Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
Local activist Mokah-Jasmine Johnson is considering running for an Athens state House of Representatives seat that Democrats surprisingly flipped in 2017 but lost again last year.
Johnson filed paperwork Tuesday to begin raising money to run in House District 117, currently held by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens). Last November, Gaines ousted Democrat Deborah Gonzalez in a rematch of a special election the previous year.
The district—which includes parts of Clarke, Oconee, Jackson and Barrow counties—had been in Republican hands for decades. It's now a swing district that's considered crucial if Democrats hope to win control of the House in 2020. The GOP currently has a 14-seat advantage but lost ground last year, mainly in the metro Atlanta suburbs.
Photo Credit: Sarah Bell
A Georgia Republican Party official told Oconee County Republicans that the GOP will continue to win elections because Democratic women "forgot to reproduce," and "Christian and conservative women" are having more children.
Brant Frost V, the party's second vice-chair, claimed at an Oconee GOP meeting last month that Republicans have a 35 percent "fertility advantage" over Democrats.
According to Lee Becker at Oconee County Observations:
Western Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin will not run for re-election in 2020, he announced Wednesday.
Mauldin, a Democrat, has served five terms as the DA for Clarke and Oconee counties. He released the following statement about his retirement:
Photo Credit: Robert Wyatt
Jimmy Williamson is running for Oconee County sheriff as a Republican, but he asked Democrats assembled at the party meeting last month to help him with his campaign.
“Anybody that wants to help me get my name out, and help people understand that I’m the most qualified candidate, I appreciate the help,” Williamson said.
Former state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez is running for Western Circuit district attorney, she announced Thursday.
“All of us want to keep our communities strong and protected, but we know that the old tough-on-crime way of administering justice has been too tough on our communities,” Gonzalez said in a video posted online. “It’s left us all less safe, less whole and with less opportunity. It’s time for a new approach to justice and crime. It’s time for new leadership.”
Gonzalez is a media and entertainment lawyer with no experience as a prosecutor, but in the House she served on the committee that handles bills related to criminal justice, and she also served on a criminal justice task force for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.
Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry is joining what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field for U.S. Senate.
The Atlanta suburb, a city of about 13,000, is home to many refugees and often referred to as the most diverse square mile in America.
In his campaign announcement, the 36-year-old touted his record as the "millennial mayor," including decriminalizing marijuana, enacting a $15 minimum wage for city employees and making Election Day a holiday.
Andrea Farnham recently announced her intention to run for the Commission District 8 seat held by Andy Herod since 2007.
Farnham, a couples and sex therapist who owns the private practice Just Relationships, has lived in Athens since 2012. She is active in the Green Acres/Crestwood neighborhood association, the local Democratic Party chapter, Oconee Street United Methodist Church, Gaines Elementary School and several professional organizations. She said she was motivated to run by entrenched poverty in black communities and social and political disenfranchisement.
From her news release:
Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson believes House Democrats have a "duty" to begin impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, regardless of whether it's politically advantageous.
"The fact of the matter is, you're not up there to get re-elected," she told a group of Athens Democrats over breakfast Saturday morning. "You're up there to lead."
While most Democrats believe Trump committed crimes and abused his power while in office, they are split on whether to move forward with impeachment. Some, remembering the GOP's unpopular impeachment of President Bill Clinton, think impeaching Trump might boost his chances of re-election.
Even if the Democrat-controlled House did vote to impeach, it would likely be a futile gesture, as 67 votes in the Senate are required to convict, and Republican senators have shown no signs of abandoning Trump.
"We have to go through the process," Tomlinson said. "If the Senate votes to acquit, they vote to acquit."
Former congressman John Barrow of Athens will run for an open seat on the Georgia Supreme Court, he announced today.
“An appellate court depends on the combined experience of its judges to arrive at decisions that are fair and just,” Barrow said in a news release. “When Justice [Robert] Benham retires, the Supreme Court will lose almost as much experience as the rest of the Court combined. That’s why I’m running—to offer my experience to help maintain the kind of balance we want in our Supreme Court.”
Barrow's father, James, was a Superior Court judge in Athens and oversaw the desegregation of the local school system.
John Barrow graduated from UGA and Harvard Law School, and clerked at two federal appeals courts before opening a private law practice in Athens.
Oconee County’s three legislators in the Georgia General Assembly last week voted in favor of House Bill 316, which selects new voting machines and responds to allegations that voters last year were denied access, absentee ballots were not counted and vote tallies were incomplete.
The vote on the House bill was partisan, and Sen. Bill Cowsert from the 46th District, Rep. Houston Gaines from House District 117, and Rep. Marcus Wiedower from House District 119, all Republicans, sided with the Republican majority.
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