The blog.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2015


Today from 3-4 PM, I’ll be on GPB’s Political Rewind. I hope you’ll listen in, on 88.5 FM in Atlanta, or on GPB’s statewide radio network.

Georgia and American History

On December 5, 1765, the British ship Speedwell arrived in Savannah with supplies for implementing the Stamp Act.

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

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

Georgia voters approved a new state Constitution, the seventh in state history, on December 5, 1877; also approved on the statewide ballot was to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of returning it to Milledgeville. Notably, Section II, Paragraph V of the 1877 Constitution read:

“Lobbying is declared to be a crime, and the General Assembly shall enforce this provision by suitable penalties.”

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

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

On December 5, 1933, the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition under the 18th Amendment. FDR ran for President in 1932 supporting repeal.

On December 5, 1941, ten state institutions of higher learning, including the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, lost their accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools due to political meddling by Gov. Eugene Talmadge.

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

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton was elected to the Public Service Commission in a runoff election against incumbent Democrat David Burgess.

On December 2, 2014, Republican Nancy Jester was elected to the DeKalb County Commission in a runoff election against independent Holmes Pyle by a 3-to-1 margin.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Brian Roslund, who ran as a Democrat for State Senate last year, shot himself while facing trial on felony charges.

Among the one count of racketeering and 27 counts of theft by taking, Roslund was accused of taking more than $11,000 from the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs.

He was in court Monday in Meriwether County when the judge called the case for trial. All parties were instructed to return Tuesday to pick a jury.

Roslund qualified to run for the office in March 2014 while he was president of the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs. He is accused of withdrawing cash 27 times from the charity’s bank account through the use of “counter checks.” The amount totaled more than $11,000 from the charity. Money was alleged to have paid for campaign-related expenses and a rental home in Senate District 29.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has announced free credit monitoring services for consumers in the wake of a data release that resulted in 12 CDs containing voters’ personal information that included Social Security and Driver’s License numbers.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 3, 2015


Jingle is a 2-3 year old female Beagle who weighs 18 pound and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.


Holly is a 5-6 year old female Beagle who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.


Gabe is a 55-pound, 1-year old Labrador Retriever and Shar Pei mix male who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. He’s described as kind of goofy-playful boy with an excellent personality.


Sport is a 1-year old male Beagle (and Lab?) mix who weighs 35 pounds and is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 3, 2015


On December 3, 1775, the Grand Union Flag, comprising the Union Jack with thirteen red-and-white stripes was raised for the first time by Lieutenant John Paul Jones over the USS Alfred, a colonial warship. The flag would be used by Continental forces thorugh 1776 and early 1777.

USS Alfred

On December 3, 1776, General George Washington wrote Congress that he had moved most of his army across the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

On December 3, 1864, Union forces under the command of Gen. William T. Sherman skirmished against Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry at Thomas’ Station in Burke County, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Here’s a political challenge I can get behind: Georgia State Senator P.K. Martin challenged Senator John Albers to collect non-perishable food items for local food pantries. Whoever collects the most before the big semifinals playoff game between Grayson High School and Roswell High School wins! To add a little excitement, the state senator whose high school team loses will have to deliver all of the canned goods and give a $250 donation to a local food pantry wearing the rival’s jersey.

Governor Nathan Deal has indicated his opposition to the idea of growing and processing medical marijuana in Georgia, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“I still don’t think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state,” Deal said Wednesday morning.

That puts a roadblock in front of a plan by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, to try and legalize in-state growing as early as next year of specially-bred cannabis used to make medicine.

Georgians who have certain severe illnesses and who have a doctor’s recommendation can possess a liquid cannabis medicine under a state law that Peake pushed through the Legislature earlier this year.

But Peake says Georgia’s medical cannabis patients need marijuana grown in the state so they can get their medicine easily. Right now, they have to risk federal drug-smuggling laws if they bring in cannabis from states where it is legal.

Without Deal’s support, any in-state grow proposal would need a veto-proof super-majority vote in the state Legislature to become law.

Congratulations and condolences to Nick Millwood, who won the runoff election for Mayor of Ringgold.

Rome, Georgia is considering tweaking the residency requirement to run for City Commission.

