Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 21, 2024

21
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 21, 2024

Governor Brian Kemp issued a Proclamation recognizing May as ALS Awareness Month. I’m not sure where the proclamation currently sits, but I’d sure love to have it. It’d make a great birthday gift later this week.

Georgia Colonists signed the Treaty of Savannah with the Lower Creeks on May 21, 1733.

George Washington left Georgia on May 21, 1791, crossing a bridge over the Savannah River at Augusta.

American Charles Lindbergh landed at Paris on May 21, 1927 in The Spirit of St. Louis, completing both the first nonstop transatlantic flight and the first nonstop flight from New York to Paris.

On May 21, 1942, German authorities removed 4300 Polish Jews from Chelm to an extermination camp at Sobibor and killed them by poison gas. The Sobibor camp’s five gas chambers would kill 250,000 Jews during 1942 and 1943.

On May 21, 2011, Herman Cain announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Some Clarke County voters were incorrectly placed in County Commission District 5 instead of District 2, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The mistake has reportedly been corrected without incident, but nearly 70 registered voters in Athens-Clarke County Commission District 2, where a Tuesday nonpartisan election will decide the occupant of the seat for four years beginning in January, were at one point erroneously assigned to Athens-Clarke County Commission District 5, where no election is slated for Tuesday.

Vying for the District 2 seat are incumbent Melissa Link, a progressive firebrand with interests in affordable housing and historic preservation, and downtown Athens business owner Jason Jacobs, a political newcomer running on a platform of bridging differences between the community’s progressive ranks and citizens with other viewpoints.

The 66 affected voters, at addresses between 147 Oglethorpe Avenue and 545 Oglethorpe Avenue — between Prince Avenue and Holman Avenue — are being notified of the erroneous district assignment in a door-to-door effort by county elections office staff members. District 2, in central Athens-Clarke County, and District 5, immediately to the west and north of District 2, share a boundary along part of Oglethorpe Avenue.

According to a Friday news release from the county, as of that time, “no voter in this stretch of Oglethorpe Avenue addresses had cast an incorrect in-person or absentee ballot.”

The error was first noted on May 13, when an early voter alerted poll workers that the District 2 race, which should have appeared on their ballot, was not there. Two days later, a second voter noted the same mistake and alerted poll workers.

In both instances, the voters were issued ballots that included the District 2 contest, according to the county’s news release. Subsequent research by elections workers revealed no incorrect ballots had been cast in the District 2 race, according to the news release. The erroneous commission district assignments, which were corrected on May 16, can be traced to changes last year in voting precinct boundaries and polling places.

Voting precinct boundaries, which determine the polling place to which a voter should go to cast a ballot, are not the same as commission district boundaries. In fact, depending on their home address, voters in any given voting precinct can be casting ballots for offices in different political boundaries on election day.

“During the process of updating the information about the Oglethorpe Avenue addresses for Precinct 5C at Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary School,” the county explained in its news release, “the commission district was mistakenly changed from Commission District 2 to Commission District 5.”

Voters go to the polls today for the General Primary Election. From the Dalton Daily Citizen News:

Early voting for the general primaries and nonpartisan elections ended Friday with 2,817 Whitfield County residents casting a ballot, according to Supervisor of Elections Shaynee Bryson.

For comparison, 2,778 voted in early voting in the 2022 general primaries and nonpartisan elections.

Tuesday is Election Day, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Voters must provide a valid photo ID.

The Daily Citizen News also reviews which races and candidates are on the ballot.

From 13WMAZ:

For Georgia voters, you can pick any ballot you want when you walk into the precinct since you’re voting in an open-primary race.

“You will need to declare a party, and you can pick either choice you want, or pick the nonpartisan ballot if you want,” Gillon said.

It may take a bit more time than usual to get in and out if there’s a large turnout.

From WSAV:

Positions on the ballot will include County Commission, Sheriff, and District Attorney, as well as some city posts, plus Georgia congressional seats and Georgia legislature, among others. There will also be nonpartisan parts of the ballot, which include referendums, as well as choices for state and local judges.

Voters in Chatham County will be electing several seats, including County Coroner and Commissioners.

One of the hottest races is for District Attorney, where Jenny Parker is running against Shalena Cook Jones to represent the state in felony cases. The Republican candidate will be Andre Pretorius.

