Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 10, 2023


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 10, 2023

Today we celebrate the birth of the United States Marine Corps, which traces its lineage to the Continental Marines, formed by a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Here, former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller tells of his decision to join the Marine Corps and the change it made in his life.

The first twenty-three cadets at Virginia Military Institute began their service on November 11, 1839.

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 11, 1918, word reached Georgia that an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, ending World War One. Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsery declared a state holiday. Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, was first celebrated on November 11, 1919 and is celebrated on November 11th every year.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on November 11, 1921.

On Armistice Day, in the presence of President Harding and other government, military, and international dignitaries, the unknown soldier was buried with highest honors beside the Memorial Amphitheater. As the soldier was lowered to his final resting place, a two-inch layer of soil brought from France was placed below his coffin so that he might rest forever atop the earth on which he died.

The Tomb of the Unknowns is considered the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery, America’s most sacred military cemetery. The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels.

A monument to Nancy Hart was dedicated in Hartwell, in Hart County, Georgia, on November 10, 1931. Hart was an active Patriot in the American Revolution.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia. On November 10, 1934, two years after his election as President, FDR made his 28th trip to Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

In 1938, Congress recognized November 11th as Armistice Day, making it a legal holiday, and in 1954, at the urging of veterans, Congress renamed the holiday “Veterans Day.”

On November 11, 1942, the draft age was lowered to 18 and raised to 37. At the time, African-Americans were excluded from the draft over concerns about a racially-diverse military.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted. Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Chair Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) was born on November 10, 1943. Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the “Republican Revolution” led by Newt Gingrich.

The iron ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a winter storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

The “General Lee” first left the ground, using a ramp to clear a police car, during filming of “The Dukes of Hazzard” on November 11, 1978.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Ronald Reagan became the first President of the United States to address the Japanese Diet in Tokyo on November 11, 1983.

On November 11, 1988, the Georgia Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in front of the Sloppy Floyd state government building across the street from the Georgia State Capitol.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

On November 11, 1997, a monument to Georgia’s World War I veterans was dedicated, also in front of the Sloppy Floyd building.

On November 10, 2000, George W. Bush took the lead for the first time in the New Mexico vote count, paving the way for his eventual election as President. From the New York Times:

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas late Friday night took the lead from Vice President Al Gore in the race to claim New Mexico’s five electoral votes with what now stands as the slimmest statewide margin in the country and one of the narrowest in American history.

After 257 missing ballots were found on Friday, and Bernalillo County officials here decided to count 379 ballots by hand that had been rejected by electronic voting machines on Tuesday, Mr. Bush led Mr. Gore by just four votes — among nearly 600,000 cast. The count was 285,644 for Mr. Bush, and 285,640 for Mr. Gore, according to totals from the state and the county.

Mr. Gore, who now has 255 electoral votes, seemed the apparent winner in New Mexico on Tuesday night by about 5,000 votes. But by late Wednesday, county officials had discovered that 67,000 absentee and early ballots had not been counted.

By midnight on Thursday, nearly all the ballots had been tallied and added to the county totals, but county officials then found that 252 votes — a number that reached 257 by Friday — were missing. They also grappled with the problem of what to do with an ever changing number of ballots that voting machines had rejected.

Then, on Friday afternoon, Lou Melvin, a precinct judge, found a locked black ballot box in an outer storage room in the county warehouse building where all the tabulations were being conducted.

It would be a month before the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Bush v. Gore, ending the election.

From the New York Post, dated November 12, 2000:

Republican George W. Bush yesterday took an infinitesimal lead – just 17 votes – in New Mexico, flipping a state that was put in rival Al Gore’s column for days, then moved to undecided Friday as Gore’s lead shriveled.

It’s another black eye for the TV networks who rushed to judgment and wrongly called New Mexico for Gore on Election Night, just as they miscalled Florida – first for Gore and then for Bush before going back to undecided.

The TV network fumbles are coupled with coast-to-coast ballot bumbles that have undermined America’s faith in the whole voting system as four states could join Florida in recount-land: New Mexico, Wisconsin, Oregon and Iowa.

Former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko was indicted by federal prosecutors on November 10, 2004 on eighteen counts.

On November 11, 2013, the Atlanta Braves announced they would move from downtown Atlanta to Cobb County.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Valdosta City Council District 7 (At-Large) voters will return to the polls in a Runoff Election, according to WALB.

At least 9 South Georgia races will be going to a runoff election a month from now. One of them is the District 7 race for Valdosta City Council.

Nick Harden and Bill Love were the top two vote-getters in the 4-man race. Neither reached the 50% plus one vote threshold to win, so that’s why there will be a runoff.

