Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for September 19, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections for September 19, 2013

Qualifying Closes in four legislative districts

Senate District 14 (Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb)

Nicole Ebbeskotte (R-Cherokee) – a former Public Information Officer with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office who ran against Sheriff Roger Garrison in 2008.

Matt Laughridge (R-Bartow) – a businessman who has never run for office before.

Dwight Pullen (R-Cherokee) – a former principal and from 2007-2011, Superintendent of the Chattooga County School System.

Dean Sheridan (R-Cherokee) – a small business owner who has been active in local politics and Tea Party groups.

Bruce Thompson (R-Bartow) – a small business owner, former Chairman of the Bartow-Cartersville Chamber of Commerce, and graduate of the Republican Leadership for Georgia class of 2013. The next Senator from District 14.

Christopher Nesmith (D-Bartow) – a Democratic footnote to the election.

The election is non-partisan, but each candidate’s party affiliation will be listed on the November 5th ballot. Expect a runoff election in December.

House District 100

Dewey McClain, a Democrat, is the new State Representative from District 100 in Gwinnett County, having qualified with no opposition. McClain is President of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate and played professional football for the Atlanta Falcons.

House District 104

Teresa Cantrell is a conservative and a Republican from Dacula who owns a small business, Cafe 313. In announcing her candidacy, Cantrell wrote,

“I am a pro-life conservative dedicated to defending traditional marriage, preserving the sanctity of life and am passionate about listening to people and interceding on their behalf.”

Chuck Efstration is a Republican, former Chairman of the County GOP and a 2010 candidate for Congress in the Seventh District.

Tim Puckett is a Republican and retired Dacula Postmaster.

Todd Tyson is a Republican and small business owner who lives in Dacula.

State House District 127

Diane B. Evans is a Democratic candidate from Jefferson County.

Dianne Murphy is the widow of Quincy Murphy, who held the seat until his death in July, and she is running as a Democrat.

Brian Prince is a Democrat from Jefferson County.

Draft Newt PAC forms for VA Senate

Yet another PAC forms to fundraise off ties to urge former Speaker Newt Gingrich to run for something – this time it’s Andrew Hemingway, who worked as New Hampshire state director and national digital fundraising director in the 2012 Presidential campaign and he’s urging Newt to run for Virginia Senate against incumbent Democrat Mark Warner in 2016. Does the PAC head’s former title give you any thoughts about what his first order of business will be? From The Hill:

“We want a credible challenger to Mark Warner, and no one could do what Newt could do to fight -— and win,” he says in a statement announcing the group. “U.S. Senator Newt Gingrich would be an immediate game changer, giving conservatives another voice that would take the fight to the Obama administration.”

The prospects of persuading the former Speaker (R-Ga.) to run seem highly uncertain. Gingrich, who has lived in Virginia’s suburbs for years, recently took the job as a host of CNN’s relaunched “Crossfire.” Warner’s approval ratings have been rock-solid in the swing state.

But Gingrich, who has high name recognition and a flair for drawing media attention, could make the race a lot more interesting if he decides to run.

Realistically, I suspect the biggest impediment to a Gingrich candidacy is the fat sacks of sweet cash that CNN is throwing at him for Crossfire.

State Lines: SC/GA

Governor Nathan Deal and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) met in Hartwell, Ga (+1 for home field advantage) to sign an agreement between the two states to cooperate in studying the Savannah River Basin. And by “study,” we hope they mean “dredge.” From Aiken Standard:

The bistate Savannah River Caucus met on Wednesday to a sign an agreement to continue a comprehensive study of the Savannah River Basin.

“The Savannah River is the fourth most toxic river in the United States,” said Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper, an environmental consultant group.

Another concern the caucus addressed was the economic implications of the river. The caucus alone represents more than 2 million residents, with another several million visitors along the river each year.

“Our future growth, in manufacturing and retail, is very closely tied to the quality of life,” said Paul Corbeil, vice chairman of the Oconee County Council. “Companies will not move here if we have water issues, so it’s imperative that we concern ourselves with the river in order to prosper in economic development.”

Consistent with their state’s past behavior, South Carolina Democrats have turned their mouths weapons inward and are shelling their own territory, claiming Haley “sold out” the Charleston port efforts.

Gwinnett Superintendent supports Common Core

Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent of the Gwinnett County School System, gave the most glowing recommendation of Common Core I’ve seen in an address to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Wilbanks said the Common Core is like a good oak tree in that it should have been planted — or implemented — 20 years ago.

“But today, now, is the second best time,” said Wilbanks, in his 18th year at GCPS. “To me, Common Core is about 20 years too late. It should have been in place 20 years ago, but now is a good time to do it. I actually think the Common Core will be one of the biggest helps we have in this country to really improve education.”

“I do believe there’s a lot of merit for Common Core and we need to look at that, and not eliminate the continued reading and use of classics and literature,” said Wilbanks, who added that foundational documents and complex text would be good to read and discuss.

A good read

Greg Williams, Chairman of the Buckhead Young Republicans and shopkeeper at Greg’s List Live, has a great write-up of an event sponsored by BYRs and the Buckhead Freedom Coalition to remember 9/11.

According to the New York Times and Pew Research Center, “During the past decade, less than 1 percent of the American population has been on active military duty, compared with 9 percent of Americans who were in uniform in World War II.”
The result is a military far less connected to the rest of society, a condition that some academics have said might not bode well for the future of military-civilian relations (the military is run by civilians). Others have warned that less connection between the military and the rest of society could lead to less-informed decisions about whether to go to war, because conflicts and the people who fight them are not part of most people’s everyday lives.”

Ron Johnson, a Marine and Vietnam Veteran who fought in the Battle of Khe Sanh said, “Our Military has always been the greatest on earth and it has always been 1% of the population that has served this country and was willing to write a ‘Blank Check’ to the American People that included dying for them. With little pay and thanks these young warriors have worked in all kinds of conditions and have only asked for respect from this Country.”
Johnson, who attended the 9/11 event as a keynote speaker, currently serves as 2nd Vice Chair of the Georgia Republican Party and chairs the Veterans Committee.

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