Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 29, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 29, 2017

General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates met General John Pope’s federal forces at the Second Battle of Manassas on August 29, 1862.

Union General William T. Sherman’s forces tore up 12 miles of railroad between Red Oak and Fairburn on August 29, 1864.

The United States Air Force Academy moved to its permanent home in Colorado Springs on August 29, 1958

The Beatles played their final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.

On August 29, 1971, Hank Aaron broke the National League record for most seasons with 100 or more RBI, as he drove in his 100th run to make 11 seasons hitting that mark.

On August 29, 1977, Lou Brock stole his 893d base, to surpass the record set by Georgia-born Ty Cobb.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

From Gov. Deal’s press release:

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the completion of a years-long effort to commemorate the life and works of Georgia’s own son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Deal. “Dr. King’s legacy is one of hope. He gave, and continues to give, men and women a reason to believe and to dream. He expanded the aspirations of future generations. The America we know is a better place because one man followed his conscience. Erecting a monument in his memory, both facing Liberty Plaza and on the grounds of the Capitol of his home state, is a fitting and long overdue honor. Today is an historic occasion, one made possible through the vision, cooperation and collaboration of many. I’m grateful for the dedication and support of the King Estate, Rep. Calvin Smyre, the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission and members of the General Assembly throughout this process. I’m also deeply grateful to Coca-Cola, the Atlanta and Georgia Apartment Associations and the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council for their generous support, without which today would not be possible. Dr. King’s legacy will indeed live on with this tribute, and it’s a privilege to unveil his statue today.”

The project was initiated in April 2014 when Deal signed into law HB 1080, legislation authorizing the placement of a statue honoring Dr. King at the State Capitol. The project was led by CASC, which undertook the statue’s design and fundraising efforts, and overseen by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs under Deal’s leadership. Sponsors of the statue include Coca-Cola, the Atlanta and Georgia Apartment Associations and the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council. The remaining funds needed were made possible through the sale of state bonds.

“This is a great day in the history of our state and nation with the unveiling of a statue on Capitol grounds memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said [State Rep. Calvin] Smyre. “For the past three years I have worked with and alongside Gov. Deal, the Georgia General Assembly, Carrie Ashbee and the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission, the King family, sculptor Martin Dawe and our entire statue team to make this a reality. As a Georgian and native son, Dr. King inspired our nation and the world with his message and vision. The King statue will inspire and give hope to generations to come.”


“Well, the sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners sat down in this state capitol and made the decision to erect the Martin Luther King Jr. monument,” Bernice King said.

“This day took much too long to get here,” said David Ralston, the Republican speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. “From those days we can grow and learn.”

C. Jack Ellis, a former Mayor of Macon, will hold a protest calling for the removal of Confederate monuments.

Two prominent Confederate monuments are in downtown Macon.

An unnamed Confederate soldier statue stands at at the corner of Cotton Avenue and Second Street. Another monument honoring the wives, mothers and daughters of Confederate soldiers is located on Poplar Street — just a stone’s throw from Rosa Parks Square and the Macon-Bibb County Government Center.

Governor Deal yesterday appointed State Rep. Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville) as Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

“Chuck Williams is a dedicated public servant and an effective leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to forest management and sustainable forestry,” said Deal. “As a forest landowner, Chuck has a keen understanding of the forestry community in our state and country. His years of service on the GFC Board of Directors, coupled with his extensive background in economics, make him uniquely qualified to lead GFC as it provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Georgia’s 24.1 million acres of commercial timberlands, more than any other state in the nation, offer a number of benefits to our citizens, from clean air and water to wildlife habitats, products and jobs. I am confident that under Chuck’s guidance, GFC will continue to provide critical support of Georgia’s timberlands and help to solidify our status as a top state for forestry.”

The Athens Banner-Herald discusses the political implications.

Williams’ appointment means Clarke and Oconee County voters will be picking two new state representatives in a special election in November.

