Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 27, 2022


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 27, 2022

Lt. Colonel George Washington fought French and Indian scouts on May 28, 1754, beginning the Seven Years War.

On May 27, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to John Adams to let Adams know of the death of a mutual friend.

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, requiring all Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi River.

On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”

On May 27, 1863, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal district court judge, issued a decision in Ex parte Merryman, which challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus. Lincoln ignored the ruling.

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill in Paulding County, Georgia, where Sherman’s forces attacked Johnston’s Confederates on May 27, 1864. Among the combatants on the Union side was Ambrose Bierce, who would later write The Crime at Pickett’s Mill. Pickett’s Mill is the site of annual reenactments.

On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and General Howard was given command. After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of General Cleburne.

The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500. The Confederate victory resulted in a one-week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta.

Here are some photos of the battlefield and links to additional material.

The Battle of Dallas, Georgia began on May 28, 1864. Click here to watch Week 6 of the Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta History Center series on the Civil War in Georgia.

On May 30, 1922, Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Inside the memorial is a seated statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French carved from 175 tons of Georgia white marble.

French also created the statue of Jame Oglethorpe that stands in Chippewa Square in Savannah and a seated statue of Samuel Spencer considered to be a prototype of the Lincoln carving. Samuel Spencer was the first President of Southern Railway and was originally located at the rail station in downtown Atlanta before moving to the Southern Railway passenger station in Buckhead in the 1970s and is currently at 1200 Peachtree Street in front of Norfolk Southern.

On May 27, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the United States was in an unlimited national emergency and laid out conditions under which Germany’s expansionism would constitute an attack on the United States.

On May 29, 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats.

Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, born in Atlanta on May 28, 1944.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 31, 1971.

On May 27, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter blasted the “Stop Carter” movement in a speech in Cincinnati.

On this day in 1992, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion by Georgia-based The Black Crowes reached number one on the Billboard US Album chart.

On May 27, 1995, actor Christopher Reeves was thrown from his horse in an equestrian competition in Culpepper, Virginia, becoming quadriplegic.

Eight years ago, a poll by Rasmussen showed Democrat Michelle Nunn beating both Jack Kingston and David Perdue in a General Election matchup and Democrat Jason Carter beating Gov. Deal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

DeKalb County mis-counted votes in County Commission District 2, according to the AJC.

A programming mistake caused an inaccurate vote count in a DeKalb County Commission race, election officials said Thursday night.

A recount will begin Saturday morning, when county election workers will re-scan all paper ballots from that commission district’s 40 precincts.

The error resulted in zero election day votes for Michelle Long Spears in all but seven precincts. Spears is currently in third place, outside of a runoff, but the recount could change the outcome. No other races were affected.

The problem arose from programming changes to voting equipment to remove a candidate from the ballot after he withdrew from the race for DeKalb Commission District 2, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Paper ballots printed from Georgia’s voting touchscreens will ensure accurate results, said State Elections Director Blake Evans.

The recount, which will be open to the public, will scan each paper ballot on a central scanner at the DeKalb elections office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The recount will become the results certified by the DeKalb elections board next week.

First, election officials adjusted settings to show three candidates in the commission race instead of four after Donald Broussard withdrew his candidacy.

Then, election officials discovered that voting equipment in five precincts hadn’t been updated after redistricting this year to reflect they were now within that commission district.

Next, the secretary of state’s Center for Election Systems tried to fix a problem in which a Republican Party ballot question wasn’t appearing correctly on touchscreens.

But the state’s attempt to correct the ballot question introduced a discrepancy between the five redistricted precincts and the rest of the commission district.

As a result, most ballot scanners on election day were programmed to expect votes for four candidates in the race when there were only three displayed on ballots, an inconsistency that prevented votes for Spears from being counted.

Fun fact: you can re-order the letters in DeKalb to Debakl, which sounds just like “debacle.”

Governor Brian Kemp suspended the state excise tax on motor fuels for another month, according to a press release.

Governor Brian P. Kemp signed two executive orders to alleviate the financial burden placed on Georgians due to the federal government’s gross mishandling of inflation and to renew efforts to address supply chain issues. In Executive Order, Governor Kemp has extended the temporary suspension of the state’s excise tax on motor fuel sales ahead of Memorial Day weekend. He also renewed the State of Emergency for Supply Chain Disruptions via Executive Order Both orders will be effective through July 14th and can be found here.

