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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2018

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

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.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

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

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

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 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

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

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton (R) faces a Democratic opponent in a December 4 runoff election, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Eaton had 1.9 million votes, or 49.8 percent, to Miller’s 1.8 million, or 47.5 percent. Libertarian Ryan Graham garnered 102,234 votes, or 2.7 percent.

The Public Service Commission regulates the rates charged by telecommunications, gas and electric companies in the state. Eaton had support from both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the state’s major unions, including the AFL-CIO.

She out-raised Eaton and Graham, drawing $1.27 million from more than 2,900 donors, many from outside of Georgia.

Republican Brad Raffensperger also heads to a December 4 runoff, against Democrat John Barrow, according to the AJC.

Raffensperger, a state representative from Johns Creek, had a slight lead over Barrow, a former U.S. congressman from Athens. The two were separated by less than 1 percent of the vote.

“We are laser focused on the runoff and pursuing a victory for John on Election Day on Dec. 4,” Barrow campaign spokesman Jonathan Arogeti said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to go back to the voters and earn their support.”

Monroe County voters will return to the polls on December 4th in a runoff election for Sheriff, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Lawson Cary Bittick lll and Brad Freeman were the top two vote getters in a 6-way race to replace John Cary Bittick. The former sheriff stepped down after 35 years in office to accept President Donald Trump’s nomination to serve as U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Georgia.

Lawson Bittick, the former sheriff’s son and a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office, was the top vote getter with 3,937 votes, or 31 percent. Freeman, a captain in the sheriff’s office, was second with 2,974 votes, or 24 percent.

With no one getting a majority of the vote, they will face each other in a runoff on Dec. 4. Both said with six candidates in the race they were expecting a runoff and were just happy to get in.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes about past statewide runoff elections.

No general election race for governor has ever required a runoff, but Republicans have dominated many of the other races that go into overtime, starting with a 1992 narrow win by Republican challenger Paul Coverdell over Democratic U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler.

Republicans also thrived in the last general election runoff took place in 2008, when U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss trounced Democrat Jim Martin in a runoff after the Republican narrowly missed an outright win.

Then again, Democrats hope a flood of momentum and attention will keep Abrams’ supporters motivated. Polls already suggest high Democratic enthusiasm, and voters won’t be able to avoid news about the race.

Another wrinkle: The timing of the runoff could force Deal to rethink plans to call a special legislative session next week to provide about $100 million in relief from Hurricane Michael and decide on a controversial tax break for jet fuel.

Democrat Lucy McBath has claimed victory in the 6th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Karen Handel, according to the AJC.

“Given the close results of our race, and the fact that the official results at this time are within the 1 percent threshold where a recount is possible, we believe it is prudent to review and assess all data before making additional actions or statements,” Handel said in a statement.

In Handel’s final comments to supporters Tuesday night/Wednesday morning she expressed optimism.

“I have a knack for the close ones, y’all. There are still precincts coming in from north Fulton,” she told the hardy clutch of supporters who made it to the end of the night and into the morning at her watch party at Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. “If it keeps going our way it’ll be a win. Unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be tonight.”

Baldwin County voters rejected a T-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation), while Monroe County voters approved their SPLOST, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“We estimate that in the five-year period for this T-SPLOST that the county will collect ($22.7 million) and the city of Milledgeville ($12.5 million),” said Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar at a presentation in September, according to The Union-Recorder.

However, by 9 p.m. with all precincts reporting, the final count was 7,218 votes voting against the sales and use tax and 6,531 voting in favor of the tax.

On the other hand, with all precincts reporting by 9:30 p.m., the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum in Monroe County showed 7,587 votes, or 61.82 percent, in favor of it versus 4,685 votes, or 38.68 percent, against the tax.

The Monroe County Commissioner decided in July to put $700,000 toward internet expansion from a SPLOST, according to a WGXA-16 report.

Danielle Forte has been elected Clerk of Muscogee County Courts, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Early and unofficial returns Tuesday showed challenger Danielle Forte with a 7,000 vote lead over incumbent clerk Shasta Thomas Glover, who just took office this past March.

Glover, who came out of retirement to work as chief deputy clerk when her friend Ann Hardman took over in 2017, has been the clerk since Hardman’s death this past March 19, having been sworn in that same day.

Forte at press time had won every voting precinct in Columbus. Combining those Election Day totals with the early in-person vote and the mail-in absentees, she had 31,773 votes to Glover’s 24,276, or 56 to 43 percent.

“To God be the glory – I am so pleased,” Forte said Tuesday night.

Democrat Stacey Abrams is suing over the election results, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the contentious race, with voting rights groups contending that Kemp has used his office to interfere in the election for his own benefit. He has fiercely denied any impropriety.

