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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 15, 2015

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 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.

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.

Election Wrap-Up

In the House District 24 Runoff election, Sheri Gilligan (R) whipped David Van Sant by better than 3-to-1.

From the Forsyth County News,

“I’ve never been so proud with a group of volunteers as I’ve been with the people who’ve worked so tirelessly for me,” Gilligan said. “Every phone call they made, every door that they knocked on, everything they did got me to this point. I am so very proud.”

Van Sant expressed gratitude to his supporters and congratulated Gilligan on her victory.

“I appreciate all the support we had. We had a lot of good people out there behind us, and Sheri got her people out there behind her as well,” he said. “I just look forward to her accomplishing the things that she ran on.”

Gilligan, a former CIA analyst and U.S. Navy Reserves veteran who teaches at Lanier Technical College, said she had not been notified of when she would officially take office.

Voter turnout for the runoff topped 11 percent, with 3,800 of the district’s 34,371 registered voters casting ballots. Some 1,660 of them did so during the advance voting period leading up to Tuesday.

So that runoff drew more voters (3800 even) than the June 16th Special Election that preceded it (3573). That’s quite unusual.

In the Special Runoff Election for House District 55 to fill the seat formerly held by Tyrone Brooks, fewer voters (2438) turned out to vote by a 58-42 margin for Democrat Marie Metze over fellow Democrat Shelitha Robertson. In June, 2769 voters turned out.

From Neighbor Newspapers,

Metze, 76, is a retired educator and community organizer.

She said was surprised to beat Robertson because of that candidate’s name recognition, but Metze said she feels “great” about the win and ready to go to the state Capitol in January.

“My No. 1 goal is economic development for District 55,” Metze said.

Former Roswell City Council Member Betty Price (R) won the election for House District 48 outright, taking slightly more than 51% against fellow Republican Dave McCleary (34.3%) and Democrat Jimmie Johnson (14.6%). From the Roswell Neighbor,

Republican Betty Price stated that she was not surprised by the results of the evening.

“I think that this shows we have a diverse community, it shows that by in large within our party, they’re pretty solidly behind me,” said Price. “I think my supporters are a solid, good bunch of people.”

Price added that the campaign experience was positive and the challenge from another member of her party motivated her to campaign harder.

“Personally I knocked on 3,000 doors and that was just a fun experience, I ran into people I haven’t seen for 20 years, I got reacquainted with people and I heard all sorts of things that are on peoples’ minds,” Price said. “I have a good feeling and a good sense for what the issues are that people have and we were right on with our three main issues that we were promoting and planning to work on.”

Republican Dave McCleary said, “We were the underdogs going in and we knew it was going to be tough race. I’m just excited I had the opportunity to meet so many great citizens in Roswell, we went door to door and that was a really fun part of the campaign.”

As it happens, Price was one of two Congressional spouses to win election to state or local office in runoffs last night, as Mereda Davis Johnson (D), wife of Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Guam) won DeKalb County Commission District 5.

Mereda Davis Johnson, an attorney and wife of Congressman Hank Johnson, received 53.12 percent of the July 14 vote to become the new District 5 representative on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.

“I’m excited for my election and I’m also excited that we finally have representation in the Fifth District after two years,” Johnson said. “I look forward to serving with my colleagues on the commission and I’m going to hit the ground running.”

Johnson thanked her supporters for their “vote of confidence.”

During a June 29 forum with her opponent, George Turner, she pledged to “work with the chambers and also East Metro DeKalb [community improvement district]–to establish and to attract quality economic development within the area.

“I’d like to see international partnerships with DeKalb County, as well as in DeKalb County schools for our students need to be exposed to different cultures so that they will understand that this is [a] global society,” Johnson said.

House District 80 will be the only August runoff election with a Democrat on the ballot, and the only election in which party control of a legislative seat could change from the previous holder. It will also likely determine the partisan majority of the Fulton County House Delegation. Democrat Taylor Bennett, who carried 36.8% meets Republican J. Max Davis, who took 31.5% and a 57-vote margin over the third place finisher.

But it shouldn’t be surprising that a Democrat took the highest vote total in a seat formerly held by Republican Mike Jacobs. To determine the partisan balance of the electorate, consider that Republicans took 63% of the votes cast yesterday in that seat and that in 2010, the last contested General Election for HD80, Republican Jacobs took 65.9% of the vote over the hapless Democrat. By the way, I was the general consultant for that winning race.

