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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 5, 2019

On December 5, 1887, Georgia voters approved a new State Constitution and voted to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of moving it back to Milledgeville.

On December 5, 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending prohibition. Earlier that day, Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified the Amendment.

On December 5, 2000, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou was released.

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton won the General Election Runoff for Public Service Commission District 3, beating incumbent Democrat David Burgess. Total votes cast: 215,092.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Click here for the statements of statewide elected officials and members of Congress in support of Kelly Loeffler’s appointment to the United States Senate.

The AJC has more reactions.

Politico reports that Senator-designate Loeffler will spend up to $20 million dollars of her own money.

Soon-to-be Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler plans to spend $20 million of her own money on her 2020 Senate campaign in Georgia — a massive sum that could give potential rivals pause about trying to unseat her.

She has told advisers in recent days of her intentions to tap her vast fortune to win next year’s special election to complete Isakson’s term, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision.

Loeffler will not solely rely on self-financing, however. Those close to her say she also intends to raise money from donors.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) has said he would consider a Senate bid in the event Gov. Brian Kemp passed him over for the appointment. But Loeffer’s personal investment could factor significantly into his decision — as well as those of Democrats considering challenging her.

Loeffler’s $20 million injection also takes financial pressure off the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is supporting her. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Tuesday that Loeffler would have the full backing of the party infrastructure, and he expected her to enjoy “total support from the Republican conference.”

From WSB-TV:

Loeffler will have to run in 2020 to fill out the remainder of Isakson’s term. If Collins decides to run against her, Democrats think it could split the Republican vote and make it easier for their candidate to win.

“I think it’s an absolutely great opportunity for one strong Democratic candidate to come through and win the election in 2020, possibly without a runoff,” said South Fulton Lawmaker William Boddie.

Boddie and Cobb County Senator Jen Jordan both point out that 2020 will be what’s called a “jungle election,” meaning Republicans and Democrats will all run together in one primary.

They think that if Collins and Loeffler split the Republican vote, then a strong Democratic candidate could win the senate seat.

“And I think all it’s going to do for us is open up an opportunity to show people that we care about the issues, and they can take their side battles and their fight on Twitter to the side while we try and get things done,” Jordan said.

Sally Quillian Yates, former Former Acting U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, repeated her assertion that she will not run for the Senate in 2020, according to the AJC.

“Why won’t you run? They love you, they need you, you’re a person of high integrity, you’re a great public servant, you would easily win,” he said, prodding her once more. “Why won’t you just do it?”

Said Yates: “Running for Senate, that’s just not something that’s ever really felt like me. I really am incredibly flattered by your support. We’ve got some great people that are running …

Bharara: “But they’re not you.”

Yates: “Well, but they’re terrific folks. I just don’t think that’s the thing for me.”

One of the best statements I’ve read was posted on Facebook by State Rep. Susan Holmes (R-Monticello).

Please get to know Kelly Loeffler. Yesterday I was with her and heard her make her acceptance speech and then take random questions from the press. Kelly grew up on a farm in Illinois, was very active in 4-H, worked her way through college, worked hard and is now living the American Dream. She is a devout Christian, active Republican, huge pro-life advocate and arch conservative.

Because of her appointment, we are fortunate to have both Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler representing us in DC. Neither President Trump nor Senator David Purdue had any political experience and they have done a fine job. Please reserve your opinions until you get to know the real Kelly Loeffler.

So, for all of my friends, I’d invite you to join me in the group of rational adults who is willing to give Kelly Loeffler a chance to prove herself, and give Governor Brian Kemp the benefit of the doubt.

When you read headlines about Gov. Kemp “defying” President Trump, take it with a grain of salt and with the understanding that many in the leftist mainstream media see this as a two-fer. They get to write headlines about how a Republican Governor is defying the President, and also sow seeds of discord withing the Georgia Republican electorate.

David Emadi, head of the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, discussed allegations against a Stacey Abrams-connected organization, according to the AJC.

The state ethics commission’s director told the panel Wednesday that a voting advocacy nonprofit connected to Stacey Abrams acted as a political committee during the 2018 elections and should have both registered with the state and reported how much it raised and spent.

David Emadi, the executive director of the commission, also raised questions about whether the New Georgia Project Action Fund — which is affiliated with another nonprofit Abrams founded but no longer leads, the New Georgia Project — illegally coordinated with her campaign.

Emadi said the investigation of Abrams’ campaign and groups that backed her unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018 is ongoing and that he had not yet determined whether coordination between the organizations occurred. Under state law, so-called “independent” committees can work to help get people elected but are not allowed to coordinate their activities with a candidate.

The new details about Emadi’s investigation became public during a commission meeting in which lawyers for the New Georgia Project and the New Georgia Project Action Fund asked the panel to quash subpoenas for records including insurance policies, bank statements and campaign materials.

The commissioners rejected the request, and the commission’s chairman, Jake Evans, said there was enough evidence to suggest the groups may have violated campaign finance laws.

The Commission also declined to quash subpoenas related to the Cobb County Sheriff, according to the AJC.

Albany‘s municipal leadership will look different when newly-elected officials take office, according to the Albany Herald.

With the settling of the dust from three Albany municipal elections, the end result is that nearly half of the city’s government will be composed of new faces next year.

One of those was settled in November, with the victory of Chad Warbington in the Albany City Commission Ward IV race over incumbent Roger Marietta. In Ward VI, voters knew there would be a new city commissioner as incumbent Tommie Postell elected not to seek another term.

But on Tuesday, the third of those new players emerged when Albany attorney Kermit “Bo” Dorough won a runoff election against incumbent Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

Doraville elected Joseph Geierman as the new Mayor, according to Project Q.

Joseph Geierman beat incumbent Mayor Donna Pittman by 30 points in Doraville, according to the DeKalb County Elections Office. Geierman beat Pittman by 11 points in the November general election but did not get at least 50 percent of the vote, forcing Tuesday’s runoff.

“Ultimately what I think it says is the people of Doraville were ready for change and I’m glad that they believed in my vision for the city,” Geierman said.

Joy Peterson won election to the Warner Robins City Council, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Statesboro City Council adopted an ordinance creating a tax on blighted properties, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Statesboro City Council unanimously adopted a “blight tax” ordinance Tuesday. But its future was immediately placed in doubt when Mayor Jonathan McCollar announced he would reduce the penalty portion of the program from a seven-fold tax to 1% of the regular millage rate.

