Category: Georgia Politics

27
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 27, 2018

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

On November 27, 1864, Sherman ordered the courthouse in Sandersville, Georgia burned.

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Click here to check your voter registration and for early voting locations.

According to the Secretary of State’s absentee voter list, 46,407 early votes have been processed by local boards of elections.

Early voting started yesterday in the Runoff Elections for Secretary of State and Public Service Commission, according to WTOC.

Early voting starts Monday, Nov. 26 for the runoff elections in Georgia.

The early voting period will last until Friday, Nov. 30.

One of the biggest statewide runoff races is for the position of Secretary of State.

Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow are locked in a tight race to see who will replace Robyn Crittenden as secretary of state. Crittenden was appointed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to fill the remaining term of governor-elect Brian Kemp.

From the AJC:

“Because of the historic turnout we had for the general, we’re preparing for a big turnout for this one,” said DeKalb Elections Director Erica Hamilton.

Hamilton said while she does not expect to see anywhere near the 60-plus percent voter turnout seen in the general election, her office expects far better than the 14-percent average turnout for past runoffs.

She has a message for DeKalb County voters:

“Whether you vote on Election Day or absentee, your ballot will count, and if you have any questions, please ask us in advance, please check your voter status,” she said.

Also from the AJC:

Unlike the general election, there’s no requirement for early voting on a Saturday before the runoff.

Absentee voting is also available for the runoffs. Voters can fill out an absentee ballot request form and return it to their county election offices. Mailed absentee ballots must be received by local election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

All registered voters are eligible to participate in the runoff election, even if they didn’t cast ballots Nov. 6. The voter registration deadline for this year’s election was Oct. 9.

From the Henry Herald:

Through Nov. 30, voters can cast their ballots at the Henry County Elections and Voter Registration Office, located at 40 Atlanta St. in McDonough. From Nov. 26-28, election hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Nov. 29 and 30, hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Election Day is Dec. 4, and voters can cast their ballots at their regular polling precinct.

From the Brunswick News:

The Glynn County Board of Elections originally planned to open the polls on Wednesday, but Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch said election workers were able to open earlier.

As long as there are no federal runoffs on the ballot, state law provides no deadline for a early voting in a runoff for state and local seats to begin, only saying it should begin “as soon as possible.”

Democrat John Barrow and Republican John Raffensperger are facing off to become the next Georgia Secretary of State, while Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat challenger Lindy Miller are seeking a seat on the Public Safety Commission. Libertarian candidates in both races did not receive enough votes to qualify for the runoff.

The polling places are located in the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick, and in Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road on St. Simons Island.

President Donald Trump yesterday endorsed Republican Brad Raffensperger for Secretary of State via Twitter.

Trump Tweet BradRaff

Georgia Health News looks at a prospective healthcare agenda for Governor-elect Brian Kemp.

Republican Kemp, who will take office in January, opposed Medicaid expansion during the campaign, while Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams strongly supported it. Gov. Nathan Deal and his fellow Republicans who control the Georgia General Assembly have resisted expansion since it became an option for states several years ago.

But there may be other health care ideas coming under a Kemp administration that can bring coverage to more Georgians. And those ideas come under the general heading of “waivers.’’

A Kemp administration, meanwhile, could pursue one or more waivers that fall short of full expansion. States can propose waivers to change their health care programs under the Affordable Care Act. Such changes must receive federal approval.

Kemp’s move to add Tom Price, a former U.S. secretary of health and human services, to the gubernatorial transition team could pave the way for such a waiver plan, says Kyle Wingfield of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

The Price addition may mean ‘’the Kemp team understands they need to do something on health care,’’ Wingfield said Monday. “We would say that bringing in someone like Tom Price indicates that they get that and they’re looking for someone who’s very familiar with how HHS works.’’

The Statesboro Herald writes that Democrat John Barrow has an uphill fight against Republican Brad Raffensperger in the runoff election.

Unless affected by court decisions lingering from the dispute over the governor’s race, in-person early voting will be available Nov. 26-30 in the general election runoff. A runoff for a seat on the Public Service Commission will also appear on the statewide ballot.

“We haven’t had many statewide general election runoffs,” said University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles S. Bullock III, Ph.D. “But there were two for the U.S. Senate and two or three for the Public Service Commission, and one consistency has been that Republicans won every one of those.”

In Georgia’s statewide general election runoffs, the Republican has consistently won, whether initially in the lead or in second place, Bullock said.

“So what that tells you is that, at least in the past, Republicans have been more successful in getting their voters to come back for that second vote,” Bullock said.

Republicans’ traditional “as a whole better educated, a bit more affluent” voter demographics have been “two strong correlates of voting” participation, Bullock said.

Barrow, in a phone interview Friday, observed that the 2018 election season has been markedly different than those that produced statewide runoffs in the past.

“I think there are so many differences between this climate right now and what happened in 2008 and what happened in 1992, I wouldn’t know where to begin,” Barrow said. “But I know this. This is an equal-opportunity challenge for both sides in this race, and there are lots of problems that need to be fixed and there is only one candidate running in this race that has promised to fix these problems in a bipartisan manner.”

Georgia’s Nick Ayers could be in line to be the next White House Chief of Staff, according to the AJC.

Chatham County Board of Assessors Vice Chairman Tommy Boondry was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Boondry was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession of drug-related objects, and permitting an unlicensed person to drive and open container, Johnson said.

The Chatham County Board of Assessors is responsible for notifying the public of changes in property tax law.

Chief Appraiser Roderick Conley said the Board of Assessors has no comment on the arrest, and the board is investigating the matter.

Whitfield County‘s 2019 budget includes a $2.2 million dollar surplus, and a local resident is asking Commissioners to consider a property tax cut, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Eggs and Issues breakfast on December 13, according to the Gainesville Times.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter honored Kimya Motley with the Victims Voice Award, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Porter said at the breakfast, which allows Gwinnett crime victim assistance agencies the opportunity to meet one another and learn about services that other agencies offer, that Motley has “tirelessly advocated” for Georgia and Gwinnett’s crime victims.

16
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 16, 2018

The Georgia Trustees visited the first group of settlers on November 16, 1732, the day before they were scheduled to depart England for the New World.

On November 17, 1732, the first English headed to colonize Georgia set off from Gravesend, England, down the Thames. Their supplies included ten tons of beer.

On November 16, 1737, the Georgia Trustees learned that England’s King George II would send 300 soldiers, along with 150 wives and 130 children to the settlement in Georgia.

On November 17, 1777, Congress submitted the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification.

Abraham Lincoln began the first draft of the Gettysburg Address on November 17, 1863.

Lincolnatgettysburg

Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 18, 1863.

On November 16, 1864, Sherman left Atlanta in smoking ruins.

A 2010 Wired article argues that Sherman’s rampage through Georgia and the Carolinas changed modern warfare.