Consider too the 2014 Special Election for DeKalb County Commission District One. Like HD80 yesterday, a multitude of Republicans (4) lined up against a single Independent, who carried enough votes to come in first place. But in the December runoff election, top Republican vote-getter Nancy Jester cruised to  3-to-1 victory. I happened to be the general consultant for that winning race too.

In a district like HD80 that contains a sizable minority of Democrats, a single Democratic candidate lined up against 3 or 4 Republicans can be expected to show well and make a runoff. But in the runoff, demographics and party ID play out as the dominant party in the district reasserts itself behind a single candidate.

That said, Taylor Bennett ran a strong campaign, with a great ground game. J. Max Davis will have to take control of the race early and drive out Republicans who want lower taxes, better schools, and who appreciate the crime reductions we’ve seen since Davis helped build out the Brookhaven Police Department in a very short time.

Coming in fifth place, with a single write-in vote, was Bugs Bunny.

Bugs Bunny Voter2

House District 146 will see a runoff election between Republicans Shaw Blackmon (43.8%) and Larry Walker, III (35.2%). From the Macon Telegraph,

House District 146 covers a piece of Houston County roughly from Perry to part of Warner Robins and Bonaire.

Blackmon, 42, put cutting red tape near the top of his legislative plan.

“I think we had a good night,” said Blackmon, just after the results were published. “This was a good, clean, positive race that we all ran.”

Walker, 50, said jobs should be at the top of the Georgia Legislature’s agenda.

On Tuesday night, Walker said, “We’re still enthused, we felt pretty sure it would end up in a runoff … [we] had three reputable candidates.”

Both men also said they would put a high priority on supporting Robins Air Force Base’s missions.

Blackmon raised nearly $90,000 for the election, Walker reported more than $77,000 in campaign cash, and Burke reported over $18,000.

South Georgia’s House District 155 will host a runoff election between top finisher Clay Pirkle (36.5%) and second-place Horace Hudgins (31.6%). From the Tifton Gazette,

There will be a runoff between Pirkle and Hudgins on Aug. 11.

Clay Pirkle of Turner County led in Tift County for the State House District 155 seat in Tuesday’s special election.

Going up against Pirkle in the race were candidates Sherry Miley of Tift County, Scott Lowell Downing of Ben Hill County and Horace Hudgins of Irwin County.

Gary Thrower won a 35-vote victory in the Runoff Election for Mayor of Milledgeville, according to Channel 13, WMAZ.

Gary Thrower beat former Mayor Floyd Griffin, 50.78% to 49.22%. The actual numbers show just how close the vote was 1,134 votes for Thrower to 1,099 votes for Griffin. A difference of just 35 votes.

Thrower was emotional when he heard the results and celebrated with friends and family. He says he’s looking forward to taking office and moving Milledgeville into the future. “Try to build trust with the existing council. Hopefully let them know that I’m here to work with them as a teammate. I want them to trust me and I want to be able to trust them,” said Thrower.

Thrower says bringing economic development to the city is also on the top of his list.

Former Milledgeville Mayor Floyd Griffin says he was shocked by how close the vote was. “My first election for mayor, I won by 22 votes in the runoff. So those kinds of things can happen and is not surprising. I expected a close race, I just didn’t think it was gonna be quite this close,” said Griffin.

After winning a runoff for Blakely City Council, Margret Wimberly will become the first female and first African-American to represent District 1 on council.

Scott Walker comes to Atlanta again

As part of his Presidential Announcement tour, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker comes back to Atlanta with an event this evening.

Julianne Thompson, co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders and former co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party, was at the Wisconsin announcement and sent in her write-up of the event.

July 13, 2015 was a beautiful day in Waukesha, Wisconsin, as scores of supporters packed-out the Wausheka Country Expo Center to see Governor Scott Walker announce his candidacy for President of the United States.

Faith, family, and freedom were at the center of every message spoken by those who took the podium at Walker’s announcement. Every member of the Walker family had a role to play. Rev. Walker (the Governor’s father) gave the invocation. His brother and two small nieces led the audience in the pledge. His wife introduced him, and his sons, Matt and Alex kicked-off the event.

