Five thousand British and Hessian troops surrendered to patriot militia on October 17, 1777, ending the Second Battle of Saratoga, and leading to France recognizing American independence and sending military aid.
An editorial published pseudononymously by Alexander Hamilton on October 17, 1796, accused Thomas Jefferson, then a Presidential candidate, of having an affair with a slave.
Happy birthday to the Texas Rangers, created on October 17, 1835.
In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a semi-official force of armed men who would defend the isolated frontier settlers of the Lone Star Republic against both Santa Ana’s soldiers and hostile Indians; the Texas Rangers filled this role. But after winning their revolutionary war with Mexico the following year, Texans decided to keep the Rangers, both to defend against Indian and Mexican raiders and to serve as the principal law enforcement authority along the sparsely populated Texan frontier.
Paul Anderson, known as the “World’s Strongest Man,” was born in Toccoa, Georgia on October 17, 1932. From his New York Times obituary:
As the unknown substitute for the injured American champion at the first Soviet-American dual athletic competition, in Moscow in 1955, the 5-foot-9-inch Anderson was scorned by his hosts.
The scorn turned to snickers when Anderson called for a weight of 402.4 pounds, more than 20 pounds above the world record. The snickers stopped when the 340-pound Anderson lifted the weight. By the time he set another record, in the clean and jerk, he was being hailed by Soviet fans.
The stunning achievement at the height of the Cold War made Anderson an instant American hero, and it was largely an anticlimax when he set three more world records at the world championships in Munich, Germany, later that year.
Although virtually conceded the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, Anderson was stricken with a severe inner-ear infection.
Competing at 304 pounds and with a 103-degree fever, he fell so far behind his chief rival that on the final of three required lifts, he needed to clean and jerk 413.5 pounds, an Olympic record, to claim the gold. Twice he tried and failed. On the third attempt he asked God for a little extra help and got it.
“It wasn’t making a bargain,” he said later, “I needed help.”
Paul Anderson Memorial Park in Toccoa is a private park supported by a 501(c)(3) organization.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Yesterday, 75,347 voters cast early ballots in person on the second day of in-person early voting, according to the Secretary of State’s Absentee Voter File produced last night. On Monday, 69,818 in-person early ballots were cast, for a total of 145,165 ballots cast in person.
69,006 mail-in ballots have been returned and processed.
TOTAL VOTES CAST SO FAR: 214,171
Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced stop at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie yesterday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the area examining storm damage, pledged the federal government will be there as the region recovers and touted the economy under President Donald Trump.
“Michael was a once-in-a-generation storm that dealt a devastating blow to Florida and the Sunbelt (area),” said Pence, whose trip was taking him to hard-hit Decatur County later in the afternoon.
“We’ll be there to help Georgia and the area recover,” Pence said. “The spirit of people in this region, the strength of the people of this area is inspiring (America). It really is.”
“They called and said the vice president’s coming with (U.S. Agriculture) Secretary (Sonny) Perdue, and they said we’ve got to make that happen and we did.” [said Expo Executive Director Chip Blalock.]
From The Hill:
“As the president has said, the climate is changing, but what the causes of that are, are yet to be seen,” he told reporters in Moultrie, Ga. “The reality is it’s some of the worst storms that have ever affected this area were 50 and 100 years ago.”
Vice President Mike Pence visited southwest Georgia to survey storm damage from Hurricane Michael, a day after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump did the same thing.
Channel 2 Action News was the only local station with Pence as he toured parts hit the hardest and met with farmers from Albany to Bainbridge.
“It’s not going to go unnoticed in this administration and we’re going to make sure the people of this region will have the support to rebuild,” Pence said.
Pence and his wife Karen Pence headed to the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie after they landed around 10:30 a.m. in Georgia.
“I expect today we’ll also help the American people understand that we’ve got a great challenge in one of the most prolific agricultural areas in America,” Pence said.
Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop joined Pence during his visit.
The Albany Herald has video and photos of Pence’s visit.
Liberals are suing Gwinnett County claiming the board of elections discards too many bad mail-in ballots, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
The Georgia Muslim Voter Project and Asian-American Advancing Justice-Atlanta filed the lawsuit against the county and Kemp late Monday night. The suit is a response to Gwinnett County elections officials decision to reject hundreds of absentee mail-in ballots because of various issues, including missing information or signatures that did not match the ones county officials had on file.
The civil rights groups want the U.S. District court for the Northern District of Georgia to let them have until three days after the Nov. 6 general election to prove their identity or two get an expedited hearing to resolve the matter.