The penalty tax would be the first phase of a tax incentive program that also includes a later, reduced tax rate for owners who repair or remove dilapidated buildings or otherwise clean up their properties to city standards.

The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2020 agenda for local elected officials, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Securing state funding for the expansion of the Savannah Convention Center topped the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 State Legislative Agenda, which was presented on Wednesday during the organization’s annual Eggs and Issues Legislative Breakfast at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront.

“Our goal is to always work with our business community, our delegation and other chambers of commerce to help keep Georgia as the No. 1 state to do business,” said Jon Pannell, the chamber’s Governmental Affairs Council chairman.

State Rep. Ron Stephens said along with fully funding the HOPE Scholarship, the center’s expansion remains of the utmost importance to him as the session approaches.

“It’s been a priority now for a while, but this will be the largest funded project that the state, as far as I know, has ever done if we can get it done,” he said.

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce also heard from local legislators, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

State tax revenue is flatlining, state Sen. Bill Cowsert, told Athens Area Chamber of Commerce members on Wednesday.

“We’re not certain where that is coming from,” Cowsert said, noting the economy remains strong.

That’s why Gov. Brian Kemp is calling for spending cuts next year, likely to be one of the main themes when Georgia’s Legislature convenes in Atlanta next month.

Four other legislators who represent portions of Clarke County joined Cowsert at the annual event. They were Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, whose District 47 includes a small part of Clarke County; Rep. Marcus Wiedower, R-Watkinsville; Rep. Houston Gaines, R-Athens; and Rep. Spencer Frye, D-Athens.

Chatham County will shoulder $1.6 million dollars in expenses for cleanup from Hurricane Dorian, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County Commissioners will consider how to pay for over $1.6 million in evacuation expenses left over from Hurricane Dorian in September now that Georgia and federal agencies have denied payment.

“On September 1, 2019, Chatham County was under a Hurricane Watch and a mandatory evacuation order was issued by the Governor of Georgia,” the finance director memo states. “CEMA [Chatham Emergency Management Agency] enacted related emergency preparation activities and evacuation protocols for Chatham County resulting in expenditures of $1,662,226.”

During the commissioners’ Sept. 13 meeting, Chairman Al Scott mentioned the possibility that state and federal officials might not reimburse Chatham County coffers for Dorian-related expenses.

According to the memo from Davis, state and federal officials have indeed left Chatham County taxpayers to foot the bill for all hurricane-related expenses.

“No federal or state funds have been allocated to cover costs of these emergency operations,” the memo states. “The finance director therefore requests board approval to appropriate fund balance/net assets to cover the cost of these operations.”

State Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Cobb) proposes expanding Medicaid coverage to some Georgia women, according to the Georgia Recorder.

State Rep. Sharon Cooper, a Marietta Republican, said Tuesday that she has been “battering” the governor’s office and other state leaders about allowing women to retain Medicaid coverage for as long as one year after giving birth. Currently, coverage is cut off two months after the pregnancy ends.

“We are trying to get that extension,” Cooper said at a meeting of a House study panel focused on Georgia’s high rates of maternal deaths. “I feel like I’m making some progress … but you have people pulling for 50,000 other things – for children, for people who have brain injuries and everything else.”

Cooper called the proposal a priority for her. Her study committee hasn’t yet drafted recommendations ahead of the new legislative session, but she said afterwards that extending Medicaid could be among them.

The chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee said afterwards that she thought the cost of stretching out coverage to six months or as long as a year after delivery would be minimal in the big picture. But adding any new expense may prove a tough sell at a time when the governor is ordering nearly all departments to cut spending.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 4, 2019

Peaches Augusta Animal Services

Peaches is a three-month old female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Peaches loves chew toys and sticks. She is working on becoming housebroken but still has accidents sometimes. Peaches is a house pup who enjoys time outside running and playing. She will sit for a treat.

Buttercup Augusta Animal Services

Buttercup is a young female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Buttercup spent the holiday with a family and two other 4 legged siblings and one of those purred! They stated she was an absolute blast! She is so sweet and goofy. She got along great with my dog and cats. She has lots of puppy energy but also liked to cuddle on the couch. She made really great progress learning to sit, lay down, potty and crate training. ONLY 1 accident all weekend!!! She would do great in a fenced in yard with lots of room to run around. She is an absolute lover and deserves a family who will love her back!

Linus Augusta Animal Services

Linus is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Linus was surrendered to the shelter when his two legged parents had twins and no longer had time for him. Linus is housebroken and gets along great with other dogs. He is great with kids. Loyal. He needs a little training. He may not do well with cats. He chases them and we don’t know what he would do if he caught one. Walks good on a leash. He takes treats gently. He does not bark much but barks appropriately.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 4, 2019

On December 4, 1783, General George Washington told his officers he would resign his commission and return to his life at Mount Vernon.

The Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia was fought between Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry and Kilpatrick’s federal troops on December 4, 1864.

Governor William Northen signed legislation placing on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to increase the number of Georgia Supreme Court Justices from 3 to 5 on December 4, 1893.

On December 4, 1932, a 12-foot tall statue of Tom Watson, former state legislator, Congressman, and United States Senator from Georgia, was placed on the State Capitol Grounds.

On December 4, 1945, the United States Senate voted to approve full U.S. participation in the United Nations. Georgia’s Senators voted in favor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp is expected to name Kelly Loeffler as his appointee to the United States Senate. From the Associated Press:

Georgia’s governor is expected to appoint a wealthy business executive to replace an outgoing U.S. senator, according to a GOP political consultant, bypassing President Donald Trump’s preferred pick and betting instead that a moderate woman can garner enough support to hold onto the seat next year.

Brian Kemp’s choice of Kelly Loeffler, a political newcomer, defies fellow Republicans who had pushed him to choose Rep. Doug Collins, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress. Loeffler will fill the seat of retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is stepping down because of health issues.