“While President Biden continues to enforce an out-of-touch agenda with no shortage of damaging effects on everyday Americans, I’m going to respond to record-high inflation and continuing supply chain issues by empowering Georgians to keep their money in their own pockets while we keep goods flowing,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Politicians in Washington, D.C. who ran on promises to unite the nation are failing us, and I will not tolerate this on behalf of Georgians who have entrusted me to fight for them. While we continue to do what we can on the state level to ease the burden at the gas pump, in the grocery store, and elsewhere, I will also continue to urge those on the federal level to change these failing policies, work toward greater energy independence for the country, and get our economy back to full operation.”

“In Georgia, we are focused on helping hard-working Georgians cope with the rising gas prices caused by Washington’s failed policies,” said Speaker David Ralston. “I am proud to join with Governor Kemp and my colleagues in the General Assembly to support this extension of the suspension of motor fuel taxes. We will keep our people and our economy moving.”

“As the nation grapples with inflation and record-breaking prices at the gas pump, Georgians are feeling the impact each day,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “As we combat the failures of Washington and continue working to build a more stable future for our state, I commend Governor Kemp for extending this critical temporary tax suspension and returning hard-earned dollars back to Georgians.”

Because of Gov. Kemp and state leaders’ fiscally conservative approach to budgeting, Georgia can confidently extend the state motor fuel tax suspension to help curb sky-high gas prices. Since the temporary suspension was implemented, Georgia’s average gas price has been among the lowest in the nation and remains roughly 45 cents below the national average for a gallon of regular gas, according to AAA.

From the Associated Press via AccessWDUN:

Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes by executive order as long as state lawmakers ratify the action the next time they meet. Kemp abated gas taxes in 2021 during a pipeline shutdown, and former Gov. Nathan Deal suspended gas taxes multiple times.

“We’re sending over a billion dollars back to you, back to you Georgia taxpayers, to help you deal with Biden’s 40-year high inflation,” Kemp said in his victory speech after Tuesday’s primary election when he beat David Perdue. “Stacey Abrams disagrees with this. She thinks state governments should keep more of your hard-earned tax dollars.”

Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones said her office will not prosecute marijuana possession for less than an ounce, according to the Savannah Morning News.

District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones cited a 2019 operations bulletin from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as her reasoning. The bulletin specifies its labs will only accept “leafy material” weighing at least an ounce if felony charges are filed and “priority testing is needed due to pending court.”

The office announced the change in a news release late Wednesday afternoon.

“Lawful prosecutions and convictions can only be based on evidence and proof,” Jones said in the release. Jones went on to note prosecuting marijuana cases would be difficult without lab testing, and added Georgia’s Hemp Farming Act “makes it more difficult to distinguish between illegal marijuana and legal hemp.”

People possessing more than an ounce of marijuana will still be prosecuted, if there is evidence indicating they intended to sell or distribute it, if marijuana is used in the presence of children or school zones, or if it impairs someone’s ability to drive.

“Our highest priority as prosecutors is to focus on those crimes which present the greatest risk to public safety and good order,” Jones said in the release. “Disposing of low-level, petty offenses that do not threaten public safety and do not involve a victim allows the state to focus on already limited resources on the serious cases that do (threaten public safety).”

Jones noted the decision will help with an increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy takes effect immediately.

In 2018, Savannah’s City Council passed an ordinance that decriminalized marijuana possession of less than an ounce, the Savannah Morning News previously reported. Savannah police now issue a citation for the offense.

Statewide, the Secretary of State’s website is still showing less than 1% of precincts unreported. And so, hope springs eternal. From the Gainesville Times:

Gainesville’s Sen. Butch Miller maintains the Republican race for lieutenant governor is not over, despite his opponent’s declaration of victory.

Miller is still hoping to draw a runoff with state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, who had 50.08% of the vote with 99.4% of precincts reporting at 3 p.m. on Thursday. If he stays over 50%, Jones will win the Republican nomination.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo (R-Gillsville) was reelected in a new district, according to AccessWDUN.

Incumbent State Rep. Emory Dunahoo defeated Jackson County School Board Member Don Clerici in the race for Georgia State House District 31. He faces no Democratic challenger in November.

Dunahoo, the current representative from District 30, had to run in the new district because of the recent reapportionment process, which saw him drawn out of his current district.

