Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 17, 2018


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 17, 2018

Georgia’s trustees asked Britain to repeal the law against importing slaves to the colonies on May 17, 1749.

On May 17, 1769, George Washington introduced resolutions in the Virginia House of Burgesses, drafted by George Mason, criticizing Britain’s “taxation without representation” policies toward the colonies.

George Washington continued his tour of Georgia on May 17, 1791, staying overnight in Waynesboro; on May 18 he arrived in Augusta.

General Winfield Scott issued an order on the removal of Cherokee people from Georgia on May 17, 1838.

On May 17, 1864, Sherman and Johnston engaged in the Battle of Adairsville, Georgia.

The United States Supreme Court released its unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson.

The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

 Governor Nathan Deal joined Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard visiting soldiers who will serve in Afghanistan.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Major General Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General, Georgia Department of Defense, this week visited soldiers from the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk in Louisiana. The 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is training at JRTC in preparation of mobilizing to Afghanistan in December.

“The bravery and selflessness shown by the men and women of the Georgia Army National Guard represent the finest principles of our state and nation,” said Deal. “These individuals are always ready to put service above self to safeguard the lives and property of our state and its citizens, as well as the freedoms of those abroad.

“It was a true honor and privilege to visit with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as they prepare to mobilize to Afghanistan in December. From the commanders to the youngest members of the brigade, I’ve seen firsthand how tough and intelligent these extraordinary individuals are. I was deeply impressed by all of our Guardsmen, and they are well-prepared to complete their missions. As they prepare to mobilize and we await their safe return home, we take comfort in knowing our soldiers are mission-ready and prepared to face any adversary that poses a threat to our nation and people.”

The Associated Press writes about this week’s debate between Democratic candidates for Governor Stacey Evans and Stacey Abrams.

Former state Rep. Stacey Evans and former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, both Atlanta-area attorneys, took each other to task Tuesday evening over their respective legislative records and how they have affected the poor and middle class.

Evans continued to press Abrams over her record on HOPE scholarships, an issue that has been a centerpiece of Evans’, who attended college through HOPE, campaign.

Evans accused Abrams of “co-authoring cuts” to the scholarship program that lead to a reduction of those who qualified for it.

Abrams pushed back, saying that HOPE was “alive and well” and still available to families across the state that need it.

For her part, Abrams went after Evans for her legislative record on public education, saying that she supported “voucher” programs that provide state funded scholarships for private school tuition, taking resources from public schools.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes about the dynamic in the Democratic campaign for Governor.

It’s tricky electoral calculus for Evans, who is white. To win Tuesday’s primary, she’ll likely need an overwhelming majority of white voters along with a significant chunk of black support. Analysts say that might require getting between one-quarter and one-third of the African-American vote.

The politics is far different from the crowded Republican contest, which features five candidates who are appealing to an overwhelmingly white and conservative electorate by trying to outdo each other over gun rights expansions, border security proposals and illegal immigration crackdowns.

Both Abrams and Evans have steadily built their campaigns around mobilizing African-American voters since entering the race last year. And both boast a large retinue of local endorsements, though Abrams has captured far more support from national groups.

The Abrams campaign said in an internal memo that it expects black voters to make up at least 65 percent of the vote next week — and black women to make up roughly 45 percent of the total.

The Newnan Times-Herald interviewed State Senator David Shafer about his campaign for Lt. Governor.

Shafer’s reported past achievements are the focus of his current campaign to become Georgia’s next lieutenant governor.

“I wrote and led the effort concerning the state’s ‘zero tolerance’ based budgeting, so every dollar of government spending is justified,” Shafer said. “I sponsored an amendment to cap the state’s income tax. Georgia is the only state that has enshrined that it will remain a low tax state.

“People should be for me because I have a 16 year record of fighting for conservatives,” Shafer continued. “I’m working on platform of actual accomplishments, not empty promises.”

If elected, Shafer said he intends to continue fighting for a low tax environment that will attract businesses and jobs, fix the state’s infrastructure which includes roads and waterways and enhance Georgia’s education system.

“The truth is, we have job shortages in many skilled areas. We need to allow more people to enter trade schools, too. So it’s not all about attracting jobs, but making sure our citizens are skilled and ready to fill jobs that are already available,” Shafer said.

Republican Congressman Doug Collins (Gainesville) spoke about law enforcement during National Peace Officer Week.

