Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 21, 2020

21
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 21, 2020

On September 21, 1863, the federal Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga after its defeat at Chickamauga.

Bert Lance resigned as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter on September 21, 1977. After a jury acquitted him on ten federal charges in 1980, Lance served as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1982 to 1985.

General Colin Powell was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 21. 1989. Powell served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan before being appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush; in 2000, Powell was nominated by President George W. Bush as Secretary of State, the first African-American to hold that post.

On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced on their website that they were quitting as a band.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Television spending in the campaign between Senator David Perdue (R-Glynn County) and Democrat Jon Ossoff (Atlanta) has exceeded $83 million dollars, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Total TV/radio ad spending in the race, including future bookings, is now more than $83.4 million, political advertising broker Medium Buying reported last week.

“Money is being poured into Georgia because it could go either way,” said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.

[Kennesaw State Political Scientist Kerwin] Swint said the outcome of the Perdue-Ossoff contest will go a long way toward deciding whether Georgia Democrats continue building on the momentum of the 2018 elections. Two years ago, Democrat Lucy McBath won a suburban Atlanta congressional seat the GOP had held for decades, while former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams lost the gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp by a narrow margin.

On the other hand, a Perdue reelection victory could key a Republican rebound in Georgia from 2018, Swint said.

Georgia also will play a large role in which party controls the Senate next year. Besides the Perdue-Ossoff race, a second Georgia Senate seat will be up for grabs Nov. 3, with 21 candidates on the ballot in what is essentially a special election to replace retired GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Atlanta) and Republican Congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14th) both appeared at a rally with Catoosa County Republicans, according to News Channel 9.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 14th congressional district and is hoping to become the first woman to be elected for that district on November 3rd. She spoke with Senator Kelly Loeffler about the upcoming election.

“I refuse to be the generation of Americans that were too complacent, too lazy and too busy to step up to the plate and allow our country to be pulled down into the depths of socialism,” Taylor Greene said.

Saturday afternoon, she explained her campaign slogan Save America, Stop Socialism.

“Their policies will wreck our economy, destroy our jobs and crush our children’s futures and dreams. I can’t bare the thoughts of looking into my grandchildren’s eyes and tell them the story about how America fell into a pit of socialism,” Taylor Greene said.

Georgia Senator Kellie Loeffler spoke about her time in Washington. She told the crowd that President Trump wanted her to say hi to Georgia for him.

“I’m pro life, pro gun, pro trump and they are never going to silence me,” Senator Loeffler said.

Senator Loeffler also said she is the most conservative U.S senator around today.

Riley Bunch writes about the Trump campaign’s ground game in the Tifton Gazette.

This cycle, the Trump Victory volunteers have knocked on more than 900,000 doors, according to the campaign, and made of 5.6 million phone calls. A feat that may not have been necessary in Georgia in the last general election.

“We understand that boots on the ground matter,” Brian Barrett, regional political director for the campaign, said. “That can be the difference maker in a campaign.”

While time continues to edge closer to what is being hailed on both sides of the aisle as “the most important election of our lifetime,” Republicans have amped up their canvassing in Georgia and other states where they haven’t always had to fight for the vote.

Although Trump hasn’t added a stop in Georgia to his ongoing string of massive rallies, he’s made numerous visits as president and wooed high-profile state politicos. But senior advisors say their strategy to build excitement for the president isn’t always flying him to the Peach State in Air Force One, but dispatching senior advisors and family members as surrogates to reach a larger number of voters at once.

“Whenever these folks come in to the state,” Billy Kirkland, senior advisor to the president, told CNHI, “they help to add to the excitement, to build the excitement and recruit more and more volunteers that in turn, become trained activists for the president.”

“Trump Victory’s volunteer army has been growing exponentially throughout the cycle, yielding thousands of Georgians who are trained, tested and ready to get out the vote for President Trump and Republicans up and down the ticket,” Savannah Viar, campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “The unbridled enthusiasm behind President Trump and his pro-growth, America-first agenda will keep the Peach State red in November.”

Gwinnett County voters will have more voting options than ever before, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday to offer three weeks of advance in-person voting at nine locations ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Commissioner Tommy Hunter cast the lone vote against the request, which came to the commission from the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections.

“In the past, the highest number (of early voting locations) we had was eight locations,” Gwinnett elections supervisor Kristi Royston said.

Early voting, or advance in-person voting as it is officially called, for the general election will be held from Oct. 12 to Oct. 30.

The line-up of advance in-person polling sites this fall includes the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville for a second time this year. The fairgrounds, which has seen several of its events canceled or postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was previously drafted to serve as an early voting site ahead of the state primary election in June.

“The fairgrounds are going to give us an opportunity to offer a larger facility that will have more check-in stations and more voting machines,” Royston said.

The elections office will be open daily, including two weekends, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the fairgrounds and the county’s seven traditional satellite polling sites will be open daily, also including two weekends, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We are increasing all satellite locations to be open the entire three weeks, which includes two weekends, and we’ve not previously had the satellites open for the entire time,” Royston said.

Augusta area election offices are preparing for November, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Richmond County is likely to see the largest number of voters ever, around 100,000, participate in the Nov. 3 vote, Elections Director Lynn Bailey said.

While another record number – Bailey said around 40,000 – is expected to request absentee ballots, those who don’t will head to the polls to vote in person on or before Election Day.

With a hazard-pay bonus, poll workers make at least $175 for the election. They must be 16 years or older, a U.S. and Richmond County resident and not an immediate family member of a candidate or public official.

Some groups are asking Governor Brian Kemp to use some federal aid funds for direct microgrants for families with educational needs, according to the Rome News Tribune.

In a letter sent Sept. 15, groups including the American Federation for Children, the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta and GeorgiaCAN urged Kemp to reserve more than $20 million in federal COVID-19 funds for microgrants, which cover small one-time expenses.

The letter says families could use those grants to purchase technology needed for virtual learning, tutoring services, specialized therapies and for so-called “pod” settings in which students meet in small groups for online classes.

“We believe that offering direct assistance to parents at this time is a necessary lifeline to help prevent those with the greatest need from falling further behind their peers,” the letter says.

The letter also asks Kemp to reserve part of any approved microgrant funding for families whose students have special needs and are currently in virtual-learning environments.

The City of Brunswick will receive $148,000 in federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to The Brunswick News.

According to Mary Carpenter, a spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, the funding will be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic.

“Public services include those for people experiencing homelessness or elderly people, and services related to employment, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse, education, fair housing counseling, and energy conservation,” she said. “Previous tranches of funding have been used to partner with non-profits to provide homeless services, increase PPE availability, increase testing, and make available food assistance for low- or moderate- income children.”

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey said the funding will also help pay for personal protection equipment for public safety responders and sanitizing equipment for staff and the public.

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