Category: Georgia Politics

29
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 29, 2016

July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.

 Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.

On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay.

The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution.

Former President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln upon his assassination and oversaw much of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, died of a stroke in Tennessee on July 31, 1875.

On July 31, 1906, a bill to create place a Constitutional Amendment on the November election for voters to decide whether to create an intermediate-level Georgia Court of Appeals was approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his eighth visit to Warm Springs, Georgia on July 29, 1927.

On July 30, 1931, Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. signed legislation merging Milton and Fulton Counties if voters in each county approved a referendum. Fulton had earlier merged with Campbell County, to the south.

Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautic and Space Admininistration (NASA) on July 29, 1958.

Actor Laurence Fishburn was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, for seniors, and Medicaid for some low-income people on July 30, 1965.

The Doors’ “Light My Fire” became their first #1 hit on July 29, 1967.

Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, won his 300th career game on July 31, 1990. During eight innings, Ryan threw 146 pitches, while today, many pitchers are pulled at around the 100-pitch count.

“In the old days throwing that many pitches was a normal game,” said Nolan Ryan, who tossed a record seven no-hitters and is the all-time leader in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched.

Ryan, currently the Rangers’ team president, is an outspoken detractor of the recent trend toward monitoring pitch counts. In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Ryan expressed his belief that today’s pitchers are “pampered” and that there is no reason why today’s pitchers cannot pitch as much as he and his colleagues did back in the day. As a result, Ryan is pushing his team’s pitchers to throw deeper into games and extend their arms further, emphasizing conditioning over what some would call coddling.

As Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told SI: “This generation of players has become a creature of the pitch count. Their ceiling has been lowered. It’s up to us to jack it back up.”

Carl Lewis won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the long jump at the Atlanta Olympics on July 29, 1996.

https://youtu.be/JuD1OdoXe9Q

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Hall County Commission candidate Troy Phillips and his wife, Heather, were found dead from gunshot wounds in their yesterday. Our prayers are with their friends and family.

Georgia’s statewide sales tax holiday for back-to-school items begins at midnight tonight and runs through midnight Sunday night.

Click here for more information, including a list of items that are exempt from sales tax this weekend.

Governor Nathan Deal appointed Douglas R. Woodruff of Ringgold as Solicitor General for Catoosa County State Court.

The next session of the Georgia legislature may see the removal of nursing licenses from the Secretary of State’s Office, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The Georgia Board of Nursing wants a divorce.

After years of poor communication, lingering resentments and suspicious maneuvering, the nurses want out of their long-term relationship with Secretary of State Brian Kemp. It’s been coming for a while, but Kemp’s sudden decision to remove the board’s executive director was the final straw.

When the board meet last week in Macon, the room was filled with nurses and nursing students from around the state. They were concerned about plans, revealed last month, to remove Executive Director Jim Cleghorn and replace him with the executive director of the board of cosmetology, which regulates nail salons among other things.

“We have outgrown the current organizational structure,” [board member Nancy] Barton, an administrator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, said. “The type of communication — or lack thereof of communication and collaboration — with the board is negatively impacting the board’s ability to move the profession forward.”

State Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) spoke to the Macon Telegraph about the Democratic National Convention.

Georgia state representative Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, said he has been to 10 Democratic National Conventions, and he has never seen as many Georgians on the main stage as he has this year.

Smyre said the Democratic message should not be anti-Trump but rather pro-America, focusing specifically on economic development and empowering Georgians to help each other as opposed to tearing each other down.

“If we can get some help, if we can get some resources, if we can get our activists and our community leaders up and going, we can win Georgia,” he said.

Smyre reinforced one of themes of the week: turning Georgia blue.

“This is a winnable campaign,” he said. “I want us to leave here fired up and know that we can put Georgia back in play. We can help elect the next president of the United States.”

Voter turnout in this week’s runoff elections reached 12 percent of eligible voters.

The [Secretary of State's] office called it a “low” turnout for what was the last election in Georgia before November, although not everyone needed to turn out.

Ninety-six of Georgia’s 159 counties had races on the ballot, which was required for all candidates who did not win outright two months ago during the state’s general primary — when about 20 percent of registered voters turned out.

David Beauboin took a look at Georgia runoff elections, noting several points:

Historically, in Georgia, the odds are against state legislative incumbents in runoffs, winning in only 5 out of 13 instances (38%) from 2008-2014.  Since this includes one very good year in 2012 (when incumbents won 3 out of 4 races), that means that incumbents in runoffs have done very badly in 4 of the last 5 election cycles, dating back to 2008.

[W]hat was surely heart-breaking about the losses by State Reps. Dickson and Yates was how close each man came to winning his primary outright in May.  Rep. Dickson finished first with 49.7% in his three-way primary, and missed getting a majority by only 16 votes.  Rep. Yates received 49.0% in May, falling just 51 votes shy of avoiding a runoff.  The subsequent losses on Tuesday by both men was indeed unprecedented.  From 2008-2014, five candidates had been forced into a runoff after receiving 49% or more in their primary – all 5 went on to win their runoff election.

Former Paulding County Commissioner David Carmichael will take office in January as the next Paulding County Commission Chair after winning the runoff election on Tuesday over Roger Leggett, also a former County Commissioner.

Carmichael said it was “a great honor to have people push the button” to vote for him.

He said the unpredictable nature of runoff elections made him unsure exactly why he was victorious. Runoffs typically draw very low voter interest and the winner typically is able to convince more core supporters than an opponent to return to the polls for a second election.

“It’s one of those things that you can never know who’s going to turn out. I think that a characteristic of a runoff is what voting bloc is going to come back,” Carmichael said.

Leggett attributed the loss to an effort that merely “didn’t work out.”

“It’s just one of those things,” he said.

Leggett, who estimated he campaigned door to door at thousands of residences, said it was “sad” that only 8 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the runoff. Only 14 percent voted in the May 24 primary.

“Either they didn’t care or didn’t care enough about the issues to go out and vote,” Leggett said.

Carmichael said he campaigned door to door at more than 2,000 residences countywide and found many county residents are “waking up” to an issue he campaigned on — the need to recruit new jobs-producing industries to the county.

Debbie Whitlock won reelection as a Stephens County Commissioner.

According to the final unofficial results, Whitlock received 861 votes, or 65.48 percent, to Yearwood’s 454 votes, or 34.52 percent.

Whitlock said she is happy to have the opportunity to continue serving on the county commission.

“It has been a great four years and I am really excited and humbled and honored to be able to serve another four years,” said Whitlock. “I love this community. I love our county. I love the people in it. Stephens County is made up of a lot of different people with a lot of different views and different needs and different desires and a lot of times it is really hard to make decisions because you are serving so many different types of people. I just do the best I can for the good of the county as a whole.”