Over in Bryan County, Buck Holly is vying against Carter Infinger for a place on the county commission. Another big contest is between Andrew Pinson and John Barrow for State Supreme Court Justice. Voters will be choosing between Jeff Davis and Tabitha Ponder for Appeals Court Judge.

The run for Sheriff in Bulloch County pits Keith Howard against Noel Brown. There’s also a large contest for County Commissioner, with six candidates vying for the position. Additionally, there are several choices for education board members and County Coroner.

In Liberty County, three candidates are looking to be elected County Commissioner, but the biggest race will be for sheriff as incumbent Will Bowman defends his seat against opponents Gary Eason, Gary Richardson, Keith Jenkins, and Kevin Hofkin, who are all running to take the badge.

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

Georgia polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday as voters make key choices in races like the Columbus City Council, the battle for state legislature, and the Muscogee County coroner’s race.

Both partisan and non-partisan races are on the ballot. Races in Columbus include a special election for an at-large seat on the Columbus Council and a general election for the same seat. Also featured are races for one contested school board seat, a special tax for local education investments, the Democratic primary for the coroner’s office, and several races for state and federal-level legislators.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Both partisan and non-partisan races are on the ballot. Races in Macon include the mayor and sheriff races, along with contested races for county commission districts 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The Board of Education’s District 3 seat is also on the ballot, as is a primary race for Georgia state representative in District 145.

From WALB:

Races from local county and city level to statewide will be on the ballot. Ballots will be divided into political parties and may differ per precinct. Non-partisan races will also featured.

The Secretary of State’s Office said an estimated 513,000 people had already voted as of a Friday tally, according to Atlanta News First. Friday, May 17 was the last day for advanced voting.

From AccessWDUN:

There are a number of contested races across Northeast Georgia. Highlighting the list are a Republican primary for State Senate District 49 between Josh Clark and Drew Echols, five local sheriff’s primaries in Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Towns and White counties, and a vote to potentially create a new city in northeast Gwinnett County.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

Most of the races in the primary are uncontested. The Augusta Chronicle has compiled a list of primary races where there are at least two candidates. The winners in each race move on to the general election.

The Augusta Chronicle article contains a lot of information on local races and the candidates.

From WJBF:

The races for Richmond County Sheriff and District Attorney are only on the Democratic ballot. That’s because only Democrats are running for the office.

In Georgia you do not have to register with a political party when you vote. This means you can vote for whichever party you want to. But you will only be voting for candidates who are running under the party you choose.

This does not mean you have to vote for that party in November’s General Election. But, if Tuesday’s election results in a runoff, people who voted Democrat WILL have to vote Democrat again in that special election.

This has caused some upset and confusion among Richmond County Republican voters who want to vote in the races for Sheriff and D.A.

“Because it is a primary, the people who are running are being nominated. They’re not being elected. They’re being nominated by that party to then go on to the November ballot, the general election ballot. And that’s when they will be elected. What people are unhappy about, is because there’s not candidates on both sides,” explained Travis Doss, Richmond County Board of Elections Director.

Voters also have referendums and questions to answer. The big one is “Should Augusta’s mayor get a vote at commission meetings?”

As of right now, the mayor only gets a vote on issues as a tie breaker. Mayor Garnett Johnson recently asked state law makers to add a referendum to the ballot giving him a vote. Many commissioners are not happy about it, but now it’s in the hands of the voters.

Mayor Johnson wants people to give him that vote and believes having one will allow him to get more done for Augusta.

From the Rome News Tribune:

There are no Democrats running for Floyd County sheriff or clerk of court, so the winners of the Republican primary will appear alone on the general election ballot this fall.

Turnout so far has been paltry. Only 3,716 ballots had been cast as in the three weeks of early voting before the Tuesday primary. Floyd County has just under 60,000 registered voters.

Voters who ask for the Republican ballot can choose between incumbent sheriff Dave Roberson and challenger Robbie Whitfield, also a veteran law enforcement officer. They’ll also get the contest between the incumbent clerk, Barbara Penson, and challenger Mary Hardin Thornton of the Rome Finance Department.

Those who choose the Democratic ballot will decide the 14th Congressional District nominee from among four political newcomers: Clarence Blalock, Shawn Harris, Deric Houston and Joseph Leigh.

