Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 10, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 10, 2019

On January 10, 1868, the Georgia Equal Rights Association was formed in Augusta.

On January 10, 1870, the Georgia General Assembly convened and seated African-American legislators who had been expelled in 1868.

Eugene Talmadge was sworn-in to his first term as Governor of Georgia on January 10, 1933.

Talmadge fired elected officials who resisted his authority. Others were thrown out of their offices. Literally.

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.

Governor Nathan Deal was sworn-in as the 82d Governor of Georgia on January 10, 2011 while snow shut down the planned public Inaugural.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor-Elect Brian Kemp announced a raft of appointments:

Tyler Adams, Appointments Coordinator

Chris Allen, Legal Assistant and Policy Coordinator

Stephanie Aponte, Constituent Services Call Center Coordinator

Alexandra Beyer, Deputy Press Secretary

Nick Buford, Legislative Liaison and Policy Advisor

Ian Caraway, Local Government Liaison

Craig Foster, Floor Leader Coordinator

Mary Grace Heath, Photographer

Robin Herron, Scheduler

Josh Hildebrandt, Legislative Liaison and Policy Advisor

Brad Hughes, South Georgia Field Office Representative

Ryan Loke, Business Analyst and Special Projects Coordinator

Javier Pico-Prats, Assistant Executive Counsel

Blake Poole, Middle Georgia Field Office Representative

Wesley Ross, North Georgia Field Office Representative

Katherine Satterfield, Director of the Governor’s Mansion

Nancy Saunders, Front Desk Coordinator

Earle Shivers, Correspondence Liaison

S.F.C. Chris Stallings, Georgia State Patrol Security

Grant Thomas, Legislative Liaison and Policy Advisor

Skylar Whitaker, Administrative Assistant to Chief of Staff Tim Fleming

Miranda Williams, Chief of Staff to First Lady Marty Kemp

Laura Wilson, Assistant Scheduler

Governor-Elect Kemp visited Savannah yesterday to thank supporters, according to WTOC.

Hundreds came out to toast Georgia’s Governor-elect Brian Kemp in Savannah as he pushes towards his inauguration on Monday, Jan. 14. Those who came out to support like Marguerite Fischer who were heavy-weights over the last year for Kemp’s campaign in the Coastal Empire.

“But he really has Georgia and our concerns at heart,” Fischer said. “I’ve found that he’s really open and honest and really good to talk to.”

Marolyn Overton, the President of Savannah Area Republican Women, said she’s happy this day finally came.

“He has such a plan for Georgia and I think it’s great. We’ve worked hard to get him elected. I think he’s going to listen to the people and do what the people want.”

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap introduced Kemp to the stage at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Heap said she is supporting Kemp as she looks for him to support her and her prosecutors.

WJBF covered the Augusta event for Gov. Elect Kemp:

“When we decided to come do these ‘thank you’ tours and to let Georgians know that putting Georgians first, working for hard working Georgians. That wasn’t just a campaign slogan it is going to be the way that we govern,” says Brian Kemp Georgia’s Governor Elect.

“He is a strong supporter of public safety and that’s a priority for a lot of moms like myself and community members here. He cares about everyone and that they have the potential to succeed. He is all about continuing this job creation,” says Jodi Lott who work alongside Kemp during his race for governor.

Georgia is a leading state for cyber, which works well with Kemp’s mission to provide more job opportunities.

“We’ve been doing a lot in cyber as well especially in the metro Atlanta area but now with the mission at the base, it brings a whole new dynamic. It brings a lot of private sector jobs and a lot of federal government resources.”

From the Associated Press, via the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

“We’re going to work hard every day to make Georgia No. 1 for small business,” Kemp said. “We’re going to reform state government so we can continue to budget conservatively and spend money on our priorities, and that includes lowering taxes. We’re going to strengthen rural Georgia.”

He also singled out violent gangs and drug cartels as a priority. Kemp said he’s attended two funerals for police officers killed in the line of duty since winning the November election, and called their deaths “outrageous.”

“As a father, nothing worries me, bothers me or makes me madder than people shooting our own families up as well as our police officers,” Kemp said.

Kemp later told reporters the priorities he highlighted are “bipartisan issues” that will be his focus during the 40-day session of the Georgia legislature that begins Monday.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

GOP state Rep. Jodi Lott, whom Kemp recently named one of his floor leaders, teared up when she read a text she sent a year ago assuring Kemp of her support.

“You are going to win. I wanted you to know that I believe it; I hear it and the people around you truly like you,” the text said.