Trump made clear that he preferred Collins to Loeffler but he has resigned himself to the pick, according to a person familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Senate seat will be up for grabs again in November 2020 in an open-to-all special election for the final two years of Isakson’s term. Also on the ballot will be Republican Sen. David Perdue, another vocal Trump defender. With both of Georgia’s GOP-held Senate seats on the ballot alongside Trump in 2020, the race is raising the state’s profile as a political battleground where Republicans still dominate but Democrats have made substantial inroads in recent elections.

From the AJC:

In prepared remarks obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the financial executive will introduce herself to Georgia voters as an outsider who will fight the “socialist gang” in Washington bent on defeating the president.

“I haven’t spent my life trying to get to Washington. But here’s what folks are going to find out about me: I’m a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump,” she will say. “I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges.”

Loeffler is set to be appointed Wednesday by Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is retiring at year’s end due to health concerns. The event is to be attended by several high-ranking Republican officials, intended to be a show of support for Kemp’s pick.

In her remarks, Loeffler tries to temper the critiques. She will say she believes the “abortion-on-demand agenda is immoral” and that she would vote for legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“When it comes to protecting innocent life, I look to God because every life is a blessing,” according to her prepared remarks.

“Contrary to what you see in the media, not every strong woman in America is a liberal,” she will say. “Many of us are conservatives, and proud of it.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that Senate Republicans will welcome and support Gov. Kemp’s appointee, according to Politico.

Kemp, a Republican, is expected to appoint Loeffler on Wednesday to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a highly divisive move in the Republican Party. President Donald Trump was pushing for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and conservative groups lambasted Loeffler as wobbly on social issues. Collins has declined to rule out running in the primary for the seat in next year’s special election.

“It seems to me like the governor of Georgia made a terrific appointment,” McConnell said. “She will be an incumbent Republican senator. We will all be behind her. Sen. [Todd] Young has already made it clear the NRSC is going to be behind her. I’m going to be behind her, and I’m confident that someone we’re working with every day will enjoy total support from the Republican conference.”

Georgia has two Senate elections in 2020: one to replace Isakson, and the other in which Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is running for reelection. Isakson gave his farewell speech on Tuesday and was feted at a bipartisan lunch for his long Senate career.

WALB has some more from the funeral for the late State Rep. Jay Powell.

Funeral services for Rep. Jay Powell were held Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Camilla.

Baconton Mayor Annett Morman said that she and Powell’s love for Mitchell County brought them closer as colleagues and as friends.

“I am so saddened with his death,” Morman said. “He was a dear friend of mine. As a matter of fact, he was at two events in the city of Baconton (on) Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.”

Mitchell County Sheriff W.E. Bozeman said that Powell represented the county well.

“He was our state representative for Mitchell, part of Decatur, part of Colquitt County. He was pretty strong and he was a really good representative to Mitchell County and the other two counties,” Bozeman said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the exact cause of Powell’s death.

Republican Bill Yearta was elected to the State House of Representatives for District 152, according to the AJC.

Bill Yearta, a jeweler and former mayor of Sylvester, received about 115 more votes than his opponent Jim Quinn, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office.

The two Republicans — both former mayors — faced off Tuesday to replace former state Rep. Ed Rynders, R-Albany, who resigned earlier this year. They were the top two vote-getters in a four-way special election last month.

Yearta, served as mayor of Sylvester for 17 years and resigned earlier this year for his House run, pulled ahead after a second-place finish in November to win Tuesday’s election.

Quinn, a journalist and former mayor of Leesburg, had secured the most votes in the four-way November race, receiving about 41.6% of the nearly 9,300 ballots cast. Yearta secured 34.3% of votes cast last month.

Yearta will represent voters in House District 152 in Lee, Sumter and Worth counties.

Van Johnson was elected Mayor of Savannah in the runoff, according to WSAV.

Alderman Van Johnson defeated incumbent Mayor Eddie DeLoach in Tuesday’s runoff. Unofficial results from the Chatham County Board of Elections are as follows:

Johnson – 62% or 14,884 votes
DeLoach – 38% or 9,291 votes

Back on Election Day, Nov. 5, Johnson got 46 percent to DeLoach’s 40 percent.

Just over a week ago, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams endorsed him. On Monday, she visited Savannah to attend Johnson’s final rally.

That’s also when New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Democratic candidate for president, showed his support.

“Good mayors don’t just have big ideas, they have big hearts. [Johnson] has both,” Booker tweeted, adding, “Savannah you know what to do.”

From the Savannah Morning News:

Johnson received 14,884 votes to incumbent Eddie DeLoach’s 9,291 votes.

Johnson has served as the First District Alderman for four terms.

Johnson said the win means Savannah has smart voters.

“It means our citizens were smart enough to look beyond negative campaigning,” Johnson said. “Negative campaigning does not work — people don’t like that kind of stuff. Because at the end of the day we all have to live here as neighbors.”

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams campaigned in Savannah with Johnson on Dec. 2. U.S. Senator Corey Booker also endorsed Johnson. Johnson has known both Abrams and Booker for a number of years.

Bo Dorough beat incumbent Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard in yesterday’s runoff, according to the Albany Herald.

In a stunning upset, attorney and former Albany City Commissioner Bo Dorough edged incumbent two-term Mayor Dorothy Hubbard 4,656 votes to 4,366 in Tuesday’s mayoral runoff election to unseat Hubbard.

Completing a sweeping change that will see the Albany city government with three new members, Demetrius Young edged John Hawthorne 662 votes to 609 to claim the Ward VI seat currently held by Tommie Postell, who chose not to run for health reasons.

With Chad Warbington’s victory over incumbent Ward IV Commissioner Roger Marietta during the Nov. 5 municipal election, the commission will take on a new tenor come January.

Scott James Matheson has a 123-vote lead in the race for Mayor of Valdosta, with enough provisional ballots to change the result, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Matheson, with 2,861 votes, currently leads Rice, with 2,738 votes, by 123 votes.

The winner will be determined by provisional ballots.

Precincts delivered provisional ballots to the board of elections late Tuesday. The 130 provisional ballots and three mail-in ballots will be counted at 4 p.m. Friday at the board of elections office. The process will be open to the public.

Incumbent Ben Norton appears to have defeated challenger Adrian Rivers in the Valdosta City Council at-large race.

Norton received 3,045 votes (55.50%) and defeated challenger Adrian Rivers, who received 2,441 votes (44.50%).