Whitlock went on to thank Yearwood for running a clean campaign.

“Kenny has been a friend of mine since school, a very good friend, and I just love him,” said Whitlock. “I appreciate him. I was really excited to know he was interested in what was going on in the community and we need more people like that who care and want to make a difference and I hope to see more of him in the future.”

From AccessWDUN.com, runoff results in several North Georgia counties:

BANKS COUNTY – 13/13 precincts reporting

CORONER:
Bobby Eubanks (incumbent) – 482 (42.17%)
Mark Savage - 661 (57.83%)

PROBATE COURT JUDGE:
Keith Gardiner – 594 (50.04%)
Helen Hewell – 593 (49.96%)

LUMPKIN COUNTY – 7/7 precincts reporting

BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 1:
Catherine Ariemma – 614 (30.43%)
Mera Turner – 1,404 (69.57%)

CORONER:
Amanda Jones – 393 (20.84%)
Jim Sheppard – 1,493 (79.16%)

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2:
Bobby Mayfield – 1,399 (75.01%)
Steve Shaw (incumbent) – 466 (24.99%)

MADISON COUNTY – 12/12 precincts reporting

SHERIFF:
Michael Moore – 2,281 (52.78%)
Kip Thomas (incumbent) – 2,041 (47.22%)

COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIR:
John D. Scarborough – 2,583 (61.03%)
Stanley Thomas – 1,649 (38.97%)

COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 1:
Lee Allen – 492 (57.75%)
Wayne Douglas – 360 (42.25%)

In White County, November General Elections voters will choose a new District 2 Board of Education member in a Special Election.

The Bibb County Board of Education tentatively approved a higher property tax millage rate for 2017.

Columbus City Council voted to allow local brew pubs to sell beer to go in growlers.

Councilor Skip Henderson, who is bringing the ordinance to Council, said it is in response to new state Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley’s interpretation of state law, which is that it allows brew pubs to sell their own wares in growler form.

“The ordinance is to bring it into alignment with the interpretation of the new state revenue commissioner,” Henderson said. “It just makes sense to me because it’s a growing cottage industry and a lot of millennials are interested in this. It allows them to do what a lot of craft beer stores do, fill up the growlers, seal them and let them take them home.”

Under the current local ordinance and the previous interpretation of state law, a brew pub would have to put its beer in kegs, have a licensed distributor pick it up, then bring it back to the pub (and charge for the transaction) before the pub could sell for off-premise consumption.

“The biggest difference will be the ability to sell all of our beers without first selling them to our wholesaler and then them selling them back to us,” said Melvin Baker, general manager of the Cannon. “In the end, it’s all about selling our product and making it as easy as possible for our customers.”

Power and Pokemon

Georgia Power will add significant amounts of solar energy to its portfolio over the next six years under a planning document approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Georgia regulators on Thursday approved a revised Georgia Power plan that will increase the utility’s use of solar and wind but also allow it to charge customers $99 million to investigate the feasibility and then license a new nuclear plant.

The Georgia Public Service Commission passed both measures 4-1.

“Adding renewables and nuclear together makes sense,” said Commissioner Tim Echols in a prepared statement. “I am committed to keeping rates low and energy plentiful, diverse and clean.”

The approved plan includes an additional 1,600 megawatts of renewable energy by 2021. That’s nearly triple what the company initially proposed and is enough to power about 250,000 homes.

Georgia Power also asked Pokemon Go players to stay safe while wandering around looking at their screens.

The power company said it has three simple safety tips for players caught up in the chase for Pikachu and virtual monsters.

First, stay away from electric wires, power poles, electric substations and power plants.

Second, do not enter private property, especially those protected by fences and warning signs. The company adds that trespassing on Georgia Power property is not only illegal but also potentially dangerous.

Finally, watch where you’re walking, including roads, bridges and parking lots.

Newnan City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting internet or cell phone games in the city’s cemeteries.

“We’ve had complaints of damage to a fence that is owned by private property that separates the cemetery and Charles Place,” said Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips at Tuesday’s city council meeting. “We had some complaints of blocking roadways. We had some complaints of … actively running on and across the gravesites.”

Newnan Police Chief Douglas “Buster” Meadows said in the last two weeks there were 50 people in the cemetery at one time. They were cleared out, and then another large crowd came in.

“People who were trying to get into visit a grave, from the street, couldn’t get … to the grave,” he added.

Additionally, Newnan Council member Ray DuBose said he had received a complaint about the gaming in the cemetery.

“This is an attempt … to specifically exclude gaming and internet play on cellphones and that type of activity in our cemeteries,” said Newnan Mayor Keith Brady about the ordinance change. “I have no problem at all with the game of Pokémon, how they play it and where they play it … other than in our cemeteries.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation entered into a data sharing agreement with Waze.

According to the DOT, the partnership provides real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information to the department directly from the source: drivers themselves.

In exchange, the Georgia DOT said it will provide real-time construction, crash and road closure data to Waze.

Officials said this will result in a succinct, thorough overview of current road conditions.

Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said this will give Georgia motorists real-time traffic information not only on our interstates and state routes, but also on arterial routes, information that is coming directly from the traveling public.

If you’re the owner of a Volkswagen diesel car that is covered by the recent court settlement, here’s how to start filing your claim.

Preacher Confesses to Faked Endorsement

Bishop Kenneth Adkins admitted to faking an endorsement in the Glynn County Commission District 2 election.

Bishop Kenneth Adkins said Thursday that he made up an endorsement he posted on Facebook at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, 15 minutes after polls opened. The post said that state Rep. Jeff Jones, R-St. Simons Island, had endorsed retired surgeon J. Peter Murphy in the Republican runoff for the District 2 seat on the Glynn County Commission.

His motivation was the unfairness of Jones’ actual endorsement of Murphy’s opponent, incumbent Dale Provenzano, Adkins said.

Adkins said “cut and pasted” images from Jones’ public Facebook page and his legislative page to create the endorsement.

Adkins said he didn’t ask Murphy or Jones for permission to make up the endorsement and that he was taking full responsibility for it all.

“I told a lie,’’ he said, but added, “Politics is lying and stretching the truth.”

For his part, Jones called it, “Dirty politics, shameful politics. I think Peter Murphy needs to be careful who he associates with.”

28
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 28, 2016

On July 28, 1868, United States Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution had been ratified and was now part of the Constitution. The first section of the 14th Amendment often forms the basis for litigation and reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Georgia initially rejected the 14th Amendment in 1866, later ratifying it on July 21, 1868 as a condition for readmission.