Districts 28 and 30 are in runoff territory with no candidate above the 50.1% threshold.

State Senator Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) beat back a primary challenge, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Payne defeated Doug Keener by 16,382 votes (67.5%) to 7,886 votes (32.5%) in Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial results on the Secretary of State’s website. No Democrat qualified. District 54 includes Whitfield and Murray counties. The term is for two years.

“This is really humbling,” said Payne. “Seven years ago I never dreamed I would serve in the state Senate. I want to thank the voters for expressing their confidence in my leadership. I am here only to serve, and I think that as time has gone by, the voters have seen that. They have seen that I have no other motive but to represent them.”

Payne finished first in a five-person special election in 2016 to finish the unexpired term of Charlie Bethel of Dalton in the District 54 seat and won a runoff for that seat in 2017. Bethel was appointed by then-Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia Court of Appeals. Deal later appointed Bethel to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Hall County District Three Commissioner Shelly Echols won her Republican Primary for Senate District 49, according to AccessWDUN.

The one-term county commissioner defeated her old political opponent Scott Gibbs in the primary to succeed Butch Miller, who is running for Lt. Governor. She will now face Democrat Judy Cooley in November.

“I’m thankful that I had two opponents who kept it clean and ran on our own merits and let the voters decide,” Echols said in an election night interview on WDUN.

“As your senator, I’ll champion pro-life policies, protect our Second Amendment rights, fight for less government, and never cave to the radical left and their cancel culture,” Echols said when she launched her campaign. “I will serve with principle and never be afraid to stand up for what is right, just as I have on the County Commission.”

In the election to succeed Echols on the Hall County Commission, Republicans David Gibbs and Greg Poole made a June 21 runoff election with no Democrat in the November General Election, according to AccessWDUN.

A common theme among both candidates has been managing growth in Hall County. Gibbs, a lifelong resident of Hall County, said leadership should focus on managing that growth by considering potential improvements for infrastructure, law enforcement, and schools.

“We need to plan ahead, way ahead maybe five or ten years and get ready before the fire happens,” Gibbs said on WDUN’s The Martha Zoller Show.

Put simply, Poole said he is running for commissioner to get a grocery store in Lula. He said doing so will help alleviate traffic in Gainesville by providing a closer option for Lula residents.

Like Gibbs, he is concerned about growth in northern Hall County and suggested restrictions to help manage it.

“I think we need to restrict it and put covenants on it in a way that will make it last through time…something you wouldn’t be ashamed of,” said Poole, who also made his comments on WDUN’s The Martha Zoller Show.

Speaking of scorched earth, Republican candidate Rich McCormick in the Sixth District fired on his runoff opponent, Jake Evans.

In a crowded field of candidates, Marine Pilot and Emergency Room Doctor, Rich McCormick, was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s Republican Primary. Dr. McCormick will now take on activist lawyer, Jake Evans, in the June 21st run-off election.

Rich McCormick is a real conservative with a lifetime of experience and unmatched record of service. As a Marine Pilot, Emergency Room Doctor, and father of seven, there’s no doubt that Dr. Rich McCormick is tough enough to stop Joe Biden, fire Nancy Pelosi, and stand up to the woke mob. He refuses to compromise his conservative values and will fight around the clock to fix the economy, lock down the border, and Revive Freedom from coast to coast.

Jake Evans is a woke activist lawyer and fake conservative with a troubling past. He attacked Georgia’s religious liberty legislation, criticized President Trump for not advancing gender equality, urged abortion backers to join the GOP, and embraced the MeToo movement that was weaponized against conservatives.

Worst of all, Fake Jake Evans recently penned a rambling 25-page manifesto inspired by radical Communists where he called “whites” and the criminal justice system racist, attacked law enforcement, and pushed to Defund the Police.

“Elections are about choices and there is a clear one to make for voters of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District,” said Dr. Rich McCormick. “I’m running on my record of service in the military, emergency room, and in our community. I’m unapologetic about my conservative values and support for low taxes, limited government, religious liberty, safe streets, the 2nd Amendment, and life. If you want a real conservative who will deliver real results in Congress, I humbly ask for your vote.