The five-person race for mayor narrowed to Rice and Matheson after Election Day Nov. 5. Rice received the largest share of votes at 34.84%, while Matheson edged out David Sumner by three points to finish second with 24.65%.

For the at-large seat, Norton’s opponent remained unknown in the Nov. 5 election until more than 100 provisional ballots were counted Nov. 8. Rivers ended up defeating Edgar “Nicky” Tooley by merely 18 votes with 22.26% of the total ballots cast.

The Democratic Party of Georgia coordinated canvassing in the Valdosta runoffs, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Democratic Party of Georgia strolled down Interstate 75 to help coordinate a Get Out The Vote effort for the nonpartisan runoff races for Valdosta mayor and the Valdosta City Council at-large seat.

Volunteers walked house to house with literature about why J.D. Rice and Adrian Rivers should receive residents’ votes. The mayoral race pit J.D. Rice against Scott James Matheson, while Adrian Rivers challenged incumbent at-large Councilman Ben Norton. The effort is part of a statewide effort to focus on municipal runoffs in Valdosta, Savannah and metro Atlanta, said Scott Hogan, executive director of the DPG.

With shifts from 10 a.m.-2 p.m and 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, 20 Democratic Party of Georgia volunteers knocked on doors in hopes of convincing residents to head to the polls in favor of Rice and Rivers.

The DPG is not coordinating with the Rice or Rivers campaigns because state party efforts are independent expenditures to comply with campaign finance law, said Justin Pitts, director of organizing and outreach of the DPG.

Charlie Bibb took the runoff election for Warner Robins City Council, according to Fox24.

Charlie Bibb earned 59 percent of the vote with Eric Langston earning 41 percent of the vote.

On Election Day in November, Langston beat Bibb. After his arrest for forgery and false statements on Monday, Langston now says he believes that contributed to the runoff’s final results, but thanked those who have supported him.

“I’m sure it did. There is nothing we can do about it now. Move forward and handle these issues later on down the road,” he says.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Langston is accused of forging a document that indicated that he didn’t owe any back taxes. He said he’s not guilty.

Bibb was not unscathed during the runoff.

He came under scrutiny during the runoff when WMAZ-TV aired a story about a decades-old arrest for burglary in which he received probation and first offender status, which means he doesn’t have a record because he successfully completed his probation.

Bibb, who noted that he surrendered his life to Jesus, said he’s always been open about his past.

“If the Lord can change me, he could change anybody,” Bibb said. “That’s how I live my life.”

Kurtis Purtee won the runoff for Savannah Board of Aldermen District 6 over 20-year incumbent Tony Thomas, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Purtee triumphed over incumbent Tony Thomas — who held this aldermanic post since 1999 — by garnering 2,529 out of 4,747 ballots cast in Tuesday’s District 6 runoff with all nine precincts counted, giving him 53.28% of the total turnout.

“I’m so grateful and humbled by the support,” said Purtee. “For those that didn’t support me … I’m still going to be a voice for them.”

Purtee’s victory continues the trend of this year’s Savannah elections favoring fresh faces, as every other aldermanic seat but one — the District 5 post held by Estella Shabazz, who ran for reelection unopposed — will also be held by first-time city-council members in the new administration. Despite his lack of experience in municipal politics, Purtee believes that his public service with police agencies helped give him the edge in Tuesday’s runoff.

Purtee’s campaign received a boost with the endorsement of Antonio Hunter, a former substitute teacher who also ran for the seat held by Thomas in the main election on Nov. 5. Hunter finished third with over 14% of the total 4,550 ballots cast in District 6 during the first round, leaving both Purtee and Thomas with less than 50% of the vote share to force Tuesday’s runoff.

Congratulations and condolences to Derek Norton, who was elected Mayor of Smyrna, according to

The runoff mayoral election in Smyrna took place on Dec. 3 with Derek Norton winning with his 3,764 votes. Ryan Campbell followed behind with 3,605.

In Ward 2 race, Austin Wagner won the most votes with 391 against incumbent Andrea Blustein, who tallied 284.

Brunswick City Commissioner Johnny Cason won reelection in yesterday’s runoff, according to The Brunswick News.

Cason defeated challenger John Davis Perry II by 12 votes in Tuesday’s runoff to determine the winner of the North Ward seat.

The runoff was necessary after none of the four candidates was able to garner more than 50 percent of the vote. The top two vote recipients were Cason with 46 percent of the vote and Perry with 24 percent of the vote in the Nov. 5 general election.

Cason earned 304 votes or 51 percent to Perry’s 292 votes or 49 percent. Only 6.1 percent of the city’s 9,761 registered voters showed up to cast their votes in the runoff.

Braselton, Norcross, and Snellville elected municipal leaders in runoff elections, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

In the only runoff that featured an incumbent, Braselton Councilwoman Becky Richardson cruised to a victory over Richard Mayberry by capturing 61.6% of the 159 votes cast in the Council District 1 race. Richardson received 98 votes, compared to 61 votes for Mayberry.

In Snellville, Solange Destang cruised to a 557-401 victory over Brittany Marmol in the open Post 2 City Council runoff.

In Norcross, Bruce Gaynor narrowly defeated Tyler Hannel by a margin of 274-232, in the open city council runoff to replace Councilman Dan Hatch.

The Gwinnett County Transit Plan review committee is asking for extra time to finish its work, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

When the committee tasked with coming up with recommendations for revisions to the Connect Gwinnett Transit Plan was created, it had a mandate from county commissioners to finish that work by Dec. 31. The head of the committee, Laurie McClain, and Gwinnett Transportation Director Alan Chapman told commissioners that the review panel would like to get the deadline pushed back to the end of January.

The Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission issued subpoenas to two Atlanta mayoral candidates, according to the AJC.

The commission on Monday notified Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ campaign of allegations that it accepted $382,773 in contributions that exceeded maximum limits established by law.

The commission is also alleging that Mary Norwood, Bottoms’ opponent in the runoff, accepted $168,975 in contributions that exceeded the limits.

The documents outlining the violations do not name the donors whose contributions allegedly exceeded the limits — which in 2017 were $2,600 for a general election and $1,400 for a runoff.