Floyd County Election Supervisor Akyn Beck is recommending that anyone who has an absentee ballot still out should hand carry it to the drop box at the election center, 18 E. 12th St., to ensure it arrives in time.

From the Albany Herald:

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in elections that include a countywide race for sheriff and school board District V in Lee County. Lee County’s Republican voters also will weigh in on a non-binding ballot question for a homestead exemption on school taxes for individuals older than 65.

In Dougherty County, contests for sheriff, Superior Court judge, district attorney, District 5 county commission and school board seats as well as Georgia House District 153 are among the choices on the ballot.

“We’re ready to go,” Lee County Elections Supervisor Veronica Johnson said.

With low turnout during the early voting period ahead of the election, Johnson was unsure how many will show up at the county’s 10 precincts on Election Day.

“I don’t know if people are going to wait and show up on Tuesday or there’s just not a lot of interest,” she said.”We were ready for a good turnout for this election, but it’s been very flat.”

Lee County ballots will include a Republican primary for sheriff, with incumbent Reggie D. Rachals and challenger Dean F. Gore on the ballot. In the nonpartisan District V school board race incumbent Fran Walls faces challenger Mary Egler.

The non-binding question on the ballot reads:

“Shall an Act be approved which provides an additional homestead exemption from Lee County School District ad valorem taxes for educational purposes in the amount of $150,000 of the assessed value of the homestead for residents of that school district who are 65 years of age or over?”

From WABE:

Voters in Atlanta will decide whether a 1% sales tax should be passed to fund water and sewer projects, and Gwinnett voters will decide whether to create a new city called Mulberry.

Both Democratic and Republican voters will answer eight state party questions. Nonpartisan voters will not answer any state party questions.

Georgia Democratic Party Questions

1. Should the United States and the State of Georgia protect Georgians from gun violence by banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, closing background check loopholes, and passing other common-sense gun safety reforms?

2. Should the State of Georgia incentivize clean energy production as part of a climate policy that recognizes the urgent threat that climate change poses to Georgians’ health, lives and future?

3. Should the State of Georgia expand voter access by allowing same-day voter registration, removing obstacles to voting by mail, and making secure ballot drop boxes accessible at all times through Election Day?

4. Should the State of Georgia protect reproductive freedom by repealing the current six-week abortion ban, restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade and ensuring access to contraceptives, IVF, abortion and other reproductive health care?

5. Should the State of Georgia stop using taxpayer dollars intended for public education to pay for private school vouchers?

6. Should the State of Georgia raise the minimum wage to a living wage?

7. Should the portion of the Georgia state constitution allowing for involuntary servitude of prisoners and others convicted of offenses be repealed, thus prohibiting all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude statewide?

8. Should the State of Georgia improve access to safe, affordable housing by increasing the affordable housing supply, protecting tenants’ rights to habitable living conditions, and cracking down on negligence or abuse by property management companies or landlords?

Georgia Republican Party Questions

1. For future elections, do you want hand marked paper ballots, scanned and verified by hand count on live stream video?

2. Should the legislature enact the FairTax replacing the state income tax and state sales tax with a consumption tax equal to current state funding and taxing no legal citizen or family up to the poverty level of spending?

3. Should the legislature ban registered lobbyists from serving on the State Elections Board?

4. Should the Georgia Republican Primary have a closed primary, meaning that only registered Republicans would be allowed to vote in the Republican Primary?

5. Should public officials who allow illegal migration to occur be held responsible for crimes committed by illegal aliens?

6. Would you support a statewide vote to allow gaming in Georgia so the voters can decide this issue instead of politicians in Atlanta?

7. Currently, hundreds of thousands of hours and dollars are spent every year cleaning up voter rolls. Would you support an amendment to the National Voting Rights Act that would require registered voters to renew their registration every four years?

8. Do you believe unelected and unaccountable international bureaucrats, like the UN-controlled World Health Organization (WHO), should have complete control over management of future pandemics in the United States and authority to regulate your healthcare and personal health choices?

From the AJC:

Election officials predict light turnout with few lines, but hundreds of thousands of voters are expected to show up across the state Tuesday.

Heading into the last day of voting, more than 551,000 early and absentee ballots have already been cast. During the 2022 primary, about 2 million voters participated.

