On July 6, 1775, Congress issued the “Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms” addressed to King George III, stating that they preferred to “to die free men rather than live as slaves.” The document was written by John Dickinson after a draft by Thomas Jefferson. The British
Union cavalry under Gen. Kenner Garrard reached Roswell, Georgia on July 5, 1864, setting the town alight.
Happy Birthday to George W. Bush, who turns 70 today.
On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested a rabies vaccine on a human subject.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Ed Rogers writes in the Washington Post that Newt Gingrich is the best choice for VP on the Trump ticket. He makes some good points, but brutalizes Trump in a way that’s probably not very helpful for Gingrich.
First, Gingrich clearly has the requisite experience to be vice president and to be president if called upon. Period. In addition to his extensive resume of government service, Gingrich has been a tireless student of government and history, and he is one of Washington’s few authentic, original thinkers. He is accepted as a gifted leader and thinker among many members of both parties, in the media, among world leaders, within members of American industry and private business owners from Wall Street to the Chamber of Commerce to Silicon Valley. Everybody thinks Gingrich understands them – or at least has an informed view about their priorities and challenges.
Gingrich is also the best of Trump’s surrogates I have seen at being able to make some sense of what The Donald says…. Somebody needs to be able to articulate what a Trump presidency would actually be about and what it might realistically seek to accomplish, and Newt Gingrich has the capacity to do this – while Trump himself obviously does not.
David Lane also writes positively in Time about Gingrich as a VP selection.
Republicans across the spectrum agree that Newt would be Donald Trump’s best asset on the campaign trail this fall and a seasoned point-man in a Trump administration. Selecting Gingrich as Veep would send a message worldwide—that Trump is bringing “adults” to the table with the intention to make America great again.
The former Speaker, once the most innovative and formidable politicians in America, is a Churchillian figure. That kind of selection by Mr. Trump would, first, telegraph the caliber of people that he plans to bring to his administration; second, lend insight into the sort of selection he plans to make for Supreme Court Justices and third, show the type that Trump would elevate in military leadership. It would say: Under a Trump/Gingrich administration, American exceptionalism would again return to the forefront of world leadership.
Jonah Goldberg, writing in the LA Times, looks at what a Trump-Gingrich ticket might accomplish.
Trump has said, admirably, that he wants someone who knows how Washington works. For good and for ill, Gingrich fits that bill. He understands the legislative process, knows everybody, and can navigate the vast ecosystem of lobbyists to his advantage (Gingrich earned $1.8 million from Freddie Mac serving as a consulting “historian”). Gingrich may have mastered the language of taking on “the Washington elites,” but being one has been his job description for nearly 30 years.
Over roughly the same period, I have to say, he laid the groundwork for Trumpism. In the 1990s, he used talk radio much the way Trump has exploited social media to get his message past the gatekeepers. In 2012, Gingrich leveraged the debates to dominate the news cycle like a force of nature, attacking – often with devastating efficacy – the presumptions and arrogance of the media.
Trump’s rally in Cincinnati, Ohio with Gingrich as a Special Guest might be an audition or a dress rehearsal for the former Speaker.
Trump is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the Sharonville Convention Center. Gingrich will join the presumptive GOP nominee, the campaign confirmed Tuesday, as Trump conducts a series of meetings and appearances with possible picks to join him on the ticket in November.
Trump has been fairly open about possible vice presidential choices in public appearances and on social media. In addition to his plan to campaign with Gingrich, he was scheduled to stump Tuesday evening with Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. He tweeted about meetings over the holiday weekend with Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. He has publicly praised Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Along with his rally in Sharonville, Trump is scheduled to attend his first Ohio fundraiser, a $25,000-per-person roundtable discussion with donors. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus will attend.
In Fulton and Douglas counties, advance voting is under way for a runoff election in House District 62 to succeed State Rep. LaDawn Jones. Runoff candidates are William Boddie and Valerie Vie, both attorneys.
A runoff election will decide the next judge for the Superior Court in the Ogeechee Circuit, which includes Bulloch, Effingham, Jenkins, and Screven Counties. Voters will choose between Martha Hall and Michael Muldrew.
Bulloch County also hosts a runoff for State Court Judge and a Republican Primary Runoff for Board of Commissioners District 2.
In the runoff, all Bulloch County voters can choose between candidates on the nonpartisan ballot. The runoff between lawyers Martha Hall and Michael Muldrew for the multicounty Superior Court seat being vacated by retiring Judge John R. “Robbie” Turner is on this ballot. So is the runoff between lawyer Charlie Aaron and law office manager and paralegal Lorna DeLoach to succeed retiring Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee DeLoach.
Commission District 2, which includes roughly half of the county’s population, has a runoff between Curt Deal and Jimmy Hayes for Seat 2A, being vacated by Commissioner Carolyn Ethridge. But to vote in this race, voters must choose the Republican Party ballot, and not everyone in District 2 is eligible, as Jones explained.
“The only ones that can vote Republican are those in county commission District 2 that voted Republican in May or that did not vote in May or voted nonpartisan in May,” she said.
In Lee County, Miles O’Quinn and Melanie Gahring are in a runoff for Probate Judge and Terrell County has a Democratic Runoff for Tax Commissioner between incumbent Darlene Paul and challenger Mary Ellen Harnage, while incumbent Sheriff John Bowens faces challenger James Driver in a Democratic Primary Runoff.
South Georgia Judicial Circuit, comprising Baker, Calhoun, Decatur, Grady, and Mitchell Counties, hosts a runoff election for Superior Court Judge between Heather Hendricks Lanier and Ryan Cleveland.
In Carroll County, 112 voters showed up on the first day of advance voting in runoff elections for Third Congressional District between Mike Crane and Drew Ferguson and a local runoff for coroner.