In total, Bottoms raised $2.7 million for her campaign compared to Norwood’s $2.1 million.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 3, 2019

Carrot Barkville

Carrot is a young male Chihuahua and Terrier mix who is available for adoption from BarkVille Dog Rescue in Roswell, GA.

Carrot is a sweet & friendly Chi/Terrier mix who is 2 years old & weighs 12 lbs. He is a teeny tiny little guy in need of an immediate foster or adopter so that he can have a safe & loving home for the holidays! Carrot is a playful, affectionate, social young boy who is good with people & other dogs! He will make a great companion for the very lucky person/family who adopts him.

Carrot is housebroken, crate trained, neutered, fully vaccinated & microchipped. He is currently being fostered in GA, but can also be available for adoption in the northeast.

Sully Barkville

Sully is a young male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from BarkVille Dog Rescue in Roswell, GA.

Sully is a sweet & affectionate pitbull puppy who is about 10 months old and weighs 35 lbs. He is an adorable, social, friendly young boy who is everything a puppy should be … happy, curious, comical, and playful! He has puppy energy, so he’ll need lots of exercise, chew toys, and corrections if he gets mouthy during play time (especially at long shirt sleeves or shoelaces) … but there’s nothing he loves more than snuggling after walks & being close to his humans. 

Sully’s foster mom says he does the cutest little happy dance when he sees her filling up his food bowl … he leaps & dances right into his crate where he waits to be fed. He is still learning his leash manners and does pretty well on walks, but his foster mom says he’ll pull if he sees something interesting like a squirrel or bunny so she’s been walking him with the gentle leader and his pulling has improved greatly.

Grady Barkville

Grady is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from BarkVille Dog Rescue in Roswell, GA.

Grady is an adorable, affectionate Black Lab/Terrier mix who is 2 years old and weighs 50 lbs. He was very shy at the shelter, but fortunately BarkVille was able to place him in a wonderful foster home where he has really come out of his shell and regained his confidence. His foster mom says he is completely precious … a happy, playful, social dog who likes to play hard, and then happily curls up in his crate to sleep.

Grady loves people, other dogs, and car rides. He walks well on a leash, knows basic commands, and is a sweet, gentle, loving boy. He really enjoys playing with other dogs so a home with another playful dog would be ideal, although he’d be fine as an only dog with an active person/family who will give him the exercise & attention he deserves!

Two Girl Scouts from Lilburn raised $1200 to support a veteran’s assistance dog, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

After nine months of abstract planning and gathering donations, fifth-graders Cierra Thomas and Kaitlyn Crowe were able to witness the real benefits of their community service project.

The completion of the project granted Cierra and Kaitlyn their bronze awards, the highest possible honor for Girl Scout Juniors. It also gave U.S. Army veteran Paul DiPaolo and his service dog, Duce, a new harness, a flea and tick collar and premium dog food that lift almost a year’s worth of financial burden off the soldier’s back.

“We’re excited to be able to show people what we’ve done and tell people about this amazing foundation,” Cierra said. “(Top Dogg K9 Foundation) is a great foundation if you’re a veteran and you want to train your service dog.”

What the Lilburn girls scouts were able to drum up in a matter of months was not mere pocket change. Cierra and Kaitlyn set out with a goal to raise $300 to support a veteran and their dog who were training with Top Dogg K9 Foundation in Stone Mountain. The total they finally accumulated was roughly four times that projected amount — $1,200.

DiPaolo joined the U.S. Army in 2010 and served for seven years. He was deployed in 2009 when he was injured jumping out of a helicopter during a training exercise. He said people he met through Wounded Warrior Project helped give him a sense of purpose and a reason to be excited about his future. He and his wife, April, moved to the Atlanta area with their son, A.J., when he decided to go to graduate school.

“It helps me financially and helps me with all of his nutrition, because he requires a lot of protein,” DiPaolo said.


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.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2019

Laverne Shirley

Laverne and Shirley are 5-year old female American Foxhound sisters who are available separately for adoption from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Cairo, GA.

These 2 girls are 5 yrs old, fully vetted with microchip, they have come a long way and were in a awful place in their past. They have gone from skin and bones and hairless to now healthy and feeling great! They are ready for new loving home that they so deserve. Please help us and give one of these girls a forever home!

B Pups

“The B Pups” are a litter of 10-week old American Bulldog & Black Mouth Cur Mix puppies who are available separately for adoption from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Cairo, GA.


“Pups 1 through 4” are a litter of 9-week old Australian Cattle Dog / Blue Heeler Mix puppies (three female, one male) who are available separately for adoption from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Cairo, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2019

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737.

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp‘s appointment of a replacement for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson has become a full-fledged battle between the Governor’s Office and “Florida Man.” From Fox News:

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz suggested to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday that there could be political consequences if Kemp decides not to choose President Trump’s reported favorite for the state’s expected U.S. Senate vacancy.

In a series of Twitter messages on the day after Thanksgiving, Gaetz, a Florida Republican, called on Kemp to choose U.S. Rep. Doug Collins for the seat, when Sen. Johnny Isakson steps down at the end of the year.

“You are ignoring his request because you THINK you know better than @POTUS,” Gaetz wrote in one Twitter message. “If you substitute your judgement [sic] for the President’s, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump.”

“You are hurting President Trump,” Gaetz wrote in another tweet. “You know this because he told you.”

Kemp had fired off a Twitter message of his own.

“The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous,” Kemp wrote. “The attacks and games are absolutely absurd. Frankly, I could care less what the political establishment thinks.”

From the AJC:

Gov. Brian Kemp plans to tap financial executive Kelly Loeffler for a U.S. Senate seat next week as he pushes to expand the Georgia GOP’s appeal to women who have fled the party in recent years.

The appointment would defy President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders who have repeatedly urged the governor to appoint U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a four-term congressman who is one of the president’s staunchest defenders in Washington.

The governor is expected to announce Loeffler’s appointment at a press conference early [this] week, barring any last-minute change of heart, several senior GOP officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclusively. Kemp’s office declined to comment Friday.

Kemp’s allies say Loeffler, a first-time candidate, can help woo women who have bolted a party that’s dominated by white male elected officials. (If she is appointed, Loeffler would become the second woman to serve in the U.S. Senate from Georgia. Rebecca Latimer Felton served one day in the chamber in 1922 following the death of Tom Watson.)