“To think about those who serve us on that thin blue line,” Collins said. “We also think about the ones who get up every day and do the work. We see them, we talk about them, we hear about them on the news. We do not always know their names or see their faces, but we see what they do and we appreciate what they do.”

Collins went on to say it is a time to remember those who have lost their lives.

“Every year we lose our police officers, we lose those in law enforcement to sometimes tragic accidents, but many times to murder and other things because they put themselves in danger,” Collins said.

Rome officials want to reuse the vacant 132-acre Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital site, but the gubernatorial election may affect their plans, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

It’s an important issue for the community, Sen. Chuck Hufstetler acknowledged. But he and the rest of the legislative delegation — which includes Republican Reps. Katie Dempsey of Rome, Eddie Lumsden of Armuchee and Christian Coomer of Cartersville — had no immediate solution to the impasse with the state.

“The next administration will have to tackle that,” Hufstetler said. “When you spend more money maintaining a building than you could have sold it for … we need to change the rules.”

The state has been paying about $1 million a year to keep up the shuttered buildings and grounds. An appraisal put the value between $6 million and $10 million, and Hufstetler noted that Rome was offered the lowest price. But there’s also about $3.5 million in debt attached to the property, from bonds issued to make improvements before the facility was closed.

Dempsey said a state agency could take over the property, but it can’t be transferred to an outside entity until the bond debt is paid in full.

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about challengers to Gwinnett’s Congressional delegation.

Woodall, R-Ga., is running for re-election for his 7th Congressional District seat, but he’s facing opposition from both sides of the political aisle in a race that national Democrats have pegged as one of their targets in this year’s elections.

There are six Democrats — Kathleen Allen, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Melissa Davis, David Kim, Ethan Pham and Steve Reilly — but Woodall has to first survive a challenge from former Marine Shane Hazel in the Republican primary before he can turn his attention to a fall race.

Elsewhere, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., is being challenged by fellow Democrat Juan Parks in the 4th Congressional District’s Democratic Primary, with the winner facing Republican Joe Profit in the fall.

Over in the 10th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., is facing Joe Hunt and Bradley Griffin in the Republican primary, with the winner of that contest facing the winner of the Democratic primary race between Chalis Montgomery, Richard Dien Winfield and Tabitha A. Johnson-Green in the fall.

Tamar Hallarman with the AJC also writes about challenges to incumbent Members of Congress.

Seven candidates, including six Democrats, have lined up to challenge Woodall in the 7th, based in Gwinnett and Forsyth County. And next door in the 6th, four Democrats — all first-time candidates — are angling for the chance to take on U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, R-Roswell, who won last year’s record-breaking special election.

But despite the groundswell of energy on the left that has helped make battlegrounds out of suburban districts such as Atlanta’s, the benefits of incumbency, including districts drawn to favor one party, mean that few if any of the state’s congressmen are expected to lose their seats.

Incumbents “have a money advantage, they have in a lot of cases a big organizational advantage,” said Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist. “Georgia’s moderate voters and independent voters are still voting Republican. I don’t see them switching in big numbers quite yet.”

In the 7th District, three candidates have emerged as the most financially competitive. Georgia State University professor Carolyn Bourdeaux has bested the field — including Woodall — in fundraising so far this year. Meanwhile, businessman David Kim and lawyer Ethan Pham have shown they are willing to loan their campaigns big money to buoy their efforts.

Glynn County Commission District 3 candidates spoke to The Brunswick News.

The Statesboro Herald has separate articles on Republican State Rep. Jan Tankersley (R-Brooklet) and her Republican primary opponent, Robert Busbee (Statesboro).

The Dalton Daily Citizen has video interviews with incumbent Republican State Senator Chuck Payne (Dalton) and his Republican primary opponent, Scott Tidwell (Resaca).

Twenty candidates for local office will meet voters at a forum tonight hosted by the Macon-Middle Georgia Council of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The Lowndes County Board of Education approved spending more than $400,000 on 2000 Chromebook laptops.

Columbus is one of 43 cities nationwide, and the only one in Georgia, to receive the Bike Friendly Business platinum designation fromthe League of American Bicyclists.

Georgia Southern University President Jaimie Heber announced he will retire from his position over the summer.

Two Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputies have resigned after separate incidents of fighting with inmates, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Coastal Living website named Tybee Island as one of the eleven U.S. beaches to visit this summer.

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