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.
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.”