On July 28, 1978, Animal House was released, instantly becoming one of the greatest films of all time. In case you’ve never seen the film, there is a tiny little bit of adult language in the following clip.

On July 28, 1994, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating “The General” locomotive, which was stolen in 1862 during the Great Locomotive Chase. Today, The General may be viewed at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Last week, Governor Deal appointed Ray C. Smith to a judgeship in Bryan County State Court and Ronald C. Goulart as to Catoosa County State Court.

Deal spoke to new employees of the Hall County Public Schools, according to the Gainesville Times.

The “opportunity school district” would allow the state to take over “chronically failing districts,” which Deal said are districts that fail to “score above an F” for three or more consecutive years.

The governor portrayed the proposal as a way to break the links between inmates in state prisons and school dropouts. He said a study from when he first took office in 2011 showed that 70 percent of state inmates are dropouts.

Deal presented the constitutional amendment as a choice between the status quo in education and prisons or breaking the pattern — reducing the number of prisoners and the number of dropouts.

“I take offense at some with the educational system who are so opposed to doing something about this blight on education that they will be satisfied with the status quo,” Deal said.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators and Georgia Association of Educators both oppose the constitutional amendment.

Peter Murphy won the Republican Primary Runoff for Glynn County Commission District 2 over incumbent Dale Provenzano.

“I am honored, and I am humbled, and I appreciate that all the people that believed in me came out and voted for me, and I can promise them that I will work as hard and as honestly as I can, not only for the island for but for Glynn County,” Murphy said.

Murphy took a healthy lead with 58.71 percent to Provenzano’s 41.29 percent, overcoming Provenzano by 17.42 percent. It constituted the largest gap of the three runoff races which also included Clerk of Superior Court and Glynn County Coroner.

That shakes out to 2,257 votes for Murphy and 1,587 votes for Provenzano.

“That is a significant victory, and I’d like to build on that momentum and convince the commissioners that I am here to cooperate with them and do right by the island,” Murphy said.

“The biggest point is, here I am a heart surgeon whose come down here for over 40 years, who has never been involved in politics with virtually no name recognition and I won 60-40. That’s very humbling,” Murphy said.

Here’s where it gets weird. After Murphy’s election, State Rep. Jeff Jones issued a statement that he never endorsed Murphy in the election.

Today we learned, that paid-staff working on behalf of now Commissioner-Elect Dr. Peter Murphy, created, distributed, and promoted fraudulent posts on Facebook, and may have sent other dishonest electronic communications designed to falsify an endorsement by Representative Jeff Jones of Dr. Peter Murphy.

To be very clear, Representative Jeff Jones never endorsed Dr. Peter Murphy period.

More from the Brunswick Business Journal,

Republican State Rep. Jeff Jones had endorsed Provenzano, a long-time political ally in the race who was seeking a second term.

But, through his representative, Jones is now concerned that there were ‘dirty tricks’ used to influence the election Tuesday.

On Monday, Rep. Jones sent out an email in clear support of Provenzano, with no mention of Murphy; it was also distributed to all of the local media in the region.  The Brunswick Business Journal received Rep. Jones’ first email on Monday evening, and then a second email at 4:00 p.m. on election day, reminding voters that the polls would close at 7:00 p.m.

According to Jones’ representative Jeffrey Sewell, owner of Sewell Consultancy who also serves as Jones’ Communications Director, the Rev. Kenneth Adkins, a local black pastor, posted the following message on his Facebook page at 7:15 a.m. election day.  It reads: “Wow. Just got a letter from Georgia State Representative Jeff Jones endorsing Dr Peter Murphy for Glynn County Commission, District 2, encompassing St. Simons Island. Thank You Sir. Everybody Please Go For Vote Dr. Peter Murphy Today!”

The post still appears on Adkins’s Facebook page (see Photo), and gives the clear impression that Rep. Jones was now endorsing Murphy over Provenzano.  Adkins also took the image of Jeff Jones’s campaign posters from the State Rep’s website and a picture of Jones’ family to add to the post to give the impression of its authenticity.

Sewell states that they are investigating the incident.  “I’m concerned that the election could have been affected to that degree.  Dale was working very hard, going door-to-door, doing everything you should do,” he said, in an interview today.

Matt Gurtler will take the State House seat formerly occupied by State Rep Stephen Allison after winning the runoff election in HD 8.

Gurtler took 49 percent of the vote in Rabun, but captured 62 percent of the vote in Towns, 75 percent in Union and 59 percent in White. In all, Gurtler won with 61 percent of the total vote.

Incumbent Madison County Sheriff Kip Thomas was ousted in the Republican Primary by Michael Moore, who will take office in January.

In Henry County, Johnny Wilson beat incumbent District 1 County Commissioner Bo Moss in the Republican Primary Runoff and faces no opposition in November.

In Newton County, Democrat Marcello Banes won the Primary Runoff to advance to the November General Election against Republican Aaron Varner. For District 5 on the County Commission, Ronnie Cowan won the GOP Runoff and faces no opposition in November.

In Savannah’s Democratic Primary Runoff, Tabitha Odell beat incumbent District 5 County Commissioner Yusuf Shabazz to take office in January.

“I think the main focus with everything going on in the world, everything going on in the city, I want to work on team-playing, unity, a city of Savannahians and not individual pockets of people,” she said. “I think that’s very important.”

Speaking by phone as the final votes were tallied Tuesday, the commissioner-elect said she was excited with the outcome and ready to get started representing the district when the next term begins.

“I am thankful that we ran a cordial race, and I appreciate everyone that came out to vote for me,” Odell said. “And for those who did not vote, I appreciate the opportunity to show them … I will do my best for the entire district. Whether you supported me this time or not, I hope to earn your support over the next four years.”

In Bryan County, Don Montgomery won the runoff for Solicitor General and Karen Krupp won the election as vice chair of the Board of Education.

Montgomery topped Andrew Johnson with 54 percent of the vote (996 – 850); while Krupp came out on ahead garnering 56 percent (1,045-819).

Chuck Thaxton claimed a seat on the Polk County Commission representing District 2 after winning the Republican nomination with no Democrat on the November ballot.

Cathy Williams won the runoff for Muscogee County Board of Education District 7, while incumbent District 1 BOE member Pat Hugley Green retained her seat.

Ron Adams won the GOP runoff election for Glynn County Clerk of Courts, while Marc Neu takes the GOP nod to advance to the General Election for Coroner.