More from the AJC:

The 3rd congressional district GOP primary features a crowded field for the state’s most competitive House contest. Trump aide Brian Jack, former state Sen. Mike Dugan, and several others are vying for the west Georgia district where U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-The Rock, has decided to retire.

U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, and David Scott, D-Atlanta, are both running as incumbents, but with plenty of new territory in newly drawn 6th and 13th congressional districts. Crowded fields could force either or both into June runoffs.

State Sen. Colton Moore, the far-right lawmaker from Trenton who threatened to fund primaries against several fellow Senate Republicans for being insufficiently pro-Trump, has a Republican primary of his own to deal with today.

Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent is running against a former state senator, Nadine Thomas, in her newly drawn Atlanta district. Demographically, the district is now majority-Black, which could help Thomas, who is Black, in the race against Parent, who is white.

Voters who returned their mail-in ballots should check if their votes were received, according to 13WMAZ.

State election officials are urging Georgians who voted with absentee ballots for Tuesday’s primary to check and see if it has been received by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, said this is particularly important for anyone who mailed their ballot in the last week or two.

“It’s really important that you go to the My Voter Page and see if that ballot has been accepted by (Monday night),” Sterling said. “If it hasn’t been, we strongly encourage you to go find your polling location and make your plan to go vote in person.”

Polls will open in Georgia on Election Day — which is Tuesday, May 21 — at 7 a.m. for the General Primary.

In an interview with 11Alive, Sterling brought up the issues the United States Postal Services has been having with mail delays.

The issues were first reported on by 11Alive after viewers contacted our station to report undelivered mail, missing medication and lost packages. The delays in Atlanta trace to the new Atlanta Regional Processing & Distribution Center in Palmetto. It opened on Feb. 24, consolidating Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Duluth area processing and distribution centers, which are each being repurposed as local processing centers. Atlanta, following on Richmond, Virginia, was one of the first regional areas to see major network changes.

USPS officials recently notified Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a letter that it would be “intensifying resources in the region to oversee our mail flow- leading up to and through the May 21 Georgia primary- and through to stabilization of service performance.”
USPS also said last week it would pause major network changes until 2025.

“USPS has had issues in the last couple of months,” Sterling said. “We really hammered them for a while and over the last 18, 15 days, they’ve done a good job deploying new personnel and putting in new processes and we went from about 12% of accepted ballots about two weeks ago to now we’re up to about 66%.”

Sterling said while that is better, election officials care about the 34% that may still be out there. He gave advice on what voters can do if their ballot hasn’t been accepted yet: Voting in person is still an option.

“When you walk in, you’ll tell the poll worker, ‘Hey, I requested an absentee ballot, and it hasn’t been accepted, yet. So, I need you to cancel that.’ And then vote in person.”

He said it’s an easy process, and election officials will know not to count the absentee one.

“What happens is — so people don’t think there will be two ballots out there — the second you cancel that [absentee] ballot, when it arrives at the polling location, the elections office, they spoil it and set it to the side. It will never be counted,” Sterling said.

And for those using an absentee ballot, Sterling encouraged voters to sign up for Raffensperger’s ballot tracking system.

“It tells you where it is so that you have that peace of mind,” he said. “And if you see that it is not moving, then you can contact your local county office and find out a way to make sure your vote is protected.”

To find polling locations or voter information, visit [] Georgia’s My Voter Page.

Click here and sign in to the My Voter Page to check progress of your mail-in ballot, or your voting location.

From WRDW:

Officials say more than 4,000 people cast ballots in Columbia County as of Monday.

Meanwhile, in Richmond County, early voting data shows more than 9,000 people cast ballots in person and through absentee ballots.

More from WRDW:

For Richmond County, multiple seats are up for grabs — five commission seats, the District Attorney’s office, the mayor’s vote, and the sheriff’s office race.

Despite all of the local positions that are on the line, Richmond County officials say the turnout is expected to be low for voting on Tuesday.

“I don’t know if it’s voter apathy, or giving voters too many choices,” said Executive Director for the Augusta-Richmond County Board of Elections, Travis Doss.

The worry is by the end of the day, only 25% of the county is expected to come out.

“As far as advanced voting is concerned, we had four sites open for a total of 18 days. Previous times, we’ve only had one site open and then we opened up the satellite sites for just that last week,” said Doss.