WALB will bring you the runoff results on air and online on December 5.

Newnan City Council District 3A goes to a Runoff Election, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

District 3A Newnan voters will return to the polls on Dec. 5 for a runoff election between Jim Thomasson and Jocelyn Blackwood Palmer. Neither of them received the more than 50 percent of the vote required to win the seat.

Turin voters also approved the Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages by the drink 73 to 35.

The election for Thomasville City Council District 2 Post 1 was decided by a single vote, according to WALB.

The voter turnout in Thomasville was just under 15%. Thousands of registered voters chose not to vote for one of the most influential leaders in their community.

Thomas County Elections Supervisor Frank Scoggins told WALB Wednesday afternoon he thinks the voter turnout was “pitiful.” He was very frustrated that the city had important races and his office got new voting equipment but many people still didn’t seem to care.

It was the narrowest of possible margins in the race for the Thomasville City Council District 2 Post 1 seat. Real estate agent Royal Baker III defeated incumbent Jay Flowers by a final tally of 824 to 823. Flowers is also the Thomasville mayor, so it was a critical race. flowers told me he too was surprised by the low voter turnout.

“I think that it’s not a lack of interest, it’s a lack of motivation,” Mayor and current City Council Member Jay Flowers. “If you look at any other communities around you’ll find that when it’s local only the turnout is much smaller than when it’s a state or national election.”

Flowers told WALB he isn’t challenging the outcome, and the Scoggins told me there won’t be a recount. Baker got the required 50% plus one vote needed to win, on the nose.

Albany also saw low turnout, according to WALB.

After Tuesday’s 2023 municipal elections, some counties in our area experienced high voter turnout — while others experienced a very low turnout. WALB had the opportunity to speak with the supervisor of elections for Dougherty County and she said Dougherty was one of the counties that didn’t have that high voter turnout.

“I don’t know why voters did not turn out. I always say local races are extremely important because these are the individuals that you can visit. These are the individuals that you can actually pick up the phone and have a conversation with,” Nickerson said. “What you see now is we have a final number, and these individuals have determined who will represent all of the voters that reside in the city.”

In 2019, Lowndes County experienced a 13% turnout rate versus the 2023 election where they saw a bit of a raise bringing them to a 17% turnout. Out of their 33,000 registered voters, a little over 5,000 of them cast their vote on Tuesday.

In 2019, Dougherty County had a 38% turnout of their registered voters getting out to vote. On Tuesday, they saw a significant decrease with only 17% of their registered voters getting out to vote. Out of their 55,000 registered voters — the county only saw a little over 10,000 voters.

Suspicious envelopes have been mailed to election offices, according to the Associated Press via WSAV.

Authorities on Thursday were trying to determine who sent suspicious letters, including some filled with fentanyl or other substances, to local election offices, an attack that appears to have targeted multiple states in the latest instance of threats faced by election workers around the country.

Officials in at least three states — Georgia, Oregon and Washington — reported concerns over letters targeting election workers.

Among the offices that appeared to be targeted was Fulton County in Georgia, which includes Atlanta and is the largest voting jurisdiction in one of the nation’s most important presidential swing states. Authorities were working to intercept the letter. In the meantime, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said officials were sending the overdose-reversal drug naloxone to the office as a precaution.

“This is domestic terrorism, and it needs to be condemned by anyone that holds elected office and anyone that wants to hold elective office anywhere in America,” said Raffensperger, a Republican.

There is no immediate indication that any other election office in Georgia was targeted, according to an advisory sent by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and obtained by The Associated Press.

Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox said election night problems were related to displaying election results, not counting them, according to WALB.

Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox says the software company that displays election data had an error, and multiple counties experienced this problem in Georgia’s 2023 municipal election.

“The votes were displaying correctly, but on the right side of the screen where it showed how many voters turned out, that wasn’t right. The percentage wasn’t right. But it has nothing to do with the equipment. Nothing to do with the vote totals, nothing to do with the count, nothing to do with the ballots, nothing to do with Dominion, nothing to do with the state, nothing to do with no ink. It was purely in displaying the results in the program provided by SCYTL,” Cox said.

Cox says they have 16 provisional ballots to count, but she says it doesn’t look like it will change the results of any races. She says everything will be certified on Monday at 5 p.m.

From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Lowndes County elections officials said on Wednesday that a discrepancy in vote reporting in Tuesday’s election did not reflect an error in the vote counting.

“The votes were always good,” Elections Supervisor Deb Cox said.