“Governor-elect Kemp’s statements throughout the entire campaign have been supporting our law enforcement officers and all our first responders, supporting our teachers, school safety and caring about our students, and then healthcare, which is my passion,” said Lott, a nurse and small business owner.

“He sat down with a piece a paper and said ‘if I said it, we’re working on it – if i said it in the campaign, this is our strategy,’” she said.

In naming his administration’s senior staff, Kemp is “putting people in that I know, that I respect and that I believe will be incredible to work with,” Lott said.

Governor Nathen Deal will take a turn as “Professor Deal,” as the Board of Regents will appoint him a Regents Professor, according to the AJC.

Deal’s salary will be about $120,000 a year, said University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley. The average tenured professor salary at UGA during the 2016-17 school year was about $126,000, according to a university web link.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to learn from a former governor,” Wrigley said.

UGA President Jere Morehead said Wednesday he’s looking forward to Deal’s arrival on campus, noting he’s the latest prominent Georgia politician desiring to teach after leaving office. Zell Miller taught at UGA, Emory University and Young Harris College after leaving the governor’s office in 1999. Former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is a visiting professor at UGA’s law school.

It may be a while before Deal is behind the lectern. He plans to take six months off to recuperate from back surgery, aides have said.

The Secure, Accessible and Fair Elections Commission meets today ahead of the legislative session, according to AccessWDUN.

Georgia State House Speaker David Ralston, apprearing on GPB’s “Political Rewind,” addressed the question of permit-free concealed carry, according to the AJC.

“I don’t know what the appetite’s going to be for that kind of legislation in the House. I’m going to take a very, very cautious view,” Ralston said during an interview on GPB’s “Political Rewind.”

State Rep. Matt Gurtler, R-Tiger, has already filed House Bill 2, which would remove those restrictions on concealed weaponry. Ralston expressed his doubts in the context of a House Republican caucus that lost 11 members in November – many of them in metro Atlanta. The speaker said he had a duty to protect GOP members who may be threatened again in 2020.

“I probably have more gun racks in the back of pick-up trucks in my county than any other county in Georgia. This is not a county that’s exactly ready to disarm,” Ralston said. “I have had two people in my 30 plus years here – I’ve had two individuals mention to me that they thought they ought to be able to carry without a permit.

“Frankly, I wonder how much of this issue is being ginned up by an extreme, fringe, special interest group that is looking, obviously, to raise funds. We’ve had one bill dropped in the House, but I’ve had many, many House members express to me their concern that we’ll even take it up.”

Banks County Commissioners approved a budget request to hire an additional part-time Magistrate Judge, according to AccessWDUN.

Lilburn City Council member Brian Burchik resigned his seat to accept a job as Main Street Manager for the Lilburn Downtown Development Authority, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

He is not the first member of a city council from a Gwinnett city to announce a resignation or retirement in recent weeks. Lawrenceville City Councilman Tony Powell announced plans last month to step down and retire. The Lawrenceville City Council formally accepted Powell’s resignation on Monday.

Floyd County Commission Chair Scotty Hancock was sworn-in along with County Commission members Rhonda Wallace and Larry Maxey, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Matthew Hamby is the only candidate in the Special Election for Lula City Council on March 19, 2019, according to AccessWDUN.

Coweta County Board of Education members elected Amy Dees as Chair, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Coweta County Commissioners elected Paul Poole as Chair, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Bulloch County Board of Education members will be sworn-in today at 6 PM, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents announced that University of West Georgia President Dr. Kyle Marrero is the sole finalist for President of Georgia Southern University, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Lowndes County Commissioners voted to buy 27 acres near Moody Air Force Base, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

An appeal of the Georgia Public Service Commission’s decision to allow Georgia Power to move forward with the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle was denied in Fulton County Superior Court, according to the Savannah Morning News.

In late December, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua granted the motion of Georgia Power, the lead owner of Vogtle and an intervenor in the case, to dismiss the groups’ petitions. LaGrua wrote that the PSC action was not a “final decision” and that the petitioners had not “exhausted all administrative remedies.”

“Georgia law is clear that a party aggrieved by an administrative agency’s decision must raise all issues before that agency and exhaust all available administrative remedies before seeking a judicial review of that agency’s decision,” she wrote.

The PSC did not join Georgia Power in its motion to dismiss. The utility has repeatedly stated that “the decision by the Georgia PSC to continue the Vogtle project was well within its authority and complied with all applicable laws.”

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