Currently, the charter states that a candidate must live inside the ward by the time of the election, not qualification, according to City Clerk Joe Smith.

Sundai Stevenson, the top vote-getter in the Ward 1 race, wasn’t living in the ward prior to qualifying, although she moved into it before the Nov. 3 election.

The top three vote-getters from the Ward 1 race take office in January. Stevenson finished with 1,653 votes, followed by incumbents Milton Slack with 1,360 votes and Bill Irmscher with 1,146 votes.

“There is a consensus with the City Commission that candidates should reside in their wards at qualification,” Mayor Jamie Doss said.

Stevenson said she moved to North Rome’s Atteiram Heights in the first week of October, a week before early voting began Oct. 12.

Some of the incumbents are unhappy about the current residency requirements, because someone could just move into a ward after qualification and run for election, Doss said.

Smith said a candidate has to qualify with the city clerk’s office approximately 70 days before the election.

WJCL took a closer look at election returns in Savannah and found that Eddie DeLoach built a substantial lead in two precincts that helped him carry the election against incumbent Edna Jackson.

Precinct 1-1 is the First Presbyterian Church on Washington Avenue right by Savannah Arts Academy, and a few blocks from Daffin Park. There, Eddie DeLoach had his biggest win of the night. He gained 1,206 more votes there than Mayor Edna Jackson.
It was a similar story at Precinct 1-6, the Central Church of Christ on Stephenson Avenue near Waters Avenue, just west of Bacon Park Golf Course.
There, DeLoach outpaced Jackson by 729 votes.
Within just two polling places, DeLoach built a lead of more than 1,900 votes, something Mayor Jackson just could not overcome.
Gary Richardson will take office as the next Columbia County Commissioner for District 3 after his runoff victory.
Walt Hollingsworth was elected the next Mayor of Carrollton.
Linda Johnson was elected to Fairmount City Council Post 4 by a 57-52 margin.
Vivian Miller-Cody won the runoff for Valdosta City Council District 1.
In November, Willie Morgan and Charlie Fish, Jr. tied with 77 votes each in the Flovilla City Council race, with Morgan winning the runoff.
Proposed legislation supported by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council would reduce the advantages that law enforcement officers hold when their actions are questioned by a grand jury.

Georgia is the only state that allows officers facing possible indictment to sit in on the entire grand jury process, hear all the witnesses and evidence against them, and then make a closing statement that cannot be questioned or challenged by prosecutors or grand jurors.”Certainly that environment creates the ability to make statements that you know you don’t have to answer for,” said [Prosecuting Attorney's Council Executive Director Chuck] Spahos.

Several prosecutors and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation director said overwhelmingly, most officer shootings are justified, but in the small percentage of questionable cases, Georgia’s unique grand jury law could be impeding justice.”The process itself inside that room has got to be above question,” said Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna.

Golick chairs the House Judiciary Committee that would change the law and now plans to champion that effort.

“This is the first time that I’ve sensed a push coming and then when you combine that with real-world examples of how the process has been undermined, that’s a situation that demands us to take a hard look at it,” said Golick.

Under the new proposal, officers would be treated like any other grand jury witness.

Could Johns Creek be a hotbed of Libertarian electoral strength? The Libertarian Party of Georgia member Chris Coughlin won a runoff for about a month on the City Council, but lost for the full term that begins after that. Previously, Karen Richardson served on Johns Creek City Council and aligned with the Libertarian Party.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2015

Cole Pepper

Cole (male, right above) and Pepper (female, left above) are brother and sister from the same litter.

They belonged to a young man who went off to college and couldn’t take us with him. Long story short, no one else really wanted to or could take care of them, so they ended up in a crate in a driveway, waiting for someone to pick them up and take them to rescue.


Cole is a young male Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am very sweet and want nothing but to love and be loved. I love to play and have fun, but I will stick my tongue out for kisses and ear rubs any time of any day.


Pepper is a young female Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am sweet and submissive beyond words. I want nothing but to love and be loved. I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body and a life with a family would be absolutely fantastic!


Emory is an adult male Jack Russell Terrier who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in  Conyers, GA.

I’m an irresitable little man (about 12, maybe 13 lbs). I’m only about 6-7 years old, but my sight is a little compromised and my nose and mouth sometimes overcompensate when it comes to treats. I can follow you just fine, but I’ll need someone who knows how to deal with a dog who doesn’t see 100%. I certainly do not intend to bite.

