Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 3, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 3, 2019


On December 3, 1775, the Grand Union Flag, comprising the Union Jack with thirteen red-and-white stripes was raised for the first time by Lieutenant John Paul Jones over the USS Alfred, a colonial warship. The flag would be used by Continental forces thorugh 1776 and early 1777.

USS Alfred

On December 3, 1776, General George Washington wrote Congress that he had moved most of his army across the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

On December 3, 1864, Union forces under the command of Gen. William T. Sherman skirmished against Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry at Thomas’ Station in Burke County, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized again, according to the Albany Herald.

“Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Ga., this past weekend for treatment for a urinary tract infection,” a statement from the Carter Center read. “He is feeling better and looks forward to returning home soon. We will issue a statement when he is released for further rest and recovery at home.”

Carter, 95, had been admitted to the hospital on November 11 for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain. The pressure was caused by bleeding from his recent falls, the center said at the time. He was hospitalized twice in October, suffering a black eye and receiving 14 stitches above his brow after his first fall, when he hit his forehead “on a sharp edge.” He then received treatment for a minor pelvic fracture after his second fall.

Carter celebrated his 95th birthday on October 1, and is the oldest living former US president in history — a title once held by George H.W. Bush, who died in late 2018 at age 94.

Today is runoff election day in a number of municipalities across Georgia. Read a little further for information on some of those elections.

Governor Brian Kemp is widely expected to name Kelly Loeffler to the United States Senate tomorrow. From the AJC:

Kemp and his advisers spent the last stretch putting the finishing touches on his pick’s rollout during an announcement set for 10 a.m. Wednesday. He’s eager to trumpet a prominent executive who can self-finance her campaign and, he’ll contend, help the Georgia GOP win back suburban voters.

The announcement would come a day after U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson delivers a farewell speech on the Senate floor. Isakson, who is stepping down at year’s end because of health issues, recently had breakfast with Kemp and repeated his pledge to support the governor’s selection.

Loeffler also started introducing herself to her soon-to-be colleagues, including a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The National Republican Senatorial Committee told her she’d be treated as an incumbent with the group’s full support, which could help defend her new post.

Here’s my position on Kelly Loeffler’s appointment:  I’m going to give her a chance to live up to the promise that Governor Kemp sees in her, then I’ll decide whether she’s the kind of Republican I can support.

Roswell City Council Post 3 has a runoff with two female candidates, according to

Post 3 did not have an incumbent running, and saw four candidates vying for the seat in November. Christine Hall took 3,827 of votes, and will face Lisa Holland who had 3,530 votes in a runoff. Other candidates, Keith Goeke with 2,002 votes and Kay Howell with 1,727 votes, will not be in the runoff.

Johns Creek City Council has three runoff elections, according to

For Johns Creek City Council Post 2, Brian Weaver who received 3,253 votes will face Dilip Tunki who received 2,160 votes in a runoff. The third candidate Royce Reinecke took 1,696 votes.

Johns Creek Post 4 incumbent Chris Coughlin received 3,319 votes, and will face Marybeth Cooper, who had 1,342 votes, in a runoff. Other candidates Adam Thomas had 1,288 votes and Kent Altom with 1,052 votes.

Johns Creek Post 6 saw three vying for the seat, and Erin Elwood took 2,700 votes and will face Issure C. Yang, who had 2,258 votes, in a runoff. The third candidate Judy LeFave took 2,076 votes.

Walthourville in Liberty County on the Georgia coast will hold a runoff for City Council today.

11Alive looks at a variety of runoff elections being contested today.

A runoff election for mayor in Savannah headlines the municipal races, with Alderman Van Johnson seeking to unseat incumbent Eddie DeLoach.

Voters in Valdosta will be choosing a new mayor, with former fire chief J.D. Rice going up against talk show host Scott James Matheson. In Albany, incumbent Mayor Dorothy Hubbard seeks a third term against lawyer Kermit “Bo” Dorough.

In metro Atlanta, voters will settle mayor’s races in College Park, Doraville, Morrow and Smyrna.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach will attempt to hold his seat in today’s runoff, according to WJCL.

Incumbent Eddie DeLoach and Alderman Van Johnson will go head-to-head in Tuesday’s runoff election.

“This race is important. I want people to get our and exercise their constitutional right and ability to vote,” Johnson said.

“The only way you make difference in your community is to come out and vote,” DeLoach said.

On Johnson’s last day on the campaign trail, he attracted many state and local leaders for support including former Savannah mayors, newly elected city council members and Georgia Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

DeLoach also brought in support from state leaders and other mayors across the coastal empire, but says he was looking for support manly on a local level.

Valdosta voters go to the polls in runoff elections today, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Election Day strikes again Tuesday, Dec. 3, as city residents head back to the polls to vote in runoff races for mayor of Valdosta and Valdosta City Council at-large.

The mayoral race pits Scott James Matheson against J.D. Rice, while incumbent at-large Councilman Ben Norton hopes to retain his seat from challenger Adrian Rivers.

House District 152 in Southwest Georgia will see a runoff election today, according to WALB.

People in Sumter, Worth and Lee counties will cast their vote Tuesday for one of the biggest runoff races in the area.

