Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 5, 2017


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 5, 2017

President George Washington exercised the veto power for the first time on April 5, 1792.

The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the amount of seats for northern states. After consulting with his politically divided and contentious cabinet, Washington, who came from the southern state of Virginia, ultimately decided that the plan was unconstitutional because, in providing for additional representatives for some states, it would have introduced a number of representatives higher than that proscribed by the Constitution.

The Brown Thrasher was first recognized as the official state bird of Georgia on April 5, 1935 through an Executive Order signed by Governor Eugene Talmadge. Later the designation of official state symbols through executive fiat was challenged and the General Assembly would recognize the Brown Thrasher again as official state bird in 1970.

On April 5, 1962, Governor Ernest Vandiver called a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly to revise the state’s election code following a decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Baker v. Carr.

On April 5, 1968, amid racial tension following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., musician James Brown helped keep the peace in Boston.

On April 5, 1977, Wyche Fowler won a runoff election over John Lewis for the Fifth Congressional District, following the appointment of Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations. Fowler would win election to the United States Senate in 1986, and ironically, lose his seat in a 1992 runoff election to the late Paul Coverdell.

On April 5, 1980, the band that would come to be known as R.E.M. played their first show as Twisted Kites in Athens, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Department of Transportation said yesterday that the collapsed section of I-85 will reopen by mid-June.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) said the Interstate 85 overpass will be rebuilt by June 15th, about 10 weeks from now.

GDOT said it has hired contractor CW Matthews to handle the reconstruction. The company helped rebuild a portion of I-285 in 2001, when a gasoline tanker truck collided with two small cars and shut down four lanes of the elevated bypass. Because the company helped with that project years ago, GDOT said they have confidence CW Matthews will be helpful with this project as well.

They’ll pay bonuses to the contractor to finish construction quickly, according to GDOT’s Director of Construction Mark Mastronardi.

The transportation agency could also penalize the contractor for not finishing the work on time. Though details on how they’ll do that have not been released, they have assembled a 30-person team to monitor demolition and construction around the clock to make sure shortcuts aren’t taken that could compromise the safety of the repairs.

Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue released a joint statement on the I-85 repairs.

“We appreciate the swift action taken by Governor Deal and our state officials, local first responders and community volunteers during this very difficult disruption,” Isakson said in the statement. “In addition, President Trump and his administration stepped in immediately to offer assistance to Georgia and help make sure initial recovery efforts were able to get underway as quickly as possible.

“As federal partners, Senator Perdue and I continue to stand ready to help expedite efforts to ensure a quick and successful long term recovery.”

Perdue added, “Georgians stepped up to the plate and immediately responded to the devastating bridge collapse we witnessed last week. From Governor Deal to our brave first responders and local leaders, there is no doubt our state’s swift action saved lives in this situation.

“President Trump and his team also took action to make federal support available to Georgia immediately. We are all hands on deck to expedite any regulatory requirements and we stand shoulder to shoulder to make sure we get Georgians traveling safely again as fast as humanly possible.”

State Representative Brad Raffensperger (R-Johns Creek) is running for Secretary of State in 2018.

Georgia Republican State Representative Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek announced Monday that he is a candidate for the Office of Georgia Secretary of State. The incumbent, Brian Kemp, is not running for reelection and instead is running for governor.

“As an engineer, a general contractor and as the owner of a manufacturing business, I’ve worked and built projects in more than 30 states across the country. I have seen first-hand just how easy some states make it to do business, while other states make it hard,” said Raffensperger. “As Secretary of State, I will work to ensure Georgia is a friendly place to bring new business.”

Raffensperger is CEO of Tendon Systems, LLC. The firm is a specialty contracting and engineering firm with 200,000 square feet of office space and manufacturing facilities in Columbus, GA and Forsyth County. Tendon employs more than 100 Georgians.

“I’m running for Georgia Secretary of State because I’m a conservative who wants to keep streamlining government in Georgia to prevent it from getting in the way of job creation and opportunity.”

