Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 13, 2021


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 13, 2021

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in what is now Albemarle County, Virginia. Jefferson served as Governor of Virginia, United States Secretary of State, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, and Third President of the United States. Jefferson is credited with writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.

On April 13, 1861, Union forces surrendered Fort Sumter after 33 hours of bombardment by Confederates.

As we pass the anniversary of FDR’s death on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia, the Savannah Morning News looks at a 1933 trip.

The New Deal arrived in Savannah, in person, on Nov. 18, 1933. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed in the city for only 90 minutes or so that morning, but nonetheless managed to make an indelible mark on its historical record.

He’d left Washington, D.C., by train the night before, accompanied by his mother, several assistants and friends, and a cadre of national reporters and photographers. FDR had been president for only a few months, but he was no stranger to Georgia. Between 1924 and 1945, he visited the state 41 times.

This stopover was important. Roosevelt planned to deliver a major speech at Municipal Stadium (now Grayson Stadium) in Daffin Park. The topics: His role as the honorary chairman of the Georgia Bicentennial Commission, and his decision two days earlier to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

FDR’s Savannah appearance, Talmadge had said in October, would be the “crowning event” of the state’s 200th birthday celebration. The stadium crowd reflected that. An estimated 35.000 to 40,000 witnessed the speech in person, and many others gathered in the park extension and listened to it over radio amplifiers.

History buffs may wish to read the entire article.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia Department of Public Health launched a new website for COVID vaccine appointments, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The new system,, consolidates all state-sponsored vaccinations into one interface. The new system is managed by the Georgia Department of Public Health, who announced the change in a press release last week. It aims to streamline and simplify the scheduling process for a COVID-19 vaccine, which has created challenges for both patients and health staff since vaccination began in Georgia.

Patients fill out a questionnaire on the new site to book a vaccine appointment. The form includes questions about demographic details, medical history, COVID-19 history, and contact information. The questionnaire also determines a patients’ readiness for getting a COVID-19 vaccine and screens patients to ensure the vaccine is safe for them to get. All Georgians age 16 or older are currently eligible for the vaccine.

The new system currently lists only state-sponsored vaccine providers, such as health departments, and doesn’t include private providers such as pharmacies or doctor’s offices. Georgians can still register for a vaccine through a private provider or at one of the state’s mass vaccination sites at Vaccines are free and no insurance is required.

In Whitfield County Commission District 3, polls are open till 7 PM today, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

A special election runoff to fill the unexpired term of the late Roger Crossen for the District 3 seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners is today.

The candidates are Shane Day, global sales director for Tiarco Chemical in Dalton, and John Thomas, a realtor and former member of the Whitfield County Board of Education. The term expires Dec. 31, 2022. The election is nonpartisan, but candidates could list a party affiliation. Day and Thomas listed Republican.

Day and Thomas finished first and second respectively in the five-person special election on March 16. Day received 467 votes (29.37%) and Thomas 430 votes (27.04%). Because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, state law called for a runoff.

Only residents of District 3 can vote in the runoff. You don’t need to have voted in the special election to vote in the runoff, but you do have to have been registered to vote by Feb. 16 of this year.

Governor Brian Kemp spoke at the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce yesterday, according to WSB-TV.

“Despite outrage from those with a political agenda and their friends in the national media, we also passed a bill that makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Kemp said, addressing the business leaders on Monday at their Chamber’s annual luncheon. “I want you to know that I spent the last two weeks on the road and in more than 60 interviews standing up for our business community and letting the world know just how bad a decision that was.”

Kemp announced he would sign a new bill that provides tax credits to some defense manufacturers as well as medical device and pharmaceutical companies that he thinks will help Cobb County more than the All-Star Game would have.

From the AJC:

Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday briefly addressed a news report about a virtual meeting of roughly 100 chief executives and corporate leaders over the weekend to discuss state voting bills, including the bill Kemp signed into law on March 25 that put Georgia at the forefront of national criticism and praise.

Kemp seemed to dismiss any concern about the meeting, saying it didn’t concern Georgia.

“I don’t think it was about the new voting law,” Kemp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution minutes after he delivered the keynote address at Cobb Chamber’s annual luncheon. “They were mainly talking about a path forward.”

Kemp assured a crowd of roughly 300 business leaders and elected officials at the luncheon Monday that he had worked tirelessly to combat disinformation about the law. He said that the MLB’s decision didn’t take into account “the consequences on hardworking Georgians in this community.”

“I want you to know that I’ve spent the last two weeks on the road and in more than 60 interviews standing up for our business community and letting the world know just how bad a decision that was,” Kemp said.

Will Smith announced he will pull production of a new film out of Georgia in order to harm working class people protest some stuff he apparently hasn’t read. From the Associated Press via AccessWDUN:

Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have pulled production of their runaway slave drama “Emancipation” from Georgia over the state’s recently enacted law restricting voting access.

“We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,” Smith and Fuqua said. “The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting.”

