Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 22, 2022


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 22, 2022

On June 23, 903 AD, the Icelandic Parliament, the Althing or Althingi, was established and is the world’s oldest.

In honor of the Icelandic Parliament, here’s the greatest Icelandic band ever, the Sugarcubes, playing at Auburn in 1988.

On June 22, 1633, Galileo Galilei recanted his published theory that stated the sun was the center of the world and the earth was not.

Georgia’s Trustees voted on June 22, 1737 to seek bids for building churches at Savannah and Frederica.

Georgia Whigs voted on June 22, 1775 to join a boycott against British goods. That same day, the Continental Congress approved the issuance of $2 million in debt-backed currency.

Off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, British Commodore Sir Peter Parker spent June 23, 1776 preparing to land the next day, charged with supporting loyalists to the British crown.

On June 23, 1819, Texas declared its independence from Spain.

The donut was invented on June 22, 1847.

On June 23, 1862, General Robert E. Lee met with his commanders in preparation for what would be known as the Seven Days’ Battles.

The Battle of Kolb’s Farm was fought near Marietta, Georgia on June 22, 1864.

On June 23, 1865, Georgia-born Cherokee Stand Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender.

The United States Department of Justice was established on June 22, 1870.

On June 23, 1888, Frederick Douglass became the first African-American nominated for President, receiving one vote from Kentucky at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Judson Lyons, the first black lawyer in Georgia, died on June 22, 1924, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill.

On June 22, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed a law extending the 26th Amendment Right to Vote at age 18 to all federal, state, and local elections.

Former Atlanta mayor Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. died on June 23, 2003.

Happy birthday on Thursday to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (1948) and the late Mrs. GaPundit.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Darien City Council voted to disband its police department and turn law enforcement over to the McIntosh County Sheriff, according to WTOC.

The plan is to create a Darien division within the sheriff’s office which would only be responsible for areas within Darien City Limits.

Mayor Hugh Hodge told WTOC last week the Darien division would consist of five people.

Currently, the Darien Police Department has 13 officers.

Fewer Chatham County voters turned out yesterday than in the May 24 Primary Election, according to the Savannah Morning News.

At least in Chatham, Republicans didn’t have much to vote on in the runoff, just the non-partisan race for Recorder’s Court between winner Joe Huffman and Richard Sanders.

In the runoff, 15,460 votes were cast in the Recorder’s Court judge race, down significantly from the 44,874 votes cast in the May elections.

Additionally, the runoff for the Democratic 1st Congressional District nomination saw Wade Herring take the win over 2020 nominee Joyce Marie Griggs. In the primary, 45,052 votes were cast in the 15-county 1st District. The runoff for that race saw 20,642 voters return to cast ballots again.

Statewide interest was likewise muted. Bee Nguyen’s runoff victory over Dee Dawkins-Haigler for secretary of state came from 252,232 votes, a far cry from the 697,922 votes that were cast in the race during the primary.

In Chatham alone, 12,513 votes were cast in the Democratic secretary of state runoff, and 25,397 were cast in the primary.

From WTOC:

The county did have a shortage of about 200 poll workers and according to the board of elections office that was the biggest issue today.

They had about 600 workers compared to their usual 800 because of people out sick and on vacation.

Bulloch County also saw depressed turnout, according to WTOC.

Voter turnout was low, at least through midday. Voters who cast a ballot in the Democratic primary back in May had several statewide races to help decide.

On the Republican side, voters had one county commission primary to decide between Travic Chance and Toby Connor.

“It has been slow. We’ve had some precincts that have seen less than 50 voters. Some precincts haven’t had any voters at all.” [said Bulloch County Election Superintendent Shontay Jones]

She says they had more than 4,000 early voters last month for the primary, but roughly 700 last week for the runoff.

Savannah lawyer Wade Herring won the Democratic Primary Runoff for the First Congressional District and faces Republican incumbent Buddy Carter (Pooler) in November, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Herring, who didn’t win a single county in the May 24 primary, managed to win big where it mattered most this time around.

In Chatham, by far the largest Democratic bastion in the 1st District, he won 67% of the vote. If not for Chatham, the race would’ve been much closer. In Chatham, Herring led Griggs by a little over 4,200 votes. In the total 15 county vote tally, he led her by 4,900 votes.

Herring also scored highest in Appling, Brantley, Bryan, Effingham, Glynn and Liberty counties.

For Herring, the nomination is the chance he’s been hoping for since he decided to run last year following the U.S. Capitol riots.

But as all of Carter’s Democratic challengers have learned over his two decades in the Georgia General Assembly and the U.S. House, it will be an uphill battle.