At a news conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he heard the voting process was “very efficient” in Georgia. But polling places across the state had long lines, and some areas of metro Atlanta that typically lean Democratic experienced problems and delays.

Ontaria Woods arrived at a polling place in Snellville, just northeast of Atlanta, about 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line.

“That’s the majority of people in this line, African-Americans,” she said. “We’re begging them, ‘Please, stay.’”

The same or similar problem affected voters in four large precincts in Gwinnett County— a populous swing county — and at least one in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, election security expert Harri Hursti said Wednesday. Voters in those places were not able to vote for hours because the electronic poll books used to check in voters were not writing to the smart cards needed to cast ballots, Hursti said.

Five Georgia voters sued Kemp on Election Day, asking a judge to prevent Kemp from exercising his duties as the state’s top elections official for anything having to do with Tuesday’s election, including certifying results or administering any possible runoff or recount. The lawsuit says that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.”

Secretary of state’s office spokeswoman Candice Broce called the lawsuit “twelfth-hour stunt.”

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux has not conceded defeat against Republican Congressman Rob Woodall, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., holds a razor thin lead of three-tenths of a percentage point over Bourdeaux in unofficial results, leaving the provisional and oversees ballots to be counted. Woodall received 50.16 percent of the votes cast, compared to 49.84 percent for Bourdeaux.

The difference between the two candidates is 890 votes.

“As of this afternoon, our race is still too close to call,” Bourdeaux said in an email to supporters. “Our fight isn’t over yet. My entire team is working overtime to make sure that every voter’s voice is heard and their vote is counted … Together, we will fight until every last vote is counted.”

The results will not be certified until the beginning of next week, giving voters who cast provisional ballots a few days to visit the county’s elections office to verify their eligibility to cast the ballot and have their vote counted.

Gwinnett County had to keep three precincts open after voting machine malfunctions, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner has ordered three voting precincts in Gwinnett to stay open later tonight because of a machine malfunction that affected all three this morning.

The order stipulates that the precinct at Annistown Elementary School will stay open until 9:25 p.m., while the precinct at Harbins Elementary School in Dacula will stay open until 7:14 p.m. and the precinct at Anderson-Livsey Elementary School will stay open until 7:30 p.m.

Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said five precincts in the county experienced issues with the Express Poll machines, which create ballots on voting cards that are handed out to voters when they check in to vote.

Democrat Brian Whiteside was elected Gwinnett County Solicitor General, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Republican Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo was defeated by her Democratic opponent, Brian Whiteside, in the general election. Whiteside received 54.37 percent of the vote, compared to 45.63 percent for Szabo, who has been Gwinnett’s solicitor general for 12 years.

“Congratulations to Brian Whiteside on his election to Solicitor General of Gwinnett County,” Szabo said in an announcement on Facebook on Wednesday. “I am grateful to the people of Gwinnett for the twelve years they have entrusted me with the care of the office.

Gwinnett County Democrats also picked up two seats on the Gwinnett County Commission, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Change appears to coming to be coming for two Gwinnett County commission districts after voters opted to replace Republican incumbents Lynette Howard and John Heard with Ben Ku and Marlene Fosque, respectively.

Ku lead Howard in the Commission District 2 race by a margin of 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent with 81 percent of precincts reporting at 11:10 p.m. Meanwhile, Fosque was leading Heard in the Commission District 4 race by a margin of 53.03 percent to 46.97 percent with 85 percent of precincts reporting at the same time.

Lake Park had computer issues in submitting local election results, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

About 65-70 provisional ballots are yet to be counted, as well as absentee ballots, she said.

Internet difficulties kept the local elections office from sending updated Lake Park results to the Georgia Secretary of State’s elections website, she said.

The subject of some Lake Park voters allegedly being given wrong ballots was raised at the Lake Park City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Councilwoman Deborah Sauls said when she took part in early voting, she was given a ballot with no Lake Park races on it. Sauls said elections staff told her it was because she lived outside the city limits.

“How could I qualify for and get elected to City Council if I didn’t live in the city?” she said.

Sauls said she had to cast a provisional ballot, which “didn’t make me happy at all.” Provisional ballots are used for people whose eligibility to vote is in question, with the vote being counted after officials double-check that eligibility.

Savannah also experienced some voting problems, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Lines at some poll locations were short, with voters in and out in under half an hour Tuesday.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, however, voters at Rothwell Baptist Church in Pooler reported about 60 people were still in line waiting to vote, with others reporting casting ballots took more than four hours. Polls are held open for voters in line at polling locations at the 7 p.m. closing time.

Voters took advantage of early voting in record numbers for a mid-term, with 32,361 voting in person, compared to 17,697 in the 2014 mid-term.