Vengeance aside, the real objective of Sherman’s march was to cut the Confederacy in two, cripple Southern industrial capacity, destroy the railroad system and compel an early Confederate surrender. It was also intended to break Southern morale — in Sherman’s words, to “make Georgia howl.”

Sherman was vilified for his barbarism, but the Union commander was a realist, not a romantic. He understood — as few of his contemporaries seemed to — that technology and industrialization were radically changing the nature of warfare.

It was no longer a question of independent armies meeting on remote battlefields to settle the issue. Civilians, who helped produce the means for waging modern war, would no longer be considered innocent noncombatants. Hitting the enemy where he ate and breaking him psychologically were just as important to victory as vanquishing his armies in the field.

Sherman grasped this and, though he wasn’t the first military proponent of total war, he was the first modern commander to deliberately strike at the enemy’s infrastructure. The scorched-earth tactics were effective. The fragile Southern economy collapsed, and a once-stout rebel army was irretrievably broken.

Meanwhile, the marshals of Europe watched Sherman’s progress with fascination. And they learned.

Carl Vinson was born on November 18, 1883 in Baldwin County, Georgia. At noon on that day, U.S. and Canadian railroads implemented four time zones for the first time.

Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mickey Mouse debuted in a black-and-white film called “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928.

On November 18, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled from Washington, DC to Savannah, Georgia by train for Georgia’s Bicentennial and delivered a speech at Municipal Stadium.

Herman Talmadge was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 17, 1948, ending the “Three Governors” controversy. Click here for a review of the “Three Governors” episode by Ron Daniels.

Carl Vinson was honored on his 81st birthday in Milledgeville, Georgia on November 18, 1964; Vinson did not run for reelection in 1964 and retired after 50 years in office.

Richard Nixon declared before a television audience, “I’m not a crook,” on November 17, 1973.

President Richard M. Nixon flew into Robins Air Force Base for Carl Vinson’s 90th birthday on November 18, 1973; on the trip he announced the next American nuclear supercarrier would be named USS Carl Vinson.

On November 18, 1989, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey signed the Abortion Control Act, the first abortion restrictions enacted after Roe v. Wade.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Legislative Affairs

The Georgia State House convenes today at 11 AM for Day Four of the Special Session.Continue Reading..

15
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Election for November 15, 2018

James Oglethorpe left London on November 15, 1732 headed to a Thames River port named Gravesend, where he would board the ship Anne and lead the first colonists to Georgia.

On November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were adopted in York, Pennsylvania.

Congress was a single house, with each state having one vote, and a president elected to chair the assembly. Although Congress did not have the right to levy taxes, it did have authority over foreign affairs and could regulate a national army and declare war and peace. Amendments to the Articles required approval from all 13 states. On March 2, 1781, following final ratification by the 13th state, the Articles of Confederation became the law of the land.

Edward Langworthy of Savannah, Edward Telfair, and John Walton signed the Articles of Confederation for Georgia.

Stephen Heard Conan OBrien

On November 15, 1815, Patriot leader Stephen Heard died in Elbert County, GA. Heard served on Georgia’s Executive Council during part of the American Revolution and as its President from 1780 to 1781. He later served in the Georgia House of Representatives, as a judge in Elbert County, and as a delegate to Georgia’s 1975 Constitutional Convention. The above portrait of Conan O’Brien Stephen Heard hangs in the basement (pied a terre) level of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion.

On November 15, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army left Atlanta on its March to the Sea.

On November 15, the army began to move, burning the industrial section of Atlanta before leaving. One witness reported “immense and raging fires lighting up whole heavens… huge waves of fire roll up into the sky; presently the skeleton of great warehouses stand out in relief against sheets of roaring, blazing, furious flames.” Sherman’s famous destruction of Georgia had begun.

On November 15, 1977, President Jimmy Carter hosted the Shah of Iran in Washington, where they spent two days discussing U.S-Iranian relations.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Election

Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times that I encourage you to read in its entirety.Continue Reading..

14
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 14, 2018

General Sherman’s army prepared for the March to the Sea on November 14, 1864.

On November 14, 1944, the Constitutional Convention working on a revised document for Georgia reversed its position on home rule that had been adopted the previous day on the motion of Governor Ellis Arnall.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Representative John Meadows (R-Calhoun), Chair of the House Rules Committee has died after fighting cancer, according to News Channel 9.

“My dear friend John was a great man – brave Marine, loving father and adoring grandfather,” said Speaker Ralston. “He loved his family with total devotion. His public service, both as a Marine and a State Representative, was grounded in trying to ensure his children and grandchildren saw a better tomorrow.”

“John was outwardly fierce and courageous but he was, at the same time, one of the kindest and most generous souls you have ever met. There aren’t words to describe the magnitude of this loss for our House of Representatives or the State of Georgia, and my heart is simply broken under the weight of this sad news.

“My heart goes out to John’s family – particularly his beloved wife Marie, his children B.J. and Missy, and his grandsons Will, Patrick, and Max.”

Rep. Meadows was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in November, 2004 and represented the residents of Murray and Gordon Counties. In addition to chairing the Rules Committee, he also served on the Governmental Affairs, Industry and Labor, Insurance, Retirement, and Game, Fish, & Parks Committees.

Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his proposed legislation for South Georgia relief after Hurricane Michael, according to the AJC.

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed $200 million worth of income tax credits Tuesday for landowners in southwest Georgia as incentive for them to replant trees destroyed last month by Hurricane Michael.

The tax break was part of Deal’s package introduced as state lawmakers convened a special session designed to help fund the cleanup and rebuilding of southwest Georgia after the storm.

The tax break would aid both timber and pecan farmers who saw their trees destroyed by the storm.

The tax credits would be available to landowners in 28 counties hardest hit by the storm. Deal’s chief of staff, Chris Riley, called the $200 million “a drop in the bucket to what was lost.”

Deal also proposed about $270 million in other spending, much of it going to debris cleanup. The state will pay part of local government costs, including overtime for staffers who worked long hours during and after the storm.

From the AJC:

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, shared her love of the chairman.

He was “a person who cared very much for those that are disadva`ten champions legislation to protect children and senior citizens. “He also cared about the vulnerable population, whether it was young or old.”

Meadows stuck by his friends and left no doubt what he stood for, House Ways and Means Chairman Jay Powell said.

“He’d tell you exactly what he thought. You might not like it, but he was not going to sugarcoat it,” said Powell, a Republican from Camilla. “You didn’t really like it at the time, but in the long run it was the best thing for you to know where you stood and what he thought.”

Today, the State House will convene for Day Two of the 2018 Special Session, beginning at 10 AM.Continue Reading..

13
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2018

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Three astronauts with connections to Georgia – Eric Boe, Robert Kimbrough, and Sandra Magnus – were aboard the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifted off on November 14, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The State House of Representatives convenes in Special Session today at 1:30 PM. I believe the Senate will convene earlier, but have not heard formally.

United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg has ordered a delay in the deadline for counties to certify election results, according to the AJC.