Information from Lowndes County’s system is sent to Scytl, an electronic voting company, which posts them to a website. Cox said the state uses Scytl to post election results in even-numbered years (when state and national offices are up for election), so Lowndes County contracts with the same company in odd-numbered years for local elections so the presentation will be familiar to users.

On Tuesday, Cox said Scytl accurately reported vote totals, but its reporting of other data about the election was wrong.

In particular, the voter turnout displayed on Scytl’s site was several hundred less than the actual turnout.

Cox said Lowndes County had a similar problem with Scytl two years ago, and she said she had words with representatives of the company Wednesday morning.

Results must be certified by 5 p.m. Monday. They’re unofficial until then.

The Secretary of State’s Office took a victory lap, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

A new statewide voter registration system has passed its first test with a successful run during this week’s municipal elections across Georgia.

GARViS, a cloud-based data warehousing system deployed in all 159 Georgia counties last February, allowed for a faster, more streamlined voter check-in process during early voting ahead of Tuesday’s Election Day, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday.

Then on Election Day itself, in-person voters were checked in using the state’s new electronic poll books -called Poll Pads – for the first time in state history. That let voters see voter credit on their GA My Voter Page within 30 minutes of checking in at the polls.

“The first major test of GARViS was a resounding success,” Raffensperger said. “Shorter wait times means less confusion at the polls, less errors, and increased voter confidence. We applaud our county election officials for getting the job done once again.”

From the AJC:

The technology eliminated a requirement for voters to fill out paper forms at early voting locations, instead allowing them to check in through tablets managed by poll workers.

In addition, voters can now view their voting history on the state’s My Voter Page, providing records of every election since 1990.

The changes were made possible by check-in tablets called PollPads that use cellular connections from voting locations to Georgia’s upgraded voter registration system, which the state rolled out earlier this year. Voting touchscreens and scanners aren’t connected to the internet.

Athens-Clarke County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said poll workers had to spend less time running reports and checking records for accuracy.

“This method made it possible for our poll workers to reconcile the total votes cast to the number of (voters) given credit in GARViS each day,” Sosebee said.

The Spalding County Board of Elections ordered a hand-count of ballots, according to the AJC.

There were no signs of miscounts or voting machine errors in Spalding County, a conservative exurb south of Atlanta, and this week’s elections for mayor and city commission weren’t particularly close.

Still, deep distrust of Georgia’s voting machines drove the county election board to require a hand recount this week. Spalding is one of six Republican-run counties across the state conducting a labor-intensive audit of results from ballot scanners.

“People come to me with concerns that they can’t tell what their vote was. Their ballot goes into a secret box,” said Roy McClain, a Republican member of the Spalding County elections board. “Our job is to restore faith and confidence in our system. We’re going to prove that hand-counted, paper ballots is something that’s very doable.”

Four teams of two election workers each sat at folding tables Thursday, sorting batches of 50 ballots into piles for each candidate. The hand-counted totals were then compared to the machine results to find discrepancies.

If they don’t match, election board members said they might refuse to certify elections from tabulators manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems. If that happens, the county could end up in court because under state law, the machine count is the official result.

Manual audits of election results have become an increasingly common way to verify that vote-counting computers reflect the will of the voters.

Jim O’Brien, a Democratic member of the Spalding elections board, said he is concerned about ballot reviews driven by partisans who claim they want to ensure “election integrity.”

“Republicans are pushing hand counts all across the country, so I just see Spalding County Republicans falling in line,” O’Brien said. “If nothing was uncovered in testing (of voting machines) prior to the election, why are we doing the hand count?”

In all, election workers in Spalding were hand counting over 5,500 ballots cast in Tuesday’s elections, which included leaders for the city of Griffin and a countywide sales tax for education that passed with 57% of the vote.

At one point, vote totals written by election workers on a whiteboard showed a discrepancy: There were higher hand-counted early vote totals in every race.

A milk carton shortage is hitting Bulloch County Schools, according to the Statesboro Herald.

According to a release from Bulloch County Schools, a shortage of materials used to make school milk cartons is affecting dairy suppliers and school district’s nationwide, including schools in Bulloch County.

“We currently have milk for students for breakfast and lunch,” said Desiree Yaeger, the school district’s director of school nutrition. “The worst-case scenario is that students may not have their favorite milk of choice like chocolate. They may be offered our 1% unflavored milk supply instead.”

An extended supply chain shortage of paper and plastic materials used to make milk cartons, is causing the issue, not milk production. The shortage is expected to last through early 2024, according to the release from the school system’s Public Relations Director Hayley Greene.