Registrations were also up this year with an increase of with 188,315 registered for this election. That’s an increase of 51,251, over the last mid-term election in 2014, when 137,064 people registered.

Russell Bridges, Chatham County’s supervisor of the board of elections, said Election Day was not without some problems. Complaints alleging voter suppression are unfounded, however, he said.

Glynn County Board of Elections reported record turnout, according to The Brunswick News.

Hall County voters opted to extend alcohol service hours on Sundays, according to the Gainesville Times.

Voters in Hall County, Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood voted in favor of earlier Sunday sales. Lula and Clermont did not put the item up for a vote, meaning the sales will not be allowed within those city limits.

The bill, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in May, gives municipalities the option to allow restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Previous state law stated that alcohol sales could only start at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.



Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 5, 2018

Princess Barrow

Princess is a female Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Control Shelter in Winder, GA.

Emma Barrow

Emma is a friendly 41-pound female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Control Shelter in Winder, GA.

Bear Barrow

Bear is a 70-pound male Golden Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Control Shelter in Winder, GA.

Glynn County Animal Control expects to receive more pets during the “holiday dump,” according to The Brunswick News.

Glynn County’s Animal Control shelter often operates at capacity, and Animal Control Manager Tiffani Hill is asking county residents to help by keeping track of their pets during the holidays.

“The ‘holiday dump’ is a national issue,” Hill said. “All of us who are shelter managers are like ‘Oh, here it comes.’”

The term refers to a spike in cats and dogs entering the shelter during the major holidays, Hill said.

“As people are opening and closing and opening and closing their doors, there’s a better chance they (pets) can slip out,” Hill said.

She said animal control also sees an increase in owners voluntarily surrendering their pets to the shelter.

“They have guests coming and don’t want to deal with it, and they don’t want to take it to a trainer or lock it up. Maybe they’re going out of town and don’t have the money to board it,” Hill said.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 5, 2018

John Willis Menard became the first black man elected to Congress on November 3, 1868 from the Second District of Louisiana. Menard’s election opponent challenged the results and prevented Menard from taking his seat, though in defense of his election Menard became the first black man to address Congress.

Alexander Stephens was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 4, 1882; Stephens had earlier been elected Vice-President of the Confederate States of America.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was born in Winder, Georgia on November 2, 1897.

In 1927, at age 29, Russell was named Speaker of the House – the youngest in Georgia history. In 1930, Russell easily won election as Georgia governor on his platform of reorganizing state government for economy and efficiency. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, Russell took the oath of office from his father, Georgia chief justice Richard B. Russell Sr. He became the youngest governor in Georgia history – a record that still stands. After Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died in 1932, Gov. Russell named an interim replacement until the next general election, in which Russell himself became a candidate. Georgia voters elected their young governor to fill Harris’ unexpired term. When he arrived in Washington in January 1933, he was the nation’s youngest senator.

Russell had a long and storied career in the United States Senate, during which he served for many years as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, unofficial leader of the conservative Southern wing of the Democratic party and a chief architect of resistance to civil rights legislation. He also ran for President in 1952, winning the Florida primary.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

On November 3, 1913, details of the federal income tax were finalized and published after the ratification earlier in the year of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bacon, Barrow, Candler, and Evans Counties were created on November 3, 1914 when voters approved Constitutional Amendments – prior to these Amendments, Georgia was limited to 145 counties. On the same day, Carl Vinson was elected to Congress from Georgia, becoming the youngest member of Congress at the time. Vinson would eventually become the first Member of Congress to serve more than fifty years. Vinson’s grandson, Sam Nunn would serve in the United States Senate.

Howard Carter found an entrance to the tomb of King Tutankhamen on November 4, 1922.

On November 4, 1932 Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. campaigned on behalf of Democratic candidate for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

The Chicago Tribune published the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on November 3, 1948. Ultimately, Democrat Truman won 303 electoral votes to 189 for Republican Dewey.

Laika, a female Siberian Husky mix who was found stray on the streets of Moscow, was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.

On November 3, 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

On November 3, 1970, Jimmy Carter was elected Governor of Georgia.

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States on November 2, 1976.

On November 4, 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected President, winning 489 electoral votes to 49 for incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Note on the electoral map in that clip, states that Reagan won were colored blue, and Georgia was a red state, going for Jimmy Carter.

The current Georgia Constitution was ratified on November 2, 1982 by the state’s voters.

Democrat Cynthia McKinney became the first African-Amercian female elected to Congress from Georgia on November 3, 1992.

On November 3, 1998, Democrat Thurbert Baker was elected Attorney General and Michael Thurmond was elected Commissioner of Labor, becoming the first African-Americans elected to statewide executive office in Georgia.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

On November 2, 2010, voters elected Republican Nathan Deal as Governor, and the GOP swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot.