 

Three candidates will be on the November ballot for Mayor of Villa Rica – Jeff Reese, Sheikh Tijan Drammeh, and Issac J. Robinson – as will a quartet of candidates for an open Ward 4 City Council seat, Michael Nicholas Day, Michael Young, Gil McDougal, and Joey Kelley.

In Lula, Georgia, voters will decide whether to approve sale of liquor in restraurants.

The City Council voted Wednesday morning to place a referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters of the Northeast Hall city if they favor being allowed to buy liquor at restaurants and other establishments.

The council also voted to not put on the ballot a separate referendum asking voters if they want liquor sales on Sunday.

“We don’t want Sunday sales,” Smith and Councilman Mordecai Wilson both said, almost at the same time.

Buying beer and wine at a restaurant or bar might be decided later by the council, City Manager Dennis Bergin said.

Currently, only beer and wine package sales are allowed in Lula Monday through Saturday.

While the state requires cities to get voter approval before allowing liquor sales, cities don’t need a referendum to allow on-premises beer and wine sales.

Council members have indicated they are awaiting the outcome of the Nov. 8 vote “before they take that issue up,” Bergin said.

27
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 27, 2016

On July 27, 1974, the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved the first impeachment article against President Richard M. Nixon.

The first such impeachment recommendation in more than a century, it charge[d] President Nixon with unlawful activities that formed a “course of conduct or plan” to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate break-in and to cover up other unlawful activities.

The vote was 27 to 11, with 6 of the committee’s 17 Republicans joining all 21 Democrats in voting to send the article to the House.

The majority included three conservative Southern Democrats and three conservative Republicans.

A bomb exploded at a free concert in Centennial Park in Atlanta on July 27, 1996.

Police were warned of the bombing in advance, but the bomb exploded before the anonymous caller said it would, leading authorities to suspect that the law enforcement officers who descended on the park were indirectly targeted.

Within a few days, Richard Jewell, a security guard at the concert, was charged with the crime. However, evidence against him was dubious at best, and in October he was fully cleared of all responsibility in the bombing.

Former Georgia Governor Zell Miller took the oath of office as United States Senator on July 27, 2000. Miller would go on to win a special election for the remainder of the term in November 2000.

On July 27, 2014, former Braves manager Bobby Cox and pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with former White Sox player Frank Thomas, who was born in Columbus, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Our prayers go out to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman, who was in an auto accident yesterday, and to the unnamed driver in the other car who was flown to Grady.

I’m going to start this morning with the two biggest races on the ballot – Cobb County, where Chairman Tim Lee was sent packing, and the Third Congressional District, where former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson beat State Senator Mike Crane.Continue Reading..

26
Jul

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

On July 26, 1775, the United States Postal Service was created by the Second Continental Congress, may God have mercy on their souls. Benjamin Franklin served as the first Postmaster.

On July 26, 2015, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first pitcher inducted who had undergone Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

Smoltz won the 1996 Cy Young award and reached the playoffs 14 times with Atlanta. The Braves won five pennants and the 1995 World Series with Smoltz on the roster. He’s the first pitcher to win more than 200 games and save at least 150 games. He’s also the first player inducted with Tommy John surgery on his resume.

Smoltz understood his debt to John.

“I’m a miracle. I’m a medical miracle,” Smoltz said. “I never took one day for granted.”

Smoltz also heaped praise on former manager Bobby Cox and teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, who were inducted a year ago, and delivered a message to parents of the players of tomorrow as the number of Tommy John surgeries continues to escalate.

“Understand that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 or 15 years old,” Smoltz said to warm applause. “Baseball is not a year-round sport. They’re competing too hard, too early. That’s why we’re having these problems.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is election day, and per my tradition, I’ll be walking over to cast my ballot today. Among the races on my ballot will be House District 80, where I’ll vote for Meagan Hanson.

Paulding County voters will choose between two former County Commissioners — David Carmichael and Roger Leggett — in the Republican runoff election for County Commission Chair, with no Democratic opposition in November.

Lee County hosts a runoff for Probate Judge between Miles O’Quinn and Melanie Gahring. In Terrell County, Democrats will choose between Darlene Paul and Mary Ellen Harnage for Tax Commissioner; also on the Terrell County Democratic ballot is a runoff between incumbnt Sheriff John Bowens against James Driver Jr.

Southeast Georgia will see several Primary Election Runoffs today:

[I]n Brantley County [] former sheriff Robert C. Thomas is facing deputy sheriff Len Davis in the Republic primary. Thomas lost his 2012 re-election bid to the current sheriff, Jack Whisenant, who did not make the runoff in what had been a five man race in May.

The winner will take on Democrat Chris Allen, who had no opposition in the primary.

Glynn County has three races on the Republican primary ballot.

St. Simons Island voters will decide between County Commissioner Dale Provenzano and challenger Peter Murphy. In countywide voting, retired banker Ron Adams and process server and bartender Sam Tostensen are running for county clerk of court and Deputy Coroner Jo Chapman and former Glynn County police detective Marc Neu are running for coroner.

In McIntosh County, longtime Chief Magistrate Teresa Jennings is facing Harold A. Webster III in her re-election bid.

In Camden County, the only race on the ballot is a nonpartisan runoff for the District 5 school board seat between Ronnie Wise and Mark Giddens.

Fulton County Democrats will choose today between incumbent Sheriff Ted Jackson and former Sheriff Richard Lankford for the right to face Republican Ben Cowart in November.

If you live in Fulton County and voted in the Republican Primary on May 24th, there are no GOP runoffs unless you live in Sandy Springs House District 80. Outside of HD 80, you will be voting in the Nonpartisan Primary Runoff for two judicial seats.

“Our biggest concern is turnout,” said Fulton County Magistrate Judge Gary Alembik, who is running against Eric Dunaway for the [Superior Court] seat currently held by Judge Wendy Shoob. “Fulton County has more than 500,000 voters, and they only expect 3 percent to show up for the runoff.”

Dunaway, a DeKalb County prosecutor, said his strategy is to campaign as widely as possible.

“We’ve been very strong in south Fulton, East Point and Fairburn; now we’re going up into Roswell, talking to voters all over the county,” he said. “Too many folks think the election’s in November.”

Getting people to vote is also top of mind for former Fulton Magistrate Sterling Eaves, who is running against Belinda Edwards for the seat of departing Judge Bensonetta Lane. Eaves started campaigning in August, ahead of the other candidates, and said she’s “spent the last year doing everything I know how to get my name out there.”

She said the fact that the runoff is for several races—the county solicitor, sheriff and four Georgia House districts—could prompt more voters to participate. But, she said, “Most people aren’t as aware there’s a runoff as you’d like them to be.”