Records from the secretary of state’s website shows more than 400 of the absentee ballots that have been returned have been rejected. Thousands of absentee by mail ballots were requested according to records, which were forwarded by Gwinnett County officials to the Daily Post.
County spokesman Joe Sorenson said the county has complied with laws governing the handling of ballots.
“The county is committed to a process that protects the voting rights of all of its citizens and fully complies with the law in the process,” he said.
From the Gainesville Times:
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee, says Democrat Stacey Abrams and liberal allies are fighting for immigrants without legal status to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Abrams’ campaign says that’s untrue and Kemp is deliberately twisting her words and her record. It says Kemp is trying to deflect from his own record of making it harder for citizens to vote.
Kemp has sought to move past the controversy by swinging hard at Abrams. In an appearance Monday on Fox News, he said a soundbite of Abrams at a recent campaign event is evidence she wants immigrants without legal status to vote.
The clip of Abrams was from a campaign stop in Jonesboro last week with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. During the event, Abrams said: “The thing of it is, is that blue waves aren’t blue … the blue wave is African-American. It’s white, it’s Latino, it’s Asian-Pacific Islander. It is disabled. It is differently abled. It is LGBTQ, it is law enforcement. It is veterans. It is made up of those who have been told they are not worthy of being here. It is comprised of those who are documented and undocumented. It is comprised of those who have been told they’re successful and those who have been left behind.”
During the Fox News interview, Kemp singled out Abrams’ words that the blue wave, referring to Democrats aspirations to sweep the November election, includes “those who are documented and undocumented.”
“Wow. It means she wants illegals to vote in Georgia. This is a shocking development in the campaign. While she was campaigning with Elizabeth Warren she actually said this,” Kemp said. “I think hard-working Georgians should decide who their governor is, not people here illegally like my opponent wants.”
From the Macon Telegraph:
Part of the problem stems from the confusing instructions on Gwinnett County’s absentee envelopes, which are printed in both English and Spanish. Gwinnett is the only one of Georgia’s 159 counties required by the federal Voting Rights Act to produce dual-language ballots because of a rising Hispanic voter base.
The suit said Gwinnett County, where 30 percent of voters are black, had rejected nearly one out of 10 absentee ballots through late last week, far more than any other county. Fulton County, the state’s most populous, has rejected 60 absentee ballots out of more than 4,355 as of Tuesday afternoon, Elections Director Rick Barron said. Many other Georgia counties, such as Chattahoochee, where Fort Benning’s soldiers rely heavily on absentee ballots, have not reported rejecting any such ballots.
Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Kemp, said eligibility for absentee ballots is determined solely by local officials, but that his office opened an investigation on behalf of the state elections board Tuesday to ensure all counties are abiding by the law in handling those ballots.
She added that Kemp “will not be bullied by out-of-state organizations or political operatives who want to generate headlines and advance a baseless narrative.”
Democrat Sarah Griggs Amico says victims should be believed, but not when they’re accusing her company of racial and sexual discrimination. From the AJC:
Attorneys for the company headed by the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor sent letters to the state’s top two Republican campaigns demanding that they stop “making false statements” about a discrimination lawsuit filed against the business.
Jack Cooper, a truck-hauling company led by Sarah Riggs Amico, sent the letters Monday requesting Amico’s opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, his spokesman Dan McLagan and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, retract statements made in a press release last week.
The request comes days after Kemp called for Amico to withdraw her candidacy, describing the allegations in the lawsuit filed in federal court in April as “unacceptable and disqualifying.”
“She had her dad call his lawyer on us?” McLagan said. “Well, Big Mike should read the sexual harassment allegations found in paragraphs 26, 116, 118 and 139 of the lawsuit.”
A press release from Kemp’s campaign last week called it a “sexual assault lawsuit.” Employees have alleged sexual harassment, according to court records.
Kemp campaign spokesman Cody Hall called on Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor, to also ask Amico to withdraw from the race. He accused Abrams of playing politics, saying sexual harassment and racial discrimination shouldn’t be ignored.
“That’s why Brian Kemp has a plan to ensure that state employees are treated with respect and allegations of misconduct are addressed immediately,” he said.
Glynn County has seen 2229 ballots cast in the first two days of early voting, according to The Brunswick News.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, 1,046 had voted.
Another 1,183 turned out by 5 p.m. Tuesday to total 2,229 in the first two days of early voting, according to Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch.