One World Trade Center opened on November 3, 2014, more than thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President, becoming the first African-American elected to the position.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harris P. Hines was killed in a car accident Sunday, according to 11Alive.

Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan confirmed the news about Justice Harris Hines’s death via Facebook, Sunday.

“I cannot express the immense grief I feel to hear that Justice Harris Hines had died in a car crash,” Morgan said in a statement. “I am blessed I was able to practice law before him, and to call him my mentor and friend. God bless Helen and his family and give them peace.”

A graduate of Emory University’s School of Law, Hines was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1995 by Governor Zell Miller. Hines was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Jan. 6, 2017.

Prior to that, he served as a judge of the State Court in Cobb County for eight years and as Superior Court Judge of the Cobb Judicial Circuit for over 12 years.

Christian Coomer was sworn in to the Georgia Court of Appeals, according to the Daily Report.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 1, 2018

Nugget Jail Dogs

Nugget is a 5-year old male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption through the Gwinnett County Jail Dogs Program.

Tara Jail Dog

Tara is a 2-year old female Boxer and Black Mouth Cur mix who is available for adoption through the Gwinnett County Jail Dogs Program.

Liz Jail Dogs

Liz is a 4-year old female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption through the Gwinnett County Jail Dogs Program.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 1, 2018

Georgia’s Trustees decided on November 1, 1732 that the first settlement would be named Savannah and located on the Savannah River.

Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765 with an effective date of November 1, 1765, to fund British military operations.

The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.

Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word “America” and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—”Shame to him who thinks evil of it.”

Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of “rights and grievances” were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III.

Georgia Commissioners and Creek leaders signed a treaty on November 1, 1783.

Jimmy Carter ended his first Presidential campaign with a rally in Flint, Michigan on November 1, 1976.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Gainesville Times raises the possibility of Libertarian voters throwing the general election into runoffs.

Ted Metz may not get many votes in the governor’s race, but the Libertarian candidate is on the ballot, raising the possibility that no one else will get to declare victory on Election Day.

Metz’s third-party campaign has attracted scant attention, but he could still play a defining role in Tuesday’s outcome. If the vote margin between Kemp and Abrams is close enough, even a small percentage of votes for Metz could force the two major party contenders into a month of overtime culminating in a runoff election Dec. 4.

“The reason why you have to take it seriously is we expect the margin is going to be so close between Kemp and Abrams,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “It’s probably going to be the closest we’ve seen in a long while.”

“This is going to be a runoff, anyway,” Metz said. “If you’re tired of the two-party system and the two-party tyranny of the oligarchs running the planet, then a vote for me is a protest vote to show them that you’re sick and tired of the same old stuff.”

“If I recall correctly, the GA Governor’s race was all but destined by the media for a runoff in 2010 and 2014,” Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff, tweeted last week. He noted Deal won both elections with a vote margin of 53 percent.

Vice President Mike Pence is in Georgia today, campaigning with Brian Kemp and the Republican nominees, while Oprah Winfrey will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Winfrey will participate in two town hall events with Abrams — one in Marietta and one in Decatur — on Thursday to aide her campaign in what has become a highly competitive, closely watched race.

“Oprah Winfrey has inspired so many of us through the years with her unparalleled ability to form real connections and strengthen the bonds of family and community,” Abrams said in a statement Wednesday. “I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians.”

It’s a rare political endorsement for Winfrey, who backed former President Barack Obama during the primaries in 2008 and lent her support to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. On Tuesday, she appeared in a video with NBC News’ Maria Shiver to urge people to vote, saying she’s a political independent before adding, “people think I’m a Democrat.”

Kemp and the GAGOP candidates visited Valdosta yesterday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Savannah Morning News says local traffic will be affected by Pence’s visit.

Pence will join Kemp at a rally at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

The event is from 5 to 6 p.m.

Drivers can expect rolling traffic delays along routes from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to Hutchinson Island.

Savannah will be the final stop for Kemp and Pence in a three-city campaign tour, after Dalton and Grovetown.

Pence, Kemp and the GOP nominees will be in Grovetown at 2:30 today, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Area Democrats say they’ll canvass for votes for nominee Stacey Abrams and other Democratic candidates rather than protest the Pence appearance.

Those who want to see Pence should arrive early at the Columbia County Exhibition Center, Kemp spokesman Ben Grayson said.

Doors open at 1 p.m. for the 2:30 p.m. free event, and the earlier the public arrives, the better, Grayson said.

Democrat Stacey Abrams will hold a parade and rally in Savannah on Monday, no word on how it will affect traffic from the Savannah Morning News.

The Kemp campaign tour will visit Statesboro on Friday, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Joining Kemp at the 8 a.m. stop Friday at Anderson’s General Store on Highway 80 East in Statesboro will be Lt. Gov. nominee Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and other statewide candidates.