Carter has held his congressional seat since 2014, and none of his challengers have come close to upsetting him. The closest was Lisa Ring in 2018, when she got 42.3% of the vote.

Chris West was nominated for Second Congressional District by Republican voters, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Thomasville attorney Chris West won the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District, defeating former U.S. Army captain and Yale Law student Jeremy Hunt in Tuesday’s runoff election.

With an estimated 98% of the vote in, West leads Hunt 14,608-13,853. Hunt conceded just before 10:20 p.m. but did not mention West by name in his speech.

“We’re all in. We’re going to support the Republican nominee,” Hunt told supporters at his election night event in Columbus. “We’re going to move forward.”

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful to the voters of GA-02 for propelling us toward this huge win tonight,” he wrote. “Tonight showed that we can—and will—defeat Sanford Bishop in November. It’s time to rotate the crop in Southwest Georgia. Thank y’all and God bless!”

West goes on to face Democrat Sanford Bishop, an incumbent who has represented the region for nearly three decades. The race will be Georgia’s most closely contested Congressional election in November.

Dr. Rich McCormick won the Republican Primary Runoff for Seventh Congressional District by a 2:1 margin over Jake Evans, according to the Forsyth News.

As of 10 p.m., McCormick, a veteran and emergency room physician, had earned about 68% of the vote total in the June 21 primary runoff over opponent Jake Evans, an attorney, who earned about 32% of the more than 25,000 votes in the race. McCormick will face Democrat Bob Christian in November’s election.

“The voters of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District have spoken, and I am honored to be their Republican nominee,” McCormick said in a statement posted on Twitter. “While encouraged by the outpouring of support from every corner and every community, the real work begins now in earnest.”

“We must unite the Party to secure victory in November for Georgia Republicans up and down the ballot. Together, we will Revive Freedom and Save America!”

U.S. Congress District 6 represents all of Forsyth and Dawson counties along with portions of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

Republican Mike Collins won the GOP Primary Runoff for Tenth Congressional District, according to the New York Times.

Mike Collins, the owner of a trucking company, easily won the Republican runoff election on Tuesday for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, knocking out Vernon Jones, a former state lawmaker and Democrat-turned-Republican who had the backing of former President Donald J. Trump.

If he wins the general election in November, he will represent a solidly conservative district that stretches from suburban Atlanta to Augusta.

Mr. Collins benefited from name recognition within the district — he ran for the seat in 2014 and narrowly lost to Jody Hice — and higher fund-raising than the rest of the primary field. He received an endorsement from Gov. Brian Kemp in the final week of the runoff campaign, marking the governor’s first and only endorsement in a primary.

Mr. Jones, a former DeKalb County executive, struggled to raise money and earn the trust of some voters in light of his past in Democratic politics. He also faced accusations of misconduct toward women, which he denied.

Garnett Johnson was elected as the next Mayor of Augusta, according to WRDW.

“It feels great. It’s an overwhelming sense of love and support that the voters chose me to become the 85th mayor of the city of Augusta,” he said.

He will be sworn in January 2023, when Mayor Hardie Davis Jr.’s term is complete.

Davis was in attendance at Johnson’s headquarters after the win.

“He came out here to congratulate me. He extended an offer for me to come by the office because believe it or not, I’ve never been in the mayor’s office,” said Johnson.

Augusta voters also elected new Commissioners for Districts 2 and 10, according to WRDW.

With more than 65 percent of the votes, Stacy Pulliam was elected the District 2 seat on the Augusta Commission. Von Pouncy had 35 percent.

“I’m going to continue to do the work that I’ve been doing,” she said. “I care about the people in my district, and I love District 2.”

And with 57 percent of the votes, Wayne Guilfoyle was elected the District 10 seat on the Augusta Commission.

“I’m able to get along with other commissioners; it’s a proven track record. You can see it of any of the former commissioners that I’ve worked with; we were able to get things accomplished,” he said.

John Clarke, the incumbent, had 43 percent.

Republican Carter Barrett ousted State Rep. Sheri Gilligan in the Primary Runoff for State House District 24, according to the Forsyth News.

Gary Bechtel won a fiery runoff for Chair of the Macon Water Authority Board, according to 13WMAZ.

Bechtel received 8,499, or 69% of the votes, and Brown got 31%, or 3,818 votes. The two competed to replace current chairman Sam Hart, who is retiring.

“I’d like to thank all the voters in Macon-Bibb County who got a lot of messages, a lot of communications from me. They responded. I’m very pleased they chose me as their new chairman of the Macon Water Authority. Just want to give all the blessings and grace to Lord Jesus Christ who blessed me with this opportunity,” Bechtel said.