We’re working on putting some meat on my little bones, but I really love treats and would love to be with someone who understands my challenges and wants to spoil me. They are trying to teach me.

Sweet Bella

Sweet Bella is a 7-year old Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix female who is available for adoption from Fantana Farms Rescue in Covington, GA.

I’ve been spayed, am current on all of my shots, and just had my teeth cleaned! I’m smart! I know sit, down, roll over, and shake! I love to run and play. I’m house trained. I grew up with children and I love other dogs.

My family had me since I was a puppy. Sadly, due to a new baby on the way and due to a neighbor complaining because I was running the neighborhood (no fenced in yard) my family needed to re-home me. I’m now staying at Fantana but I really want a family to love me again. You should come meet me!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2015

Georgia and American History

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Chatham County will host a Special Election for Sheriff on March 1, 2016 after the death of Sheriff Al St. Lawrence.

Roy Harris, the chief deputy in the Chatham County Sheriff’s office under St Lawrence, will continue as sheriff until March 1. Harris was recently sworn in as sheriff by Chief Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf.

St Lawrence, who had been sheriff since 1992, most recently won reelection in 2012 over Democratic challenger McArthur Holmes.

Overnight, Savannah politics has changed, with incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson ousted by businessman Eddie DeLoach.

Savannah will have a new mayor and three new city aldermen next year.

Eddie DeLoach defeated Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson in Tuesday’s municipal runoff after running a campaign centered largely on the rise in crime in the city during her administration.

DeLoach received 53 percent of the vote to unseat Jackson and earn his place as the head of the Savannah City Council, with all precincts reporting.

In addition, Bill Durrence defeated Savannah Alderwoman Mary Osborne to secure the District 2 seat with 63 percent of the vote. Brian Foster will also join the council after receiving 53 percent of the vote in his run against Alicia Blakely for the alderman at-large, post 2 seat.

About 38 percent of registered voters turned out for the runoff, which was about the same amount as the general election.

Following the general election and runoff, there will be four new members of the nine-member City Council next year.

Bill Dawers adds the following to our understanding of what happened in the election.

In the general election last month, there were 22,275 voters in the mayoral race. In the 2011 runoff, there were 19,702.

Tonight, there were 23,306 votes cast for mayor — an increase of over 1,000 from the general election (yes, voters can cast a ballot in the runoff even if they skipped the general).

Congratulations and condolences to Jodi Lott, who won the Special Runoff Election in House District 122 last night by better than 3-to-1 over Mack Taylor.

“It was very much a grassroots efforts, me knowing people that knew other people,” Lott said. “It kept spreading and spreading.”

Lott won 76 percent of the votes, 2,812 votes more than Taylor. Turnout for the runoff election was low – just 5,642 of the district’s 35,460 registered voters cast ballots, a 15.9 percent turnout.

Taylor, 42, an attorney and a former Columbia County commissioner, said the campaign was fraught with distractions.

In his call to Lott, Taylor said he asked her to pass a religious freedom bill when she gets to Atlanta.

A squib in the AJC Political Insider suggested that Lott’s election had something to do with the Religious Liberty bill, writing that Jodi Lott’s victory

could matter in the January fight over S.B. 129, the “religious liberty” bill. Lott had the backing of local business groups.

Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) dismissed that notion, posting on Facebook,

Lott said that although she sought support from the Georgia chamber, among other organizations, it wasn’t until she made it into the runoff that the chamber showed any interest. She also supports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so she doesn’t think that is the reason for the ads attacking Taylor.

“I’ve never been against RFRA,” Lott said Monday. “In February of last year I was promoting RFRA.”

Sarah Harper Scott, who lives in the area, chimed in with this:

This race wasn’t about RFRA… it was about candidates and media. Taylor never recovered from the dirty fight in the general. Most constituents wanted someone who could work for them and wouldn’t quit if another opportunity came up.

Most local races are first and foremost about the candidates and about the voters in the district. But that’s hard to understand without being in the district day-in and day-out and makes writing about local races from Atlanta a difficult task.