The group of candidates will be in Statesboro for about one hour, before heading to Sylvania, and several other cities before ending in Savannah at 6:30 p.m.

The final televised debate between the candidates for Governor has been canceled, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

After the Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams campaigns spent Wednesday afternoon taking shots at each other over who was to blame, a planned final debate, staged by WSB-TV, between the candidates appeared to be canceled Wednesday night.

The campaigns had agreed weeks ago to participate in the debate, which would have been held at 5 p.m. on Sunday — less than 48 hours before Election Day voting begins. WSB said an announcement by President Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday that he would hold a rally to support Kemp in Macon at 4 p.m. on Sunday threw plans for the debate into chaos.

The TV station said Kemp pulled out of the scheduled time for the debate so he could be at the rally but participated in conversations about rescheduling it. Ultimately, they committed to a 7:30 p.m. time slot on Monday.

The Abrams campaign said, however, that it had already committed to meeting with voters on the Georgia coast at that time. An agreement could not be reached as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a new time for the debate, according to WSB.

The Macon Telegraph looks at the sources of Stacey Abrams’s campaign cash.

As Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum seek to become the first black governors in Georgia and Florida, a McClatchy analysis of state campaign filings shows that more than 2,000 donors across the country have given to both of their campaigns.

Collectively, these donors have combined to give roughly $1.5 million to Abrams’ campaign and roughly $3 million to Gillum’s campaign and an affiliated political committee that can accept unlimited contributions.

The donors come from 49 states and include both some of the party’s heaviest hitters — including billionaire investors George Soros and Tom Steyer — as well as hundreds of modest givers who have written checks for less than $200 combined to both candidates.

“I think it’s a growing dynamic of empowered donors,” said Colm O’Comartun, the former executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “It was exemplified during the presidential election by the huge network of people on the Bernie [Sanders] side and the [President Donald] Trump side.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen talked to Congressman Tom Graves (R-Ranger) about his tenure in office.

Tom Graves was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, and he said last year’s tax reform bill was “the biggest, most exciting accomplishment since I began serving in Congress.”

The Republican from Ranger faces off on the Tuesday ballot against Democratic Party candidate, businessman and former physician Steve Foster in the race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

In addition to Whitfield and Murray counties, the 14th District includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk and Walker counties and the western part of Pickens County.

“It was the first overhaul of our nation’s tax code in more than 30 years, and a huge win for hard-working Georgia families, who were burdened for decades by an outdated, unfair tax code,” he said in an interview conducted by email. “Among its many positive changes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubles the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples, cuts individual tax rates across all brackets and doubles the child tax credit. … Between tax reform and President Trump’s regulatory cuts, the economy is finally booming again.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen also spoke to Graves’s Democratic opponent.

Foster is the Democratic Party candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District seat and faces Republican incumbent Tom Graves of Ranger in Tuesday’s election.

This is Foster’s first run for political office. Foster was sentenced to six months in jail and six months on probation in August following a conviction for DUI. He is currently in the Catoosa County jail, being housed there for Whitfield County.

Foster has criticized his arrest and conviction, citing among other things that he was not allowed to have an independent blood test.

He said in an interview conducted by email that it has been difficult to campaign from inside jail. This is the first time since 2012 that Graves has faced a challenger in the general election.

New toll lanes are opening on I-85 in Gwinnett County this weekend, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The extension is set to open to the public Saturday, according to electronic message signs installed over the interstate. It begins where the Express Lanes, also known as high occupancy toll lanes or HOT lanes, currently end at Old Peachtree Road and goes up to Hamilton Mill Road in north Gwinnett.

In all, there will now be 26 miles of toll lanes on I-85 stretching from just inside Interstate 285 to just outside Braselton.

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix had flyers posted at the residences of registered sex offenders on Halloween, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Spaulding County Sheriff Darrell Dix told FOX 5′s Marissa Mitchell he decided to move forward with the initiative in an effort to keep families safe. That’s why his deputies hand-delivered the warning flyers to registered sex offenders in the county.

“We are going to put these notifications out so we can protect some kids this Halloween season,” Sheriff Dix said.

According to the sheriff’s office, in Spalding County,  there are 231 registered sex offenders, four of whom are considered sexually dangerous predators. Sheriff Dix also encourages families to travel in groups during the day and with an adult while trick-or-treating.


Adoptable (Official) Dogs for October 31, 2018

Anabel Gwinnett

Anabel is a 3-year old female Boxer mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett Count Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Murphy Gwinnett

Murphy is a 17-month old male Malinois and Kelpie mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett Count Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Phinneas Gwinnett

Phinneas is a 2-year old male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett Count Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 31, 2018

King Henry VII of England was crowned on October 30, 1485.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.