A federal judge on Monday ordered election officials to review thousands of provisional ballots that haven’t been counted in Georgia’s close election for governor.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg’s order calls for a hotline for voters to check if their provisional ballots were counted, a review of voter registrations, and updated reports from the state government about why many voters were required to use provisional ballots.

Totenberg said she’s providing “limited, modest” relief to help protect voters. The order preserves Tuesday’s deadline for county election offices to certify results and the Nov. 20 deadline for Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden to certify the election. The ruling enjoins Crittenden from certifying the election before Friday at 5 p.m.

Her ruling applies to provisional ballots, which were issued to as many as 27,000 Georgia voters because their registration or identification couldn’t be verified. Provisional ballots are usually only counted if voters prove their eligibility within three days of the election, a deadline that passed Friday.

The decision doesn’t say whether additional provisional ballots could be counted after election results are certified at the county level Tuesday.

From AccessWDUN:

And, for counties with 100 or more provisional ballots, she ordered the secretary of state’s office to review, or have county election officials review, the eligibility of voters who had to cast a provisional ballot because of registration issues.

Totenberg also ruled that Georgia must not certify the election results before Friday at 5 p.m., which falls before the Nov. 20 deadline set by state law.

Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden earlier provided guidance to local boards of elections in dealing with some provisional ballots, according to the AJC.

Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden instructed county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified.

Crittenden issued the guidance for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election.

Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote-counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state.

Many absentee ballots were rejected in Gwinnett because voters filled out incorrect direct dates of birth or provided insufficient information on the return envelope.

“What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth … if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.”

The Macon Telegraph looks at the polarization of Georgia’s electorate between rural, suburban, and urban counties.

Analysis of this year’s gubernatorial election results reveals a growing division between rural and suburban counties and a surprising decrease in Democratic votes outside of metropolitan Atlanta compared to recent presidential elections.

For her part, Abrams received more votes in Georgia than any Democratic candidate at any level and has come closer to winning the governorship than any Democrat since Roy Barnes won in 1996.

The remarkable turnout for both candidates, aided by the state’s population growth, reflects the increasing nationalization of state politics. The days of Blue Dog Democrats, liberal Republicans and widespread ticket splitting are dwindling, if not gone.

The margins between Republican and Democratic candidates have diverged over the past few elections, showing an increasingly divided state. The average margin for Kemp across all rural counties was 38 percent, which improved upon Trump’s rural margin of 36 percent and Romney’s of 29 percent. The margin for Abrams across all suburban counties was 17 percent, which improved up Clinton’s 11 percent suburban margin and Obama’s 5 percent.

That growing divide is well distributed across the suburban and rural counties. Compared with 2016, Kemp increased Republican margins in 116 of the 139 rural counties he carried, while Abrams increased Democratic margins in all of the suburban counties, including the five she did not carry.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will join the Hall Booth Smith law firm after she leaves office, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson plans to private law practice again when her second term ends early next year. But she said the move will not impact future political considerations.

Hall Booth Smith, P.C., which has six offices across the South, announced Tuesday morning that Tomlinson, 53, will join its firm as a partner specializing in complex litigation, crisis management and strategic solutions. She will work out of

Though the mayor of Columbus is elected in a non-partisan election, Tomlinson has worked hard for a number of Democratic candidates in the recent election cycle, including gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Tomlinson, 53 and an Atlanta native, has been exploring a possible run for U.S. Senate in 2020 against Republican incumbent David Perdue.

“I chose to join Hall Booth Smith because they have a deep commitment to public service,” Tomlinson said. “The firm is supportive of my pursuing future public service should that opportunity present itself.”

The leadership at Hall Booth understands her interest in another political office and has been supportive during the employment talks, she said. Hall Booth Smith Chairman and co-founder John Hall said the growing firm, which now has more than 200 attorneys, is personality-driven and Tomlinson is a perfect fit.

 Floyd County has certified its election results, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Floyd County Elections Board Chair Steve Miller said Monday there were 173 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 general election, compared to 16 during the May primaries. Clerks spent the week reviewing the voters’ eligibility and, in the end, 116 of them passed muster.

Miller said a few provisional voters never returned with their required identification, and some weren’t registered by the Oct. 9 deadline to vote in this election. Most of the 57 rejected ballots, however, were from voters registered in another county.

12
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Ledger-Enquirer writes about runoff elections on the statewide ballot.

▪ Republican Brad Raffensberger and Democrat John Barrow will face off for the Secretary of State office Brian Kemp just vacated.

▪ Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller will vie for the 3rd District Public Service Commission seat.

Early voting starts Nov. 26 – the Monday after a four-day Thanksgiving weekend, for some people – and it lasts just five days, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 30 in the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way, off Macon Road by the Columbus Public Library.

“That’s if everything goes as planned,” cautioned Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations.

Tuesday’s vote still has to be certified, to document the tallies needed for runoffs. Legal maneuvers in the governor’s race could affect that.

Only people who were eligible to vote in the General Election may vote in the runoff, but they do not have to have voted, they just have to have been registered to.

Governor Deal on Friday issued the call for a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Gov. Nathan Deal today issued the call to convene a special legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

“Many of Georgia’s communities were severely impacted by Hurricane Michael as families, businesses and farmers sustained significant financial losses,” said Deal. “In response, I have asked the General Assembly to reconvene and take immediate action to provide relief funding and spur economic recovery for the affected areas. Our state appropriations need to be amended to minimize financial losses following the storm and to ensure Georgia’s continued prosperity in the coming months. I look forward to working with the General Assembly and the leadership of both chambers to provide much-needed support for those affected by Hurricane Michael.”

The special session will be convened for the limited purposes of providing emergency funding to state agencies and local governments following Hurricane Michael and ratifying Deal’s executive order dated July 30, 2018. The special session will also include providing for general law regarding taxation related to recovery and rebuilding from the impact of Hurricane Michael and taxation related to the subjects of that executive order.

The regular session of the 2018 General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 29, 2018. Article V, Section II, Paragraph VII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia grants the governor the power to convene a special session of the General Assembly by proclamation.

The call for the special legislative session is available below or viewable here.

From the Newnan Times-Herald:

Under state law, when the legislature is called into special session, only those issues specially included in the “call” can be taken up.

“South Georgia desperately needs relief from the major hurricane that destroyed houses, businesses and large sections of our agricultural community,” State Rep. David Stover, R-Palmetto, said after the initial announcement. “I expect the session will relieve much of the financial pressure that the people of our state in the affected areas are currently facing.”

“I applaud Governor Deal’s call for a special session to address the devastation in South Georgia,” said State Rep. Josh Bonner, R-Peachtree City. “The impact on the communities hit by Hurricane Michael is not only felt by Georgia, but resonates across our country. As elected officials, we owe it to our citizens to do whatever possible to help recover, rebuild and re-establish normalcy as soon as possible.”