In the Special Election for Senate District 20, I was frankly surprised to see it end without a runoff. But Larry Walker, III took 52 percent of the votes cast, winning without extra innings.

Walker got 52 percent of the votes across Senate District 20, which covers most of Houston plus all of Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

This election wins the GaPundit award for ironic outcomes when combined with the District 146 race earlier this year, where Walker came in second. Most politicos would consider a Senate seat a higher attainment than a State House seat, but it could be that Walker, whose father served in the House for 32 years, would have preferred to serve in the lower chamber.

Senator McKoon also noted that Senator-elect Larry Walker has previously supported the Religious Liberty legislation, making both the Columbus Senator and his legislation winners on Tuesday night.

In Senate District 43, JaNice Van Ness won with what appears to be an 87-vote margin of victory over Democrat Tonya Anderson. The seat was previously held by a Democrat and generally votes at about 70% Democratic or higher. This is an epic bloody nose for Georgia Democrats, many of whom vented their frustration on Facebook last night.

A couple of things about that race are worth noting.

1. Republican Van Ness increased her vote total from 2995 in November to 3864 last night, a rise of nearly 30%. She also increased the number of votes she received in Rockdale, her home county, from 2180 to 2748.

2. Van Ness received 1617 early votes in the runoff, nearly 45% more than the 1119 early vote she received in November, despite an early voting period that was shortened two days by the Thanksgiving holiday.

3. Jack Kingston made a robocall last week promoting early voting and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle recorded a call that went out the day before the election. Both calls specifically targeted likely Republican voters in Rockdale and Newton counties.

4. Kingston also penned an email sent by the Georgia Republican Party about the importance of early voting and specifically noted the runoffs in both Savannah and SD 43. Kingston deserves a place on the list of last night’s winners for supporting candidates who legitimately were considered longshots going into the runoff.

Now, I don’t drink alcohol, but I’ve been told that Democrat tears mixed with bourbon makes a fine cocktail.

Johns Creek City Council will have three new members.

Unofficial results show candidate Chris Coughlin has won the special election for the Johns Creek City Council Post 2 seat. Coughlin is leading fellow challenger Todd Burkhalter with 59.05 percent, or 1,661 votes. Burkhalter trails with 40.95 percent, or 1,152 votes.

Coughlin will serve out the unexpired term for the Post 2 seat that ends Dec. 31. The seat was vacated by Brad Raffensperger, who ran for state Senate.

Unofficials results show Lin was elected to serve a full, four-year term that will start in January for the Post 2 seat. Lin leads the race with 52.54 percent, or 1,676 votes.

For the Post 5 seat, unofficial results show Stephanie Endres defeated fellow challenger Dr. Nazeera Dawood. Endres is currently polling at 57.82 percent, or 1,741 votes to Dawood’s 42.18 percent, or 1,270 votes. The Post 5 seat was vacated last year by Kelly Stewart, who also resigned to run for the state Senate.

Also on the list of last night’s winners is Georgia Right to Life PAC, who endorsed the winning candidates in all three runoff elections for Johns Creek City Council.

Chris Hewitt won a runoff election to the Forsyth City Council last night.

Royce Fowler won the Soperton Mayoral runoff, in which the earlier vote resulted in a tie.


Jack Kingston: Show Up and Vote Today

Kingston Head Horizontal

via email from the Georgia Republican Party:

Winning competitors have one thing in common – they show up for the big game, match, or race, put on their uniform and take the field. Likewise, in politics, elections are won and lost based on who is able to excite their supporters and turn them out to the polls. Never is this more the case than special and runoff elections.

Despite all the talk over the last several election cycles about new technologies and new voters changing the landscape for elections, fundamentals still apply, every bit as much as the law of gravity. The most interesting political races this year are in some ways, a throwback to the 1990s, a time when the Republican party began building the infrastructure to turn the state red more than a decade later.

In 1991, Susan Weiner, a Republican and a transplant to Savannah, won that city’s mayoral election with 54% of the vote against John Rousakis, a five-term incumbent, shocking the political establishment. The election was won largely on the issue of violent crime, which was then at alarming levels.

Tom Barton recently wrote of this year’s Savannah Mayoral race, calling it “déjà vu all over again,” and harkening back to 1991, when “Weiner rode a tidal wave of voter disgust with the incumbent mayor over the city’s failure to address violent crime and the belief that the city’s leadership was complacent, arrogant and out-of-touch.”