King Charles I of England granted a charter for a new colony called Carolana that included much of present-day Georgia, along with the current states of North and South Carolina, on October 30, 1629.

Stephen Douglas of Illinois campaigned in Atlanta for President of the United States on October 30, 1860. Douglas had defeated Abraham Lincoln for United States Senate in 1858, giving rise to the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

The United States Congress admitted Nevada as the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Kind of fitting, in a way.

On October 30, 1871, Republican Benjamin Conley became acting Governor of Georgia after Republican Governor Rufus Bullock resigned; Conley served as President of the state Senate before taking office as Governor.

Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.

On October 30, 1938, a science fiction drama called War of the Worlds was broadcast nationwide in the form of a series of simulated radio broadcasts.

The carving on Mount Rushmore was completed on October 31, 1941.

Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 30, 1945, becoming the first African-American professional baseball player in the major leagues.

On October 30, 1970, a fastball from Nolan Ryan was timed at 100.9 miles per hour, putting him in the record books. On the same day, Jim Morrison of the Doors was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for allegedly exposing himself during a Miami concert. Morrision died before the case was heard on appeal.

President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail to help his wife, Hillary Clinton, in her race for United States Senate from New York on October 31, 2000. On October 31, 2014, Bill Clinton came to Atlanta to campaign for Michelle Nunn for United States Senate.

The historic Zero Mile Post from Atlanta has been relocated to the Atlanta History Center, according to the AJC.

Zero Mile Post — an 800 pound piece of marble that measures 7 feet 5 inches — was installed in the 1850s to mark the southern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. For more than 20 years, it has been housed in a locked building under the Central Avenue viaduct. The building is scheduled to be demolished later this year to accommodate the rebuilding of the Central Avenue and Courtland Street bridges, a project approved by voters in 2015.

On Monday, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead announced that Zero Mile Post, will be open for public viewing on Nov. 17 as part of the new exhibition, “Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta.

“We are excited and honored to be able to steward this artifact and have people see it, understand it and have it interpreted. It is a great honor for the Atlanta History Center,” said Atlanta History Center President and CEO, Sheffield Hale.

The artifact remains under the ownership of the Georgia Building Authority, which has agreed to a five-year renewable license with the Atlanta History Center.

“We gave Atlanta History Center a license and a license can be revoked at any time,” said Steve Stancil, State Property Officer serving as executive director. “Georgia Building Authority still owns it. The place it was at is in peril because of the rebuilding of the Central Avenue bridge.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

NO RUNOFF football MEME 4-01

Early Voting – Morning FixContinue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 29, 2018

Breanne AAAR

Breanne is a young female Labrador Retriever & Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.


Zero is a female Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Bullet AAAR

Bullet is a young male Treeing Walker Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Bullet is a 1 year old male. He is so full of life and personality! He is unmatched when it comes to making you laugh at how excited he is to see you. This goofy fella jumps with all four paws high in the air and gives a wiggle. He is the total package, complete with a perfectly shaped heart on his side. He would love nothing more than to have a loving family with a fenced in yard to call his own.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 29, 2018

Sir Walter Raleigh, founder of the first permanent English settlement in America, was beheaded on October 29, 1618 for conspiring against King James I.

Georgia’s first Royal Governor, John Reynolds, arrived at Savannah on October 29, 1754.

John Hancock resigned as President of the Continental Congress on October 29, 1777.

The New York Stock Exchange crashed on October 29, 1929, beginning the spiral to the Great Depression.

The first ballpoint pen went on sale at Gimbel’s Department Store on October 29, 1945.

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Morning Fix:

Total Early Ballots cast: 1,199,697


The Augusta Chronicle writes about early voting in Augusta.

Hundreds of Richmond County voters took time out of their Sunday to make their voice heard ahead of this week’s midterm elections.

“Sunday voting is very well received,” [Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn] Bailey said. “The last midterm election we had about 500 people come to vote on Sunday, and the last presidential election we had about 750 Sunday voters.”

The Board of Elections said 767 people cast their ballot Sunday.

Sunday voting was available to Richmond County voters at the municipal building from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but was not available in Columbia County.

From the Chronicle on Saturday voting:

According to numbers supplied by Bailey, 2,898 people voted in Richmond County, pushing the total since advance voting began on Oct. 15 to 10,583. Nancy L. Gay, the executive director for the Columbia County Board of Elections, said 2,538 voted, increasing its total to 17,260.

President Donald J. Trump is widely expected to visit Georgia on Sunday, November 4th for a Macon-area rally in support of Brian Kemp’s gubernatorial bid. From the Macon Telegraph:

President Donald Trump is expected in Macon Sunday to urge Georgia voters to get Republican Brian Kemp victoriously over the finish line in a tight governor’s race with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

A week after Georgia’s first Sunday voting, Trump will host a rally in Macon, according to multiple sources.