In Macon-Bibb County, voters head to the polls for runoff elections in County Commission District 6 and Bibb County Board of Education Districts 5 and 6.
Macon-Bibb County Commission District 6
Bibb County Board of Education District 5
Bibb County Board of Education District 6
Nonpartisan runoff elections will decide two seats on the Early County Board of Education.
Northwest Georgia will see at least four local runoff elections.
In Whitfield County, voters will decide between John Lofty and Shana Byers Vinyard for a seat on Magistrate Court in a nonpartisan race.
In Murray County, voters will choose between James “Chris” Owens and Aaron Phillips in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Board of Education District 3. No Democrat qualified for that seat.
Voters in both counties will decide a nonpartisan runoff between Steve Farrow and Scott Minter for the seat on the Conasauga Superior Court currently held by Judge Jack Partain, who is retiring when his term expires at the end of the year.
And voters in parts of both counties will choose between incumbent Tom Dickson and Jason Ridley for the Republican nomination for state House of Representatives District 6. No Democrat qualified for that seat.
Gordon County Republicans will decide between incumbent Chief Magistrate Ricky Silvers and challenger Pat Rasbury in the runoff.
In the runoff for Cobb Commission Chairman, challenger Mike Boyce has taken a pass on the Atlanta Press Club debate.
The Atlanta Press Club invited both incumbent Tim Lee and his challenger, retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce, to the debate scheduled to be taped the morning of Wednesday, July 13, and air Sunday, July 17, at 9 a.m. on Public Broadcasting Atlanta.
But Atlanta Press Club President Lauri Strauss told the MDJ Tuesday morning that Boyce confirmed that he would not be attending. Boyce later Tuesday affirmed to the MDJ that he would not take part in the debate.
Kerwin Swint, a professor of political science at Kennesaw State University, said it’s unclear whether Boyce’s decision to miss the debate will impact his campaign.
“It can look bad, but it’s not always a bad decision,” Swint said. “A lot of times, you’ll see incumbents sometimes refuse to appear, decline appearances, because they figure it doesn’t help them to appear alongside their opponents and give them airtime or free advertising, and it doesn’t necessarily hurt them when they do that. In this case, it’s not clear that it would hurt him. He and his advisers may have calculated that they truly have nothing to gain by appearing with Tim Lee, and if that’s the case, it may be that they feel good with their grassroots efforts and their ability to get supporters back to the polls.”
I’d say it’s the move a front-runner makes when he sees no upside for himself.
DeKalb County voters have several runoff elections, depending on where they live and their party, according to the Brookhaven Post.
On the Democratic Ballot, voters will find Tonya P. Anderson and Dee Dawkins-Haigler running for State Senator representing District 43. For State Representative in the General Assembly from the 91st District is former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones trying to make a political comeback in a contest against Rhonda S. Taylor.
Voters in DeKalb Commission District 4 will select whether to keep Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton as their representative on the DeKalb BOC or elect Steve Bradshaw to the Commission seat. This has been one of the most hotly contested races this election cycle.
For Tax Commissioner, both Democratic and Republican voters will cast ballots in the Special Election to fill the unexpired term of former Tax Commissioner Claudia Lawson, who retired. Irvin J. Johnson and Susannah Scott are the candidates in this election, as well as the two candidates that appear on the Democratic ballot in the race to secure the Tax Commissioner role after the unexpired term ends.
On the Republican Ballot, voters in House District 80 will decide whether Alan Cole or Meagan Hanson will run against Incumbent Democrat State House Representative Taylor Bennett in the November General Election.
In House District 81, Republicans Jim Duffie and Lane Flynn are squaring off to decide which one of them will challenge Incumbent Democrat State House Representative Scott Holcomb in the November General Election.
In the Tax Commissioner’s race, Susannah Scott has fielded the best yardsign, especially in a county that’s home to a women’s college whose mascot is the Scottie.
In House District 81, Jim Duffie has been endorsed by Alexa Mendez, who came in third place on May 24.
“Now that we’re in the runoffs, I think it is very important for us to find a candidate that identifies with the way we think”, said Alexa Mendez. “I’m absolutely confident that Jim Duffie is the right candidate to support. In addition to having the right values for our district, he also has the experience that we need. My family fled an oppressive regime in Nicaragua to come to this land of abundant freedoms – freedoms that Jim Duffie worked hard to defend during his time in the U.S. Navy. I’m happy to endorse Jim and I ask everyone who has supported me to now support Jim!”Jim Duffie said, “I’m honored by Alexa’s endorsement of our campaign. Alexa is an excellent addition to our team, given her impressive background as a successful young businesswoman and leader in the Hispanic community. I look forward to working with her as we endeavor to give our district the leadership it deserves.”
Gwinnett County Commissioners are likely to adopt a rollback millage rate that keeps county revenues at the same level as the previous year, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
The millage rate is the rate used to determine how much a property owner owes the county in taxes. County Chief Financial Officer Maria Woods and Chief Appraiser Steve Pruitt said preliminary figures on the tax digest show enough growth that commissioners would have to tentatively roll the general fund millage rate back by 0.404 mills to reach a revenue-neutral level.
Officials won’t know the exact tax digest and roll back figures until updated property value figures are taken into account later this month. The tentative roll back rate is 6.825 mills.
“I expect we’re going to roll back the general millage rate,” commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “The final millage rate roll back will depend on the updated value numbers that (Woods) will drop into the formula. Steve and his team are going to continue to work the appeals process and the numbers will change a little bit on the values.”
The commission is expected to vote on a millage rate at its Aug. 2 meeting. Although commissioners could decide to not roll back the rate, but doing so would require them to hold three public hearings. That’s because even leaving the rate unchanged would constitute a tax increase since the tax digest has grown over the last year.