Blog Topic: Raging Election

  • In the Loop: Wallace Announces Bid to Retake House Seat


    Watkinsville Democrat Jonathan Wallace will try to retake the seat he lost in 2018 to Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville).

    Wallace won the GOP-held District 119 seat in a 2017 special election, defeating three Republicans, including Wiedower, with 57% of the vote. He was helped by a sales tax referendum that drove turnout in heavily Democratic Clarke County, but with higher turnout in heavily Republican Oconee County the following year, Wiedower beat Wallace 53–47.


  • In the Loop: Mokah Johnson Officially Announces State House Run


    Local educator and civil rights activist Mokah Jasmine Johnson will formally kick off her campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives later this month.

    Johnson has been exploring a run against Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) since August. She will make it official at a City Hall rally Jan. 18.

    “Over the past few months, I have listened to the people of our district and worked to understand the issues that are most important to working families,” Johnson said in a news release. “I believe it’s time we bring bold progress and fearless leadership to the State House from District 117.”


  • In the Loop: John Knox Won't Run for Re-Election to BOE


    Clarke County Board of Education member John Knox won't run for re-election this year, he recently announced.

    The UGA geography professor posted a message on his Facebook page Dec. 21 stating that his growing academic duties do not allow him enough time to devote to serving on the school board.


  • In the Loop: New Voting Machines Available for Testing

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    Photo Credit: ACC Board of Elections

    Georgia’s new voting machines are available for testing in Athens through early February.

    Voters use a touch screen to make their choices, then the machine prints a paper ballot that is run through a scanner.

    "I'm excited to use the new system and for Athens-Clarke County voters to try it out for themselves," Charlotte Sosebee, director of elections and voter registration, said in a news release. "The new voting system is easy to use, provides opportunities for voters to review their votes on a screen and on paper before casting their ballot, and also provides our office with multiple ways to review election results if necessary."

    Voters can try out the machines at the Board of Elections Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Other sites include:


  • In the Loop: Video: Democrats Host U.S. Senate Candidates in Athens

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    Photo Credit: Chris Dowd

    From left, Sarah Riggs Amico, Jon Ossoff and Ted Terry.

    The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee hosted conversation with three U.S. Senate candidates—former 6th Congressional District candidate Jon Ossoff, former candidate for lieutenant governor Sarah Riggs Amico and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry—on Nov. 11 at the Cotton Press. (A fourth candidate, former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson, did not attend because of a scheduling conflict.) The winner of the May primary will face Republican Sen. David Perdue in November.

    The Q&A sessions were moderated by state Reps. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) and Dar'shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia).


  • In the Loop: Voters Overwhelmingly Approve SPLOST 2020


    Athens voters have overwhelmingly approved extending a local 1% sales tax for capital projects.

    Over three quarters of voters approved SPLOST 2020, which passed with 78.4% of 8,978 ballots cast. 

    SPLOST 2020 will last an estimated 11 years and fund $314 million worth of projects. Big ticket items include a new judicial center to replace the outdated and overcrowded courthouse, an arena at the Classic Center and redeveloping the aging, dilapidated Bethel Midtown Village affordable housing complex. That's in addition to 34 smaller projects, ranging from crowd-pleasers like park improvements to necessities like equipment for firefighters.


  • In the Loop: Michael Thurmond: Dems Can Flip Oconee County

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Michael Thurmond speaks to Oconee County Democrats.

    Oconee County is an excellent opportunity for Democrats, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond told a gathering of party members at the Bogart Library earlier this month, because of the demographics of the county.

    The county has one of the highest educational levels in the state and in the Southeast, Thurmond said, and the college educated, and particularly college-educated women, are being targeted by Democrats nationally.

    In the Atlanta suburbs, Thurmond said, college-educated white women were crucial in 2018 in turning areas that normally vote Republican to the Democrats.


  • In the Loop: Watkinsville Republican Turns Mayor's Race Partisan

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Bob Smith demonstrates how close the race could be.

    Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran unsuccessfully for governor a year ago, is watching the outcome of the mayoral race in Watkinsville, Bob Smith, one of the two candidates in that contest, told Oconee County Republicans last month.

    The race is nonpartisan, but Smith made it clear he is running as a Republican and told those gathered they needed to make sure he wins to send a message back to Abrams.

    Abrams “has these billionaire socialists pumping money” into her nonprofit voting rights organizations, Jason Thompson, Republican National Committeeman from Georgia, told the same gathering. He told them to take action to thwart her.


  • In the Loop: Watkinsville Mayor Dave Shearon, Opponent Bob Smith Face Off in Debate

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Bob Smith (left) and Dave Shearon.

    More than 100 people turned out on Thursday night for an election forum in Watkinville that featured a very respectful exchange between incumbent Mayor Dave Shearon and challenger Bob Smith.

    Though Smith, a real estate agent and former state representative, has had open disagreements with the Watkinsville Council in recent months regarding development of his property, little of the tension was in evidence on Thursday night, until the very end.

    In his closing comments, Smith implied that the city was not transparent and that citizens were not being treated with respect by the mayor.


  • In the Loop: Paul Broun Wants to Be a Senator (Again)

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    Remember Paul Broun Jr., Athens' former congressman who regularly made late-night talk show fodder with proclamations like "evolution is a lie straight from the pit of Hell"?

    Well, Broun is back. He's been laying low after a failed U.S. Senate run in 2014, but now he wants Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint him to the seat Sen. Johnny Isakson is leaving at the end of the year.

    From the AJC:


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