The president reportedly will be traveling to eight states this week in the final push for Republican candidates in this midterm election where the balance of power in the U.S. House could shift to Democrat control.


Alexi McCammond got her hands on fresh details — dates and specific locations — of the Trump political team’s schedule ahead of the midterms. The locations and dates we cite here, the big picture details of which were first reported by Bloomberg, are based on internal White House planning and could change:

  • Oct. 31: Fort Myers, Florida
  • Nov. 1: Columbia, Missouri
  • Nov. 2: Huntington, West Virginia and an undisclosed location in Indiana
  • Nov. 3: Bozeman, Montana and an undisclosed location in Florida
  • Nov. 4: Macon, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Nov. 5: Fort Wayne, Indiana and Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Another rally, on a date we haven’t established: an undisclosed location in Ohio

Why this matters: In his final blitz,Trump is going to Trump country within Trump states. Not a single competitive House seat lies within these locations.

  • Trump won many of the counties by at least 20 points. He won all of the congressional districts by at least 20, and in one case (Cape Girardeau, MO) he won by more than 50.
  • The most striking exception is Macon, Georgia, which sits within Bibb County, which Hillary Clinton won by 20 points. But Trump won Macon’s congressional district by almost 30 points.

Vice President Mike Pence will appear with Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp this Thursday in Dalton, Grovetown, and Savannah. Here are links for free tickets.

Dalton Tickets
Grovetown Tickets
Savannah Tickets

The Dalton Daily Citizen writes about Vice President Pence’s visit to Dalton.

Pence and the Republican Party gubernatorial candidate, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, will appear at the convention center Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The two also have rallies scheduled for Savannah and the Augusta area that day.

Pence held a rally in Dalton during the presidential campaign in August 2016, when he was Donald Trump’s running mate.

“I understand Pence’s people thought the Dalton rally (in 2016) did very well, so I’m not surprised he’s coming back,” said 14th Congressional District Republican Party Chairman Ed Painter.

Two years ago, Pence’s rally was held in the ballroom of the convention center. This year, it will be held in a much larger arena, according to Whitfield County Republican Party Chairman Dianne Putnam.

“Two years ago, we had a capacity crowd of about 700, and security told us there were about 1,500 people who wanted to get in who couldn’t,” she said. “We are thinking this time we will have 2,000 to 2,500 people.”

Gavin Thompson, chairman of the Young Republicans of Northwest Georgia, says the rally will give a final boost to the Kemp campaign and other Republican candidates in the final days before the election.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum here locally. I think Republicans have been turning out, but this will give another push,” he said.

Jill Nolin writes about the contest for rural votes in the gubernatorial race.

Brian Kemp, a cowboy-boot-wearing Athens businessman, has traveled the state shaking hands with rural conservatives he is urging to show up in force.

“But we know right here in Hawkinsville, we are in the home of a lot of great farmers and a lot of great ag producers and many other hard-working Georgians,” he said. “And I have great appreciation for that because I’m one of you.

“And for my opponent to say that people shouldn’t have to go into agriculture and hospitality is wrong,” he said.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from rural north Georgia who backs Kemp, said the comment was one of the most jarring he’s heard in what has become a bitterly fought race.

“That comment was so offensive on so many levels and shows a complete disconnect from what Georgians are thinking and what they’re proud of,” Ralston said in an interview Tuesday.

Kemp said he favors expanding a different program that offers a 100 percent tax credit for donors who give money to rural hospitals. He said he would form an economic development strike team whose daily focus would be to work with rural areas thirsty for jobs. To him, strengthening local tax bases is a step toward aiding the state’s fragile rural hospitals.

They have both pledged to renew a push under the Gold Dome to bring high-speed internet to areas that lack it.

Coweta County Democrats rallied for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Floyd County Democrats rallied for early voting on Sunday, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Former President Jimmy Carter says Brian Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, according to AccessWDUN.

The Gainesville Times looks at younger voters in the 2018 midterm elections.

Turnout for early voting in Hall County has been more than double what it was in the 2014 midterms, and young voters in Northeast Georgia are attributing that to increased political awareness, regardless of political party.

“There are always going to be people who are going to vote based on party lines, but I think most of the people I’ve interacted with at least are considering voting for candidates from parties they haven’t voted for in years or ever,” said Kyle Leineweber, president of Brenau University College Democrats.

Arturo Adame, president of Hall County Young Democrats, said he sees Republicans shifting further to the right, and Democrats are departing from tradition, too.

“Moderation isn’t going to win,” Adame said. “It’s going to be a real change that is going to affect things more drastically.”