“Emancipation” had been scheduled to begin shooting in June. Apple Studios acquired the film last year in a deal reportedly worth $130 million. Based on a true story, the film stars Smith as a slave who flees a Louisiana plantation and joins the Union Army.

Senate Bill 78 by State Senator Harold Jones (D-Augusta) passed and heads to Gov. Kemp’s desk for veto or signature, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

State Sen. Harold Jones’ bill addressing so-called “revenge porn” will strengthen the state’s ban on using the internet to harass and abuse.

Jones, D-Augusta, said Senate Bill 78 grew out of his work two years ago on Senate Bill 9, which banned “sextortion,” or coercing someone to provide explicit images. The bill also increased prohibitions against the sexual abuse of students by school personnel.

Posting revenge porn – the law makes it a felony – is worse than sexual extortion because a victim may not know the images are online and widely available, Jones said.

Jones said his work as a prosecutor made him more aware of the need for better laws against domestic and sexual abuse. He’s also introduced legislation eliminating the statute of limitations for rape.

Senate Bill 78 had near unanimous approval in the state House and Senate and now awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp.



U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-Athens) will appeal a fine levied for bypassing Capitol metal detectors, according to the Gainesville Times.

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens, is looking to take his appeal of $15,000 in fines levied against him for refusing to walk through metal detectors to enter the House floor in February to a federal courtroom after a failed appeal to the House Ethics Committee.

On April 12, the House Ethics Committee said that they planned to uphold two fines totalling $15,000 against Clyde after he evaded security screenings required to enter the House chamber.

“I recently learned that the formal appeal of my fines incurred as a result of refusing to comply with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the floor of the House of Representatives was rejected,” Clyde said in a statement. “This now provides the legal standing which I needed to challenge this unconstitutional resolution.”

The House adopted the metal detector rule on a 216-210 vote, with all Republicans voting against it.

“While my team and I continue to await an announcement of a fine levied on the Speaker, we are preparing for the next stage of this fight. I will take my case to federal court where I am confident justice will be served,” Clyde said.

“Another aspect that greatly concerns me is the unequal enforcement and selective manner these fines have been implemented,” said Clyde. “Noting the existence of closed-circuit footage providing irrefutable proof that Speaker Pelosi bypassed her own screening procedures.”

His letter stated multiple members saw Pelosi enter the chamber “without completing security screening.”

State Rep. Mickey Stephens (D-Savannah) announced he will retire from the House, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Stephens returned to Atlanta after being kept mostly homebound for the last couple of years. He won re-election in November despite this. And on March 31, his wife of over 50 years, Gloria Stephens, delivered goodbye remarks on his behalf at the chamber of the House of Representatives.

Stephens was first elected in 2002. He served one term, then returned in 2014, holding the seat since. He was re-elected in November in an unopposed contest for House District 165. His term is set to expire in 2023.

Now, the next step in the process will come from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.

After a seat is left vacant in the house, it must be filled by a special election declared by the governor. The governor has 10 days to announce the special election, and it must be held no less than 30 days and no more than 60 days following the announcement.

The Albany Herald covers the announcement by Republican Kelvin King that he will run for U.S. Senate.

King is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a veteran and the owner of a successful construction company. His story also includes being born to a teenage mother, raised in a single-parent home, and overcoming the challenge of poverty.

“Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t have made it,” he said. “I truly am a product of the American dream, which makes me the fiercest defender of freedom, opportunity and American exceptionalism.

“I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Sen. (Raphael) Warnock’s divisive far-left representation. This election for the U.S. Senate is bigger than you and me. Georgia truly is ground zero for taking back our country. Let’s win for America.”

Augusta City Council has its first announced candidate for the May 2022 elections, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Augusta Commissioner Dennis Williams and Richmond County Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick announced earlier this year they are running to replace the term-limited Hardie Davis, but on the Augusta Commission only one candidate has thrown her hat in the ring.

Retired healthcare provider Betty Reece is no stranger to local politics, having served as president of the League of Women Voters of the CSRA and the Richmond County Neighborhood Alliance. Reece also lost the District 4 commission post three years ago by just 86 votes to incumbent Sammie Sias, who also can’t seek a third consecutive term.

Reece said she stands for the needs of children, families and District 4, which needs quality-of-life improvements, and wants to see the water park approved by voters in Sales Tax 8 through to completion.

Dougherty County Commissioners are considering the location and funding for a new morgue, according to the Albany Herald.

Rome may relocate a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, according to the Rome News Tribune.

A citizens committee is recommending the statue of a controversial Confederate general be placed permanently inside the Rome Area History Center.

The statue of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, credited with being a founder of the Ku Klux Klan, was removed from its base in Myrtle Hill Cemetery in January.

Rome City Commissioner Jamie Doss reported the recommendation of the Interpretations Advisory Committee to the full City Commission on Monday night.

City commissioners also approved a recommendation from the Alcohol Control Commission to allow for package sales of beer, wine and liquor as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays.

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