Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for December 6, 2012


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for December 6, 2012

Brandie is a 4-year old, 29# low-rider who’s about the size of a beagle. An owner turn-in, she’s said to be good with kids and other dogs. She’s available today from the Walton County Animal Shelter.

This baby hound dog is one of many puppies, adult dogs, and cats, who are available at an overflowing Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Space shortages lead to euthanasia. This female puppy and any other animal at Gwinnett’s shelter can be adopted for the discount rate of $30 between now and December 23d.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections

Chip Rogers’s decision to leave the State Senate if he can’t be Majority Leader to spend more time with his family has set the dominos tumbling.

Governor Deal set the Special Election to succeed Senator Chip Rogers in Senate District 21 for January 8, 2013.

First, State Rep. Sean Jerguson announced he will run for Senate District 21

Jerguson must resign his seat as the State House representative for District 21, but wants to ensure the timing is right, so Gov. Nathan Deal can call for a special election for both the House District 21 and State Senate District 21 seats, so it will not cost the taxpayers more money.

He spoke to the Holly Springs Patch:

The state representative said he’s gotten support from most of Cherokee County’s legislative delegation members, such as State Rep.-elect Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock), State Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville), State Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) and State Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Hickory Flat).

He also noted he’s received support from Holly Springs Mayor Tim Downing and other non-elected community leaders.

We’ve received reports that Jerguson was calling lobbyists for money yesterday. Here is Jerguson’s website.

Later yesterday, Brandon Beach, who ran against Rogers in the Republican Primary this year, also announced his candidacy.

Beach is overwhelmed by the show of support he has received from citizens, business leaders, and elected officials encouraging him to run for this vacancy.   Beach has received endorsements from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sheriff Roger Garrison, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens, Commissioners Jason Nelms and Jim Hubbard, Incoming School Board Chair Janet Read, School Board Chairman Mike Chapman, School Board Member-Elect Patsy Jordan, Senator Jeff Mullis, Representative Chuck Martin, Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood, Woodstock City Councilwoman Tessa Basford and many more elected officials from around the district and the state.  Beach stated that the support he has received from hundreds of citizens from all over Cherokee County is especially heartwarming.

“The people of Cherokee County and North Fulton need effective representation under the Gold Dome; we need a Senator who is responsive to the people of the 21st district–a Senator who is solutions-driven. I have the track record and experience necessary to provide this leadership,” said Beach.

No stranger to public service, Beach served as a member of the Alpharetta City Council from 2000-2004 where he championed lower taxes. Through his work on establishing Alpharetta’s Homestead Exemption, all homeowners realized significantly lower taxes.  Beach said, “I am proud of implementing one of the strongest Homestead Exemptions in the State of Georgia that resulted in tax relief for the citizens of Alpharetta.”

Note the strong Cherokee contingent backing Beach. This promises to be an interesting campaign. Here is Brandon Beach’s website.

Once Jerguson announced his run for Senate, Scot Turner announced his campaign to succeed Jerguson in State House District 21.

Scot Turner, who earned more than 4000 votes in the Republican Primary Election for State House District 21 in July 2012, announced that he will run for the State House seat that is being vacated by State Rep. Sean Jerguson. A special election is expected to be called by Governor Nathan Deal for January 8, 2013.

“During the Republican primary campaign this summer, one of the greatest opportunities I received was the chance to listen to the concerns and issues that are important to the people of Cherokee County. I believe our message of restoring faith in government resonated with the voters,” said Turner.

“I am now humbled and excited to have the opportunity to continue what we started just under one year ago.   Given the opportunity to continue the fight to serve our area, I will again seek to earn your vote for the Georgia House of Representatives in District 21,” said Turner.

During the Primary campaign, Turner set a policy of not accepting contributions from lobbyists or out-of-state residents.

As for an announcement from erstwhile political consultant Brian Laurens for the State House seat, we haven’t seen one yet, but have heard that he will run. Though it can be tough running while carrying a lot of baggage.

For the candidates who are making second-shots at seats, it’s easier to make a quick announcement, as you already have a website, logo, and list of media contacts and campaign volunteers. For Jerguson, he can even re-use anything that says “District 21” though there may be a campaign finance question. In any case, don’t be surprised if there are more announcements in the next few days.

In the runoff election for Taylor County Commission District 4, Democrat Russell Pounds won by a 223-219 margin over Republican incumbent Jerry Albritton. If you think a 4-vote margin is close, the runoff came not as a result of a third party candidate, but because of a dead even tie at 343 votes each in the General Election.

Troup County voters gave the nod for Sheriff to Republican James Woodruff (61%) over Democrat Ruben Hairston (39%).

In Wilcox County, Republican Mike Martin handily beat Democrat Lonnie Curry in the runoff election.

Republican Bonnie Caldwell won the District 5 At Large seat on the McIntosh County Board of Education by 868-422 over Vickie Persons.

Sandy Dean won the runoff election for Brunswick-Glynn County Water and Sewer Board by a vote of 559-519 over Clifford Adams.

Lobbyists are reminded that registration is due soon and the online renewal system will be available from December 17, 2012 through January 9, 2013. At least in theory. The computer system at the Commission appears to be down this morning. Consider yourselves warned.

Dale Russell of Fox5 asked Rusty Paul about more than $100k in contracts with the Fulton County Development Authority, which is Chaired by Paul’s business associate. Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts was critical of the contracts.

This can’t be good for the bid by Rusty Paul’s firm Arnall Golden Gregory to represent the Fulton County Commission.

Question for PR professionals: is time spent defending your firm’s contract with a public agency billable to the agency?

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