Matt and Alex began the event with a humorous look at just what it is like being the sons of a well-known Governor turned Presidential candidate. “To us he is just “dad”, said Matt Walker. “He likes to embarrass us. He still wears jeans shorts and long tube socks. He looks forward to Halloween more than we do, and one year he and my mother dressed-up as Yoda and Luke Skywalker.”  The boys were a huge hit with the audience who loved the anecdotes. Throughout the afternoon it was easy to see this could be any American family. The humorous stories, those of love and devotion, the good times and the bad…and how they weathered the storms together – the recall and even death threats. One thing is certain, this is a family built on a firm foundation of faith, and they will tell you that God has been faithful to the Walker family.

Another trend of the event was the campaign’s understanding of the importance of the female vote. Every speaker at the event, aside from Walker himself and his sons was female. After an enthusiastic Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and a rousing speech by author and television personality Rachel Campos-Duffy, the First Lady of Wisconsin took the podium.

“You all have no idea what you mean to our family”, Tonnette Walker stated. “We appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts. You knocked on doors, you made phone calls, you travelled to Wisconsin from around the country to help, but most of all you prayed for us, and we know you prayed for us, because we felt those prayers.” After speaking for a few minutes Tonette Walker introduced the Governor.

From the description of Scott Walker wearing jean shorts, we know he’s preparing for the Florida Presidential Primary.

The entire Walker family at Scott Walker's Presidential announcement

The entire Walker family at Scott Walker’s Presidential announcement


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 15, 2015

Gordon is a 3-year old Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

Old Yellow
Old Yellow is a 5-year old Golden Retriever who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA. He looks a little rough, and needs to get into a foster home immediately so he can get some attention and heal.


Eeyore is a male Black Labrador Retriever mix puppy, about 14 weeks old, who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Graham is a 9-month old Pit Bull (pronounced “Pibble”) Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 14, 2015


Marisa is a female American Bulldog-mix puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Humane Society of Worth County in Sylvester, GA.


Fenway is a male American Bulldog-mix puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Humane Society of Worth County in Sylvester, GA.


Camden is a male American Bulldog-mix puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Humane Society of Worth County in Sylvester, GA.


Hoss is a male American Bulldog-mix puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Humane Society of Worth County in Sylvester, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 14, 2015

Georgia and American History

Happy Birthday to the French, who today celebrate the 225th anniversary of Bastille Day, 14 July 1798, when citizens stormed the Bastille, a prison in Paris.

On July 14, 1798, the Alien and Sedition Act became federal law.

The first three acts took aim at the rights of immigrants. The period of residency required before immigrants could apply for citizenship was extended from five to 14 years, and the president gained the power to detain and deport those he deemed enemies. President Adams never took advantage of his newfound ability to deny rights to immigrants. However, the fourth act, the Sedition Act, was put into practice and became a black mark on the nation’s reputation. In direct violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech, the Sedition Act permitted the prosecution of individuals who voiced or printed what the government deemed to be malicious remarks about the president or government of the United States. Fourteen Republicans, mainly journalists, were prosecuted, and some imprisoned, under the act.

On July 14, 1864, General Sherman issued Special Field Order 35, outlining the plan for the Battle of Atlanta.

On July 14, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination for President at the Democratic National Convention.

Georgia Politics

It’s election day in Georgia House Districts 24, 48, 80, 55, 146 and 155, DeKalb County Commission District 5, and the Cities of Blakely and Milledgeville.

Click here for yesterday’s rundown of today’s elections.

Click here for links to the candidates’ websites and social media.

Our friend, Greg Williams of GregsListLive weighed in with his analysis and prediction for House District 24.Continue Reading..


Guest Post: Greg Williams of GregsListLive on HD 24

Special Elections Analysis and Prediction for Georgia House District 24

Summer 2015 in Georgia: How will the Political World remember this time of mass resignations combined with palpable lethargy from the Electorate? Perhaps they will channel Dickens in the post-mortem:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Special Election season in Georgia for the 2015 cycle has been a windfall for the political consultant world, a windfall for the retiring politicians that have moved on to cushier realms, and a windfall for Citizen Journalists, blessed with the responsibility to cover a multitude of races that are largely neglected by the general populace.