“My opponent is a fake conservative with a disturbing agenda. He applauded the veto of legislation to protect people of faith, trashed President Trump, and stood up for Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. If you want an activist lawyer who thinks that white people, law enforcement officers, and the criminal justice system are racist, vote for Fake Jake Evans. Given his record, just don’t be surprised when he caves to the woke mob, defunds your local police department, and applauds CRT being taught in public schools.”

McCormick is proudly endorsed by The Club for Growth PAC, Americans for Prosperity Action, Tea Party Express, Frontline Patriots PAC, SEAL PAC, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and numerous members of Congress. McCormick is “Certified Pro-Life” by Georgia Life Alliance (GLA).

Evans fired back on Twitter:

RINO Rich, the real conservative in this race is the one endorsed by President Trump that fought for election integrity when it mattered. Not the one endorsed by RINO liberals and backed by pro-abortion and pro-gun control groups. You are a failed candidate and RINO squish.

And here:

RINO Rich McCormick didn’t vote for Trump against Hillary, and he’s endorsed by the Adam Kinzinger Caucus. A failed carpetbagger candidate with a history of lying to voters and is aligned with gun control and pro-abortion groups!

To the shock of nobody who actually understands Georgia politics, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Extreme Northwest Georgia) walked away with the Republican Primary for District 14. From the Associated Press via the Dalton Daily Citizen News:

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated five challengers Tuesday in a GOP primary race that tested how her conservative Georgia constituents judged her turbulent freshman term.

She will face the winner of a three-way Democratic primary in northwest Georgia’s 14th District, a seat drawn to give Republicans a huge advantage, in November.

Greene remained on the primary ballot Tuesday in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District after a failed effort to disqualify her by opposing voters. They argued Greene engaged in insurrection by encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Georgia’s secretary of state and an administrative law judge dismissed the claims.

Greene proved popular enough that she raised more than $9 million for her reelection bid, placing her among the year’s top fundraisers in Congress, according to the Federal Election Commission. Greene spent more than $6.6 million before the primary.

Even with the odds against them, three Democrats competed for a shot at challenging Greene in November. Army veteran Marcus Flowers led the Democratic field with more than $8.1 million raised. He faced small business owner Hollie McCormack and Wendy Davis, a former Rome city commissioner, in the district’s Democratic primary.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-TN) defeated fellow incumbent Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in the Seventh District, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Unofficial results show McBath is so far leading with about 62.8% of the votes cast in the Democratic Party primary for the 7th Congressional District seat.

“This night isn’t the end of an election,” McBath told supporters gathered in a ballroom at the Hilton Atlanta NE in Peachtree Corners. “Tonight, we are not at the end of the challenge, but we are actually on the face of a mountain, one arm ahead to pull ourselves up. The other stretched back to embrace those who feel forgotten or left behind.”

“America has always been defined by the challenges that we face and we face a grave one tonight. We can be a nation where the many who do not look like us, think like us or worship or act like us are simply one nation, so, tonight, I stand before you as Lucy McBath, a daughter of the Civil Rights movement, a woman who survived breast cancer twice and a mother who lost her son to gun violence.”

Bourdeaux, a fellow Democrat who currently holds the 7th District, had 30.9% of the votes. State Rep. Donna McLeod trailed with 6.24% of the votes cast.

“In this election, we were up against millions in outside cryptocurrency super PAC money. However, my campaign was based on showing up and meeting the needs of our community,” Bourdeaux said in a statement. “I am very grateful for the volunteers, staff, and constituents that powered our movement and will be vital to defeating extremist Republicans in November.

From the AJC:

Chuck Eaton won his election for a term on the Fulton County Superior Court bench after serving 15 years on the Public Service Commission, where he won three statewide elections.

Three cityhood referenda in Cobb County failed at the ballot box, according to the Associated Press via AccessWDUN.

Proponents of the cityhood measures said local residents needed adequate representation and greater control over development. Some critics saw race as a driving factor in Tuesday’s referendums to create the cities of East Cobb, Vinings and Lost Mountain.

All three efforts failed decisively, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Lisa Cupid, chairwoman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, told the Marietta Daily Journal that the vote “speaks for itself.”

Supporters of the cityhood measures said the county’s population had grown too much to be adequately represented by a five-member county commission. They also argued that they wanted to preserve the suburban character of their areas, which they said was under attack by county officials intent on urbanization.

The three cities would have each taken over planning and zoning, code enforcement and parks and recreation from the county. East Cobb would have also created its own police and fire departments.