The goal is 9,000 this year in early voting. Back in 2022, when only five commission seats and the mayor were on the ballot, 13,000 came out to vote early.

Doss said: “I’m hoping that on election day, we’ll see higher numbers.”

For the county-wide sheriff’s office race, all three candidates running Tuesday will only appear on the Democratic ballot.

A rare contested race for Georgia Supreme Court will be decided today, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow is challenging incumbent Justice Andrew Pinson Today in a nonpartisan primary race that’s been laser-focused on abortion.

The Barrow-Pinson race is unusual in that Supreme Court justices typically run for reelection unopposed. In fact, three other justices — including Chief Justice Michael Boggs — are on the ballot without opposition.

“The pattern is you get to the Supreme Court because you’re appointed by the governor to fill a vacancy,” said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia. “Then, you run unopposed or with token opposition.”

In this case, Barrow — a Democrat who represented Georgia’s 12th Congressional District for a decade — is running an aggressive campaign vowing to protect abortion rights.

“Politicians should not be making your private medical decisions,” Barrow says in a campaign ad.

On the other side, Republicans and anti-abortion groups are criticizing Barrow for politicizing a race that’s supposed to be nonpartisan.

“We need judges who follow the law and uphold the Constitution, not more partisan politicians in the courtroom,” Kemp says in an ad backing Pinson, whom the governor appointed to the Supreme Court two years ago.

In the state House of Representatives, 42 Republicans and 30 Democrats are running unopposed. Thus, 72 of the 180 members of the House already have been reelected.

In the state Senate, only 23 of the 56 seats are being contested by both parties. Thirteen Senate Republicans and 10 Democrats already have clinched reelection.

Fulton County voters will decide whether two of the main characters in the Trump indictment case return for season two. From the Associated Press via the Valdosta Daily Times:

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee are both on the ballot for Tuesday’s election. Willis is the prosecutor who last year obtained a sprawling racketeering indictment against Trump and 18 others, and McAfee is the judge who was randomly assigned to preside over the case.

Willis has a single challenger in the Democratic primary and, if she wins, will face off against a Republican candidate in the fall. McAfee has one opponent — after a second was disqualified — in a nonpartisan contest that will be the final word on whether he gets to keep his seat.

The intense public interest in the election case has thrust both Willis and McAfee into the national spotlight, giving them greater name recognition than occupants of their offices might otherwise have. That, along with the advantages of incumbency and fundraising hauls that have far surpassed their challengers, could give each of them an edge on Tuesday.

Whether they win or lose, Willis and McAfee will remain in office through the end of this year, when their current terms expire. If either ends up getting ousted from office, it could further slow the election interference case, which has already been delayed by attempts to remove Willis from the prosecution.

Courtney Kramer is running unopposed in the Republican primary and has already been focusing her attention on attacking Willis. A lawyer who interned in the Trump White House, she has ties to some of the former president’s prominent allies in Georgia.

Robert Patillo, a civil rights attorney and media commentator, has stressed “competency, compassion and change” in his campaign to replace McAfee. He has shied away from directly attacking McAfee, but has stressed the importance of a varied background and said the “prosecutor-to-judge pipeline” can lead to biases.

Tiffani Johnson, who has worked as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, had also filed paperwork to challenge McAfee. But she was disqualified after she failed to show up for a hearing on a challenge to her eligibility. After a judge upheld that disqualification, she asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in, but the high court has yet to act.

From the AJC:

The question Willis’ supporters are posing ahead of Tuesday is not whether she’ll defeat Christian Wise Smith in the Democratic primary. It’s what margin will she win.

She’s looking to run up the score against Wise Smith ahead of a November race against Republican Courtney Kramer, another contest Willis is expected to dominate.

Her allies hope a sweeping victory would put a stamp of approval on the way she runs the office — and her strategy for pursuing the closely watched Trump trial, which could be delayed until 2025 as an appeals court considers a challenge.

Any weakness at the ballot box could inspire new efforts to undermine Willis, who is already facing several probes in the Georgia Senate sanctioned by Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who could face charges himself.

McAfee, meanwhile, is facing the voters for the first time since he was appointed by Kemp to the bench in 2022. But to many in Fulton County, he’s already a household name thanks to wall-to-wall coverage of the trial he’s overseeing.

Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jared Williams seeks to fend off Democratic challenger Amber Brantley, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

An office that’s particularly important to the Augusta area’s safety and security is the District Attorney of the Augusta Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Richmond and Burke counties. Incumbent Jared Williams is defending his seat against Amber Brantley, a local Trial Team leader and prosecutor for the Domestic Violence Accountability Court and an assistant DA for multiple offices.

The Augusta Chronicle asked each a set of questions that address some major points of concern for voters.

From the Athens Banner Herald:

In Athens-Clarke County, the races for sheriff, tax commissioner and coroner will be decided on Tuesday. Each race attracted just two candidates, both of whom are running in the Democratic primary. Also up for final voter decisions Tuesday are three nonpartisan county commission contests.

The lone Clarke County Board of Education race on the ballot is a three-way contest, leaving open the possibility of a runoff.

In the contest for sheriff, incumbent John Q. Williams, a former Athens-Clarke County Police Department detective, is facing a challenge from Tommy Dorsey, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s department who now serves as a Clarke County School District police officer.

The contest for tax commissioner features local insurance agent Brant Spratlin facing J.P. Lemay, a project manager for the Athens-Clarke County Department of Leisure Services. Both are running as Democrats in an office that became open after incumbent Toni Meadow opted not to seek reelection.

In balloting for coroner, both candidates are funeral home employees, and both are running as Democrats. Michael Eberhart and William Gaulden are seeking to replace Sonny Wilson, who opted not to seek reelection after 16 years in the post.

Oconee County ballots for the May 21 primary could be intimidating for some voters, although not necessarily with regard to candidates seeking office. All county ballots — Democratic, Republican and nonpartisan, will include 10 questions, all related to potential changes to the homestead exemption on property taxes in the county.

Broadly, the 10 questions would, if all are approved by voters, repeal four existing homestead exemptions, but add six new exemptions. If any one of the questions is defeated, none of the proposed changes to homestead exemptions could be enacted by the county.

According to county officials, the questions were placed on the ballot following citizen requests to look at exemptions offered to senior citizens, and to address apparent confusion with existing exemptions.

Beyond the questions, voters who choose a Republican ballot for Oconee County primary voting will face choices for a number of offices.

The race for chairman of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners will be decided in Tuesday balloting, as Republican incumbent John Daniell faces Republican challenger Pamela Lohr Hendrix. There are no Democrats vying for the chairmanship.

Four Republicans are running in the Second Congressional District to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop (Albany) in November, according to WTVM.

With four Republican candidates eager to win their parties nomination, only one will win the primary election to face unopposed Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop in November’s general election.

With the district reportedly being the lowest income district in Georgia, candidates expressed the opportunities they plan to create if elected.

Chuck Hand who served time in federal prison time for the January 6th riot, believes improving infrastructure will fix the economic issues in the district.

Dr. Wayne Johnson who served as a senior official in former President Trump’s Administration, explained different economic developments need in the district.

Former journalist, Regina (Reggie) Liparoto says she wants to create a better profit for farmers and reduce the violent crime in Albany, Georgia.

Currently serving in the U.S. Air National Guard, Michel Nixon says one of his main priorities is providing more job opportunities for soldiers and promoting trade schools for the youth.

Alex Long, Effingham County Commission Chair Candidate, is accused of being involved in a proposed development, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Lawrence Alexander Long is listed as the name of the “organizer” for GSL Cattle Company on multiple documents on the Georgia Corporations Division website. GSL Cattle Company is listed as the developer in the planned unit development application. Real estate attorney Stephen E. Jackson Jr. is listed as the registered agent.

Long would not confirm if he is part of GSL Cattle Company and did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Long told the Savannah Morning News in a previous interview that he is not a developer but a “custom-home builder.”

Long’s potential affiliation with the development has raised some concerns among Bryan and Effingham residents, because Long’s cousin, Sarah McCoy, is the sister-in-law of Pembroke Mayor Tiffany Zeigler and is listed as working in sales on Alex Long’s business website.

Ziegler said she is making every effort to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. “I have spoken with our city attorney to verify that there is no conflict of interest in this case. As far as GSL Cattle Company is concerned, I do not know anything about the company other than it is on the PUD document and that is how it was submitted to the city. [Long] has met with both Chris and myself regarding the development as we meet with all developers in the planning process.

