Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 15, 2021


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 15, 2021

On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated at a meeting of the Senate.

On March 15, 40 BC, Octavian executed 300 Senators and knights in vengeance for Caesar’s death.

On March 15, 1758, Georgia’s Royal Governor Henry Ellis signed legislation dividing the colony into eight parishes, primarily for religious administration, but with some parishes having secondary government functions.

On March 15, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge negotiated bank loans totalling $2 million dollars to keep the state’s public schools open.

On March 15, 1943, Sea Island was officially named as Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation designating the island that had informally been given several different names.

On March 15, 1980, USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Vinson was the first Navy ship named after a living American.

Howard “Bo’ Callaway, the father of the modern Georgia Republican Party, died on March 15, 2014.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tomorrow is election day in several parts of Georgia.

City of Baldwin City Council District 4

Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) for Jackson County, City of Jefferson, City of Commerce

Glynn County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST)

Oconee County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Augusta-Richmond County Special Purpose Local Option Sales and Use Tax

Heard County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

City of Clarkston City Council

Houston County General Obligation Bond and ESPLOST Election

Warner Robins City Council Post 1

City of White City Council

McDuffie County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Sylvania City Council Ward 4

Crawford County Commission District 5 and Board of Education District 4

Dawson County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST 21)

Jasper County Commission District 1

City of Kingsland Council District Post 3

Walker County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST)

Liberty County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Gordon County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Henry County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Butts County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Whitfield County Tax Allocation District Election and County Commission District 3 Special Election

Barwick City Council Post 1 and Post 2

Meriwether County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Lamar County Chief Magistrate and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Troup County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST)

Richmond Hill City Council Post 3 Special Election

Haralson County Commission District 4 Special Election

City of Folkston At-Large Council Special Election

Grovetown City Council Special Election

Wilkinson County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Troup County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Thomas County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

Carroll County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

City of Talbotton Special Municipal Election

Under the Gold Dome Today  – Legislative Day 32


Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
8:00 AM Senate Government Oversight – 450 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD32) – House Chamber
Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate State Institutions and Property – 125 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Alcohol and Tobacco Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety and Services Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate State and Local Governmental Operations – 310 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs State and Local Government Subcommittee – 506 CLOB


HB 111 – Financial institutions; clarify and remove superfluous language; provisions (B&FI-18th) Williamson-115th


Modified Structured Rule
SB 5 – Professions and Businesses; patient protection measures for patients undergoing sedation in certain settings; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Hawkins-27th) Kirkpatrick-32nd

Governor Brian Kemp on Friday issued Executive Order, with revised guidance on COVID prevention protocols. From a press release:

The changes to the Executive Order are detailed below:

▪ Combines the restaurant and bar requirements to hold both types of establishments to the same standards; and

▪ Streamlines suggestions and requirements for Critical Infrastructure and Non-Critical Infrastructure organizations to remove unnecessary requirements based on existing standard operating procedures for organizations and the ineffectiveness of certain measures; and

▪ Includes 2021 high school graduates, home study graduates, and GED recipients in previously ordered HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship testing requirement modifications.

From the AJC:

As Georgia grapples with rock-bottom vaccination rates, Gov. Brian Kemp is encouraging more health care providers to think “outside the box.”

At a pop-up vaccine clinic at the St. Philip AME Church in east Atlanta, the governor encouraged other providers to follow the lead of Walgreens, which launched three events through the Metro Atlanta Ministerial Alliance across the city. Uber teamed up with the pharmacy chain to provide free rides to the clinics.

“It’s how we get the vaccine out into the community whether at a church, a civil club, a neighborhood, a homeowners association,” said Kemp, adding: “I know we have providers out there that have doses and could do things like this.”

From WSB-TV:

Gov. Brian Kemp says he is confident that vaccines can open up to all adults in Georgia in a matter of weeks.

Nearly 3.5 million additional Georgians will become newly-eligible for the vaccine starting [today]. Those groups include people 55 and older and those who have high-risk health conditions.

There are more than a dozen medical conditions that will qualify for the vaccine starting on Monday. Those issues include diabetes, obesity, heart disease and having a compromised immune system.

“The whole point of vaccines is not to prevent the disease 100%, but really to prevent severe disease that would require people to end in the hospital,” Dr. Gavin Harris with Emory University told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.



State Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah) writes in the Savannah Morning News about House Bill 168, which he authored.

My bill, HB 168, allows an affected community’s district attorney to review the correctional record of the inmates convicted of violent and sexual crimes before they are released early on parole. The DA currently retains a right to object to an inmate’s early release. The bill simply gives them knowledge of the inmate’s behavior while in jail, and it applies only to those inmates convicted of violent crimes and violent sexual offenses.

Not only did my Democratic colleagues vote against the bill, our own newly elected Chatham County DA Shalena Cook Jones, herself a Democrat, lobbied the Democratic members of our delegation to oppose this measure. Why would a district attorney oppose legislation that simply gives her more information about violent felons prior to their potential early release? This gives the DA’s no more power than they have now but instead provides them more information to use those powers.

Thankfully, our Republican caucus supported the measure and it passed. The bill is particularly good for Savannah which has been ravaged for years by violent felons on parole.

It seems to me a clear pattern is emerging here: it should be obvious to any reasonable person that the Democratic Party is far more concerned with protecting criminals than victims.



Chatham County courts had a pre-existing condition – a backlog of cases — that was exacerbated by the pandemic, according to the Savannah Morning News.

But while courts have managed to press forward, the pandemic highlighted the inefficiencies in the court system and further increased the backlog of cases, including in Chatham County.

“I think it is really important to understand that COVID didn’t create a backlog. There has been a backlog of cases prior to COVID,” Chatham County Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Edwards told the Savannah Morning News. He is also responsible for policy, programs and personnel.

On Feb. 28, 2020, Chatham County had more than 5,000 pending cases in its system, Edwards said. In the past year, more than 4,600 pending cases were added to the workflow. Though hesitant to call it a “backlog,” Edwards explained pending cases are unresolved cases that have been delayed for several factors.

“It’s more about the efficiency of the system and the ability to keep case matters flowing in a steady pace than it’s about specific backlogs,” Edwards said, adding the office isn’t just bogged down with felony and misdemeanor cases.

“If we have a situation where our system can be so adversely affected by an 11-month period of time, that’s fairly good evidence that we really need to be evaluating and considering a restructuring of our system,” he said.


Valdosta City Council appointed Jeremy Baker as the new Municipal Court Judge, according to the Valdosta Daily News.

Councilman Andy Gibbs nominated Baker while Councilwoman Vivian Miller-Cody nominated Valerie Bryant, a Georgia public defender.

A 5-3 vote landed in favor of Baker as the municipal court judge.

“We’ll begin talking about salary, notices he’s going to give at his current (job),” City Manager Mark Barber said. “There’ll be a swearing-in date once we get all that worked out.”

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