Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 8, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 8, 2019

Lyman Hall, one of three Georgians who signed the Declaration of Independence, was elected Governor on January 8, 1783.

Segregated seating on Atlanta buses was held unconstitutional by a federal court on January 9, 1959.

Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter arrived in Athens to register at the University of Georgia on January 9, 1961.

After Julian Bond’s election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, the chamber voted against seating him ostensibly because he had publicly state his opposition to the war in Vietnam. On January 10, 1967, after the United States Supreme Court held the legislature had denied Bond his right to free speech, he was seated as a member of the State House.

On January 8, 2007, R.E.M. was announced as an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Here’s REM at their induction into the Rock Hall.

On January 8, 2014, Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were announced as incoming members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Columbus, Georgia native Frank Thomas, a long-time Chicago White Sox outfielder.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor-Elect Brian Kemp announced senior staff hires in the Executive Office of the Governor.

Governor-Elect Brian P. Kemp announced fourteen senior staff appointments who will work in the Governor’s Executive Office after his inauguration on January 14, 2019.

“I am proud of these public servants and their commitment to Georgia’s future,” said Kemp. “Together, we will spur job creation, lower taxes and insurance premiums, strengthen rural Georgia, and keep our families safe. These men and women will work around the clock to put hardworking Georgians first.”

Tim Fleming, Chief of Staff, Hometown: Covington, Georgia

Tim Fleming holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. Fleming resides in Covington with his wife, Lacey, and three children, Jackson, Colby, and Hannah. Fleming previously served as Deputy Secretary of State within the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and Campaign Manager for the Kemp for Governor Campaign. A lifelong resident of Covington, Fleming served as a Newton County Commissioner from 2009 to 2013.

Charles Harper, Deputy Chief of Staff, Hometown: Carrollton, Georgia

Charles “Chuck” Harper holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of West Georgia. Harper resides in Carrollton with his wife, Ginger, and four children, Hayden, Greer, Greyson, and Rilyn. Harper is a business owner with companies involved in agriculture and construction, and served in the Georgia General Assembly representing State House District 88 (R – Carrollton) from 2003 to 2005.

Greg Dozier, Chief Financial Officer, Hometown: Covington, Georgia

Greg Dozier holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Georgia State University. Dozier resides in Covington with his wife, Stephanie, and two daughters, Kinsley and Payton. Dozier has extensive background in law enforcement and state government, most recently serving as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections, the fifth largest department of its kind in the United States.

Lorri Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Hometown: Covington, Georgia

Lorri Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Georgia College & State University and a master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University. Smith resides in Covington with her husband, Tim, and their two children, Carson and Riley. Smith previously served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of State in the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Smith will serve as Georgia’s first female Chief Operating Officer for the Governor’s Office.

Cody Whitlock, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Hometown: Gainesville, Georgia

Cody Whitlock holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. Whitlock resides in Decatur with his wife, Jackie, and dog, June Carter. Whitlock previously served as Government Affairs Liaison and Budget Analyst for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

David Dove, Executive Counsel, Hometown: Athens, Georgia

A proud “Double Dawg,” David Dove holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia. Dove resides with his family in Marietta where he is Chairman of the City’s Ethics Committee. Most recently, Dove worked as an attorney at the Robbins Firm where his practice focused on business litigation, regulatory law, and campaign finance. He was also a founding member of Robbins Government Relations.

Candice Broce, Director of Communications and Deputy Executive Counsel

Hometown: Cartersville, Georgia

Candice Broce holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law. Broce resides in Atlanta with her husband, Jason, and toddler son, Beau Walker, along with three rescue dogs. She previously managed communications and served as legal counsel for elections and legislative affairs for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

Cody Hall, Press Secretary, Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

Cody Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. Hall resides in Dawsonville with his wife, Taylor, and daughter, Vera. Hall previously served as Press Secretary for the Kemp for Governor Campaign.

Patrick Farr, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget, Hometown: Martinez, Georgia

Patrick “Kelly” Farr holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Augusta University. Farr resides in Cumming with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Trey and Sydney. Farr offers significant expertise in business development from his work at Lucent Technologies, Capgemini, and most recently, SAS Institute. In these capacities, Farr worked extensively with various state agencies to implement technological advances and improve constituent service. Farr also previously served as Deputy Secretary of State for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, responsible for budget management and oversight of daily operations.

