vernon” Jones, but I’d be surprised if the former DeKalb County CEO doesn’t at least advance to a runoff.

In House District 105 (Gwinnett), Republican incumbent Joyce Chandler should handily win the nomination, though she’s opposed in the General Election as well. She has been the recipient of more than $36,000 in donations from colleagues recently.

In House District 21 (Cherokee), incumbent Scot Turner has been on the receiving end of incoming fire from business groups, but should win his reelection race.

In House District 80 (DeKalb), three Republicans meet today and two will likely advance to a runoff. Later this morning, I’ll walk over to my precinct and cast my ballot for Meagan Hanson, by far the best candidate in the race. The trick is to emerge from the runoff without being wounded in a way that makes the General Election against freshman Taylor Bennett more difficult than it already is.

In House District 81, a similar dynamic, with three Republicans running for the chance to take on Democratic incumbent Scott Holcomb in November.

Senate District 21, where Republican incumbent Brandon Beach seeks to defend his seat against aggressive challenger Aaron Barlow is a toss-up in my mind. Easily the nastiest race of the year so far and I have no idea who will win today’s GOP Primary.

I’ll be shocked if any of North Georgia’s GOP incumbent State Senators – Steve Gooch, John Wilkinson, Charlie Bethel, and Jeff Mullis – gets beaten.

In Columbus, I’ll be watching the City Council District 8 race, where Walker Garrett, who was a classmate of mine in Republican Leadership for Georgia, appears poised to win two elections today – one for the remainder of the current term, and one for a full term beginning in January.

Glynn County may see runoff elections for local offices, Clerk of Superior Court and Coroner, with each race featuring five candidates. Long County also has potential for a runoff for Coroner, with three candidates. Speaking of Coroners, Forsyth County will see Lauren McDonald, III attempt a return to the post he held from 2000 to 2012, facing off against current Deputy Coroner Stan Rutledge.

In Gwinnett County, I’d expect the incumbent judges – Ronnie Batchelor on Superior Court; Carla Brown and Shawn Bratton on State Court — to be reelected today.

As far as Congressional elections, I expect all the incumbents to win their primaries. In the Third District race to succeed retiring Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, I think there are two tickets to the runoff and three candidate – State Sen. Mike Crane, former LaGrange Mayor Drew Ferguson, and Peachtree City Businessman Jim Pace – are equally likely to claim a ticket to the dance.

Now it’s time for me to feed and walk the dogs, walk over to my polling place to vote, and then get to what it is that political consultants really do on election day. Laundry.