As she campaigns, Edwards, the former chief judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, said she frequently hears comments like “There are too many elections in Fulton County” and “Why is there a runoff?”

The Fulton County Democratic Primary Runoff for House District 59 has already run to more than $400,000 in combined spending.

Both Janine Brown and David Dreyer have said they want to see more school funding, better transit and more jobs in their district, though they rank the issues a little differently. Voters ranked the two pretty close together in the first round of voting: Brown took 1,650 votes to Dreyer’s 1,610. Third-place finisher Josh Noblitt was knocked out of the race with 896 votes.

Brown’s professional history — she spent years as a union rep — is reflected in her labor-heavy list of top donors, as added up by Atlanta Unfiltered. She had raised about $140,000 through June 30. Dreyer, an attorney, has also attracted cash from fellow legal eagles. His donations totaled up to around $200,000 through June 30.

The three campaigns — Brown, Dreyer, and Noblitt — raised in total more than $419,000 through the first half of this year.

In Senate District 43, Democrats Tonya Anderson and Dee Dawkins-Haigler, both current or former State Reps., are on the runoff ballot for the November election against Republican State Senator JaNice VanNess.

State Senate District 24 in the Augusta area has a Republican Primary Runoff between former State Rep. Lee Anderson and Greg Grzybowski to advance to November’s General Election against Democrat Brenda Jor­dan.

More National Convention News

Georgia Delegate to the Republican National Convention Jade Morey spoke to WGXA about her experiences in Cleveland.

State Senator Michael Williams, an early Trump supporter, spoke to the Forsyth News about the Convention.

“It went fantastic,” said state Sen. Michael Williams, a Georgia delegate and early Trump supporter, on Friday. “It was extremely energetic.

People left last night just absolutely in love with Donald Trump and ready to go out there and work hard for him.”

Williams, who represents District 27 in Forsyth, said the majority of the party is behind Trump.

“We still have a very, very small contingent that is not on board with Donald Trump,” he said. “But for the vast, vast majority, 95 percent of us, we left there completely energized and ready to go out there.”

Yesterday in Philadelphia, now-former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed offstage in her own state’s delegation meeting. I guess Democrats heard that Politico called the GOP the “Worst Convention in U.S. History” and took that as a challenge.

Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson disgraced himself, his political party, and his constituents when he referred to Jewish settlers in the West Bank as “termites.”

A poll indicates that Georgia may be in play in November at the Presidential election level, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.

25
Jul

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

James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, left the colony for the last time on July 23, 1743, returning to England.

On July 24, 1778, Georgia ratified the Articles of Confederation.

Georgia’s John Walton was present on July 9, 1778, and signed the document then. Georgia’s other two delegates – Edward Telfair and Edward Langworthy – did not sign until July 24, 1778, which is the date most often used for Georgia’s ratification of the Articles.

An interesting sidenote is that John Walton‘s brother, George Walton, signed the Declaration of Independence on Georgia’s behalf.

On July 24, 1919, the Georgia General Assembly rejected ratification of the 19th Amendment, which extends the right of voting to women.

The All-Star Game was held in Atlanta on July 25, 1972, with the National League winning 4-3 in ten innings.

On July 25, 1974, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of United States v. Nixon that executive privilege did not allow the White House to refuse to turn over audio recordings that had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

On July 22, 1975, the United States House of Representatives voted to restore U.S. Citizenship to General Robert E. Lee posthumously.

Though President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation of amnesty and pardon to the Southern rebels in 1865, it required Lee to apply separately. On Oct. 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Va., he signed the required amnesty oath and filed an application through Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Nonetheless, neither was Lee pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. After receiving it, Secretary of State William Seward gave Lee’s application to a friend as a souvenir. Meanwhile, State Department officials, apparently with Seward’s approval, pigeonholed the oath.

In 1970, an archivist, examining State Department records at the National Archives, found Lee’s lost oath. That discovery helped set in motion a five-year congressional effort to restore citizenship to the general, who had died stateless in 1870.

President Gerald Ford signed the congressional resolution on July 24, 1975, correcting what he said was a 110-year oversight. The signing ceremony took place at Arlington House in Virginia, the former Lee family home. Several Lee descendants, including Robert E. Lee V, his great-great-grandson, attended.

On July 24, 2000, former Georgia Governor Zell Miller was appointed to the United States Senate to serve in the seat vacated on the death of Senator Paul Coverdell.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

According to the mainstream media, the 2016 Republican National Convention was “negative,” “mean,” riven with “fear,” and “The Worst Convention in History.” It might have looked negative and mean if your name is “Hillary Clinton,” but I disagree with almost everything being written about the convention to the extent that I wonder if any of those folks actually attended the same event I was at.

Yes, Ted Cruz’s speech got booed. I might suspect it was organized, but if it was, it would have been the single most well-organized event at the convention with the exception of the buses running between hotels and the convention center.

But for those of us who were Republicans, it was a great event. The City of Cleveland got rave reviews, as did Cleveland law enforcement, which was supplemented by federal, state, and local officers from across the nation.

Jade Morey, a Georgia Delegate, wrote on Facebook,

It’s hard for the Republican Party to get a message of inclusion out when the media literally refuses to print/air it. Can’t tell you how many times I gave interviews this weekend and they don’t want to hear it. They want divisive, crazy quotes. Their view of the convention was in some ways a stark contrast from my personal experience. Never ceases to amaze me how far they will go to push their bias. #RNCinCLE‬

At the Convention, Ginger Howard took her seat as Republican National Committeewoman for Georgia.Continue Reading..

21
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 21, 2016

Union General Irvin McDowell’s forces engaged Confederates under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard and General Joseph Johnston at the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

On July 21, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as a condition for readmission.

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.

On July 21, 1988, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepted the Democratic nomination for President at the National Convention in Atlanta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today, I feel like I have a political hangover from the Convention this week. I’m not going to do any real mental processing until tomorrow or Monday, so for today, I can’t tell you what it all means.

But here are my three takeaways from the Convention:

1. Most of the delegates I spoke to are comfortable, even enthusiastic, to work for the Trump-Pence ticket, and most of the dissidents are reserved in speaking about their misgivings.

2. The Trump-Pence campaign team is still at an early stage in its professional development, and we saw some hiccups at the Convention, but nothing earth-shattering.

3. Pro-Trump delegates and alternates are peeved at Ted Cruz, some even furious. There was pretty loud booing after Cruz delivered his Wednesday night speech without endorsing Trump. I wasn’t at the 1976 Convention, being all of five years old, so I don’t know what the immediate sentiment was after Reagan’s famed speech at the Convention. I have nothing to compare it to, and it’ll be a while before we know how this will play out.