The session is expected to last five days. State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, said she has heard that the legislature might meet next Saturday for the final day, instead of taking the weekend off and finishing up the session the Monday before Thanksgiving.

The amendment to the budget will have to go through the same process as any other bill in the legislature. It will be “dropped” and first read, then taken up by the House Appropriations Committee and the House Rules Committee, then go to the House floor. After passage by the House, it will head over to the Senate for the same process.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to delay the certification of votes in last Tuesday’s election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

If successful, the suit would prevent officials from certifying county vote totals until Wednesday and could restore at least 1,095 votes that weren’t counted. The campaign said thousands more ballots could be affected.

Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said the state’s numbers can’t be trusted and that 5,000 votes came in Saturday that previously were unknown.

“This race is not over,” she said on a conference call with reporters. “It’s still too close to call.”

Abrams campaign leaders said she needs to get the margin down to about 22,000 votes to force a runoff, and they sent a fundraising email to supporters Sunday saying at least 30,823 votes remain to be counted.

The Kemp campaign contends far fewer votes remain, less than 18,000, and that Abrams mathematically can’t force a runoff.

Each of Georgia’s 159 counties must certify final returns by Tuesday, and many have done so already. The state must certify a statewide result by Nov. 20.

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has also filed suit in federal court, seeking to delay certification of vote totals, according to the AJC.

The 7th District candidate effectively joined in on a lawsuit filed by a handful of voting and civil rights groups during the early voting period that preceded Election Day. Those groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections.

Bourdeaux argued that the county’s rejection of those ballots violates federal law since those voters were already previously determined to be eligible to vote. She said the county should accept and count those ballots.

“We are taking this legal action to ensure that every eligible vote is counted in this election. We will not stop fighting until that goal is accomplished,” Bourdeaux spokesman Jake Best said in a statement.

The suit is seeking to block Gwinnett from certifying its election results as initially planned on Tuesday afternoon in order to give the county time to count the absentee ballots.

A hair separates Bourdeaux from incumbent Republican Rob Woodall in the 7th Congressional District, which also includes major swaths of Forsyth County. Woodall leads by roughly 900 votes, putting the race within recount territory, but Bourdeaux’s campaign is mining for as many votes as possible in the meantime.

The Gwinnett County Board of Elections met privately to discuss litigation, according to the AJC.

A handful of voting and civil rights groups sued Gwinnett County and then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp during the early voting period that preceded Election Day, homing in on Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections. A judge ultimately issued an injunction ordering Gwinnett — and every other county in Georgia — to allow voters rejected on such basis new opportunities to have their ballots counted.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a new press release Thursday afternoon, taking issue with Gwinnett’s rejection of absentee ballots on the basis of missing birth date information.

Darryl Joachim was one voter rejected due to such an issue. At the elections office Friday, he said he cast an absentee ballot but was rejected because he did not include his date of birth on the ballot envelope.

“There are definitely different political points of view” on the elections board, which is made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent, Day said. “But we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act.”

County officials have said there are somewhere between 2,400 and 2,500 provisional ballots — which are issued to voters who had registration questions that must later be resolved — in Gwinnett. But aside from the fact that about 1,500 of the provisionals were believed to have been issued in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, they have not released further information.

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about Democratic gains in the suburban county.

[Gwinnett County Democratic Party Chair Gabe] Okoye and other speakers said Gwinnett County was no longer the Republican stronghold it had once been.

“They may have a Trump in the White House, but we trumped them here in Gwinnett County,” Okoye told the applauding crowd.

Democratic candidates defeated longtime Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, beat two incumbent Republican county commissioners and took one school board seat, with another school board race still too close to call.

Democratic candidates for statewide offices won the county, as well. Carolyn Bourdeaux is neck and neck with incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., in a 7th Congressional District race that remains too close to call with provision ballots left to be factored in.

The party also flipped seven seats in the Gwinnett legislative delegation — five in the Georgia House of Representatives and two in the state Senate. That means Democrats will make up the majority in the 25-seat delegation by a margin of 17-8 in January.

“It is simply a hard fact that Gwinnett is blue, period,” said state Rep. Brenda Lopez, D-Norcross.

Leslie Jarchow has been elected to the Flowery Branch City Council, according to the Gainesville Times.

She is set to be sworn in to the Post 3 seat at the council’s meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, after defeating Christine Worl in the Nov. 6 special election. She fills a seat held by [Fred] Richards, who died June 14.

“My No. 1 priority is to establish open lines of communication. I was really surprised to find that a lot of people felt like they weren’t getting heard. I genuinely want to hear all the different voices, and I’m going to do my due diligence and research on any issue that arises.”

Savannah City Council is considering spending $2.8 million dollars to renovate City Hall, according to the Savannah Morning News.

During the 112 years the gold-domed building fronting the Savannah River at Bull Street has served as the Savannah’s government center there has never been any interior restoration of city hall, and the signs of neglect, deferred maintenance and inappropriate alterations are evident, said Luciana Spracher, Savannah’s Research Library and Municipal Archives director.

“Previously we have considered city hall just a government building, but we really now realize it straddles the world of being a building for our modern city government and being a museum quality building,” Spracher said. “We need to start treating it that way.”

In total, nine quotes from contractors were obtained to address 48 items found to be in need of restoration at an estimated cost of almost $2.8 million.

“When they built this building, city council said they were building a building for a century to come,” Spracher said. “We have passed that point. We kind of need to figure out how to get through the next century.”

9
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 9, 2018

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday ordered flags flown at half-staff on state buildings and ground through sunset on Saturday in honor of those affected by the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.

Governor-elect Brian Kemp yesterday announced his resignation as Secretary of State in order to transition to service as Governor and named Tim Fleming as his Chief of Staff.

After Kemp’s resignation, Gov. Deal appointed Robyn Crittenden as Secretary of State, and issued a press release.

“Robyn’s experience as an attorney, public servant and agency head make her exceptionally qualified to fill the role of Georgia’s secretary of state,” said Deal. “She is a leader with brilliant intellect, high integrity, and a wide range of experience in public service. Robyn has been one of the most effective leaders within my administration and she is well-qualified to fill one of the most important jobs in state government. I appreciate her willingness to fill this role and I thank Gov.-elect Kemp for his leadership as secretary of state.”

On Monday, Gov. Deal announced that October state revenues were up 17.7% over the same month of 2017, and that Site Selection magazine named Georgia as the number 1 state in which to do business for the sixth year in a row.

Crittenden is the first African-American woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia history. In 2015, Deal appointed Crittenden to be DHS commissioner after she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Following Crittenden’s swearing-in ceremony today, Deal nominated Gerlda B. Hines, chief of staff and chief financial officer of DHS, to be the interim DHS commissioner, pending board approval.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will file lawsuits to fundraise for 2020 contest the results in the gubernatorial race, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

A lawsuit, filed in federal court on Election Day, asked a judge to block Kemp from continuing to manage the election. That he presided over his own election “violates a basic notion of fairness,” the lawsuit argued.