President Joe Biden nominated Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter as United States Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia, according to WSAV.

“Wow, how exciting is that. that the president of the United States nominates our police chief for a federal appointment,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

Minter has been chief of police in Savannah since 2018 and is now looking to take over as the U.S. marshal of Georgia’s Southern District.

“With that sort of appointment, I am hopeful that Roy Minter will be able to use his knowledge of Savannah moving forward in that position with the U.S. Marshals to be able to apprehend fugitives and you know serve the community in a greater need,” says alderman Kurtis Purtee.

President Biden also nominated Perry Police Chief Stephen D. Lynn as U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Georgia, according to 13WMAZ.

Lynn has served as the Chief of Police for the City of Perry since 2013. He was also an investigator for the Houston Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2013, and previously served in the Warner Robins Police Department from 1981 to 2007, where he held numerous leadership positions, including Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division and Strategic Services.

Lynn received his M.P.A from Georgia College & State University in 1996 and his B.S. from Georgia College in 1984.

The release says “these individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in their fields, and their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all.”

Muscogee County voters approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation (T-SPLOST) by 51.12% in favor, according to WTVM.

The measure passed with fewer than 1,000 votes between the two.

The money raised will be used for various infrastructure projects, including repaving the riverfront.

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

Voters in the 16-county River Valley Region approved a 1% regional sales tax to fund transportation projects with nearly 56% of the vote, unofficial election data shows.

The newly approved TSPLOST (transportation special-purpose local-option sales tax) will replace another that expires at year’s end. In Columbus, the measure won approval, 15,342 votes to 14,671. Harris County was the only one in the region to vote against the tax. No county can opt-out of the tax.

The new tax is expected to generate $665 million over 10 years. Of that, 75% is dedicated to the regional project list (The budget for the regional project list is $400 million to account for inflation). The other 25% can be spent however the county chooses on other transportation needs.

“Cooperation across political boundaries is essential for our regional success,” said Jim Livingston, the executive director of the River Valley Region Commission. The group supports local governments in the 16 counties and the cities around Columbus. “Working successfully together as a region since 2013 on large, impactful transportation projects will continue and we will be able to complete some important east/west corridors to help us get freight and commerce to the Port of Savannah quicker.

Whitfield County voters also approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST), according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Whitfield County will have another five-year ESPLOST beginning Jan. 1, 2023, after voters approved the referendum Tuesday, 9,067 “Yes” votes to 4,312 “No” votes.

The current ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) in Whitfield County ends Dec. 31.

A SPLOST is a 1% sales tax on most goods sold in a county. School systems typically use their version to finance capital improvements — like renovating schools and building new ones — technology, safety and security improvements, and buses, but not operating expenses.

ESPLOST started in Whitfield County in July 1997, and only three of Georgia’s 159 counties currently do not have an ESPLOST, according to Mike Ewton, superintendent of Whitfield County Schools.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson was reelected and will serve a second term, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

With all the ballots counted, Henderson defeated Columbus businessman John Anker, 18,947 votes to 11,291. Final tallies were sent to the Ledger-Enquirer around 2:30 a.m., and the data shows Henderson won all 25 precincts.

Steven Kendrick and Garnet Johnson earned runoff berths in the race for Mayor of Augusta, according to WJBF.

With 100 precincts reporting, Johnson received 38.80% of the votes (13,848 votes) while Kendrick received 39.39 (14,058 votes).

Augusta Commission District 10 incumbent John Clarke faces a runoff challenge, according to WJBF.

Incumbent Commissioner John Clarke took home 49 percent of the vote and former District 8 Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle took just under 32 percent in Tuesday’s election.

“The race was very close and we all thought it would be,” Clarke said.

“I’m going to be one who gets back to the base of what government is supposed to be. We’ve got to worry about paving these streets, fixing these potholes, getting the drainage system right and addressing the storm water,” Guilfoyle said.

“We’re looking at property tax to help the people, we’re looking at storm water to help the people. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but I’ve fought those before and I’ve won them,” Clarke said.

The runoff for District 10, District 2, and the mayoral race is June 21st.

From WRDW:

In District 2, it’ll be Stacy Pulliam and Von Pouncey. Pulliam brought in three times the number of votes but did not get more than 50 percent.

