Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 31, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 31, 2018

King Henry VII of England was crowned on October 30, 1485.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.

King Charles I of England granted a charter for a new colony called Carolana that included much of present-day Georgia, along with the current states of North and South Carolina, on October 30, 1629.

Stephen Douglas of Illinois campaigned in Atlanta for President of the United States on October 30, 1860. Douglas had defeated Abraham Lincoln for United States Senate in 1858, giving rise to the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

The United States Congress admitted Nevada as the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Kind of fitting, in a way.

On October 30, 1871, Republican Benjamin Conley became acting Governor of Georgia after Republican Governor Rufus Bullock resigned; Conley served as President of the state Senate before taking office as Governor.

Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.

On October 30, 1938, a science fiction drama called War of the Worlds was broadcast nationwide in the form of a series of simulated radio broadcasts.

The carving on Mount Rushmore was completed on October 31, 1941.

Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 30, 1945, becoming the first African-American professional baseball player in the major leagues.

On October 30, 1970, a fastball from Nolan Ryan was timed at 100.9 miles per hour, putting him in the record books. On the same day, Jim Morrison of the Doors was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for allegedly exposing himself during a Miami concert. Morrision died before the case was heard on appeal.

President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail to help his wife, Hillary Clinton, in her race for United States Senate from New York on October 31, 2000. On October 31, 2014, Bill Clinton came to Atlanta to campaign for Michelle Nunn for United States Senate.

The historic Zero Mile Post from Atlanta has been relocated to the Atlanta History Center, according to the AJC.

Zero Mile Post — an 800 pound piece of marble that measures 7 feet 5 inches — was installed in the 1850s to mark the southern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. For more than 20 years, it has been housed in a locked building under the Central Avenue viaduct. The building is scheduled to be demolished later this year to accommodate the rebuilding of the Central Avenue and Courtland Street bridges, a project approved by voters in 2015.

On Monday, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead announced that Zero Mile Post, will be open for public viewing on Nov. 17 as part of the new exhibition, “Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta.

“We are excited and honored to be able to steward this artifact and have people see it, understand it and have it interpreted. It is a great honor for the Atlanta History Center,” said Atlanta History Center President and CEO, Sheffield Hale.

The artifact remains under the ownership of the Georgia Building Authority, which has agreed to a five-year renewable license with the Atlanta History Center.

“We gave Atlanta History Center a license and a license can be revoked at any time,” said Steve Stancil, State Property Officer serving as executive director. “Georgia Building Authority still owns it. The place it was at is in peril because of the rebuilding of the Central Avenue bridge.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

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Early Voting – Morning Fix

All Early Ballots: 1,631,200

Early Ballots by 2016/2018 Republican Primary Voters: 572,819

Early Ballots by 2016/2018 Democratic Primary Voters: 410,130

Early Ballots by 2016/2018 DEM Primary or African-American Voters: 582,610

The Statesboro Herald reports on early voting in Bulloch County.

After 10 weekdays of opportunity at the county annex, three days on the Georgia Southern University campus and last Saturday at the annex, 7,176 people had voted early in Bulloch County for next Tuesday’s general election.

The running total through Saturday lagged slightly behind Bulloch’s count of 7,380 in-person early voters by the same point in the fall 2016 presidential general election. However, the count already far surpasses the 3,929 final early-voter total in the 2014 election. That year brought the previous contest for governor, which was never as close as surveys put the current race between Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams and Republican candidate Brian Kemp.

The Gwinnett Daily Post writes about Sunday early voting.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said 1,915 ballots were cast at Gwinnett’s elections office, which was the only polling place open for the half-day of voting Sunday. That figure has brought the number of Gwinnett voters who have cast ballots in person during the advance voting period up to 78,016 as of 6 p.m. Sunday night, when the polls closed for the day.

Another 11,462 absentee ballots have been received, along with a small number of electronic overseas ballots,bring the total number of ballots cast for this year’s general election up to 89,564, according to Sorenson.

To put the advance in-person voting numbers for this year into perspective, Sorenson said 75,615 advance votes had been cast by this point in the advance voting period for the 2016 general election, when a highly contested presidential election was on the ballot.

Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, ordered all flags on state buildings and properties lowered to half-staff through sunset today in honor of the victims at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, Gov. Deal joined Brian Kemp and most of the statewide candidates on the campaign bus tour, according to the AJC.

Deal told a crowd of several hundred gathered at a lakeside stop in Jefferson that Kemp will extend his pro-business legacy and keep Georgia “the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.”

“There’s a surge on the other side unlike anything we’ve encountered before,” said Deal, to a sea of bobbing heads nodding in agreement. “All that really does to us, though, is show how important our votes are.”

Kemp eagerly welcomed the support.

“On that exact same bus in 2010, we talked about jobs, we talked about the economy,” he said, pointing to the giant bus that’s shepherding the Republicans across Georgia this week. “He focused on that in 2010, and you know what he’s done? He’s gotten Georgia working. And I’ll keep Georgia working.”

Deal also said that the Special Session set for after the November elections will not be used to alter the powers of the Governor’s office, according to the AJC.

Deal said such a move is not on the agenda “as far as I’m concerned.” Which means it won’t happen: State law lets governors strictly control the agenda that lawmakers consider.

“That is not what the special session is called for,” he added. “It’s for Hurricane Michael and for the impact on the southwest part of the state. We cannot pay for all the losses.”

Deal’s comments came during a joint interview on the campaign trail with Republican Brian Kemp, who is in a close race against Abrams. Kemp, who stumped with Deal at a string of stops on Monday, quickly cut in after the governor’s response.

“We’re not going to have that problem. We’re going to win,” Kemp said. “This race isn’t in doubt. That’s a problem we’re not going to have to worry about.”

Jill Nolin covered Gov. Deal’s campaigning for the Valdosta Daily Times.

“It takes everybody working together,” Deal said to a packed crowd at Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q in Marietta. “Now if we do not have that cohesiveness, I can assure you that it will be difficult to repeat the kind of successful programs that we put in place.”

Deal, though, framed the race as a choice between moving forward – or not.

“You can do great things but if you don’t continue them, you’ll soon forget what you did that was so good in the first place. That’s why my interest is let’s not go back. Let’s go forward,” Deal said.

“I want to see the next governor take what we’ve done, build on it, refine it and improve it.”

Specifically, Deal said Abrams would attempt to repeal an income tax break that was passed this year. Abrams was critical of the decision to reduce the tax, saying lawmakers acted prematurely and without understanding the full impact of the federal tax reform. But in a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she said she would let the cut stand.

Former President Barack Obama will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Atlanta on Friday, according to the AJC.

Obama has been on a campaign blitz this month to boost Democratic candidates in competitive areas, and state Democrats announced Monday he would appear at 5 p.m. at Forbes Arena at Morehouse College on Friday.

The Gainesville Times covered the GOP caravan’s visit.

Brian Kemp told voters in Gainesville on Tuesday morning that the Nov. 6 election, in which he is running for governor, is “a fight for our future.”

“(Democrats) are turning their base out in historic levels. You may not see that here in Northeast Georgia, but I promise it’s happening,” Kemp said. “We cannot allow people to sit at home. We have to squeeze out every vote that we can to put up a red wall around the good work that these good folks have done in this state for 16 years now and knock that blue wave down.”

Kemp had the support of several Republican state politicians, including Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, state Sen. Butch Miller and state Rep. Matt Dubnik. Continuing the work of Deal and other Georgia Republicans was a focus of Kemp’s speech Tuesday.

Kemp vowed to cut taxes and work to lower health care premiums. He also said he wants to protect the state’s Hope scholarship, but he does not think that program should be available to people who are not in the country legally.

School safety would also be a priority of his administration, Kemp said.

“Nothing is more important to me as a father, and nothing is more important to you as a parent or you as a grandparent, as well as our teachers and administrators,” he said. “We have to keep that environment safe in this crazy world we live in.”

AccessWDUN also covered Kemp’s stop in Gainesville.