Three competitive, power-brokering seats (HD 24 runoff, HD80, and HD146) face judgment from the Electorate on July 14 and we will analyze them in numerical, not necessarily dramatic order. We will also take a little bit of wonky license and assume that people reading this series are political nerds and don’t require complete exposition/background of every candidate.

House District 24 (Forsyth County)

HD24 candidates

The HD24 seat opened up after Rep. Mark Hamilton resigned to pursue other opportunities. 4 candidates filed paperwork, all with the “R” moniker by their name, and competed in a relative sprint to the finish line culminating in a Mid-June Election date. Sheri Gilligan, a Forsyth County native and previous challenger to Mark Hamilton, nearly achieved an outright win vs. her 3 competitors, coming up 3 votes shy of the critical 50% + 1 vote necessary in Georgia. This triggered a runoff against 2nd place finished David Van Sant, a personal injury attorney armed with an endorsement from influential Talk Radio host Erick Erickson. Since “anything can happen in a runoff”, including additional revenue for campaign consultants, Van Sant embarked on a runoff campaign in spite of the district’s clear support of Gilligan as their next House Rep.

Van Sant’s second place finish surprised many, including this author, as his recent voting history and campaign donations showed an affinity for the Democrat side of the aisle.

Irrefutable documentation revealed a couple of inconvenient facts for Republican dominated Forsyth County voters, such as Van Sant voting in the 2012 Democrat primary and a history of recent contributions to Democrat candidates, including former 2014 US Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. These revelations prompted Van Sant to set up an entire web page dedicated to explaining the rationale for his financial and electoral decisions.Continue Reading..


Seen in North Georgia



Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 13, 2015

Georgia and American History

On July 13, 1787, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance, in which states ceded some claims to the west, and a process was set up for admitting new states.

Savannah, Georgia-born John C. Fremont, who was the first Presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 1856, died in New York City on July 13, 1890.

On July 12, 1984, Congresswoman Geradine Ferraro (R-NY) joined the Democratic ticket with Presidential nominee Walter Mondale. Ferraro was the first woman and first Italian-American woman nominated for Vice President. Mondale and Ferraro lost the General Election in the largest ever Republican landslide to Republican President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced at about 6:30 AM this morning that he is running for President. If you want to show your support for Walker, you can order your campaign swag from his online store.

Walker will be in Atlanta on Wednesday as part of an announcement tour, according to the AJC Political Insider.

We interviewed Walker on his last stop in Atlanta.

Tomorrow, voters go to the polls to decide a Special Election in House District 155, comprising Ben Hill, Irwin, Tift, and Turner Counties, and part of Coffee County. The Douglas Enterprise reports that Coffee County voters don’t appear too excited.

As of Tuesday morning, July 7, only 16 votes had been cast in Coffee County since early voting opened on Monday, June 22, in a race that affects local citizens living in and around Ambrose and a portion of Broxton.

More than 3,000 Coffee County citizens (3,109 to be exact) are registered to vote in the House District 155 election that will fill the seat vacated earlier this year by Jay Roberts.

Four individuals are vying for the seat, and they are: Irwin County’s Horace Hudgins, the former Mayor of Ocilla and longtime Georgia Power official; Ben Hill County’s Scott Downing, a former Ben Hill County Commissioner; Tift County’s Sherry Miley, a former Tift County Commissioner; and Turner County’s Clay Pirkle, a farmer.

In House District 48, voters go to the polls tomorrow in a Special Election to fill the vacancy created by the death of State Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell).

When asked about their stance on the issues, both candidates shared similar views on prioritizing education and transportation. Both agree that passing a Fair Tax a high priority, and both have stated that they would fight for an independent “Milton County”, which would break north Fulton County from the financial strings of the city of Atlanta.

You may recognize Dr. Betty Price by name- she’s the wife of powerful Georgia Congressman Tom Price, who serves as the Chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee.

But it would be a mistake to measure Betty Price’s political savvy simply by her connection to her husband.

Boasting a long resume of Republican Party and community involvement, Price has served on list of community organizations almost too long to mention. Most prominently, however, is her recent roll [sic] as an elected member of the Roswell City Council.

But Republican opponent Dave McCleary shouldn’t be underestimated, as he has the support of Geisinger’s family, and claims to have received the blessing of former Representative Geisinger himself. (That’s not to mention the support of conservative celebrity Herman Cain, who tapped McCleary as a Georgia state director during his presidential bid.)