Greene said the school district’s Nutrition Department received notice on Nov. 6 from its milk supplier that Bulloch would receive only 1% unflavored milk, and to adjust future orders. The district normally purchases 115,000 total cartons of milk per month, including whole and chocolate milk, which are popular with students, the release said.

Greene said the school district’s Nutrition Department received notice on Nov. 6 from its milk supplier that Bulloch would receive only 1% unflavored milk, and to adjust future orders. The district normally purchases 115,000 total cartons of milk per month, including whole and chocolate milk, which are popular with students, the release said.

Tom Hutcherson, who resigned from Pooler City Council last month, was reelected to Pooler City Council, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Former Pooler Mayor Pro Tem Tom Hutcherson has been re-elected to Pooler City Council amid allegations that he engaged in unethical behavior while previously serving on council from 2020-2023.

Hutcherson verbally tendered his immediate resignation from city council during an Oct. 2 executive session.

Hutcherson released a statement in mid-October through Ervin Law Firm regarding the status of his health. Although he resigned citing a health scare, he has been reassured that he can assume full duties and that’s why he continued to campaign.

However, on Oct. 25, a resident of Pooler, Madison Michelle Erickson, posted on Facebook that she had found “disheartening information” about a former council member who was actively campaigning.

Erickson wrote that this information was obtained “through an open records” request and she discovered that Hutcherson appeared to resign because he “chose not” to recuse himself from voting on items pertaining to the Pooler Tennis Court Project.

Hutcherson released a statement, written in third-person, on the matter on Nov. 6.

“Naturally, Mr. Hutcherson cannot speak about what occurred during the executive session,” the statement read. “However, he has always volunteered his services in the furtherance of educating and teaching tennis.”

Regardless, it appears that Hutcherson may have violated Pooler code, which states that no elected official vote or otherwise participate in the negotiation of any contract with any business or entity in which they have financial interest.

Even though Hutcherson said he rarely makes money from his tennis teaching endeavors, he was either the person to motion to approve or second a motion to approve for five of the six resolutions passed involving the construction of new tennis courts in Pooler since 2021.

Augusta voters approved a tax mechanism to fund a new arena, according to WRDW.

The proposal won overwhelming approval Tuesday, even though voters in 2022 turned down a plan to build a new arena funded by bond money.

“This is a community project of incredible impact when you talk about the largest project in Augusta’s history, $250 million construction, the jobs that it’s going to create economic impact $1.6 billion over the next 30 years. So this is huge,” said Ryan Mahoney, Coliseum Authority consultant.

Thursday was largely a meeting of celebration of all the hard work figuring out what needs to be done to complete the project that officials say is crucial to attract productions that will boost the economy.

Coweta County voters approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

“We are thrilled the voters of Coweta County have supported SPLOST for another term,” said Coweta County Commission Chairman John Reidelbach. “Thank you to our citizens for investing in Coweta and special thanks to all who don’t live here but shop here and contribute to these important projects.”

The unofficial vote released by the Coweta County Elections office was 77 percent in favor of extending the SPLOST.

“Approximately 95 percent of road maintenance is SPLOST-funded,” Fouts said. “It’s optional, but without it, the $100 million would come directly from taxpayers.”

Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips said the approximately $10 million SPLOST raises for Newnan each year is the equivalent of about 5 mills of property tax.

The county has been collecting the 1-percent sales tax since 1986. The current SPLOST will end on Dec. 31, 2024 and the new SPLOST is scheduled to pick up on Jan. 1, 2025.

The Port of Brunswick experienced a swell in Roll-on/Roll-off throughput, according to The Brunswick News.

In September, the port handled 70,645 units of roll-on/roll-off cargo, up 61% over the same month last year.

“The automotive sector has been especially strong and consumer demand is driving this trend. Our investments in infrastructure capacity are well-timed to support the growing business in our Brunswick gateway,” said Georgia Ports President and CEO Griff Lynch.

The growth is attributed to new customers and increased volumes by existing port users.

The rate of increase is also a sign of recovery from a pandemic-related shortage of computer chips that had stymied auto production, port officials said.

GPA is pursuing a two-pillar strategy to specialize and scale operations for customers by focusing all roll-on/roll-off cargo in the Port of Brunswick and all container cargo in the Port of Savannah.

Green Century Capital Management, a mutual fund company, is opposing titanium mining near the Okefenokee Swamp, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

Green Century has filed shareholder proposals with the two companies opposing a plan by Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals to mine titanium dioxide on Trail Ridge, the swamp’s eastern hydrologic boundary.