“I think in light of where we are now, this will give public confidence to the certification process even though, quite honestly, it’s being done at the county level,” Kemp told reporters Thursday morning.

Deal, who introduced Kemp as the governor-elect, said he thought it was important to begin the transition process as soon as possible. He said his staff would involve Kemp in the budgeting process immediately following next week’s special legislative session.

“We have no idea how long litigation may continue, and I don’t think the administration of this state can wait that long,” Deal said.

Abrams’ legal team announced Thursday that it plans to file a complaint against the Dougherty County board of elections over absentee ballots that officials are accused of mailing late to voters after Hurricane Michael disrupted operations.

When asked how many other lawsuits were being considered, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, a member of Abrams’ legal team, said “whatever it takes.” She said the campaign has been “flooded with concerns” from voters.

“We are obviously eager to hear from supporters,” Lawrence-Hardy said. “But this is much bigger than any one campaign. This is a country built on democracy. We all get to vote. That is part of the promise, and so we are working really hard to ensure that promise is fulfilled.”

Military and overseas ballots, along with provisional votes, have not yet been tallied. Local officials have until early next week to certify the results. There’s also the action the Abrams’ legal team is pursuing that they argue could yield additional votes.

There are 21,358 provisional ballots across the state, mostly from the metro Atlanta area, according to a report released Thursday from the Secretary of State’s office. Lowndes County, home to Valdosta, had the fifth highest number of provisional ballots with 1,174.

From the Savannah Morning News:

“It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp with a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in Washington. “I don’t think that race is over. Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake.”

If a runoff is necessary, it will take place Dec. 4, extending Abrams’ bid to become the first black woman elected governor in American history, while Kemp looks to maintain the GOP’s domination in a state where Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.

The lawsuit at issue Thursday morning in an Atlanta federal court came from voters who sued Kemp on Election Day alleging that his presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.” The plaintiffs asked the court to block Kemp from having anything more to do with managing his election. The hearing ended shortly after it began with the announcement of Kemp’s resignation.

From the Statesboro Herald:

According to the last counts from early Wednesday morning – but still not the final, official numbers – 23,556 Bulloch County voters successfully cast ballots in Bulloch County in Tuesday’s general election, an unusually high 58.9 percent turnout for a midterm and gubernatorial election.

On the choice of a governor, 14,785 of those Bulloch County voters, or 62.8 percent, chose Bryan Kemp, the Republican, while 8,555, or 36.3 percent, voted for Stacey Abrams, the Democrat.

The status of 224 local provisional ballots remained to the determined, Bulloch County Election Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones said Thursday morning.

From the Albany Herald:

“Our ongoing legal efforts are not about Stacey Abrams — they are about protecting our democracy and ensuring every eligible Georgian’s voice is heard,” Abrams Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said in a news release late Thursday afternoon. “We will continue to advocate for every ballot to be counted and take the appropriate legal measures to ensure the legitimacy of this election.”

Officials with the campaign said they are filing a complaint in the U.S. District court for the Middle District of Georgia in Albany asking for an injunction to direct the Dougherty County Elections Office to count any absentee ballots received between 7 p.m. on Tuesday and close of business today, which is consistent with the way that counting overseas military and overseas citizens’ ballots are handled.

The campaign also argues that Hurricane Michael’s impact may also play a role.

“Many parts of south Georgia have their mail routed through Tallahassee, which suffered severe damage,” a statement from the campaign said. “How many ballots were delayed because of the storm or other factors remains unknown. We also do have reports from our hotline indicating that ballots never showed up, or showed up late in south Georgia.”

The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases yesterday at Albany State University, according to the Albany Herald.

The justices — Chief Justice Harold Melton, Presiding Justice David Nahmias, Robert Benham, Keith Blackwell, Michael Boggs, Nels Peterson, Sarah Hawkins Warren and Charlie Bethel — heard oral arguments in two cases, one involving an alleged stalking business partner and the other a double murder.

The first case involved arguments on an appeal out of Fulton County stemming from a lawsuit between two physicians and former partners in which one alleges the other harassed and stalked him and his employees. The justices spent most of that session hearing arguments from attorneys on the definitions of “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”

The second case involves a double murder case from Houston County in which Coleman Crouch, 21, is appealing the convictions and life prison sentence he received for his role in the killings. Thomas Kelly, also determined to be connected to the crime, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison.

Each year, the state Supreme Court travels outside Atlanta to hear cases for the purpose of making the court’s business and the judicial process more accessible to the public. The session on Thursday, held at the Billy C. Black Auditorium at ASU, heard oral arguments only and no decisions were reached.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah on it’s list of “Places in Peril,” according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Glynn County Board of Education said threats against their schools are increasing, according to The Brunswick News.

So far this school year, 10 communicated threats have been made in schools. Those include verbal threats to “shoot up” schools, overheard discussions of shooting threats and threats made on social media or written on school property.

The increase in threats follows a national trend, said Jim Pulos, assistant superintendent for operations and administrative services for Glynn County Schools.

“After Parkland, the number of incidents that went up was five-fold across the country,” said Pulos, noting that the threateners are copycats and/or attention seekers.

Administrators and school police are taking the threats seriously, Pulos said. Of the eight students who have been identified as making these threats, they’ve been expelled, sometimes for two years or permanently, or given long-term suspensions.

Columbus State University‘s enrollment continues to drop, while the University of Georgia increases, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Zac Brown Distillery in Dahlonega will close on November 18, according to the Gainesville Times.

Tracey Mason was sworn in as a new Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Let me tell you, this isn’t just about me,” Mason said. “I didn’t get here by myself, and every one of you contributed in ways I can’t even begin to thank you for.”

Rattling off the names of her supporters, colleagues, friends and family members, the ninth-generation Gwinnettian proudly showed off her new robe, which will be put to use beginning Jan. 1 as Mason takes over retiring Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Tom Davis’ seat.

One of three new judges in the county — Gwinnett elected two new Superior Court judges and a new State Court judge this year — Mason continues a family tradition of service to the county and the state, which was begun years ago by her great grandfather, James Palmer Mason, who served as a Gwinnett County sheriff from 1938-42, and continued by her father, Jimmy Mason and uncle, Wayne Mason, as well as many others in the family.

The Floyd County Board of Education has ended its free lunch program, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Whitfield County has released the list of projects to be undertaken if the $100 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passes in March, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Norfolk Southern will add 850 jobs in Atlanta as it relocates its headquarters from Norfolk, Virginia, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The two-part referendum to create a new City of Eagles Landing in Henry County failed at the ballot box, according to the Henry Herald.

The most high-profile of races in Henry County was decided in Stockbridge’s favor Tuesday evening. As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, “No” had 4,289 votes, or 57.12 percent of the vote, while “Yes” had 3,220 votes, or 42.88 percent of the vote.