Folks in the north end of Bryan County worry the development would disrupt their quality of life.

Two candidates vie for Chatham County Tax Commissioner in today’s General Primary Election, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Chatham County Tax Commissioner has two primary responsibilities: oversee property tax collection and manage vehicle registration. The tax commissioner is an elected official, and the seat is up for election May 21.

Current Tax Commissioner Sonya Jackson is running for reelection and drew a challenger in Kimberly Gadsden, who worked in the Tax Commissioner’s office for 25 years until retiring in October 2023. There is no Republican qualified for the Tax Commissioner post, making Tuesday’s primary the election to decide who takes the seat.

Two candidates challenging Savannah City Council District 1 incumbent Denise Grabowski missed a public forum, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The cancellations allowed the District 1 session to become a one-woman show for incumbent Denise Grabowski while the District 7 session gave incumbent Michael Johnson and challenger James “Jay” Jones more time to make their cases.

Forum organizers received a curveball on Friday when District 1 challenger Barbara Hubbard cancelled due to a personal conflict. On Saturday, organizers then received word that District 7 challenger Stephanie Campbell had to cancel, as well.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz is challenging a recall effort, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The judge presiding over Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz’s challenge to a recall effort has ordered the organizer of the effort to be added as a respondent to the mayor’s petition for a legal review of the initiative.

Also in the order, filed earlier this month in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court, Senior Judge J. David Roper is requiring that, while the case is under review “all other recall proceedings shall be suspended.”

Senior judges are retired judges who take cases upon a local judicial circuit’s request. Athens-Clarke County Superior Court Clerk Elisa Zarate asked for assignment of a senior judge to the case.

DePaola, a street preacher, began agitating for recalling Girtz – along with recalling Clarke County Sheriff John Q. Williams and Western Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez – following the February death of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old Athens nursing student.

Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr was elected President of the National Rifle Association, according to a Press Release.

Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting of the Board of Directors followed the 153rd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits where over 72,000 NRA members filled the halls of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to check out the latest firearms, gear, and accessories from close to 700 exhibitors. On Saturday, President Trump delivered the keynote address at the NRA Leadership Forum in front of a capacity crowd where he accepted the official endorsement from the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) for his re-election as President of the United States of America.

“I thank my colleagues for their support of my election as NRA President,” said Bob Barr. “I have been a fighter my whole life and I commit to boldly fight for our Second Amendment rights on behalf of the millions of NRA members. We need to grow our ranks, especially in this election year, and I pledge to focus my attention on doing just that.”

Governor Brian Kemp and others feted Abit Massey, longtime leader of the Georgia Poultry Federation, and namesake of Abit Massey Road, which I drove past several times last week. From the AJC:

Three governors and dozens of local officials, judges and civic leaders gathered to honor Abit Massey, the longtime leader of the Georgia Poultry Federation and Capitol mover-and-shaker who, at 96, is ailing.

Gov. Brian Kemp was among the first to fete Massey, saying the booming growth of north Georgia is “built off the solid foundation that Abit has poured.”

Speaking by video, former Gov. Sonny Perdue joked that Massey won enough tough battles under the Gold Dome that he could broker peace in the Middle East.

Former Gov. Nathan Deal choked up as he recounted how Massey took time to get to know not just elected officials but their staffers, recognizing “who the real influencers were.”

Tellingly, Deal called him the “best governor the state of Georgia never had.”

Then came former Gov. Roy Barnes, the lone Democrat of the bunch. He took issue with what his successor said.

“Why would he have wanted to run for governor? He already runs the state,” Barnes said.

Get well soon, Abit.

One of Mr. Massey’s less-high profile roles was as Chairman of the Georgia Games, which allows athletes in lesser-known sports to compete statewide every year. From AccessWDUN:

The Georgia Games grew out of the state’s desire to increase interest in amateur sports – and includes participants of all ages and skill levels.

Georgia Games Public Relations Director Jeff Seagraves said Thursday the games had their birth in 1989 as Atlanta was lobbying for the 1996 Olympics. Seagraves says any city or state bidding on the Olympics had to have an amateur sporting event similar to the Olympics in place.

Seagraves says over the years the Georgia Games, chaired from the inception by Abit Massey of Gainesville, have grown from 10-12 events with about 1,500 participants to around 40 events, with 8,000-10,000 athletes .

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