Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 2, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 2, 2017

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was born in Winder, Georgia on November 2, 1897.

In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.

Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States on November 2, 1976.

The current Georgia Constitution was ratified on November 2, 1982 by the state’s voters.

On November 2, 2010, voters elected Republican Nathan Deal as Governor, and the GOP swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced at the 2017 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference on Jekyll Island that Georgia’s tourism industry produced record results in 2016.

“The tourism industry is a vital economic engine for Georgia, as it generated a record-breaking $60.8 billion in economic impact and provided employment for more than 450,000 Georgians last year,” said Deal. “Each year, we welcome more and more visitors to Georgia, largely due to the success of dedicated tourism professionals from Blue Ridge to Valdosta, and from Columbus to Savannah. The hard work of these individuals contributes not only to Georgia’s ranking as the No. 1 state in which to do business, but helps to solidify our reputation as the No. 1 state to visit and call home.”

Marietta Republican Tricia Pridemore announced she has filed papers to run for the Public Service Commission.

“I am thankful to Commissioner Stan Wise for his years of service on the PSC. As a result of his hard work, along with the other members of the commission, Georgia is in a position to provide reliable utility services to our citizens and keep rates affordable,” Pridemore said. “I am running to provide the Georgia taxpayer another watchdog on the commission who will ensure their interests are always protected.”

“As a conservative businesswoman, I know the impacts of over-regulation. My focus on the PSC will be to regulate our utility industries in a way that keeps Georgia the No. 1 state to do business for decades. With reliable services and increased energy capacity from a commitment to sustained infrastructure improvements we will add to a business climate that helps Georgia flourish.”

A successful small businesswoman and entrepreneur, Pridemore has previously served as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. She has spent decades championing conservative causes and candidates in the Georgia Republican Party, and is active in the Cobb County community. A graduate of Kennesaw State University, Tricia lives in Marietta with her husband, Michael. The Pridemores are members of Mount Paran Church.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office has recused itself from the case involving an elections database that was wiped.

The lawsuit aims to force Georgia to retire its antiquated and heavily questioned touchscreen election technology, which does not provide an auditable paper trail.

The server in question was a statewide staging location for key election-related data. It made headlines in June after a security expert disclosed a gaping security hole that wasn’t fixed for six months after he first reported it to election authorities. Personal data was exposed for Georgia’s 6.7 million voters, as were passwords used by county officials to access files.

The assistant state attorney general handling the case, Cristina Correia, notified the court and participating attorneys Wednesday that her office was withdrawing from the case, according to an email obtained by The Associated Press. Spokeswoman Katelyn McCreary offered no explanation and said she couldn’t comment “on pending matters.”

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the main defendant, is running for governor in 2018 and his campaign said in a statement emailed to the AP that the attorney general’s office has a conflict of interest and cannot represent either Kemp’s office or the state elections board.

The secretary of state’s office had said in an earlier statement that the law firm of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes would represent Kemp and other state election officials.

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The Department of Administrative Services has replaced Attorney General Christopher Carr with Barnes Law Group to represent Kemp, the state Election Board and others named in the case, Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce said.

“I definitely don’t see eye to eye with Governor Barnes on a lot of issues, but I think anyone would tell you he’s a damn good lawyer,” said Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor.

Kemp said he looks forward to working with Barnes, a Democrat, despite their differing political views.

“He will be a zealous advocate for the state Election Board and the secretary of state to show that these claims are baseless,” he said.

Barnes drew some heat from fellow Democrats at his decision to represent Kemp in the legal matter.

Kemp has long been at odds with former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, a top Democratic gubernatorial contender. Barnes has endorsed another Democrat, former state Rep. Stacey Evans, in the race.

“I was dumbfounded that Roy Barnes would defend the secretary of state in such a case,” said state Rep. Carolyn Hugley, D-Columbus, who was long Abrams’ top deputy in the Georgia House.

So, that’s former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes representing Republican Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.

The Oconee Enterprise predicts a likely runoff election in State House District 119.

Four candidates—three Republicans and one Democrat—are vying for a spot in the Georgia House of Representatives to fill a vacancy left when incumbent Chuck Williams accepted an appointment as director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

If no candidate attains more than 50 percent of the vote, two candidates will be eliminated and the two remaining will be on the runoff ballot Dec. 5.

Those four candidates are Tom Lord, Steven Strickland, Jonathan Wallace and Marcus Wiedower. Wallace is the lone Democrat. Although the district is split between Oconee and Athens-Clarke, all the candidates are residents of Oconee County.

Some DeKalb County voters will vote using paper ballots next Tuesday.

The city of Atlanta’s elections and DeKalb County’s special-purpose local-option sales tax, SPLOST, vote are on the same day.

So polling locations in the small part of Atlanta that’s in DeKalb will have both city and county ballots. But polling hours for the city and county are different by state law. If you’re in Atlanta, polls will close at 8 p.m. If you’re in the rest of DeKalb County, 7 p.m.

DeKalb’s director of voter registration and elections, Erica Hamilton, said to keep the playing field even, if you will, the Atlanta polling locations in DeKalb will switch to paper ballots for the last hour of voting Tuesday. This way DeKalb can make sure all of its ballots close simultaneously.

“We have trained our poll workers, and we do have procedures in place to ensure that it’s a smooth transition,” Hamilton said. She added the SPLOST question will still be on the paper ballots, but even if a vote is cast, it won’t count.

Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson will retire from the city to become the new Executive Director of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Honda moved nearly three times as many cars as the previous year through the Port of Brunswick in FY 2017.

American Honda Motor Company added 34,700 vehicles to its traffic through the local port in fiscal year 2017, a move made largely because of expansion at the terminal and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, said Charles Kendig, assistant vice president for automobile operations at American Honda.

“Honda’s partnership with the Port of Brunswick is one of many bright spots in our finished vehicle supply chain,” he said in the release. “The port’s proximity to open ocean, its expansive and expandable capacity, the connections to our inland supply chain, award-winning auto processors and — perhaps most importantly — the complete alignment between state and local government on finding business-friendly solutions for shippers makes the Port of Brunswick an easy choice.”


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