“As our Georgia Secretary of State, I will work with our Governor to limit the size of government, cut wasteful regulations that impede growth, and will work to keep Georgia moving forward to bring new businesses here,” said Raffensperger. “I’m a strong believer in putting taxpayers first.”

Raffensperger represents House District 50 in the legislature. He is a registered professional engineer in over 25 states. He and his wife, Tricia, have been married for 40 years and have three adult sons and two grandchildren. Brad and Tricia worship at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta.

The general election for Secretary of State will be held in November 2018. The date of the Republican primary is yet to be announced.

Raffensperger joins fellow Republican State Rep. Buzz Brockway (Lawrenceville) in the field for Secretary of State.

Governor Nathan Deal endorsed Republican Gus Makris in the Special Election for Senate District 32.

“Gus Makris is the Republican Leader and Conservative Reformer that Senate District 32 deserves. His desire to use conservative principles in order to reduce poverty, improve our schools, reduce traffic, and improve pay for our state public safety employees is exactly what we need. His thoughtfulness in the State Senate will be appreciated,” said Governor Deal.

“Governor Deal’s endorsement is an honor, and I think a recognition of how our ideas will help this district and the State of Georgia,” Makris said. “Under Governor Deal’s leadership, we became the #1 State in which to do business, we reformed our criminal justice system, and created a thriving film industry that adds billions to our State economy.”

Makris added that his campaign has been focused on issues that the other Republican campaigns have failed to address. This includes being the only Republican to offer plans on reducing class sizes and reforming the State funding formula for education to put more money in classrooms. Additionally, he is the only candidate thus far to address our crippling traffic and reform our budget to prioritize core services.

“I have knocked on thousands of doors across this district, and the message is largely the same. Voters want a conservative and capable State Senator who will actually listen and represent them. I am proud to have Governor Deal’s endorsement, just like I am proud to have the personal endorsement of thousands of voters across State Senate District 32.”

Fifteen of the Sixth District candidates met in a forum hosted by the Cobb County League of Women Voters.

State Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) joined Gov. Deal and several other legislators to celebrate Georgia Down Syndrome Day on March 21st.

The governor’s proclamation highlights the fact that about 6,000 babies in the U.S. are born with Down syndrome annually, and more than 400,000 Americans have it.

“I am a father of a child with Down syndrome, and I am grateful to Governor Deal for bringing recognition to our community,” Hilton said in a statement. “As a state representative, it is an honor to serve as a champion and voice for families across the state with special needs.”

Columbus Memory Center is working on a project to screen all local senior citizens for Alzhemier’s disease.

[Dr. Jonathan] Liss and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will hold a news conference 4 p.m., Tuesday, in the mayor’s office. Columbus Council is expected to issue a proclamation in support of the effort during a meeting at the Citizens Services Center, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

As part of the initiative, called the “Columbus Memory Project,” every resident 65 or older will be offered a free test designed to give them a “memory number” as a baseline understanding of his/her memory health. Additionally, individuals 55-75 years of age will be able to submit a confidential DNA sample, via free cheek swab kits, through GeneMatch, a program of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.

Lawsuits against Columbus over the city budget are nearing an end as the judge overseeing the action granted the city’s motion for summary judgment.

Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Al Tillman rescinded an earlier resignation and intends to remain on the Commission.

Days after Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Al Tillman said he would resign, he reversed course and says he will remain on the commission.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Tillman said he posted a message on Facebook this weekend that he would step down because of frustration, including criticism leveled at his family. Tillman, who is several months into his second term on the commission, cited in the Facebook message a lack of satisfaction he said he receives from some people in the community.

Savannah-Chatham County’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) has raised $23 million more than expected, and city officials are trying to decide how to spend it.

Hall County Board of Elections voted to start offering election materials in Spanish and English.

In a 2-1 vote, the board approved the motion Tuesday afternoon. Democrats Gala Sheats and Kim Copeland voted in favor of the measure, while Republican Ken Cochran cast the only dissenting vote.

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), said in a statement that it is an “important step forward to ensure all voters in Hall County would be able to exercise their right to vote, regardless of language barriers that existed before.”

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