“So that people trust what we’re doing. Water… sewer is great for the health and welfare of the community, so we just want to keep doing the job we’re doing and let people know they can trust us,” Bechtel said.

Catherine Mims Smith is the likely winner in the Runoff Election for Superior Court Judge in the Souther Judicial Circuit, serving Brooks, Echols, Colquitt, Lowndes, and Thomas Counties, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Smith had 7,392 votes, or 53.3%, combined from the five counties of the Southern Judicial Circuit – Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, Colquitt and Thomas, according to the Georgia Secretary of State website.

Her opponent, William Long Whitesell, had a combined five-county total of 5,975, or 44.7%.

In the May primary, Smith garnered 46.02% of the five-county vote, Whitesell had 34.63% and candidate Robert L. Moore Jr. garnered 19.35%.

Erica Dove is the apparent winner of a seat on Gwinnett County State Court with more than 62% of the vote. Adrienne Simmons won the Gwinnett County Board of Education District 4 seat with nearly 55%.

Republican Rick Townsend is State Representative-Elect for House District 179, according to The Brunswick News.

Voters in the Republican primary runoff for the state House District 179 seat gave Townsend a solid majority over his opponent, Bob Duncan. Townsend had earned 1,692 of the 2,880 votes cast in the race, 58.75% of the total. Duncan trailed at 1,188 votes, or 41.25%.

Townsend faces no Democrat challengers.

Outgoing Rep. Don Hogan has served three terms in the house seat representing the southern portion of mainland Glynn County, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. His final term ends at the end of this year.

Mike Hodges appears to have won the GOP nomination for Senate District 3, dispatching former State Rep. Jeff Jones. From The Brunswick News:

The Senate District 3 seat represents parts of Glynn, McIntosh, Camden, Ware, Brantley and Charleton counties.

The winner of the Senate District 3 race will also face no Democrat challengers.

Republican Greg Poole won nomination to Hall County Commission District 3 and faces no opposition in November, according to AccessWDUN.

He predicted inflation will continue to be a major issue for the county.

“I think one of the biggest issues that’s going to be facing everybody in the foreseeable future would be budget issues, things of that nature,” Poole said.

One of his major goals is to build a grocery store in Lula. He spoke on WDUN’s The Martha Zoller Show on March 8 and said many elderly women in his Bible study group have to drive to Rabbittown to get groceries. Poole said that this travel for groceries affects traffic in Gainesville.

“The congestion in Gainesville is horrendous because I go there every day, that’s where my office is,” Poole said on WDUN’s The Martha Zoller Show. “So one of the things that would alleviate a lot of traffic, if we had some of the basic necessities we need in our end of the county.”

Dexter Fisher was elected to Athens-Clarke County Commission District 5, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Paul Smith was elected to Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education District 5 with 54.3% of ballots cast, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Paul Smith defeated Theresa Watson in a runoff to become the next Savannah-Chatham County Schools Board representative for District 5.

Smith will succeed current District 5 school board member Irene Gadson Hines who will retire once her term ends on December 31. District 5 encompasses several west Savannah neighborhoods and part of the southside.

Joe Barnett won the GOP nomination for Whitfield County Board of Education District 4, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Barnett is the Republican nominee in the Nov. 8 general election. No Democrat qualified. The post is elected countywide — except for the city of Dalton, which has its own school system and school board.

The term is four years. Incumbent Republican Joseph Farmer did not to seek reelection.

Barnett and Williams finished first and second respectively in a three-way primary May 24, but neither received more than 50% of the vote, taking the race to a runoff.

Deborah Jones Smith is the GOP nominee for Hall County Board of Education District 1 headed to a November General Election, according to AccessWDUN.

Joe Huffman won the Runoff Election for Chatham County Recorder’s Court, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Huffman  easily bested his opponent, Bloomingdale Municipal Court Judge Richard Sanders. Huffman won by more than 3,200 votes with 62%

A Garden City municipal court judge, Huffman will fill the seat left vacant by Recorder’s Court Chief Judge Tammy Stokes. Last month, Stokes ran unopposed for Chatham County Superior Court judge and will replace retiring Judge Louisa Abbot in 2023.

Toby Conner won the Republican nomination for Bulloch County Commission District 2B, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Joanne Cogle won the Columbus City Council District 7 Runoff Election, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Hardeeville City Council member David Spisso died, according to WTOC.

Macon-Bibb County Commissioners approved a budget for the new fiscal year, according to 13WMAZ.

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