Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 7, 2023

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 7, 2023

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Hahira municipal voters will decide a referendum on Sunday Sales by the glass in restaurants, according to WALB.

Brunswick voters go to the polls today to elect two members of City Council, according to The Brunswick News.

Registered city voters have 12 hours today to cast their ballots for candidates vying for South Ward and North Ward seats on the Brunswick City Commission.

“We encourage them to turn out,” said Glynn County Elections and Registration Director Chris Channell. “The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we hope to have the vote tally back pretty early.”

At the end of early voting on Friday, 398 votes had been cast, according to the Glynn County Board of Elections — 358 in person and 40 by mail. Mail-in ballots must be turned in at the elections office by 7 p.m., Channell said.

From the Dalton Daily Citizen News:

As of Thursday, Nov. 2, Whitfield County Registrar Shaynee Bryson said that 1,127 people cast ballots during the early voting portion of Whitfield County’s fall elections.

At that point, she said 105 additional absentee by mail ballots had been issued — with 72 received by her office.

Assuming things go smoothly, Bryson said she would expect to have the full Election Day results available by 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“The date of certification will be dependent on if we have provisional ballots or not,” she said. “The provisional deadline for this election is Nov. 13 because the 10th is going to be considered a statewide holiday even though our office will be open that day.”

Richmond County voters will decide a C-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for the Coliseum Authority), according to WRDW.

“C-SPLOST” is a proposed half-penny sales tax in Richmond County, which equals out to an extra 50 cents for every $100 spent.

The Coliseum Authority says Tuesday’s vote may be the last chance to get this project approved.

With the estimated cost of a new arena going up by the year and the difficulty of getting the sales tax to the ballot this year through Governor Kemp’s bill, they say they’re out of options in getting a funding source.

People against it say that on top of not wanting more taxes, they can’t trust our current government to get the job done.

If C-SPLOST does pass, construction on a new arena could start in the middle of next year, about a two-and-a-half-year project aiming to finish in 2026.

Lula voters will elect a City Council member for District 4, according to AccessWDUN.

Voters in the City of Lula will find two names on the ballot Tuesday for the Lula City Council District 4 seat: Incumbent Garnett Smith and challenger Roy Hall.

Voting runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lula City Hall.

Lula District 5 voters will also elect a City Council member, according to AccessWDUN.

Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones meets challengers Ceretta Smith and Deborah Fisher at the ballot box today, according to WJBF.

“I am seeking a third term as the Grovetown Mayor so that all of the good work that my administration has achieved in the past 8 years does not get discarded or realigned by others seeking the Mayor’s position. Under my leadership Grovetown has eliminated the internal corruption, became totally transparent, professional and accountable to its citizenry. Our best days are yet to come.” [said Jones]

Fisher, a former city councilmember, said she will start working on city-wide broadband internet and transportation issues her first week in office. “Other issues on my plate that I plan to address within the first year are expansion of greenspaces, recreation spaces, looking into potential grants to fund a city shuttle bus, and I believe I can get quite a bit done just in my first year,” she said.

Smith, also a city councilmember, said she wants to lower the millage rate, promote literacy and community engagement, grow the economy, and reduce poverty. “We have a twelve-point-two percent poverty rate, and a few years ago it was like nine-point-something. So, it’s steady rising. We have to address it,” she said.

The Gwinnett Daily Post lists local municipal races on the ballot today.

Glennville Mayor Bernie Weaver faces two challengers today, according to WSAV.

Weaver served on the city council for 18 years and is finishing his first term as mayor. In those four years, COVID and inflation were notable issues that the city overcame.

King is the youngest on the ballot and was born and raised in the area. He has served as councilman of Ward 1 for four years.

Malek, an owner of several businesses in the area, says he doesn’t see enough growth in the area.

Former Pooler City Council Member Tom Hutcherson resigned his seat, possibly under threat of involuntary removal, and is on the ballot today, according to WTOC.

Tom Hutcherson was initially elected to Pooler City Council in 2020, but questions were raised when he stepped down less than a month before the election while running for re-election.

Monday, we’re learning back in October Hutcherson was given the choice either he could step away from his council seat or he would be removed.

Tom Hutcherson’s company website reads “clinics are available through the Pooler and Chatham County Parks and Rec Departments”

He teaches at county owned parks, like this one and is compensated by the city of Pooler. As this document shows, over the last three years he’s been paid $14,708 as a tennis instructor, with one of the more recent payments coming in May for $1,375.

While being paid for those recreation services, Hutcherson served on city council… and as the records show, did not recuse himself from several votes on rec department improvements including a multi-million-dollar project for new tennis courts. Section 2.16 of the city’s charter says members of council are prohibited from:

“Engaging in any business or transaction or having a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect which would tend to impair the independence of his or her judgement.”

With early voting wrapped up and election day Tuesday, Hutcherson has an opportunity to get his council seat back.

Democrat Daniel Jackson announced he is running for Congress in the 12th District, against incumbent Republican Rick Allen, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“(Jackson) feels the 12th Congressional District needs more quality opportunities to create meaningful economic impact in its underserved communities to help break the cycle of generational poverty as well as more investments in rural communities to generate quality growth,” read a statement in the news release announcing his campaign launch.

The district covers Augusta and stretches south nearly to Savannah and west to Vidalia and Dublin. According to FEC records, Rashaad Jones and Elizabeth Johnson are also running as Democrats in the 12th Congressional District.

Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzales (D-Athens) was found to have violated a crime victim’s rights under Marsy’s Law for at least the second time, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Western Circuit Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens ruled late Monday afternoon that District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez had violated the Marsy’s Law in the prosecution of a man charged in the death of a bicyclist in 2022.

The law protects the rights of victim in criminal cases.

When confronted with the Marsy’s Law complaint, the DA’s office decided that Susan Wilson was not the victim in the case as she and Jones had a common law marriage, a once legal union that is no longer recognized by the state since the law changed in 1997.

However, Stephens ruled that the pair had lived together as man and wife since the 1980s before the law was enacted and the preponderance of the evidence showed that Susan Wilson was his wife for 37 years.

In addition, Stephens ruled that that Wilson was a victim in the case and was entitled to a reasonable notice about the plea and that she should have been afforded an opportunity to give a victim impact statement much as she did at Monday’s hearing.

Epps said the law does not provide for a fine, but the judge’s order will include a reprimand to the district attorney.

In June, Gonzalez admitted to a Marsy’s Law violation in a rape and child molestation case.

That defendant faced reindictment on the charges, but new charges cannot be filed in the Waldrop case, according to Epps.

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