Progressive Field TMR_3189

Terminal Tower DSC_3855

Georgia Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Herbert Phipps will retire, leaving Governor Nathan Deal the opportunity to appoint yet another appelate judge to the bench.

So, it’s good timing that Governor Nathan Deal has appointed members to a newly-constituted Judicial Qualifications Commission.

J. Randolph Evans, Co-Chair
Pete Robinson, Co-Chair
State Rep. Stacey Abrams
Mary Paige Adams
Christopher Carr
Peter W. Carter
Dennis T. Cathey
Scott D. Delius
Arthur B. “Skin” Edge
State Rep. Chuck Efstration
Robert S. Highsmith
Darren R. Jones
William T. Mitchell
Patrick T. O’Connor
Attorney General Sam Olens
Jonathan Pannell
Charles E. Peeler
Lee W.O. Shafer
Patty S. Veazey
Rebecca “Ashley” Wright

Tonight at 6:30 PM, the Republican candidates in the Senate District 24 runoff election will appear at an event at the Rock Gym organized by the Elbert County Republican Party.

Lee Anderson and Greg Grzybowski, the two top vote-getters in the May primary for the 24th seat, are involved in a July 26 runoff to see which candidate will face Democratic candidate Brenda Jordan in November.

Anderson received 34 percent of the ballots cast in the primary, while Grzybowski picked up 19 percent of the votes in the primary, more than three other candidates in the race.

Elbert County Republican Party Chairman Mack Powell said the event has been scheduled to allow Elbert County voters to “personally interact” with the two candidates.

 

20
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 20, 2016

On July 20, 1864, the Battle of Peachtree Creek took place in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special online section on the Battle of Atlanta.

Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. He and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to summit Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton gave the speech nominating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for President on July 20, 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Dukakis accepted the nomination the next day.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Donald J. Trump was nominated for President of the United States by the Republican National Convention. From the New York Times,

In the roll call vote that began the night, formally marking Mr. Trump’s capture of the Republican nomination, 721 delegates cast their votes for candidates other than Mr. Trump.

As Georgia’s delegates were bound by the results of the Presidential Preference Primary, the delegation cast 42 votes in favor of Trump.

Yesterday, I spoke to two of Georgia’s delegates about the procedural vote on whether to have a roll call vote on the Convention rules.

The Macon Telegraph asked some of their local delegates to the Republican National Convention about the 2016 platform.Continue Reading..

19
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 19, 2016

Griffin, Georgia native John Henry “Doc” Holliday killed Mike Gordon after Gordon shot up Holliday’s saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The 1996 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony was held on July 19, 1996 and competition started the next day.

The Georgia State Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Floor fight!

Quicken Arena Inside

Anti-Trump delegates and alternates (and probably some guests) attempted to call for a roll call vote on the floor of the Convention yesterday. If successful, the Convention would have ground to a halt, and some individuals might have cast votes for candidates not on the ballot or other than those to whom they are bound.Continue Reading..

18
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 18, 2016

The greatest political journalist to ever put pen to paper, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, was born on July 18, 1929. That makes today “Gonzo Day.” You have been warned.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 18, 1940.

President Harry S. Truman signed the second Presidential Succession Act on July 18, 1947

The original succession act designated the Senate president pro tempore as the first in line to succeed the president should he and the vice president die unexpectedly while in office. If he for some reason could not take over the duties, the speaker of the house was placed next in the line of succession. In 1886, during Grover Cleveland‘s administration, Congress removed both the Senate president and the speaker of the house from the line of succession. From that time until 1947, two cabinet officials, (their order in line depended on the order in which the agencies were created) became the next in line to succeed a president should the vice president also become incapacitated or die. The decision was controversial. Many members of Congress felt that those in a position to succeed the president should be elected officials and not, as cabinet members were, political appointees, thereby giving both Republican and Democratic parties a chance at controlling the White House.

In 1945, then-Vice President Truman assumed the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt died of a stroke during his fourth term. As president, Truman advanced the view that the speaker of the house, as an elected official, should be next in line to be president after the vice president. On July 18, 1947, he signed an act that resurrected the original 1792 law, but placed the speaker ahead of the Senate president pro tempore in the hierarchy.

On July 18, 1988, the Democratic National Convention opened at the Omni in Atlanta. That night, actor Rob Lowe would shoot a videotape in a hotel with two hairdressers, one 22 and one 16. Several weeks later, the era of the celebrity sex tape began.

On July 18, 2000, United States Senator Paul Coverdell died of a cerebral hemorrhage. I remember where I was when I heard the news.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

More than 53,000 Georgians have cast votes in early and advance voting.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office reported that more than 53,000 people so far cast ballots for races around the state since July 5. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate wins a majority in a general primary. There are no statewide races this time, but a competitive congressional and several heated local races are drawing interest in the heat of summer.

In Cobb County, for example, election officials are seeing higher turnout for earlier voting in the Republican runoff to lead the county’s commission than they did in May. Incumbent chair Tim Lee is trying to hold off a challenge from Mike Boyce, who got the highest vote total in the primary but fell short of the majority needed to prevent a runoff.

Janine Eveler, director of elections for the Cobb County Board of Elections, said about 2,800 people voted early in the runoff so far compared to about 1,680 at this point in May.

“It is unusual,” Eveler said. “Normally, we see those numbers go down for runoffs.”

In the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, runoff candidates Ryan Cleveland and Heather Lanier are urging their voters to the polls.

“Based on history, there’s going to be a drop-off in the numbers (of voters), but my job is to let people know how serious this race is,” Cleveland said. “Superior Court, maybe more than any other court, touches people’s lives in many ways. From family court, to domestic law, to criminal proceedings, it affects so many people.”

In the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, campaign spending is at a high rate headed into the runoff.

Campaign spending in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Superior Court judge race topped $220,000 by June 30, including the dollars spent by Martha Hall and Michael Muldrew, who are contenders in the July 26 runoff, as well as by a third candidate left behind in May.

With contributions and self-financing totaling $231,180 by the reporting date, this is the most richly funded “local” election this season, but the circuit encompasses four counties. Other races still in play are confined to Bulloch County. Primary season spending in the sheriff’s race exceeded $142,000.The race for Bulloch County Probate Court judge, with originally five candidates and now down to two in the runoff, accounted for $57,574 in spending through June 30.

For the next few days, most of Georgia politics will take place on the shore of Lake Erie at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where four delegates learned yesterday how to spell O-H-I-O.