Tuesday’s vote marked the culmination of perhaps the biggest story in Henry County this year and the culmination of 22 months of effort from Eagles Landing supporters, who wanted to break the country club-based community into its own city.

8
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2018

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton (R) faces a Democratic opponent in a December 4 runoff election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Eaton had 1.9 million votes, or 49.8 percent, to Miller’s 1.8 million, or 47.5 percent. Libertarian Ryan Graham garnered 102,234 votes, or 2.7 percent.

The Public Service Commission regulates the rates charged by telecommunications, gas and electric companies in the state. Eaton had support from both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the state’s major unions, including the AFL-CIO.

She out-raised Eaton and Graham, drawing $1.27 million from more than 2,900 donors, many from outside of Georgia.

Republican Brad Raffensperger also heads to a December 4 runoff, against Democrat John Barrow, according to the AJC.

Raffensperger, a state representative from Johns Creek, had a slight lead over Barrow, a former U.S. congressman from Athens. The two were separated by less than 1 percent of the vote.

“We are laser focused on the runoff and pursuing a victory for John on Election Day on Dec. 4,” Barrow campaign spokesman Jonathan Arogeti said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to go back to the voters and earn their support.”

Monroe County voters will return to the polls on December 4th in a runoff election for Sheriff, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Lawson Cary Bittick lll and Brad Freeman were the top two vote getters in a 6-way race to replace John Cary Bittick. The former sheriff stepped down after 35 years in office to accept President Donald Trump’s nomination to serve as U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Georgia.

Lawson Bittick, the former sheriff’s son and a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office, was the top vote getter with 3,937 votes, or 31 percent. Freeman, a captain in the sheriff’s office, was second with 2,974 votes, or 24 percent.

With no one getting a majority of the vote, they will face each other in a runoff on Dec. 4. Both said with six candidates in the race they were expecting a runoff and were just happy to get in.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes about past statewide runoff elections.

No general election race for governor has ever required a runoff, but Republicans have dominated many of the other races that go into overtime, starting with a 1992 narrow win by Republican challenger Paul Coverdell over Democratic U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler.

Republicans also thrived in the last general election runoff took place in 2008, when U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss trounced Democrat Jim Martin in a runoff after the Republican narrowly missed an outright win.

Then again, Democrats hope a flood of momentum and attention will keep Abrams’ supporters motivated. Polls already suggest high Democratic enthusiasm, and voters won’t be able to avoid news about the race.

Another wrinkle: The timing of the runoff could force Deal to rethink plans to call a special legislative session next week to provide about $100 million in relief from Hurricane Michael and decide on a controversial tax break for jet fuel.

Democrat Lucy McBath has claimed victory in the 6th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Karen Handel, according to the AJC.

“Given the close results of our race, and the fact that the official results at this time are within the 1 percent threshold where a recount is possible, we believe it is prudent to review and assess all data before making additional actions or statements,” Handel said in a statement.

In Handel’s final comments to supporters Tuesday night/Wednesday morning she expressed optimism.

“I have a knack for the close ones, y’all. There are still precincts coming in from north Fulton,” she told the hardy clutch of supporters who made it to the end of the night and into the morning at her watch party at Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. “If it keeps going our way it’ll be a win. Unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be tonight.”

Baldwin County voters rejected a T-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation), while Monroe County voters approved their SPLOST, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“We estimate that in the five-year period for this T-SPLOST that the county will collect ($22.7 million) and the city of Milledgeville ($12.5 million),” said Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar at a presentation in September, according to The Union-Recorder.

However, by 9 p.m. with all precincts reporting, the final count was 7,218 votes voting against the sales and use tax and 6,531 voting in favor of the tax.

On the other hand, with all precincts reporting by 9:30 p.m., the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum in Monroe County showed 7,587 votes, or 61.82 percent, in favor of it versus 4,685 votes, or 38.68 percent, against the tax.

The Monroe County Commissioner decided in July to put $700,000 toward internet expansion from a SPLOST, according to a WGXA-16 report.

Danielle Forte has been elected Clerk of Muscogee County Courts, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Early and unofficial returns Tuesday showed challenger Danielle Forte with a 7,000 vote lead over incumbent clerk Shasta Thomas Glover, who just took office this past March.

Glover, who came out of retirement to work as chief deputy clerk when her friend Ann Hardman took over in 2017, has been the clerk since Hardman’s death this past March 19, having been sworn in that same day.

Forte at press time had won every voting precinct in Columbus. Combining those Election Day totals with the early in-person vote and the mail-in absentees, she had 31,773 votes to Glover’s 24,276, or 56 to 43 percent.

“To God be the glory – I am so pleased,” Forte said Tuesday night.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is suing over the election results, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the contentious race, with voting rights groups contending that Kemp has used his office to interfere in the election for his own benefit. He has fiercely denied any impropriety.

At a news conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he heard the voting process was “very efficient” in Georgia. But polling places across the state had long lines, and some areas of metro Atlanta that typically lean Democratic experienced problems and delays.

Ontaria Woods arrived at a polling place in Snellville, just northeast of Atlanta, about 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line.

“That’s the majority of people in this line, African-Americans,” she said. “We’re begging them, ‘Please, stay.’”

The same or similar problem affected voters in four large precincts in Gwinnett County— a populous swing county — and at least one in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, election security expert Harri Hursti said Wednesday. Voters in those places were not able to vote for hours because the electronic poll books used to check in voters were not writing to the smart cards needed to cast ballots, Hursti said.

Five Georgia voters sued Kemp on Election Day, asking a judge to prevent Kemp from exercising his duties as the state’s top elections official for anything having to do with Tuesday’s election, including certifying results or administering any possible runoff or recount. The lawsuit says that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.”

Secretary of state’s office spokeswoman Candice Broce called the lawsuit “twelfth-hour stunt.”

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has not conceded defeat against Republican Congressman Rob Woodall, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., holds a razor thin lead of three-tenths of a percentage point over Bourdeaux in unofficial results, leaving the provisional and oversees ballots to be counted. Woodall received 50.16 percent of the votes cast, compared to 49.84 percent for Bourdeaux.

The difference between the two candidates is 890 votes.

“As of this afternoon, our race is still too close to call,” Bourdeaux said in an email to supporters. “Our fight isn’t over yet. My entire team is working overtime to make sure that every voter’s voice is heard and their vote is counted … Together, we will fight until every last vote is counted.”

The results will not be certified until the beginning of next week, giving voters who cast provisional ballots a few days to visit the county’s elections office to verify their eligibility to cast the ballot and have their vote counted.

Gwinnett County had to keep three precincts open after voting machine malfunctions, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner has ordered three voting precincts in Gwinnett to stay open later tonight because of a machine malfunction that affected all three this morning.

The order stipulates that the precinct at Annistown Elementary School will stay open until 9:25 p.m., while the precinct at Harbins Elementary School in Dacula will stay open until 7:14 p.m. and the precinct at Anderson-Livsey Elementary School will stay open until 7:30 p.m.

Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said five precincts in the county experienced issues with the Express Poll machines, which create ballots on voting cards that are handed out to voters when they check in to vote.

Democrat Brian Whiteside was elected Gwinnett County Solicitor General, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo was defeated by her Democratic opponent, Brian Whiteside, in the general election. Whiteside received 54.37 percent of the vote, compared to 45.63 percent for Szabo, who has been Gwinnett’s solicitor general for 12 years.

“Congratulations to Brian Whiteside on his election to Solicitor General of Gwinnett County,” Szabo said in an announcement on Facebook on Wednesday. “I am grateful to the people of Gwinnett for the twelve years they have entrusted me with the care of the office.

Gwinnett County Democrats also picked up two seats on the Gwinnett County Commission, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Change appears to coming to be coming for two Gwinnett County commission districts after voters opted to replace Republican incumbents Lynette Howard and John Heard with Ben Ku and Marlene Fosque, respectively.

Ku lead Howard in the Commission District 2 race by a margin of 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent with 81 percent of precincts reporting at 11:10 p.m. Meanwhile, Fosque was leading Heard in the Commission District 4 race by a margin of 53.03 percent to 46.97 percent with 85 percent of precincts reporting at the same time.

Lake Park had computer issues in submitting local election results, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

About 65-70 provisional ballots are yet to be counted, as well as absentee ballots, she said.

Internet difficulties kept the local elections office from sending updated Lake Park results to the Georgia Secretary of State’s elections website, she said.

The subject of some Lake Park voters allegedly being given wrong ballots was raised at the Lake Park City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Councilwoman Deborah Sauls said when she took part in early voting, she was given a ballot with no Lake Park races on it. Sauls said elections staff told her it was because she lived outside the city limits.

“How could I qualify for and get elected to City Council if I didn’t live in the city?” she said.

Sauls said she had to cast a provisional ballot, which “didn’t make me happy at all.” Provisional ballots are used for people whose eligibility to vote is in question, with the vote being counted after officials double-check that eligibility.

Savannah also experienced some voting problems, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Lines at some poll locations were short, with voters in and out in under half an hour Tuesday.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, however, voters at Rothwell Baptist Church in Pooler reported about 60 people were still in line waiting to vote, with others reporting casting ballots took more than four hours. Polls are held open for voters in line at polling locations at the 7 p.m. closing time.

Voters took advantage of early voting in record numbers for a mid-term, with 32,361 voting in person, compared to 17,697 in the 2014 mid-term.

Registrations were also up this year with an increase of with 188,315 registered for this election. That’s an increase of 51,251, over the last mid-term election in 2014, when 137,064 people registered.

Russell Bridges, Chatham County’s supervisor of the board of elections, said Election Day was not without some problems. Complaints alleging voter suppression are unfounded, however, he said.

Glynn County Board of Elections reported record turnout, according to The Brunswick News.

Hall County voters opted to extend alcohol service hours on Sundays, according to the Gainesville Times.

Voters in Hall County, Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood voted in favor of earlier Sunday sales. Lula and Clermont did not put the item up for a vote, meaning the sales will not be allowed within those city limits.

The bill, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May, gives municipalities the option to allow restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Previous state law stated that alcohol sales could only start at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

 

5
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 5, 2018

John Willis Menard became the first black man elected to Congress on November 3, 1868 from the Second District of Louisiana. Menard’s election opponent challenged the results and prevented Menard from taking his seat, though in defense of his election Menard became the first black man to address Congress.

Alexander Stephens was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 4, 1882; Stephens had earlier been elected Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was born in Winder, Georgia on November 2, 1897.

In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.

Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

On November 3, 1913, details of the federal income tax were finalized and published after the ratification earlier in the year of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bacon, Barrow, Candler, and Evans Counties were created on November 3, 1914 when voters approved Constitutional Amendments – prior to these Amendments, Georgia was limited to 145 counties. On the same day, Carl Vinson was elected to Congress from Georgia, becoming the youngest member of Congress at the time. Vinson would eventually become the first Member of Congress to serve more than fifty years. Vinson’s grandson, Sam Nunn would serve in the United States Senate.

Howard Carter found an entrance to the tomb of King Tutankhamen on November 4, 1922.

On November 4, 1932 Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. campaigned on behalf of Democratic candidate for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

The Chicago Tribune published the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on November 3, 1948. Ultimately, Democrat Truman won 303 electoral votes to 189 for Republican Dewey.

Laika, a female Siberian Husky mix who was found stray on the streets of Moscow, was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

On November 3, 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

On November 3, 1970, Jimmy Carter was elected Governor of Georgia.

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States on November 2, 1976.

On November 4, 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected President, winning 489 electoral votes to 49 for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Note on the electoral map in that clip, states that Reagan won were colored blue, and Georgia was a red state, going for Jimmy Carter.

The current Georgia Constitution was ratified on November 2, 1982 by the state’s voters.

Democrat Cynthia McKinney became the first African-Amercian female elected to Congress from Georgia on November 3, 1992.

On November 3, 1998, Democrat Thurbert Baker was elected Attorney General and Michael Thurmond was elected Commissioner of Labor, becoming the first African-Americans elected to statewide executive office in Georgia.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

On November 2, 2010, voters elected Republican Nathan Deal as Governor, and the GOP swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot.

One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President, becoming the first African-American elected to the position.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris P. Hines was killed in a car accident Sunday, according to 11Alive.

Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan confirmed the news about Justice Harris Hines’s death via Facebook, Sunday.

“I cannot express the immense grief I feel to hear that Justice Harris Hines had died in a car crash,” Morgan said in a statement. “I am blessed I was able to practice law before him, and to call him my mentor and friend. God bless Helen and his family and give them peace.”

A graduate of Emory University’s School of Law, Hines was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1995 by Governor Zell Miller. Hines was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Jan. 6, 2017.

Prior to that, he served as a judge of the State Court in Cobb County for eight years and as Superior Court Judge of the Cobb Judicial Circuit for over 12 years.

Christian Coomer was sworn in to the Georgia Court of Appeals, according to the Daily Report.Continue Reading..

1
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 1, 2018

Georgia’s Trustees decided on November 1, 1732 that the first settlement would be named Savannah and located on the Savannah River.

Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 with an effective date of November 1, 1765, to fund British military operations.

The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.

Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word “America” and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—”Shame to him who thinks evil of it.”

Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of “rights and grievances” were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III.

Georgia Commissioners and Creek leaders signed a treaty on November 1, 1783.

Jimmy Carter ended his first Presidential campaign with a rally in Flint, Michigan on November 1, 1976.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Gainesville Times raises the possibility of Libertarian voters throwing the general election into runoffs.

Ted Metz may not get many votes in the governor’s race, but the Libertarian candidate is on the ballot, raising the possibility that no one else will get to declare victory on Election Day.