In recent months, Savannah has been battered with headlines screaming about violent crime, as they did in 1991, and Mayor Edna Jackson was forced into a runoff against Businessman Eddie DeLoach, meaning that voters will return to the ballots on December 1, 2015 in a runoff election.

The next political lesson from that era comes from 1992, a breakthrough year in which Republican Paul Coverdell beat incumbent Democrat Wyche Fowler in a December runoff and Bobby Baker defeated John Frank Collins to become the first Republican elected state Constitutional officer since reconstruction.

Bill Clinton was elected that year, defeating incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush, but the runoff in Georgia would be won on the basis of discontent with the status quo in a state long dominated by Democrats. The lesson is that when voters are strongly motivated by discontent with the status quo, an embattled incumbent who is forced into a runoff is in a very precarious position.

That’s because voters who are tired of headlines about violent crime or excessive taxation and disenchanted with the incumbent are more likely to make the return trip to the polls in order to vote for new leadership.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 1, 2015


Champ used to be called Trump, but apparently changed problems with the FCC’s equal time provision. He’s a young male hound mix who is available for adoption from Caring4Creatures, Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Champ is a sweet boy about a year and a half old. He needs a home with a fence or an active family (kid or two) as he loves to play and run!

Donald Moultrie

Donald is an adult male Labrador Retriever and American Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society in Moultrie, GA.

Donald Albany

Donald is a young male Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

Sgt Bear

Sergeant Bear is a retired military working dog who now serves as an assistance dog, alerting his owner when his blood sugar crashes. They were at the Trump Macon event last night. DGD.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 1, 2015

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

The election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives on December 1, 1824.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Election day is today in many cities, some counties, and three state legislative districts today. If you are able to vote, please take the time today to do so.

Tonight I’ll mainly be watching three elections. First isvSenate District 43 in DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale Counties, where Republican JaNice Van Ness has as good a chance as anyone GOPer has had to take a Democratic-majority seat against Democrat Tonya Anderson.

The second race I’ll be watching is the Runoff for Mayor of Savannah, where challenger Eddie DeLoach forced incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson into a runoff. I’m pretty sure former Congressman Jack Kingston will have an eye on this race too:

In recent months, Savannah has been battered with headlines screaming about violent crime, as they did in 1991, and Mayor Edna Jackson was forced into a runoff against Businessman Eddie DeLoach, meaning that voters will return to the ballots on December 1, 2015 in a runoff election.

[W]hen voters are strongly motivated by discontent with the status quo, an embattled incumbent who is forced into a runoff is in a very precarious position.

That’s because voters who are tired of headlines about violent crime or excessive taxation and disenchanted with the incumbent are more likely to make the return trip to the polls in order to vote for new leadership.

While many of us showed up early on Black Friday for bargain-shopping, too few will show up on Tuesday, when we shop for our next Mayor, City Council Member, or state legislator.

So today, I’m asking you as a personal favor, to check the Secretary of State’s website or call your local board of elections and find out if your area has an election on Tuesday, and take the time on Tuesday to show up and vote.

In fact, voter turnout in Savannah was up for the runoff in early voting.

Voter interest does not appear to have died down since then. More voters turned out for early and advance voting for the runoff than during the general election, according to the Chatham County Board of Registrars office.

Sandra Williams, Chatham County’s voter registration director, said there were 4,586 early voters ahead of the runoff election. That’s 182 more than during early voting for the general election on Nov. 3. In addition, there were 1,187 absentee ballots submitted — up by 261.

“Any time you have a contested election and that community is aware of an election that’s going to keep the interest,” Williams said.

Whether the increase in early and advance voting means higher turnout overall has yet to be determined.

The third race I’m watching is in Senate District 20, where six Republican candidates will almost ensure a runoff election next year.

In House District 122, Jodi Lott and Mack Taylor’s runoff will result in a Republican retaining the seat vacated by former State Rep. Ben Harbin.

Last night, the Donald J. Trump show rolled into Macon, Georgia for a capacity crowd at the Macon Coliseum.