O-H-I-O

Here’s what I consider to be yesterday’s number one most important result from yesterday: Georgia Delegates signed paperwork demonstrating that Trump has support of a majority of the delegation, one of eight states required to do so for his name to be put formally into nomination at the convention.

Senator David Perdue was optimistic heading to Cleveland, where he serves as honorary delegation chair for Georgia.

“I think you saw people beginning to realize…not only can this guy win in November, but he can help us turn the direction of our country,” said Perdue. “Which is why some of us got involved in the first place.”

Perdue says Trump was responsive to his two main concerns; national security and the debt crisis. He’s confident the republican party will highlight the issues next week.

“I think it’s bigger than any one candidate,” said Perdue. “What we’re talking about is the future of our country.”

The Georgia Delegation began its convention festivities with a Sunday brunch, as noted by Scott Johnson, writing in the MDJ,

At the delegation brunch at the Wyndham, Chairman John Padgett fired up the party faithful with a rousing welcome to Cleveland and a call for party unity. He reminded us that this election is about not just our future but the future of our children and grandchildren. His words brought the partisan crowd to their feet.

Following his speech, Padgett introduced Georgia’s junior Senator, David Perdue. Perdue was genuinely emotional in his appreciation of the welcome he received and the very fact that Georgians have entrusted him to be our U.S. Senator. He points out that he and the GOP presidential nominee have more than a little in common — both businessmen with little or no political experience regarded as outsiders and given little chance of success when they launched their campaign. Perdue believes that Trump can take the nation in a new direction and be the change that America needs. He’s obviously on board to help make that happen.

David Perdue Cleveland

After speaking to the delegation, Perdue was surrounded by a gaggle of AJC reporters and others.

“We’ve got to take Georgia out of play. We need to throw the hammer down and make sure we drive the early polls so we can help other states, like Pennsylvania and Ohio, that could be in play,” said Perdue. “This guy could win big. And I’ll tell you, if you want to do anything for conservative causes, you need to win big.”

Georgia is one of 17 states Trump’s campaign has targeted as must-wins to preserve his chance of taking the White House. A united front, Perdue said, will prevent Democrat Hillary Clinton’s camp from pouring resources and staff into the state. And Perdue will be among the Trump supporters traveling from delegation-to-delegation to drum up support for the candidate.

Said Perdue:

“We don’t have any drama in the Georgia delegation. We’re here to make sure Donald J. Trump is the next president of the United States. I know what you’re thinking – he wasn’t my first choice. He wasn’t my second choice. But let me remind you: This is not a candidate to be embarrassed about. And let me tell you why: We have an outsider. This isn’t something from the Washington establishment.”

He said he’s confident the 76 delegates would vote unanimously for Trump.

Eighteen year-old Tanner Goldsmith of Columbus is among the alternates from Georgia to the Republican National Convention.

“I’m definitely excited to go to the convention, as far as going and seeing how all the under-workings go,” said Goldsmith, who as an alternate can participate as much as a full delegate except vote. “But at the same time, it’s a little nerve-wracking, looking at the news, seeing what’s going on with Trump, seeing some of these protests, hearing Fox reporters saying, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen in Cleveland.’”

From Middle Georgia, Jade Morey and Bill Knowles and Vance Dean from South Georgia joined the Georgia delegation in Clevland.

In 2008, a then 20-year-old Jade Morey attended the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. This week, the Houston County resident returns to another convention as an at-large delegate, giving her a prime position as the party nominates its candidate for president and adopts the party platform, among other duties.

“There are an immense amount of logistics that go into a national convention, and it’s quite a process leading up to and keeping up with the week,” Morey said by email. “You will run into all sorts of celebrities (both Hollywood and the political kind) as it’s a relatively small number of attendees. Sometimes it feels like there are more members of the media present than actual delegation members.”

This is the third consecutive trip to a Republican National Convention for Macon businessman and alternate Bill Knowles. There’s more freedom for alternates, he said, since they sit in the balcony, while the delegates are on the main floor.

“We get to do whatever we want,” Knowles said of being an alternate. “We’ll mill around with other people.”

Another alternate is Vance Dean, chairman of the GOP’s 8th Congressional District. He said he’s ready for a festive affair.

Dean supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee until he dropped out of the race, then became a Ted Cruz backer. Now, though, he said he’s “110 percent” behind Trump.

“I expect this to be a really busy week,” he said. “There’s an activity from the time you wake up to way after I’ll be asleep. … I feel like we’ve come off eight years of a president who has promised a lot and really delivered none of that.”

The Augusta Chronicle spoke to local delegates headed to the convention.

They include Evans state GOP second vice chairwoman and Savannah River Site analyst Debbie McCord, attending her third convention this year.

Though she’d gone “through probably five” candidates, McCord said she’s now planted firmly behind Trump, to whom she’s a pledged delegate.

“In talking with our national committee man and national committee woman, I don’t anticipate any shenanigans,” McCord said.

Trump “won 1,237 delegates. He’s entitled to be the nominee and I agree with them 100 percent.”

Augusta Republican and attorney Sherry Barnes said Trump also wasn’t her first choice, but “when it was evident he was coming out on top then I fully supported him.”

Michael Welsh, delegate and the 12th Congressional District chairman, expects “a media show” but nothing unusual during the convention, despite support for the “Never Trump” movement among area Republicans.

“There were a lot of never Romneys too, never McCains, never Bushes and never Reagans before that,” Welsh said. “You have a very diverse and large environment called the American populace and you’re never going to get consensus on anything.”

Georgia’s own Nick Ayers is serving as Senior Adviser to Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s VP nominee.

15
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 15, 2016

On July 16, 1790, Congress declared Washington, DC the new capital city.

On July 15, 1864, Sherman’s army began crossing the Chattahoochee River and would take the better part of three days to complete the crossing. Georgia Public Broadcasting has a series on Sherman’s Georgia campaign, and you can watch this week’s episode here.

Major General George Stoneman’s cavalry had come to the area south of Atlanta. On July 15, 1864, Stoneman wrote from camp near Villa Rica, Georgia.

As I indicated to you in my last note, we completed the bridge (Moore’s), and were ready to cross at daybreak yesterday morning, but before we essayed it a report came from Major Buck, in command of a battalion seven miles above, that the enemy had been crossing above him on a boat or a bridge, and that his pickets had been cut off.

Colonel Biddle, who was left with his brigade at Campbellton, reports the enemy quite strong at that point, with two guns of long range in each of the two redoubts on the opposite bluff, which are opened upon him whenever any of his men show themselves.