Mark Hamilton, Director of External Affairs, Hometown: Kingsville, Texas

Mark Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Business from Texas A&M University. Hamilton resides in Atlanta with his wife, Sandy, and previously served in the Georgia General Assembly representing State House District 24 (R – Cumming) from 2007 to 2015. During this time, Hamilton served as Chairman of the House Industry and Labor Committee.

Stuart Wilkinson, Deputy Director of External Affairs, Hometown: Sandy Springs, Georgia

Stuart Wilkinson holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia College & State University. Wilkinson resides in Brookhaven with his wife, Kathleen. Wilkinson currently serves as Deputy Director of Transition for Governor-Elect Brian Kemp. He previously managed legislative and external affairs for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office after serving six years in Governor Nathan Deal’s Office.

Amelia Hawkins, Director of Executive Operations, Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Amelia Hawkins holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University. Hawkins resides in Atlanta with her rescue dog, Milly. She previously served as Campaign Coordinator for the Kemp for Governor Campaign.

Lisa Durden, Director of Appointments & Licensing, Hometown: Jackson, Georgia

Lisa Durden holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Legal Assistance Studies and master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Georgia College & State University. She resides in Jackson with her son, Luke, and two dogs. She previously served as Division Director of the Professional Licensing Boards Division for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

Martha Zoller, Director of State Regional Offices, Hometown: Columbus, Georgia

Martha Zoller holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Political Science, focusing her research on women’s electoral success in the Republican Party, from UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). She resides in Gainesville with her husband, Lin. After working in journalism and media for many years, Zoller worked for U.S. Senator David Perdue and most recently served as Director of Outreach and Surrogates on the Kemp for Governor Campaign.

The Special Election for Georgia State House District 5, vacated by the death of State Rep. John Meadows, is today. From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

There is a special election in most of Gordon and part of Murray County to decide who will join the state House of Representatives. Six candidates have qualified for the run, five Republicans and one Democrat. But because the election comes at an odd time, far away from the political ads and rallies leading up to the November race, the candidates themselves expect a low turnout.

After three weeks of early voting, only 1,307 people cast ballots — 1,281 in Gordon County and 26 in Murray County. In the election for the same seat on Nov. 6, 15,833 people voted, with four out of every five ballots going for the Republican incumbent, state Rep. John Meadows.

Who can participate in Tuesday’s election? Registered voters who live in Murray County’s Southwest precinct, as well as those who live in Gordon County’s Lily Pond, Pine Chapel, Resaca, Sugar Valley, Oostanaula, Plainville, “A County” and “B City” precincts. Some voters in the Sonoraville and Red Bud precincts also will be able to vote.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone hoping to cast a ballot must bring a government-issued voter ID, such as a driver’s license.

The Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission meets today to consider allegations that Executive Director Stefan Ritter misused a work computer, according to the AJC.

Stefan Ritter, who has been the commission’s executive director since 2015, could not be reached for comment. Staffers filed complaints against Ritter to the commission in December, officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

Jake Evans, who was elected chairman of the five-member panel in December, declined to comment “on individual personnel matters.”

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren wrote a letter supporting President Trump’s attempt to build a border wall, according to the AJC.

Warren’s open letter to the president and Congress, written on Cobb Sheriff’s Office letterhead, came as the partial government shutdown entered its 18th day and Trump intensified his public relations campaign for $5.7 billion in wall funding.

“For more than 20 years, we have been asking Congress to provide funding to stop the flow of illegal immigration and the carnage, trauma, and suffering it brings to our neighborhoods,” Warren wrote. “As one of America’s Sheriffs who is deeply committed to my oath and promise to protect my citizens and legal residents from harm, I am, like most Americans, fed up with Congress’s refusal to do their jobs and fund the border wall.”

Warren wrote that “criminal illegal aliens” were engaged in crime including rape, murder and drug smuggling, citing media reports from across the country.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has set herself a fundraising goal deadline to announce her next run for office, according to the AJC.