As a long-time GOP leader and activist, McCleary has built goodwill with many Roswell Republican voters and leaders. In addition to being widely known for his efforts to end human trafficking, he’s chaired races at the state and local level for Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator David Perdue (and candidate Jack Kingston before him), and even served as a Fulton County Co-Chair on Representative Tom Price’s campaign in 2006, according to his website.

“Ever since I was twelve years old, I’ve been involved in Republican campaigns,” McCleary said. “About eight or nine months ago, Harry Geisinger and I had dinner and he said he wasn’t going to run for reelection. I’ve been involved for so many years and felt this was an opportunity to serve.”

However, the current special election, which will be decided by voters on July 14th, will mark McCleary’s first time campaigning for himself.

House District 146 Special Election voters will choose between three Republicans: Shaw Blackmon, former Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke, and Larry Walker, III.

As at other forums, candidates were asked about repealing the 6 cent gas price increase that went into effect July 1 as part of a $1 billion transportation plan.

Burke, 56, an attorney and a former Houston County district attorney, previously said he’d work to repeal the tax. He said Tuesday there are better ways to fund the state Department of Transportation than a tax increase.

Larry Walker III, 50, an insurance agency owner, said that repeal of the tax sounds good but noted the Georgia House of Representatives has many lawmakers. He said thinks most are interested in education, job creation, family values and issues other than the gas tax.

Blackmon, 42, president and CEO of National Bank Products, said he wouldn’t have voted for the tax but said it amounts to about $6 a month for the average Georgia driver.

Forsyth County voters in House District 24 will decide a Special Runoff Election between Republican Sheri Gilligan and Trial Lawyer David Van Sant. If you’re in that district, please note that Polo Precinct voters (usually at Grace Chapel Church of Christ) will cast ballots at Berean Baptist Church, 7110 Majors Rd., Cumming, GA 30040.

In Fulton County House District 55, Special Runoff Election between Marie Metz and Shelitha Robertson will decide who succeeds Tyrone Brooks (D-Federal Prison).

Metze garnered 841, or 30.15 percent, and Robertson earned 851, or 30.51 percent.

District 55 stretches from E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead to Deerwood Academy in south Fulton.

Metze, 76, is a retired educator and community organizer.

She credited her Election Night results to the “unwavering support” of her family, church and community.

Robertson, 53, an attorney, previously ran for Atlanta City Council and Fulton County Superior Court.

She attributed her results to both high-level endorsements and a “rigorous” grass-roots campaign.

“This effort consisted of canvassing door-to-door, phone banking targeted voters, sending out targeted direct mail, attending [neighborhood planning unit] meetings, participating in forums and community events, purchasing local radio [ads], visiting churches and senior citizens’ residential facilities to meet and greet voters and driving residents to the polls on Election Day,” Robertson said.

Finally, four candidates are contesting the Special Election in House District 80, vacated when State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) was appointed to DeKalb County State Court. I expect this to come down to a runoff election between former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis (R) and Democratic newcomer Taylor Bennett. Disclosure: I’ve handled a small project for the Davis campaign this year, and I did some work for his campaign in 2004. I voted for J. Max Davis.

DeKalb Commission District 5 has the potential for highest number of voters, as Mereda Davis Johnson meets fellow Democrat George Turner in a runoff.

Mereda Davis Johnson, an attorney who is married to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., will face George Turner, a retired MARTA manager and leader of several neighborhood improvement groups. Johnson and Turner received the most votes among 10 candidates in last month’s special election.

Johnson says she has the political savvy needed for the job, having worked for her husband’s campaign and as DeKalb’s first black female judge when she served in magistrate court in the 1980s.

Turner says he’s the candidate who is most in-touch with the 144,000-person southeast DeKalb community because he’s been volunteering for decades with various homeowners’ associations and civic organizations before deciding to run for office.

The winner of the election may tip the scales of power in DeKalb, potentially breaking repeated stalemates on the divided county commission.

Southeast DeKalb’s seat at the county commission’s table has been vacant since July 2013, when the area’s elected commissioner, Lee May, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to run the county, replacing CEO Burrell Ellis who was suspended form office while facing corruption charges. Ellis was convicted July 1. May resigned from the commission in May, clearing the way for the special election.