From the Associated Press, via the Gainesville Times.

At the center of the dispute is a debate over who can best help the GOP position itself for success in the November 2020 elections in Georgia. Loeffler’s supporters believe she can widen the Republican tent and appeal to women and suburban Atlanta voters, who have trended more Democratic since Trump’s election. Collins’ supporters, meanwhile, say that an experienced campaigner with proven conservative credentials is needed.

One of the unexpected hallmarks of Kemp’s first year in office has been the appointment of a diverse slate of candidates to state panels and judicial posts, which has surprised even some of his most ardent critics.

Kemp took the unusual step of opening an online application process for the Senate seat in September and asked everyone from congressional representatives to ordinary Georgians to apply. In addition to Collins and Loeffler, other top Republicans who have applied include former U.S. Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and state House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones.

And back to the AJC:

Facing shots over his planned pick for an open U.S. Senate seat, Gov. Brian Kemp’s inner circle unleashed a special type of vitriol against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida after he blasted the governor’s plans to select financial executive Kelly Loeffler.

With a vigor that evoked memories of the 2018 campaign, Kemp’s advisers slammed the Floridian after he called for the Georgia governor to be challenged in 2022 or questioned whether he could win re-election.

“It’s not the establishment you are screwing with your donor-induced stubbornness. You are hurting President Trump. You know this because he told you,” Gaetz tweeted, later mentioning how Loeffler donated to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid but not to Trump in 2016.

… Kemp confidantes jumped in, seizing the opportunity to target Gaetz instead of taking on Georgia critics who have assailed Loeffler ….

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall compared Gaetz to Abrams, the Democrat who lost last year’s gubernatorial election but didn’t concede. Candice Broce, a top Kemp deputy, chided him to “focus on Florida and study federalism” and mocked his spelling.

From Politico:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has begun informing Republican officials he plans to appoint financial services executive Kelly Loeffler to the state’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat, according to three people familiar with the conversations.

Members of the state’s Republican congressional delegation were among those to receive a heads-up from Kemp on his decision, according to an aide to a House Republican from Georgia who received a call from the governor over the weekend.

Governor Kemp presented the Governor’s Cup to the University of Georgia football team this weekend, according to USA Today.

State Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) was laid to rest Sunday, according to the AJC.

Powell was a powerful advocate for rural Georgia and an authority on tax policy during his 10 years in the state House. He served for a year as the leader of the House Rules Committee, one of the most important positions in the statehouse.

He died Tuesday during a retreat of Republican legislative leaders at Brasstown Valley Resort at the age of 67. More remembrances of Powell, whose legacy was lauded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, have trickled in from those who knew him best.

Savannah voters go to the polls tomorrow in runoff elections for Mayor and Alderman, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach is up against Alderman Van Johnson, and in District 6, incumbent Alderman Tony Thomas is in a runoff with challenger Kurtis Purtree.

In the general election Nov. 5, Johnson received 11,400 votes for 45.96%, and DeLoach received 9,812 votes for 39.55%. Regina Thomas received 3,349 votes for 13.5%, and Louis Wilson received 209 votes for less than 1% of the total. There were also 36 write-in votes cast.

In the District 6 election, Thomas received 2,125 votes for 46.70% followed by Purtree with 1,764 for 38.77% and Antonio Hunter with 640 for 14.07%.

The Albany Herald looks at the candidates in tomorrow’s runoff election for Mayor, incumbent Dorothy Hubbard, and challenger Kermit “Bo” Dorough. In another article, the Herald profiles Ward VI runoff candidates John Hawthorne and Demetrius Young.

Norcross, Snellville, and Braselton will hold runoff elections tomorrow, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

In Norcross, Tyler Hannel and Bruce Gaynor will square off for the seat being vacated by Councilman Dan Watch.

Voting in the city will take place in the community room at City Hall, which is located at 65 Lawrenceville St.

Over in Snellville, Solange Destang and Brittany Marmol will face off in the open City Council Post 2 race. The winner will replace Councilman Roger Marmol, who is Brittany Marmol’s husband and opted not to seek re-election this year.

Snellville voters will cast their ballots in the City Hall Community Room which is located at 2342 Oak Road.

Braselton Councilwoman Becky Richardson is heading to a runoff against Richard Mayberry in that city’s Council district 1 race.

The city’s runoff voting will take place at the Police and Municipal Building, which is located at 5040 Highway 53.

Smyrna voters will choose a new Mayor in the runoff election tomorrow, according to

There will be a runoff election on Dec. 3 between Smyrna mayoral candidates Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell, reported the Marietta Daily Journal.

Gwinnett County lawyer Christa Kirk will run for the Superior Court seat currently held by Judge Kathryn Schrader, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Federal funding for children’s mental health is a complex issue for state legislators, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Federal funds could be available next year to address the mental health needs of very young children, but a House study committee found state Medicaid policies don’t cover assessments.

“We’ve got to find a way to pull our agencies together, certainly through conversations with our governor and other state agency heads … There is a desire to make this happen,” said Rep. Katie Dempsey.

The Rome Republican chairs the human resources subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. She spent the fall leading the House Study Committee on Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Health.

Georgia officials are still working on a plan that may, or may not, include the youngest children. Committee members heard testimony about other states that have revamped their Medicaid system to include coverage for diagnostics at that age — including in Alabama.

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Commission is accepting public comments on its Transportation Improvement Plan, according to the Savannah Morning News.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 27, 2019

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are targeting Uga, the University of Georgia’s mascot, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

PETA called for the school to stop using live bulldogs as the school’s mascot.

“HE LOOKS MISERABLE,” the tweet said.

In the video, Uga is in his doghouse on the sideline during UGA’s football game with Texas A&M University on Saturday at Sanford Stadium. It was heavily raining at the time.

The current Uga is named Que, and he’s been the acting mascot at UGA since 2015. He took over as the live mascot at 2-and-on-half years old, making him approximately a seven years old now.

King George 2019

King George is a male English Bulldog and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from BarkVille Dog Rescue in Roswell, GA.

King George is housebroken, crate trained, neutered, fully vaccinated & microchipped. He is 5 years old and weighs 45 lbs.


Luchi is a young male English Bulldog and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, GA.