Of the total, 1,186 people voted in the mainland location at the Office Park Building in Brunswick.
The other 1,043 voted in the St. Simons Island polling place at Glynn County Fire Station No. 2.
She added that the board has been “overwhelmed” by just the first two days of early voting turnout.
The Augusta Chronicle reviews the Constitutional Amendment and referenda on the November ballot. +1 for using “referenda” in a headline.
More than 69,000 early ballots were cast Monday, according to WSB-TV.
Voters across Georgia rushed to the polls on the first day of in-person early voting Monday, with 69,049 people casting their ballots.
That’s a sharp increase from the last midterm election in 2014, when 20,898 people showed up on the first day of in-person early voting, according to numbers from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
Some early voters in Cobb County had to wait in lines for more than two hours, and others in Fulton County encountered delays because of technical difficulties.
About 58 percent of voters cast early ballots during the 2016 presidential election, and 37 percent voted in advance in 2014.
From the Rome News-Tribune:
On Monday afternoon, the Board of Elections Director Lee Ann George reported that more than 360 voters had cast ballots at either the Nathan Dean Community Center on Goodyear Ave. in Rockmart, or at the Elections office at the Polk County Administration building in Cedartown.
Locally, votes on two local County Commission seats and whether to extend the Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax to 2026 when it the current fund concludes a year and a half from now are some of the main issues facing Polk County on the ballot.
District 2 Commissioner and this year’s chair Jennifer Hulsey seeks a second term in representing the area on the Republican ticket, while longtime candidate Ricky Clark seeks Democratic support in Polk County.
In a special election for the District 3 rate, a trio of candidates are up on the ballot this year for the seat that will fill the rest of the time held currently by Commissioner Hal Floyd, who is running unopposed in the seat being left open when Marshelle Thaxton’s term expires on December 31.
Jeri Purdy, Ray Carter and Larry Reynolds are all seeking the seat that will be back up for a vote in 2020.
More than 10,000 ballots were cast Monday during the first day of early voting in Fulton County. The county has opened 20 early voting locations and 11 outreach locations in which residents can vote in the nation’s most watched governor’s race and other state and local elections.
“We are pleased with the high turnout on the first day of early voting,” said Richard Barron, Director, Fulton County Registration and Elections. “It is our hope that our residents will continue to take advantage of the many locations, extended hours and two weekends so they can vote early.”
Early voting continues through November 2. This year’s gubernatorial election between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams has also resulted in a record number of absentee ballots requested as well as a record number of voters being registered.
Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) and his Democratic opponent met in a debate, according to the Savannah Morning News.
First Congressional District incumbent Republican Buddy Carter and Democratic challenger Lisa Ring appeared alongside each other for the first time on Tuesday at a political forum hosted by the Savannah Branch of the NAACP.
RING: “We need to raise the federal minimum wage to 15. Wages have been stagnant since the 70s,” Ring said.
Ring said it was “unforgivable” that there are people working two full time jobs who still cannot provide for their families.
“When workers have money, they can spend it, and that strengthens the economy,” Ring said.
CARTER: “No we should not raise minimum wage. What’s happening right now is: wages are going up,” Carter said.
“What we need to do is create more jobs and have more demands for employees. That raises wages,” Carter said.
Gwinnett County Commissioners voted to issue $36.5 million through the Urban Redevelopment Agency to buy 103 acres at Jimmy Carter Blvd. and I-85, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Floyd County Commissioners are considering 4 percent raises for employees in the next fiscal year’s budget, according to the Rome News-Tribune.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources reports that 1,730 sea turtle nests and 90,000 hatchlings were documented in Georgia, according to the Savannah Morning News.
“It’s another thoroughly average year,” said Department of Natural Resources senior wildlife biologist Mark Dodd. “But overall we’re interested in the long term and that trend is increasing 3 percent annually.”
Georgia now sees about twice the nesting levels documented when comprehensive surveys began in 1989. The record year was 2016, when 3,289 nests were found.
Nearly 400 of this year’s nests were recorded in Chatham County. Ossabaw Island led the county-wide count with 198 nests, then Wassaw with 153, Tybee with 21 and Little Tybee with nine.
Loggerheads nest from May through mid-August in Georgia, crawling up on sandy beaches near where they themselves hatched decades prior. They lay clutches that average 120 eggs, using their powerful hind flippers to dig out a nest cavity above the high tide line. Those eggs hatch in about 60 days, usually beginning in mid-July. Named for their large heads, loggerheads are considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but their numbers have been recovering.