Brooke Thigpen, chair of Brenau College Republicans, said Brenau students have collaborated to keep political conversations on campus civil. Brenau’s College Republicans worked with College Democrats and the county’s elections office to host an event to educate students about voting.

“On Brenau’s campus specifically, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the amount of students who are interested and engaged in the political process on all levels of government,” Thigpen said in an email. “… Ensuring young voters are informed of the political process is crucial to making sure young people have a voice.”

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post writes about issues in the Governor’s race.

Abrams told the Daily Post in August that her school security plans include changing rules on education special purpose local option sales taxes so funds that have traditionally been limited to capital costs can also be used for school district operations such as school resource officers and other safety intervention specialists.

She also said there should be more investment in strategies designed to curb bad behavior from students and addressing mental health issues among students.

“I’m a very strong believer in gun safety regulations that improve the welfare of our entire community,” Abrams said. “That means background checks, waiting periods (and) having the opportunity to remove weapons from those who have been convicted of domestic violence.”

On other issues, Kemp told the Daily Post earlier this month that his approach to school safety includes funding $30,000 grants to all schools to cover security improvement costs and also funding one counselor position for every high school in Georgia so they can address mental health or substance issues that might prompt a shooting.

Although Kemp has heavily touted his support of second amendment rights on the campaign trail, he said he would leave the issue of arming teachers to individual districts to decide.

“It’s a local control issue,” he said. “I know we have some systems that are going that route. I certainly support the ability for them to do that, but for school systems that do not want to do that, I support them as well.”

Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) contributed to legislation on the opioid crisis, according to The Brunswick News.

President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday comprehensive legislation meant to put controls on the prescription opioid industry, deter opioid abuse and address treatment and recovery. The bill — H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act, includes language from three bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1.

“While working with members on both sides of the aisle to create these solution to combat this crisis, I learned from constituents, colleagues and others that everyone and every community has been impacted by this epidemic in some way,” Carter said in a statement. “For me, as a pharmacist for more than 30 years, I saw addiction end careers and ruin lives and families.

“This is what has driven me to work so hard on this legislation to address prescription drug abuse while ensuring those who truly need the medications maintain access to it. It is great news this package is now law, and I am committed to continuing this strong bipartisan work to end this crisis once and for all.”

Carter’s contributions to H.R. 6 included specifications that the Department of Health and Human Services conduct a study on abuse deterrent formulations (ADFs) for chronic pain patients in Medicare — ADFs make it harder to modify medication for abuse.

The Ledger-Enquirer looks at a special election for Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk.

Since [incumbent Clerk Ann] Hardman’s unexpected death, Shasta Thomas Glover has been the clerk, sworn in after serving as Hardman’s chief deputy.

She faces a challenge from Danielle Forte, a prosecutor with the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

The Ledger Enquirer asked each candidate to cite three priorities, should she win this special election that voters must go to the end of their ballots to find, after proposed constitutional amendments and other state referenda.

Clay County will be home to an $89 million dollar solar farm, according to the Albany Herald.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 26, 2018

Dolly Smithgall

Dolly is a young female Bloodhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Charles Smithgall Humane Society and Adoption Center in Sautee-Nacoochee, GA.

Dolly is a beautiful black and tan bloodhound mix puppy. She is seven weeks old and will be ready for adoption at eight weeks. Dolly and her four litter mates were surrendered to Animal Control on October 2, 2018 because their owner could not keep them.

Dolly has a beautiful face and the coolest of widow’s peak that outlines her eyes so perfectly. She is too cute to be believed and oh so sweet. If you are looking for a terrific family dog or forever companion, get your application in soon as Dolly is bound to garner a lot of interest.

Waylon Smithgall

Waylon is a young male Bloodhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Charles Smithgall Humane Society and Adoption Center in Sautee-Nacoochee, GA.

Named after one of the coolest of country singers, Waylon does his namesake proud. He’s as cool as cool gets. Waylon is a handsome black and tan bloodhound mix puppy. He is seven weeks old and will be ready for adoption at eight weeks.

Waylon has a super expressive face marked by his tiny brown eyebrows which he uses to get a great deal of attention. He is too cute to be believed and oh so sweet. If you are looking for a terrific family dog or forever companion, get your application in soon as Waylon is bound to garner a lot of interest.

Niko Smithgall

Niko is a young male Bloodhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Charles Smithgall Humane Society and Adoption Center in Sautee-Nacoochee, GA.

Unlike his four other siblings, Niko doesn’t sport the traditional black and tan markings, he’s more of a solid soft tan color, making him uniquely Niko. We love his coloring and we love him! Niko is seven weeks old and will be ready for adoption at eight weeks. With his darker brown muzzle and soulful eyes, Niko is too cute to be believed and oh so sweet.