Chemours, which was spun off from DuPont in 2015, manufactures and sells chemicals including titanium dioxide. Sherwin-Williams is a major carrier of titanium dioxide-based paint.

Neither company has announced specific plans to obtain titanium from a Twin Pines mine near the Okefenokee. In fact, Chemours went so far last year as to publicly state it has no plans to do business with Twin Pines or conduct mining on Trail Ridge.

But according to Green Century, neither has made a permanent commitment not to pursue mining near the swamp.

Boston-based Green Century points to scientific studies that conclude the Twin Pines project would significantly damage one of the world’s largest intact freshwater wetlands by drawing down its water level and increasing the risk of drought and fires. Such damage could destroy wildlife habitat, damage thousands of acres of private timberland, and release significant carbon emissions, Green Century maintains.

“Sourcing titanium from the edge of the Okefenokee could expose Chemours and Sherwin-Williams to unnecessary climate, regulatory, legal, and reputational risks,” Annie Sanders, Green Century’s director of shareholder advocacy, said. “It’s frankly hard to see a strong business case for supporting mining at the Okefenokee.”

The Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Tax Credit Review Panel is expected to issue a report, according to the Rome News Tribune.

A state legislative panel reviewing targeted tax breaks will likely meet for the last time during the Georgia General Assembly’s special session that starts Nov. 29.

“There’s generally time down there when we’re just working on one thing,” said Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, who co-chairs the panel with his House finance counterpart Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire.

The session will be devoted to redistricting but Hufstetler said members of the Joint Tax Credit Review Panel will be weighing in on areas they think need attention. A final report will be submitted to the legislature when it convenes in January, along with recommendations for action.

Hufstetler, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday that he’s already working on legislation to increase transparency, set a regular review schedule — likely every three years — and require automatic sunsets for tax breaks so they don’t continue indefinitely.

Savannah City Council approved a plan for distributing federal aid, according to WTOC.

This is part of Savannah’s annual “One Year Action Plan” and lays out how the city will use millions of federal dollars. That money is meant to improve housing and economic development.

Council members unanimously approved a request for $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The goal is to fund programs that support low- and moderate-income city residents.

Included in the request is $2.6 million for housing development and nearly $200,000 for homeless shelters and other programs.

Director of Human Services, Kerri Reid said there’s also money requested for workforce development.

“We’ll be providing scholarships to low- and moderate-income individuals so they can get their job certifications in various industries such as culinary kitchen cook, child development associate, also there’s a fast-track manufacturing program as well,” Reid said.

Sean Patrick Cirillo was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Extreme Northwest GA), according to Atlanta News First via WALB.

The man called Rep. Greene’s office and told staffers he “had a bead” on the congresswoman and that he would kill her next week. He also told staffers “I’ll kill you too, if you want.”

Rep. Greene’s office released the following statement:

I want to thank every single member of law enforcement who acted swiftly in response to this murderous threat. From Rome City Police, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Capitol Police, the House Sergeant at Arms, and ultimately the FBI who made the arrest, every official acted quickly to put this man behind bars.

Threats to murder elected officials should never be tolerated. It doesn’t matter your political affiliation, no one should threaten your life for doing the job you were sent by the people to do. Receiving death threats on almost a daily basis is something I never expected when I entered office, but it is wrong and should never be tolerated.

I’m not the only victim with this threat of violence. My family is threatened. My staff is threatened. I even had to close my district office due to the potential of violence. It’s wrong and never should happen.

Threats of violence must be taken seriously. And that’s exactly why I take my Second Amendment rights seriously.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

From the AJC:

A Georgia man is in custody, facing allegations that he called U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office twice Wednesday threatening to shoot the Rome Republican in the head with a “sniper rifle.”

“I’m going to murder her; I’m going to shoot her in the (expletive) head and kill her, OK,” the caller said. “Tell the FBI.”

Sean Patrick Cirillo, 34, is facing a federal charge of using communications devices to make a threat, according to Greene’s office. He has minor criminal convictions on his record, including for driving under the influence and a vandalism charge more than a decade ago.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told members of the House Appropriations Committee in April 2021 that threats to members of Congress had nearly doubled in January and February of that year. By that time, total threats to lawmakers had already been on an upswing.

Alyssa Williams announced she is running for the State House District 104 seat currently held by State Rep. Teddy Reese, according to WTVM.

Williams is a Columbus native who said she is committed to serving and representing the needs and interests of the community. She also co-founded the nonprofit organization Columbus Georgia Reloaded, which aims to bridge the gap between citizens and resources.

“I’m going to be a consistent leader that cares about the community. I’m going to take their concerns and their issues to the gold dome,” said Williams.

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