Here’s what the crowd looked like: I’d call it a capacity crowd, and I agree with those who have estimated the crowd size at 6000. Here’s the single quote that best sums up last night’s message, from WMAZ-TV.

“You can’t be a loser and be a leader,” he said to cheers. “I win. Just like now. We’re driving the Republican establishment crazy.”

Few were spared insults. Trump referred to current U.S. leaders and his opponents several times as, “not very smart.”

“China is killing us on trade. Japan is killing us on trade. Mexico is killing us because their leaders are smarter than ours,” Trump said.

Here’s a great photo of the crowd via Joe Kovac Jr. over Twitter.

Joe Kovac Twitter

And here’s a pan of the crowd from about the floor about 10 rows back from the stage.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 30, 2014

After news got out that some area shelters were vastly over capacity, two things happened. Zappos sponsored free pet adoptions, a promotion that continues through today. And then hundreds of people showed up to take home their new best friends.

Elly is a 7-year old, 59-pound female English Bulldog mix who is available for adoption (no fee today) from Fulton County Animal Shelter in Atlanta.

Elly is a senior old Old English Bulldog mix, who does well with people, other dogs and cats.

Elly Dog Bed

Elly loves to ride in the car (especially for a hamburger) and is very low maintenance. She sleeps most of the day. When she is awake, she moves at a snails pace. She would be perfectly content to to lie around on her dog bed all day. . She is already house trained, crate trained and leash trained. She would do best in a low key home, who respects her slow paced, laid back lifestyle. Elly enjoys sitting on patios, going for short walks and snuggling on the couch.

Elly”s foster mom wrote a wonderful blog post about her and the Huff Post featured it!

Sweetie is a 3-year old female Shepherd mix who is available for adoption (no fee today) from DeKalb County Animal Services in Decatur, GA.

Sweetie’s name rings true in every since of the word. This lovable Shepherd mix is calm, friendly, and great with other dogs. She can’t wait to meet you here at Lifeline’s DeKalb Animal Services! Her adoption includes her spay, microchip, vaccinations, and more! For more information email [email protected]


Boss is a 4-year old male Boxer who needs to find a foster or forever home soon. He is available for adoption from SAFE Adoption Center in Macon, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2015

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

For those who are involved in elections in the coming year, I’ve created a Google Calendar with the important election and ethics filing dates for the 2016 Elections. Click here for the online version. If you know what you’re doing, you can add this to your personal calendar on your iPhone or whatever other device you use. When you open that page, you won’t initially see any events, as they’re far enough in the future to not show up in Agenda view, but just click “Look for More” until it shows you the time range you’re interested in.

Today, the Donald Trump show rolls into Macon for a rally at 7:30 PM at the Macon Centreplex.

The campaign is distributing free tickets online for the event. Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director of Trump’s campaign, deferred questions about the number of tickets distributed as of Friday to Hope Hicks, Trump’s national media spokeswoman. Hicks did not respond to an email, however.

David Higdon, the coliseum’s event manager, said he didn’t know how many tickets had been distributed, but he’s expecting a big crowd. Based on the numbers Trump has drawn at similar events — and the buzz he’s been hearing about the Macon rally — Higdon said he looking for a capacity crowd of 8,000.

“I’m anticipating a full house,” he said. “I think a lot of people are going to come.”

[Bibb County Sheriff David] Davis said deputies will help escort Trump to and from the event and with directing traffic. He did not expect there would be reimbursement for the cost, but Davis said that is standard practice for such events.

Suzanne Wood, a former chairwoman of the Bibb County Republican Party, said the local group’s involvement with the event has primarily been to round up volunteers to help with the crowd and seating. She said she expects people to come from a wide area of the state, and she has even had people from Florida contact her about coming.

Wood said she has heard many people say they are coming — even though they don’t necessarily support Trump.

One of those is Mary Huffstetler, who is going with her husband and their two children. She called herself a conservative and said she is undecided on which candidate she will vote for in the primary.

“I am very excited to hear what he has to say,” she said. “I think he is unconventional and people are always looking for something that is not predictable.”

I’ll be checking in from Macon on Twitter using the hashtag #TrumpMacon.

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy of the AJC puts Trump’s visit in the context of the mounting competition for votes in the SEC Primary.Continue Reading..