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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.


Adoptable (Official) Georiga Dogs for July 25, 2016

All adoption fees are waived today for dogs over 25 pounds and all cats at the DeKalb County Animal Services and Fulton County Animal Services shelters.


Naka is a four-year old female terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Naka is a happy four year old girl who loves going for walks, exploring new places, and hanging out with her people. She knows how to sit and would love to learn more. Her adoption is FREE and includes her spay, microchip, vaccinations, and more!


Bear is a two-year old male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Bear is a handsome two year old who is determined to find his forever home. He is a confident boy who doesn’t let anything slow him down. When you talk to him in a sweet voice he totally melts. He loves to sniff around in the grass and dreams of having outdoor adventures with his forever family. He hasn’t gotten along with dogs here at the shelter, but may do well with the right dog in a forever home. Feel free to bring your dog in for a supervised meet and greet.


Mighty is a three-year old Terrier mix who weighs 41 pounds and is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services.

Mighty is a frightened little guy. He cowers and shakes when you approach him. He has never shown any aggression with people and does loosen up after spending time with him. He allows touch and seems to enjoy it. We are housing him alone as to not further stress him out at this point. He needs a quiet place that can allow him time to decompress and gain some much needed confidence.


Carson is a young male Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services.


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..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 21, 2016


Kadence is a young female Hound puppy who is available for adoption from Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.


Remmy is a female Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.


Cooter is a young male Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.


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.



Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 20, 2016


Cleveland is a young male German Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.

Cleveland and his brother Chewy spent their entire lives on a chain before coming to the rescue. Cleveland is still a little nervous around new people, but once he adjusts to you, he becomes your buddy! He also loves going for a good walk and can play fetch like no other! He always has a ball around him or in his mouth! This sweet boy deserves a good home and a family to call his own!


London is a small female Jack Russell Terrier & Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from Lake Lanier Humane League (Georgia Collie Rescue) in Gainesville, GA.

London was born sometime in December and weighs about 6lbs. Her mom weighs 13lbs and the dad is 10lbs, so she will remain small. She is a very social and cute little girl. Came from a family with children and seems to do well. She is smart, alert and seems to be easily trained.


Donovan is a small male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, GA.


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..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 19, 2016


Spider is a 10-week old male Corgi and Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from Pregnant Dog Rescue, Inc. in Griffin ,GA. He loves everyone he meets.


Liberty is a 2-month old female Shepherd & Labrador Retriever Mix puppy who is available for adoption from Pregnant Dog Rescue, Inc. in Griffin, GA. She’s a typical puppy – happy, playful, and loving.


Dragon is a small 2-year old male Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Pregnant Dog Rescue, Inc. in Griffin ,GA.

Dragon is the sweetest, most loyal and bonded dog his rescue group has saved in a while. He has loads of personality and is very in tune with being with ‘his person’ He is a great lap dog and is calm and gentle. But if you want to play you can easily get him into ‘wrestle’ or ‘play’ mode. If you tire of playing, (and he can play rough at times) just tell him no and he will stop. He wants to be a good and obedient dog. Dragon wants to learn what it is you want from him, and to be your constant little shadow. Dragon is currently neutered and on treatment for his skin.


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..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 18, 2016

Hunter Terrell County

Hunter is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Terrell County in Dawson, GA.

Hunter is a small lab mix who was picked up by animal control as a stray and not reclaimed – he is super sweet! He is very submissive and can be just a little shy when you first meet him but once you give him a little attention, he instantly comes out of his shell and wants nothing more than to give and receive affection. He is a little unsure of walking on a leash but we are working on that. He is really an awseome dog and with a good temperament. He is great with other dogs, he likes kids and does not seem to mind cats either way. Hunter is current on shots, crate trained, negative for heartworms/on prevention and neutered.

Hunter Murray County

Hunter is a 3-4 year old male Hound dog who is available for adoption from Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, GA.

Hunter was found abandoned in a crate along with a female companion. He is super sweet and energetic. Hunter is heartworm positive & will receive treament prior to being adopted.

Hunter Marietta

Hunter is a 7-month old Shetland Sheepdog and Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Homeless Pets Foundation in Marietta, GA.

Hunter and his brother Max (please see his listing too) were surrendered when their owner figured out he was allergic to dogs. So the two boys, born in December 2015 are trying to find new homes. They’re gentle and sweet though a little shy with strangers. They don’t have to be adopted together but wouldn’t that be fun?

Hunter is gentle with kids and knows “sit”!