“I know being in the poultry capital of the world – Gary Black being the agriculture commissioner and I and the rest of this ticket would agree that we understand how important agriculture is and appreciate farmers in agriculture,” said Kemp. “We don’t go for the fact you shouldn’t have to go into agriculture. People are born in to it, they want to go in to it, because we literally feed our own people and the world, and that is a noble, honorable, thing.”

Kemp referred to his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, who said previously at Georgia Southern University that Georgians should not have to rely on the agriculture or hospitality industries, later clarifying in a tweet that she meant diversifying the economy and raising wages.

Kemp also thanked military members and law enforcement, before sharing details about his political history and encouraging the crowd to go out and vote in a “battle for the soul of our state.”

Kemp also reminded the crowd that he and his family live in the 9th Congressional district in Clarke County. Abrams lives in Atlanta.

Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams will both visit Gwinnett County, separately, of course, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams will be in Norcross on Thursday for a Get Out The Vote Rally with lieutenant governor candidate Sarah Riggs Amico and 7th Congressional District candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Best Friend Park Pavilion, which is located at 6224 Jimmy Carter Blvd.

Republican nominee Brian Kemp and the Georgia Republican Party “Road To Victory” bus tour with lieutenant governor nominee Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and other local officials will visit Peachtree Corners on Saturday. It will take place at 11 a.m. at Mojitos Cuban American Bistro, which is located at 5161 Peachtree Parkway, Suite No. 630.

The Ledger-Enquirer spoke to Congressmen Drew Ferguson (R) and Sanford Bishop about how a change in Congressional control would affect their area.

Republican Drew Ferguson, a former West Point mayor, is looking for his second two-year term in Congress, while Democrat Sanford Bishop, who resides in Albany but spends much of his time in Columbus, is trying to win his 14th congressional election.

If the Republicans lose the House, Ferguson could find himself in the minority, while Bishop, because of his seniority, could be in a key leadership position, possibly a committee chairman.

“You can take nothing for granted,” he said. “Mickey Mouse could show up on the ballot, and if he has an R by his name, he is going to get at least 35 percent of the support.”

Bishop is being challenged by Republican Herman West Jr., who was raised in Cuthbert and moved back to Albany four years ago after working as a detective for the Atlanta Police Department. He is the pastor of a church in Sylvester.

Ferguson, meanwhile, is facing a Democratic challenge from Chuck Enderlin, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and retired Marine fighter pilot who lives in Newnan. Enderlin, like West, is facing an uphill climb because the Georgia 3rd District, which stretches from north Columbus into the southern suburbs of Atlanta and over to the Alabama line at Carrollton, is nearly 72 percent white and solidly Republican.

The Gwinnett Daily Post also spoke to local Congressional candidates.

The AJC profiles the candidates for Gwinnett County Board of Education:

Steve Knudsen (R) for District 2

Wandy Taylor (D) for District 2

Chuck Studebaker (R) for District 4

Everton Blair (D) for District 4

The City of Brunswick is considering a proposal to build a new conference center, according to The Brunswick News.

Brunswick and Glynn County approved a service delivery agreement, according to The Brunswick News.

Coweta County law enforcement and nonprofits partnered to collect more than 183 pounds of prescription drugs, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

The Rome News-Tribune looks at opioid overdoses in their corner of the state.

Drug overdoses continue to occur in Rome and Floyd County as local leaders work to craft a response to the acknowledged opioid crisis.

“It’s definitely a true epidemic,” Mayor Jamie Doss said. “This might be the No. 1 crisis in our country right now, because of the number of people who are dying and the fact that it’s not just in our community. It’s everywhere.”

“It happens more often than the police know, because often the ambulance responds and they administer the NARCAN without ever calling us,” she said.

Sixty-eight people in Floyd County died of overdoses between 2012 and 2016, according to a community assessment tool launched earlier this month by U.S. Department of Agriculture, headed by former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.

That puts the annual mortality rate at 22.2 per 100,000 people — topping the state’s rate of 16.8 and nearly equaling the national rate of 22.5.

Floyd County’s Development Authority approved $135 million in bonds to build a new retirement community, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

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