I was very anxious to strike the railroad from personal as well as other considerations, but I became convinced that to attempt it would incur risks inadequate to the results, and unless we could hold the bridge, as well as penetrate into the country, the risk of capture or dispersion, with loss of animals (as I could hear of no ford), was almost certain.

On July 15, 1870, Georgia was readmitted to the United States, with the signature by President Ulysses Grant of the “Georgia Bill” by the U.S. Congress.

On July 16, 1914, Asa Griggs Candler, retired President of Coca-Cola, wrote his brother Warren, who was a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a letter offering one million dollars and 72 acres of land in Atlanta for the church to establish a new university in the East.

On July 15, 1938, the first recorded use occurred of the name “Alcoholics Anonymous” in a letter from Bill W. Next July, the organization will gather in Atlanta to celebrate its 80th anniversary.

The United States performed the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity site in New Mexico.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the project, watched the mushroom cloud rise into the New Mexico sky. “Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds,” he uttered, reciting a passage from an ancient Hindu text.

On July 15, 1948, President Harry Truman was nominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to run for a full term as President of the United States.

Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson set a new record for longevity in office on July 16, 1963, having served 48 years, 8 months, and 12 days since his election in 1914. Vinson’s record held until 1992 and his tenure is now sixth-longest.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Amid reports that IN Governor Mike Pence would be the GOP nominee for Vice President, Donald Trump delayed the announcement.

Trump was due to make his official announcement on his choice on Friday at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) in Manhattan. But he tweeted on Thursday night that the attack in Nice, where a truck slammed into a crowd, killing dozens of people, prompted him to delay.

“In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement,” said Trump. He said in a Fox News interview: “We will announce tomorrow when it will be.”

As I wrote earlier this week about the Veepstakes:

Here’s my two-cent analysis on Trump’s VP pick. Everyone’s still centering their speculation on who would make a solid VP choice under traditional political analysis. That kind of analysis has brought people like me to the point where we’re collectively about 0-for-2000 in predicting what Trump is going to do.

Trump is not a traditional politician. He’s a reality TV star, so use that frame for your analysis and think what any good reality TV producer would do.

Hype and tease, and raise the drama level before the big reveal. That’s what we’re seeing now. A dance of seven veils that shows peeks at what might happen without giving too much away.

Each major political party in Georgia is sending an 18-year old delegate to their national conventions.

Georgia delegates and politicos are beginning to make the trek to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention next week.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said the carnivallike aspect of this year’s convention — and the unpredictability of the race — is part of the draw.

“I want the experience of being at one, and what better one to have an experience at than this one?” the Pooler Republican said. “I don’t really know what to expect.”

And for Perdue, one of the most popular GOP politicians in Georgia, it could be a way to burnish his reputation. He is the honorary chairman of the state delegation at next week’s confab and is Trump’s most prominent surrogate in Georgia, though he is not on the list of convention speakers. Instead, he is expected to take part in panels on the national debt and foreign policy throughout the meeting.

“I’ve never done one of these, but I’m going to be there supporting our delegation in Georgia, supporting our nominee,” Perdue said Thursday on the Athens radio station WGAU. “I like our chances right now, and I think these polls are going to reflect that in the next few months.”

The Newnan Times-Herald spoke to Judy Griffin, who is heading to Cleveland as an RNC delegate.

Woodstock resident Judy Griffin, who loves politics, horseback riding and the Republican Party, says she’s thrilled to represent the 11th Congressional District and looks forward to casting her vote for Donald Trump to ensure he gets the nomination.

Her extensive political record dates back to the ’60s when she first became involved in conservative politics. Since then, she’s worked just about every election cycle to get Republicans elected, both locally and at the national level.

“To become a national delegate, you really have to be involved and work your way up,” she said. “You have to put on galas and park cars, pour drinks, decorate, run campaigns, put up fliers and signs … You’ve got to be involved at the grassroots level.”

Griffin was chosen to serve as an at-large delegate this year for the second time in a row. She also attended the 2012 convention in Tampa to nominate then-candidate Mitt Romney.

Polk County Commission District 2 voters continue early voting, passing the 271-vote mark in advance and early voting earlier this week.

Kenneth Zachary submitted 3000 signatures, more than twice the 1487 necessary to be placed on the ballot as an independent in House District 155.

State Democrats enticed Zachary, who had previously been ruled ineligible to run for sheriff in Calhoun County because of past legal issues, to sign up for an independent run at the House District 151 seat when Kemp and later an administrative law judge ruled that Democratic qualifier James Williams, of Albany, was ineligible to run for the seat because he does not live in the district.

Kemp’s office issued a statement saying the Dougherty County Elections Office had erred in allowing Williams to qualify for the HD 151 seat.

Greene, R-Cuthbert, said Tuesday he would not challenge Zachary’s independent candidacy even though he has reservations about his meeting state qualifications.

“Here’s a guy who was disqualified from running for sheriff, so they turn around and run him for the state House,” Greene, who was at a speaking engagement in Kentucky, said. “There are certainly issues with his candidacy, but I’m not going to challenge him. We’ll just let the people decide.”

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin vetoed a measure by city council to narrow the municipality’s financial disclosures for elected officials.

First Lady Sandra Deal toured the Austrian headquarters of Voestalpine Group, which employs more than 200 Georgians near Cartersville.

Governor and Mrs. Deal have meetings scheduled with German manufacturing companies that have operations in Georgia including Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Munich, Linz and Regensburg, to learn about German and Austrian  workforce development practices.

Gov. Deal will also participate in the RLS annual conference in Munich giving him an opportunity to promote Georgia’s competitiveness and attractiveness as the number one state in the U.S. in which to do business. The Deals will return on July 19.

Napleon Jenkins, former Mayor of Tennille, Georgia, was arrested and charged with stealing more than $6600 from the city.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education has scheduled three public meetings to discuss the property tax millage rate, expected to stay at the same level as last year’s.

The meetings are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. on July 21, and at 8 a.m. on Aug. 1. All of the meetings are scheduled to happen in the board room of the district office at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee.

Gwinnett County Public Schools’ enrollment is expected to grow by nearly 1,800 students, which would take the projected enrollment to 177,800 students. Two new schools in Duluth and Norcross are expected to open to make way for the growth.

Local revenue also is budgeted to increase by about $28.6 million because of a projected net growth of five percent in the property tax digest. But the school district is collecting about $51 million less in local property tax compared to what was collected for the 2009 budget.

All employees will see the equivalent of a three percent raise and there’s also a longevity step salary increase. Those raises cost $46.7 million.

Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff was inducted into the Army Rangers Hall of Fame.