“I want voters to know that I care. I really do care,” said Pulliam, runoff candidate for District 2. “My emotion and my feeling was ‘yes, people believe in me,” she said.

We reached out to Pouncy for an interview, but have not heard back. We’ll try to get with her later before June 21.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

In Georgia State House District 132, Brian Prince, the seat’s Democratic incumbent, won the primary against Democrat Traci “Acree” George with 58.7% of the vote. George garnered 41.3%.

In the Augusta Judicial Circuit, two Superior Court judges faced challengers. Incumbent Jesse Stone was re-elected with 53.5% of the vote, overcoming challenger Charles Lyons III. Ashley Wright also won re-election, beating Laverne Gaskins with 73% of the vote.

Carletta Sims Brown, current Chief Judge for Civil and Magistrate Court, also retained her seat with 58% of the vote. Katrell Nash received 42% of the vote.

Richmond County’s new State Court Judge will be Ashanti Lilley Pounds, who won the race with 51% of the vote.  Evita Paschall received 48%.

Republicans Chris West and Jeremy Hunt earned runoff spots in the Second Congressional District, to meet U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop in November, according to the Macon Telegraph.

With nearly 97% of the ballots counted, Hunt leads the field with 22,438 votes (36.88%) and West just behind with 18,359 (30.18%). Former Trump Department of Education official Wayne Johnson finished third with just under 11,400 votes.

Hunt is a 28-year-old former U.S. Army Captain and Fox News commentator who recently moved to Columbus. He left Yale Law School to enter the race, the Associated Press reports. He registered to vote in Muscogee County in February 2022, according to voting data maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

West, 38, is an attorney for a Thomasville real estate development company and an officer in the Georgia Air National Guard.

In a statement Wednesday, West said he will win in November and took shots at Hunt ahead of their runoff.

“We advanced to this runoff despite being outspent 11-1 by Jeremy Hunt and his Washington D.C. lobbyists and special interest donors who flooded this district with their crony, carpetbagging money,” West said. “The good news is the voters of Middle and Southwest Georgia know a phony campaign when they see one: and that’s exactly why Jeremy Hunt was exposed.”

Columbus City Council District 7, an open seat, appears headed to a runoff between Joanne Cogle and LAketha Ashe, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The District 7 race is headed for a runoff with Joanne Cogle, a former educator and business owner, narrowly leading the race with 28% of the vote.

Following close behind Cogle is business owner Laketha Ashe who received around 27% of the vote.

Catherine Mims Smith and William Long Whitesell made the runoff election for Superior Court Judge for the Southern Judicial Circuit, serving Lowndes, Brooks, Colquitt, Echols, Lowndes, and Thomas Counties, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Smith had 14,926 votes, or 46.02%, combined from the five counties of the Southern Judicial Circuit – Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, Colquitt and Thomas, according to the Georgia Secretary of State website. Whitesell had a combined five-county total of 11,231 votes, or 34.63%. Robert L. Moore Jr. garnered 6,274, or 19.35%.

A candidate must reach 50% plus one vote to win election. If the mandatory 50% plus one vote is not reached, the election goes to a runoff between the two candidates receiving the top number of votes.

The runoff election is scheduled for June 21, with early voting scheduled for the weeks running up to the runoff.

Roger Moss won the election for President of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education without a runoff, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Republicans Tim Glover and Debra Smith meet again in a runoff election for the open Post 1 seat on the Hall County Board of Education , according to the Gainesville Times.

Republicans Joe Barnett and Greg Williams are in a June 21 runoff election for Whitfield County Board of Education District 4, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Barnett, a retired teacher, assistant principal and principal, received 3,537 votes, while Williams, who was in sales at Expert Die for two decades before moving to inventory control three years ago, received 2,611, and Amber McMahan, a nurse practitioner, received 2,205.

In the weeks leading to the June 21 runoff, “we’ll try to get our message out and meet more folks,” said Barnett, who spent 33 years in education before retiring from Whitfield County Schools but remains involved in education through Lee University by helping supervise and advise student teachers. “I want to talk to them (voters) about issues and concerns they have about education in our community.”

Williams will “be redoubling my efforts to secure the ballot spot for District 4” in the weeks leading up to the runoff, he said. “I believe the runoff will be a much tighter race.”

School board elections are countywide, and Republican Joseph Farmer opted not to seek reelection. No Democrat qualified. The term is four years.


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