Former Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta and former Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn are in the runoff and both are still hoping for a big win Tuesday night.

Brunswick City Commission’s North Ward holds a runoff today, according to The Brunswick News.

Braselton Town Council District 1 hosts a runoff election today, according to the Gainesville Times.

Voting takes place 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the runoff for the Braselton Town Council’s District 1 seat.

Residents can vote at the Braselton Police & Municipal Court building at 5040 Ga. Highway 53.

The election pits incumbent Becky Richardson against challenger Richard Mayberry. They were the top two finishers in the Nov. 5 election.

In Habersham County, District 5 voters go to the polls in a runoff today, according to AccessWDUN.

Habersham County voters need to choose a county commissioner to represent District 5. Darrin Johnston and Tim Stamey were the top vote-getters in the Nov. 5 general election. One of them will replace Ed Nichols, who resigned after moving.

The AJC lists other Metro Atlanta area runoff elections being held today.

Whitfield County‘s Special Purpose Local Option Sale Tax (SPLOST) citizens committee delivered its wish list, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

The chairman of a citizens advisory committee making recommendations for projects that could be funded by a proposed 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) thanked officials with the City of Dalton on Monday for coming up with a good list of projects to be funded.

“When we went through the city’s requests and started weeding them out, we found that a lot of the weeding had already been done,” said Chris Shiflett.

Shiflett and other members of the committee delivered their recommendations to the City Council at the council’s meeting Monday night.

Dougherty County Commissioners adopted revisions to their alcohol ordinance, according to the Albany Herald.

Dougherty County Commission put voters’ will into policy on Monday, approving ordinances allowing Sunday package sales of alcohol and setting an earlier time to begin serving mixed drinks on Sunday.

Beginning in January, Sunday sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits will be legal in stores in unincorporated Dougherty County.

The city of Albany does not allow package sales on Sunday.

A vote on Sunday sales at package stores outside the Albany city limits passed on Nov. 5 with 60% of the vote, 7,449-4,883. Voters who live outside Albany approved moving up the start time for selling alcoholic beverages at restaurants from noon to 11 a.m.

Columbus City Council will consider repealing an ordinance that bans tattooing on Sunday, according to the Ledger Enquirer.

Columbus Council Tuesday night will consider deleting an “antiquated” local law that prohibits the act of tattooing on Sundays or Sabbath days.

The change was sparked by the scheduling of the region’s first large tattoo convention set to occupy the Columbus Convention and trade center in January.

District 8 Councilor Walker Garrett said the Columbus Tattoo Expo, which will feature artists doing tattoos on-site throughout the entire weekend January 10-12, prompted his proposal to change the ordinance.

“It is my understanding that the local parlors already operate on Sundays and this law hasn’t been enforced, but I thought it was better to change an antiquated law then to risk affecting a major convention coming to Columbus,” Garrett said in an email.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce will hear from local legislators at their Eggs and Issues breakfast, according to the Gainesville Times.

Local residents and business leaders can hear from state legislators and get a look ahead at the 2020 legislative session at the annual Eggs & Issues event Dec. 12.

The event, hosted by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, will feature all of Hall County’s delegation in the Georgia General Assembly:

• State Sen. Butch Miller, 49th District

• State Sen. John Wilkinson, 50th District

• State Rep. Lee Hawkins, 27th District

• State Rep. Matt Dubnik, 29th District

• State Rep. Emory Dunahoo Jr., 30th District

• State Rep. Timothy Barr, 103rd District

Floyd County Commissioners discussed their priorities with local legislators, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Floyd County Commissioners sat down for a luncheon Monday with state Reps. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, and Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, to discuss issues concerning inmates and taxes.

The meeting was aimed at letting lawmakers know what local officials are hoping for help with in the 2020 Georgia General Assembly session.

One of the biggest issues concerning county commissioners is the cost to support the prison population, most notably the medical costs.

“We’re spending $3.3 million on medical care for prison and jail inmates,” County Manager Jamie McCord said.

The commissioners commented that majority of the inmate population and local arrests have substance abuse issues and mental illnesses. It’s a major problem county commission members have been trying to tackle for the last couple of years.

“We now have a task force with Judge (Jack) Niedrach and Bonnie Moore and all the right people, trying to figure out a better way to care for people with mental illness and substance abuse issues than in our jail,” Commissioner Allison Watters said.

Niedrach presides over a mental health court and Moore is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter NAMI Rome.

Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to ban single-use plastics in food service at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, according to the AJC.

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously in favor of a ban on non-compostable single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam used to serve food at city buildings and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

But the plastics ban the city council voted for on Monday would allow for a year to pass before it takes effect. Even then, it will apply only to businesses on new city contracts struck after the effective date and to city purchases.

Atlanta voters will decide on whether to levy a renewal of the penny sales tax for water and sewer, according to the AJC.

If the tax is approved, taxpayers would pay up to $750 million over four years to continue fixing the city’s water issues which are projected to cost nearly $4 billion.

City Council approved the March 24, 2020, referendum during its Nov. 18 meeting. The current penny tax would end Sept. 30, 2020.

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