Butch Renegade Paws

Butch is a male English Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from Renegade Paws Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Butch is big ole meaty boy rescued from Chatham County Animal Rescue. Butch got his fame from his incredibly unique look. He loves sleeping, snacks, and hanging out with all of his animal foster brothers and sister.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 27, 2019

On November 28, 1777, Congress appointed John Adams as commissioner to France, replacing Silas Deane.

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 30, 1819, the SS Savannah returned to Savannah, GA from its trip as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

On December 1, 1824, the election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected.

On November 27, 1864, Sherman ordered the courthouse in Sandersville, Georgia burned.

The Grand Ole Opry began live radio broadcasts from Nashville, Tennessee on November 28, 1925.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, referred to as the Warren Commission. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. of Georgia was appointed to the Commission.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia State House Rules Committee Chair Jay Powell (R-Camilla) died yesterday at a legislative retreat, according to the Albany Herald.

Powell, 67, a Camilla Republican who served in Georgia House District 171, collapsed Monday during a retreat for Republican leadership at Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris.

An attorney who had served 10 years in the House, Powell previously was a Camilla City Council member and mayor of the city. He was elected to the House in 2008 and had become the chairman this year of that body’s Rules Committee.

“This is certainly going to be a big loss to District 171 and a big loss to the state of Georgia,” Mitchell County Administrator Clark Harrell said. “Jay was somebody you could always turn to, very accessible. You could always pick up the phone and call him.

“Jay was a leader not only in his district but a leader in southwest Georgia and the state of Georgia. Jay will be missed.”

Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh said that he has known Powell for a long time, back to Powell’s days in Camilla city government and his time as president of the Georgia Municipal Association.

From the AJC:

“This loss touches us all and leaves a hole in our hearts and in the heart of our House family,” said House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge. “Jay Powell served with integrity and his leadership truly moved Georgia forward.”

Powell served one year as the leader of the Rules Committee, which decided which bills would receive final votes in the full House of Representatives. Powell was previously chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the primary tax-writing committee.

“Chairman Powell was a trusted leader and compassionate public servant whose work positively impacted countless people’s lives over the years,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “His loss is devastating to Georgia.”

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who ran for governor against Kemp last year, said Powell worked in a bipartisan way to improve Georgia.

“Though Chairman Jay Powell and I stood on separate sides of the aisle, we worked together to advance good tax policy for Georgia and to support our local governments,” said Abrams, who was minority leader in the Georgia House before her run for governor. “He cared about community and getting good done.”

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said after Powell was elected to the Georgia House, they were seated next to each other in the House chamber.

“Over those many hours on the floor, he shared his thoughts about life, law and politics that made me a better person,” said Collins, a Republican representing the Gainesville area. “Jay always had my back even through the storms of politics, which means more than anything. He helped me as a new attorney and provided wise counsel over the years regarding our public service.”

“Jay was well respected because of his strong work ethic, his ability to put sound policy above political bickering and most of all, because he was a great guy,” said Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter, according to

The Towns County Sheriff’s Office requested the GBI investigate. The agency has not responded to questions about the nature of the investigation.

Governor Brian Kemp and Senate applicant Kelly Loeffler went to Washington to meet with President Trump, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp embarked on a secretive trip to Washington with Kelly Loeffler, his favorite for a U.S. Senate opening, to try to win Donald Trump’s support after the president repeatedly pushed for another rival, according to several people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

The Sunday trip did not go as expected for Kemp, who encountered a president who was said to be frustrated with his decision-making process and blunt about his support for U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and others whom he considered to be safer political picks.

The meeting, not previously disclosed, lasted roughly an hour and involved the governor, Loeffler and Nick Ayers, a former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence. Ayers, who also served as a Trump adviser and remains close to the president, was brought in to facilitate conversations between both politicians.

The fact that Loeffler accompanied the governor to the White House was rare proof that he favors her in the selection process. Loeffler was a last-minute applicant for the seat U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is giving up at the end of the year for health reasons. She has never run for office, though she briefly considered a 2014 run for the Senate seat Republican David Perdue won.

From the Wall Street Journal via Marketwatch:

[T]he private huddle turned tense and ended quickly, according to people familiar with the meeting. Trump has preferred Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican who has vocally defended the president during the impeachment process, and he told Kemp that he would be taking a risk by appointing the politically untested Loeffler. At one point Trump questioned why they were holding the meeting if Kemp had made his decision.

The Georgia governor presented Loeffler as his top choice, Trump told allies. But Kemp also told the president that he was open to his opinion, according to the people familiar with the meeting. Kemp’s team has discussed announcing the decision after Thanksgiving.

And back to the AJC:

The governor is sandwiched in a vise that only seems likely to tighten. On Sunday, he telegraphed his support for Loeffler, a wealthy self-funder, by bringing her to that fateful White House visit with Trump.

So backing away could damage his political clout and erase his hopes of putting — in GOP terms — an unconventional candidate in office.

But tapping Loeffler could be just as tricky. Collins has amassed a legion of grassroots supporters who have flooded social media with messages of support – and Kemp’s office with phone calls and letters urging him to back the four-term congressman.


Georgia Democrats are targeting nonpartisan runoff elections in Savannah and Valdosta, according to the AJC.

 The party said Tuesday it will launch a “full get out the vote” effort to back Savannah Alderman Van Johnson and former fire chief J.D. Rice in Valdosta in nonpartisan contests on Dec. 3.

The party is also recruiting volunteers and reaching out to voters to help candidates in metro Atlanta suburbs of College Park, Johns Creek and Smyrna.

State Sen. Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the state Democratic party, said the party launched the initiative to contest nonpartisan municipal races to help build the party’s infrastructure at the grassroots.

The first is the race between Johnson and Mayor Eddie DeLoach, the first Republican elected to lead the city in decades. Johnson outpolled DeLoach by more than 1,500 votes earlier this month, but didn’t capture the majority needed to win outright.

Johnson has support from other prominent Democrats, including Stacey Abrams. DeLoach, meanwhile, is in familiar territory. He finished in second place in 2015 to defeat incumbent Edna Jackson in the runoff, and says he can pull off a repeat.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis is supporting Michael Bloomberg for President, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“I look forward to formally endorsing @MikeBloomberg for president and working to win the great state of Georgia,” Davis said in a tweet Sunday. “Our state motto is ‘Wisdom, Justice and Moderation;’ Mike will bring those qualities to the debate when it is desperately needed.”