Last week, Deal appointed Rep. Regina Quick of Athens to a Western Circuit Superior Court judgeship, replacing Judge David Sweat, who retired at the end of July.

Quick and Williams, both Republicans, represent districts that include parts of Clarke and Oconee County. Quick’s District 117 includes portions of Clarke, Barrow, Oconee and Jackson counties. Williams’ District 119 includes a part of Clarke and most of Oconee County.

State Senator Hunter Hill (R-Buckhead) announced he will resign his seat in order to focus on his campaign for Governor.

Republican Hunter Hill said Tuesday he will resign his state Senate seat so he can concentrate on his campaign for governor, becoming the second gubernatorial candidate to step down from a statehouse post this month.

Hill, an entrepreneur first elected to the Senate in 2012, notified Gov. Nathan Deal of his resignation this week. The timing means that a special election to represent the seat, which spans parts of Atlanta and east Cobb County, will likely be held in November.

“Running for governor is a serious undertaking, and one that deserves each candidate’s full commitment. Unfortunately, two of my opponents have a history of holding one office while pursuing another,” he said. “Georgians don’t want candidates for governor putting their political careers ahead of the future of our state.”

Hill’s seat is a juicy target for Democrats. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the affluent district in November and Hill barely held onto it, narrowly staving off Democratic challenger Jaha Howard.

Howard, a pediatric dentist, is making a comeback bid next year. He faces trial lawyer Jen Jordan and political newcomer Nigel Sims in the Democratic primary. At least three Republicans are in the hunt: Former Georgia GOP minority engagement guru Leo Smith and attorneys Matt Bentley and Leah Aldridge.

State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Forsyth) announced he will resign his seat to focus on his campaign for Lieutenant Governor.

Duncan, a Cumming businessman, said in a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal that his resignation would be effective Sept. 18, which would set up a likely special election to represent his seat this year. You can read the letter here.

“Georgians want big ideas,” he said. “They want good, conservative policy over politics as usual. My announcement today allows me to focus my efforts full time on the goal of becoming Georgia’s next lieutenant governor and exposing corruption and wrongdoing that have permeated far too long under the Gold Dome.”

Duncan and state Sen. Rick Jeffares are both aiming to derail Shafer, a Duluth entrepreneur who has locked up a range of big-name endorsements in his hunt for Georgia’s No. 2 job. No Democrat has yet announced a campaign.

The statehouse crowd has shown Shafer the love as he attempts to climb to the peak of political power. A 15-year veteran of the General Assembly and a longtime GOP activist, Shafer raised $900,000 in the opening months of the race, including $150,000 in contributions from lobbyists and statehouse PACs.

Four Muscogee County Board of Education members are asking Gov. Deal to send in the GBI.

Four of the nine members on the Muscogee County School Board have sent a formal request to Gov. Nathan Deal and the seven Superior Court judges in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit for any or all of them to call for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to “examine certain instances of potential wrongdoing within the Muscogee County School District.”

The four board members who signed the letter dated Aug. 28 are John Thomas of District 2, Vanessa Jackson of District 3, Mark Cantrell of District 6 and Frank Myers of District 8.

Thomas told the Ledger-Enquirer that Myers, a self-employed lawyer, drafted the letter, emailed it Monday and already got confirmation from the governor’s office that it was received.

The “potential wrongdoing” includes “but is not limited to” the Montravious Thomas and Roy Newman cases, the letter says.

The letter from the board members doesn’t specify any allegations of wrongdoing within MCSD but requests “that the GBI interview school board members as well as present and former employees of the Muscogee County School District who have information relating to misconduct.”

The letter accuses District Attorney Slater of “inexplicably” terminating the GBI’s investigation “four days after it began in December of last year” and requests her to “recuse herself from participation in either the investigation or prosecution of matters brought to light pursuant to this request.”

Savannah Morning News covers candidate qualifying for Effingham County municipalities.

The Augusta Commission will consider a new statue of James Brown, funded by an NEA grant.

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