I think this is probably the first time Georgia has seen the wives of two sitting Congressmen on the ballot, though no ballots will include both candidates as they’re running in different areas.

In Baldwin County, former Milledgeville Mayor Floyd Griffin and Businessman Gary Thrower will contest a Special Runoff Election for Mayor of Milledgeville after the resignation of former Mayor Richard Bentley in February.

A runoff between Harvey McCoy and Margaret Wimberly will be held tomorrow for Blakely City Council in Early County.

After the death of Fayette County Commissioner Posta Coston, the first African-American Commissioner in the southside county, tensions are ratcheting up over how commissioners are elected.

Fayette’s voting system has long been a contentious one for the affluent southside county and as more black residents move in and seek public office, the issue has grown more strident. In August 2011, a group of black Fayette residents along with the NAACP sued the county saying its nearly 200-year-old practice of at-large voting violated the Voting Rights Act and kept blacks from serving on the school board and county commission.

County officials have repeatedly argued that the county’s small minority population made it impossible to create a mostly-black district and that a race-based district was, in itself, discriminatory. Blacks now account for about one in five Fayette residents.

A U.S. District Court judge ultimately ordered Fayette to create five districts – one of which would be mostly black. The county appealed, prompting the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year to send the case back to the lower court for trial. So far nearly $1 million has been spent by each side.

County elections board officials are fielding calls from potential candidates for Coston’s seat and from voters wanting to know when an election will be held for her replacement. They aren’t sure what to tell them. County leaders meanwhile are consulting attorneys about their options.

“We don’t have the ability to appoint someone,” County Manager Steve Rapson said. “It has to be a special-called election but the details of how that will work is unclear, We don’t know if it’s district or at-large (voting) or which maps to use. We have to work all of that out.”



Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 13, 2015


Johnny (above, male) and Jenny (below, female) are 9-week old Treeing Walker Coonhound puppies.

Johnny is clever and full of sweetness, curiosity, love, and adorability. Jenny is sweet, cuddly, loving, exploratory and has a huge heart. Both have a slight case of Demodex mange, which is easy, and inexpensive to treat, and non-contagious.

Johnny and Jenny are available for adoption from Safe Harbor Animal Rescue in Atlanta, GA.



Loretta is a young adult female Treeing Walker Coonhound whose 8 puppies have found homes and she’s now looking for her own forever home. She is a very sweet and loving girl and enjoys treats and lots of attention.

Loretta is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA.


Sabrina is also an adult female Treeing Walker Coonhound whose puppies have been adopted. Sabrina is friendly with people and other dogs and is heartworm negative. She is available for adoption from Meriwether County Animal Shelter in Greenville, GA.

Sabrina also happens to look like she could be a sister or cousin of the Hound-in-Chief, Dolly, shown below sunning herself this weekend.

Dolly Front Yard 07122015

If Mrs. GaPundit was willing to adopt Sabrina, we’d name her Meriwether, after her home county, and call her “Meri.”


Election will ease standoff, add representation to Southeast… |

No matter who wins Tuesday’s runoff election for DeKalb County Commission, one thing is for sure: Southeast DeKalb will finally regain political representation after going without for two years.

Mereda Davis Johnson, an attorney who is married to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., will face George Turner, a retired MARTA manager and leader of several neighborhood improvement groups. Johnson and Turner received the most votes among 10 candidates in last month’s special election.

Johnson says she has the political savvy needed for the job, having worked for her husband’s campaign and as DeKalb’s first black female judge when she served in magistrate court in the 1980s.

Turner says he’s the candidate who is most in-touch with the 144,000-person southeast DeKalb community because he’s been volunteering for decades with various homeowners’ associations and civic organizations before deciding to run for office.

via Election will ease standoff, add representation to Southeast… |


Georgia Department of Education names lowest performing schools |

More than 60 Atlanta and DeKalb County public schools — including most of Atlanta’s high schools — are among those the Georgia Department of Education considers the lowest-performing in the state.

The schools appeared on the Georgia Department of Education’s list of nearly 250 “priority” and “focus” schools released Wednesday.

Those labels are the revised version of designating a school “failing” under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The lists, introduced in 2012, are based on state test scores and high school graduation rates.

via Georgia Department of Education names lowest performing schools |