Davis, a former Democratic state legislator, has an affinity for mayors and mayors’ groups. He currently leads the African American Mayors Association, which he helped found, and travels to U.S. Conference of Mayors events.

A proposed Augusta region transportation tax initiative has overestimated revenues and underestimated costs, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

As the clock ticks toward a Dec. 25 deadline, the region’s transportation wish list needs more work after a Georgia Department of Transportation report said project price tags assigned by counties are off by a combined $300 million.

The Transportation Investment Act project list is intended to go before voters March 24 on the presidential primary ballot. If approved, it will extend the current 1% sales tax for transportation for another decade across 13 counties, from 2022 through 2031.

The state Transportation Department estimated revenues from the next tax at $610.7 million, and the counties turned in what they budgeted as $721.5 million in projects earlier this month. But in its latest review, the department says the list would actually cost $1 billion, more than $400 million above estimated revenues.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners hit pause on e-scooter regulations, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

An Athens-Clarke Commission committee has called off for now its work on a possible new ordinance and pilot program to allow rentable dockless scooters in Athens.

The commission’s legislative committee learned last week that any local legislation on the scooters could be pre-empted by new state regulations when the state Legislature convenes in January. The committee also learned that existing property easements up and down the Oconee Rivers Greenway system specifically prohibit motorized vehicles, including electric bicycles.

Buzz kills in Athens-Clarke County are considering raising the minimum price of alcoholic beverages, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The Athens-Clarke County Commission might soon raise the minimum price of an alcohol drink to $2, a price increase that would apply to bars and restaurants countywide, not just in downtown as first envisioned.

Police believe the change could reduce excess drinking.

“Raising that drink minimum price does have an effect on all these other things … that come from over-consumption of alcohol,” Athens-Clarke police Sgt. Laura Lusk told members of the Athens-Clarke Commission’s legislative review committee in a recent meeting.

Cherokee County Coroner Earl Darby announced he will retire at the end of his term, according to the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News.

“I have been honored to serve (the public) since Jan. 1, 1993 and to have been elected seven times,” Darby said in an email to the Tribune on Tuesday. “It is time that I step aside and enjoy more family time and continue growing our family business. I want to thank the citizens of Cherokee County for the confidence to serve you for 28 years. I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife, Olene, and my family for supporting me all those years and being forgiving as I missed so many family events as I served.”

Darby’s term of office will end on Dec. 31, 2020, and he explained he chose to announce his retirement now in order to allow those who may be interested in serving the county as its coroner more time to plan and prepare for the 2020 election. The role of coroner is to determine the cause, manner and circumstance of deaths, especially those under violent or unusual circumstances.

“The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office has worked closely with Earl Darby for decades,” Sheriff Frank Reynolds said. “He has been an outstanding coroner, and the quality of work from the coroner’s office under Earl’s leadership has been impeccable. Earl has honorably served the citizens of Cherokee County, not only as coroner, but as a businessman and a volunteer.”

A female Right Whale, possibly pregnant, has been spotted off Florida’s coast, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed and identified the animal as North Atlantic right whale number 3101, nicknamed Harmonia. She’s an 18-year-old female who last calved four years ago. It’s believed she could be pregnant again. Harmonia is the daughter of a whale named Aphrodite.

Right whales are so named because their habits of swimming slowly and close to shore along with the fact that their carcasses float made them the “right” whale to hunt. They were hunted to near extinction with an estimated 100 individuals remaining in 1935 when the League of Nations banned the whaling of the species. Their numbers gradually recovered, reaching about 500 in 2010. But this decade they’ve been seen decreased calving numbers including no calves in 2018 and seven calves this year, coupled with a high mortality from human-related causes including ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. There are an estimated 400 left.

Right whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds off New England to give birth off the coast of Georgia and Florida in the winter. They are Georgia’s state marine mammal and are monitored via aerial surveys while here. Florida FWC’s survey will start flying off Georgia and Florida on Dec. 1, weather permitting. The generally fly from Cumberland to Mayport. A team from Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Georgia Department of Natural Resources will start flying on Dec 9, covering the area from about Sapelo to Cumberland.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 26, 2019

President Donald Trump signed legislation to make animal cruelty a federal felony, according to the New York Times.

The bill, called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, was introduced in the House this year by two Florida lawmakers — Representative Vern Buchanan, a Republican, and Representative Ted Deutch, a Democrat. It expands a 2010 law signed by President Barack Obama that banned videos that show animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of torture.

Now, intentional acts of cruelty shown in the videos are also felony offenses.

“It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society,” Mr. Trump said at a signing ceremony on Monday, where he was joined by Mr. Buchanan and animal rights advocates.

The bill was passed unanimously by a voice vote in the House in October. It was passed unanimously by the Senate in November and went into effect on Monday.

The additional step of making acts of cruelty a crime “makes a statement about American values,” said Kitty Block, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.

“The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law,” she said. “For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”

From NPR:

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) is a bi-partisan initiative that bans the intentional crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impalement or other serious harm to “living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians.”

The law also bans “animal crush videos” meaning any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording or electronic image that depicts animal cruelty.

The penalty for violating the law can include a fine, a prison term of up to seven years, or both.

The new law was endorsed by some law enforcement groups, such as the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Fraternal Order of Police who say there is a link between extreme animal cruelty and violence against people.

Tenna Danas Dog House

Tenna is a young female Chihuahua and Dachshund mix (Chiweenie) who is available for adoption from Dana’s Dog House in Smyrna, GA.

Tenna will be under 8 lbs grown. She has a big personality and not afraid of anything. She loves to burrow under the covers with her person. 

Vicki Best Friends

Vicki is a young female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Atlanta, GA.

Frank Best Friends

Frank is a male Hound (or Boxer?) mix dog who is available for adoption from Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Atlanta, GA.

Name’s Frank. I’m the handsome, shy type. One of my favorite pastimes is bubbles. Let me be Frank — (see what I did there?) I’m very food motivated, so I can be taught a solid number of commands if you bring the treats. Keeping my paws on the floor is one thing I’m working on now. I’ll do well in a home with time to spend helping me come out of my shell.