 In a Monday interview with WABE’s Rose Scott, the Democrat said she intends to take the next three months to “really think about the role that I should play” in politics. And she outlined a trio of criteria to help her come to her decision.

“My responsibility is to do three things: One, I need to run for office because I’m the best person for the job, not simply because there’s a job that’s open. No. 2, I need to run because I have ideas and the capacity to win the election and do the job well,” she said.

“And No. 3, I need to make decisions not based on animus or bitterness or sadness, but really based in a pragmatism that says, ‘This is the right thing to do.’ And I’m going to use that calculus and I intend to make a decision about the job I’m going to run for next by the end of March.”

Former Columbus City Council member Skip Henderson has been sworn in as the new Mayor of Columbus, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

B. H. “Skip” Henderson III was sworn in as Columbus’ newest mayor Monday morning before a standing-room-only crowd of family, friends, supporters, community leaders and former Columbus mayors.

The installation ceremony at the Citizens Service Center also featured the swearing in of newcomer Charmaine Crabb as a councilor representing council district five, and councilors Jerry “Pops” Barnes (District 1), Bruce Huff (District 3), Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson (District 7), and Judy Thomas (District 9), all who were re-elected.

Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson announced his retirement, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Data sharing across state agencies may be an issue for the 2019 General Assembly, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“It’s the key to how we can address very specific needs, but we have to break down the silos,” said Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome.

Dempsey and Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, co-chaired a joint committee on data-sharing last year but political skirmishes in the run-up to the elections stalled legislation in both chambers.

“I have several allies working with me on data analytics,” Hufstetler said. “We’re still working on where it would be housed, but I expect to introduce that this session.”

Georgia spends billions of dollars a year on health and social programs but there’s no way to determine if residents are getting overlapping services or falling through cracks. That’s because each agency keeps separate case records; each agency is a separate silo.

Sharing data also could help target people at risk for addiction and get them intervention services before it’s too late, she noted.

Republican Mark Pettitt was sworn in to the Hall County Board of Education, according to the Gainesville Times.

Hall County Commissioners will consider expanding hours of alcohol service after a “Brunch Bill” measure was introduced, according to the Gainesville Times.

Restaurants would be allowed to sell alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays, a shift from current law that only allows sales to start at 12:30 p.m. A state law passed in 2018, often called the “brunch bill,” lets counties and municipalities put a referendum on the ballot and let voters decide whether earlier sales should be permitted.

In November, 63 percent of voters in Hall supported the measure. If commissioners approve the change when they cast the final vote Jan. 24, earlier sales would start on Feb. 3.

The Cave Springs City Council will consider setting elections dates at their next meeting, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The board also is scheduled to officially set the city’s election dates and qualifying fees for the coming year. Shoaf’s term of office expires on Dec. 31. The seats held by council members Tom Lindsey and Joyce Mink also will be on the ballot in November.

A special election on liquor sales also is expected to be set for March.

“Petition signed!,”w the mysterious Cave Spring Distilling Co. posted on its Facebook page Friday.

The as-yet unnamed investors want to renovate a vacant historic building on the Square as a distillery with a tasting room and store, to open this summer. But the voters first must approve liquor sales. The city council indicated it would put liquor-by-the-drink and Sunday sales on the ballot but state law requires a petition to add package sales.

Lawrenceville City Council voted unanimously to move forward with a new performing arts center in downtown Lawrenceville, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The plans call for a 59,500-square-foot facility whose entrance will face the Gwinnett County Historic Courthouse and provides spaces for a 500-seat main theater, a cabaret stage and educational space that would be occupied by Georgia Gwinnett College. It will also have a plaza at the entrance facing the Lawrenceville Square.

“This exciting project continues the dynamic transformation of the Downtown area,” Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson said in a statement sent out by the city moments after the vote was taken. “Lawrenceville is the heart of Gwinnett and maintains a central area rich with activity for all generations.

Lawrenceville City Council also gave the Lawrenceville Downtown Development Authority the go-ahead to purse a parternship with Hilton to bring a new parking deck and boutique hotel to downtown, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Qualifying remains open through Wednesday in a Special Election for Lula City Council to be held March 19, 2019, according to AccessWDUN.

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