Metz’s third-party campaign has attracted scant attention, but he could still play a defining role in Tuesday’s outcome. If the vote margin between Kemp and Abrams is close enough, even a small percentage of votes for Metz could force the two major party contenders into a month of overtime culminating in a runoff election Dec. 4.

“The reason why you have to take it seriously is we expect the margin is going to be so close between Kemp and Abrams,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “It’s probably going to be the closest we’ve seen in a long while.”

“This is going to be a runoff, anyway,” Metz said. “If you’re tired of the two-party system and the two-party tyranny of the oligarchs running the planet, then a vote for me is a protest vote to show them that you’re sick and tired of the same old stuff.”

“If I recall correctly, the GA Governor’s race was all but destined by the media for a runoff in 2010 and 2014,” Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff, tweeted last week. He noted Deal won both elections with a vote margin of 53 percent.

Vice President Mike Pence is in Georgia today, campaigning with Brian Kemp and the Republican nominees, while Oprah Winfrey will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Winfrey will participate in two town hall events with Abrams — one in Marietta and one in Decatur — on Thursday to aide her campaign in what has become a highly competitive, closely watched race.

“Oprah Winfrey has inspired so many of us through the years with her unparalleled ability to form real connections and strengthen the bonds of family and community,” Abrams said in a statement Wednesday. “I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians.”

It’s a rare political endorsement for Winfrey, who backed former President Barack Obama during the primaries in 2008 and lent her support to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. On Tuesday, she appeared in a video with NBC News’ Maria Shiver to urge people to vote, saying she’s a political independent before adding, “people think I’m a Democrat.”

Kemp and the GAGOP candidates visited Valdosta yesterday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Savannah Morning News says local traffic will be affected by Pence’s visit.

Pence will join Kemp at a rally at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

The event is from 5 to 6 p.m.

Drivers can expect rolling traffic delays along routes from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to Hutchinson Island.

Savannah will be the final stop for Kemp and Pence in a three-city campaign tour, after Dalton and Grovetown.

Pence, Kemp and the GOP nominees will be in Grovetown at 2:30 today, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Area Democrats say they’ll canvass for votes for nominee Stacey Abrams and other Democratic candidates rather than protest the Pence appearance.

Those who want to see Pence should arrive early at the Columbia County Exhibition Center, Kemp spokesman Ben Grayson said.

Doors open at 1 p.m. for the 2:30 p.m. free event, and the earlier the public arrives, the better, Grayson said.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will hold a parade and rally in Savannah on Monday, no word on how it will affect traffic from the Savannah Morning News.

The Kemp campaign tour will visit Statesboro on Friday, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Joining Kemp at the 8 a.m. stop Friday at Anderson’s General Store on Highway 80 East in Statesboro will be Lt. Gov. nominee Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and other statewide candidates.

The group of candidates will be in Statesboro for about one hour, before heading to Sylvania, and several other cities before ending in Savannah at 6:30 p.m.

The final televised debate between the candidates for Governor has been canceled, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

After the Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams campaigns spent Wednesday afternoon taking shots at each other over who was to blame, a planned final debate, staged by WSB-TV, between the candidates appeared to be canceled Wednesday night.

The campaigns had agreed weeks ago to participate in the debate, which would have been held at 5 p.m. on Sunday — less than 48 hours before Election Day voting begins. WSB said an announcement by President Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday that he would hold a rally to support Kemp in Macon at 4 p.m. on Sunday threw plans for the debate into chaos.

The TV station said Kemp pulled out of the scheduled time for the debate so he could be at the rally but participated in conversations about rescheduling it. Ultimately, they committed to a 7:30 p.m. time slot on Monday.

The Abrams campaign said, however, that it had already committed to meeting with voters on the Georgia coast at that time. An agreement could not be reached as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a new time for the debate, according to WSB.

The Macon Telegraph looks at the sources of Stacey Abrams’s campaign cash.

As Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum seek to become the first black governors in Georgia and Florida, a McClatchy analysis of state campaign filings shows that more than 2,000 donors across the country have given to both of their campaigns.

Collectively, these donors have combined to give roughly $1.5 million to Abrams’ campaign and roughly $3 million to Gillum’s campaign and an affiliated political committee that can accept unlimited contributions.

The donors come from 49 states and include both some of the party’s heaviest hitters — including billionaire investors George Soros and Tom Steyer — as well as hundreds of modest givers who have written checks for less than $200 combined to both candidates.

“I think it’s a growing dynamic of empowered donors,” said Colm O’Comartun, the former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “It was exemplified during the presidential election by the huge network of people on the Bernie [Sanders] side and the [President Donald] Trump side.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen talked to Congressman Tom Graves (R-Ranger) about his tenure in office.

Tom Graves was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, and he said last year’s tax reform bill was “the biggest, most exciting accomplishment since I began serving in Congress.”

The Republican from Ranger faces off on the Tuesday ballot against Democratic Party candidate, businessman and former physician Steve Foster in the race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

In addition to Whitfield and Murray counties, the 14th District includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk and Walker counties and the western part of Pickens County.

“It was the first overhaul of our nation’s tax code in more than 30 years, and a huge win for hard-working Georgia families, who were burdened for decades by an outdated, unfair tax code,” he said in an interview conducted by email. “Among its many positive changes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubles the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples, cuts individual tax rates across all brackets and doubles the child tax credit. … Between tax reform and President Trump’s regulatory cuts, the economy is finally booming again.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen also spoke to Graves’s Democratic opponent.

Foster is the Democratic Party candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat and faces Republican incumbent Tom Graves of Ranger in Tuesday’s election.

This is Foster’s first run for political office. Foster was sentenced to six months in jail and six months on probation in August following a conviction for DUI. He is currently in the Catoosa County jail, being housed there for Whitfield County.

Foster has criticized his arrest and conviction, citing among other things that he was not allowed to have an independent blood test.

He said in an interview conducted by email that it has been difficult to campaign from inside jail. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

New toll lanes are opening on I-85 in Gwinnett County this weekend, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The extension is set to open to the public Saturday, according to electronic message signs installed over the interstate. It begins where the Express Lanes, also known as high occupancy toll lanes or HOT lanes, currently end at Old Peachtree Road and goes up to Hamilton Mill Road in north Gwinnett.

In all, there will now be 26 miles of toll lanes on I-85 stretching from just inside Interstate 285 to just outside Braselton.

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix had flyers posted at the residences of registered sex offenders on Halloween, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Spaulding County Sheriff Darrell Dix told FOX 5′s Marissa Mitchell he decided to move forward with the initiative in an effort to keep families safe. That’s why his deputies hand-delivered the warning flyers to registered sex offenders in the county.

“We are going to put these notifications out so we can protect some kids this Halloween season,” Sheriff Dix said.

According to the sheriff’s office, in Spalding County,  there are 231 registered sex offenders, four of whom are considered sexually dangerous predators. Sheriff Dix also encourages families to travel in groups during the day and with an adult while trick-or-treating.