Photo Credit: University of Georgia
The Georgia governor’s race is Republican Brian Kemp’s to lose, political scientist Charles Bullock, an expert on Georgia elections, told Oconee County Republicans on Thursday night.
“The Republicans should win this,” said Bullock, a distinguished University of Georgia professor. “This is still a Republican state.”
Bullock said, however, that he could imagine a number of scenarios that would lead to a Democratic takeover of the governor’s mansion.
Republicans have to be united, he said, and the disruption from Washington has to be minimal.
“If Republicans in any way drop the ball, mess up, then a Democrat could win,” Bullock said. “I am telling reporters that Stacey Abrams can’t win, but Brian Kemp could lose.”
Photo Credit: Lee Becker
The Oconee County Republican Party Executive Committee has placed severe restrictions on media coverage of its meetings, starting with the one on Thursday and running through the election in November.
Tammy Gilland, chair of the local party organization, said that media representatives are allowed to attend the next three party meetings but that they are not allowed to record the meetings in any way and not allowed to take any notes.
An astute reader noted the other day that her voting location listed on the secretary of state's website did not match up with the one listed on the Athens-Clarke County Board of Election's interactive precinct map.
Further investigation found at least two other discrepancies between the Board of Election's map and its list of polling places.
Charlotte Sosebee, director of the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections, told Flagpole that the map has taken a long time to update, and those discrepancies will be resolved by the middle of next week. In the meantime, here is the correct information:
The Georgia Secretary of State's office, which is responsible for elections in the state, does not know how many people voted in either the May 22 primary elections or the July 24 runoffs.
The 159 counties in the state filed that information with the Secretary of State's office shortly after each of the two elections as part of the certification process for elections.
Fran Davis, director of the Oconee County Office of Elections and Registration, for example, told the Secretary of State’s Elections Division that 7,815 ballots were cast in the county in the May primary and 5,973 were cast in the July runoff.
Robin Herron, an executive assistant in the Secretary of State's office, said it would take about 38 hours for staff to gather and review those records for the 159 counties and that the work would have to be spread across 30 business days.
Photo Credit: Savannah Cole
Secretary of State Brian Kemp completed a stunning comeback Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for governor in a runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
Although Cagle began the race as the heavy favorite because of his three successful statewide races and a big fundraising advantage, Kemp parlayed a secret recording that damaged Cagle, an endorsement from President Donald Trump and a rally Saturday with Vice President Mike Pence into what Kemp called a "clear and convincing victory."
In a race that revolved around big trucks, shotguns, chainsaws and who could take a more over-the-top stance against illegal immigration, that may have been the only understatement. Kemp trailed Cagle 39-26 in a five-man primary May 22, but won 69 percent of the vote to Cagle's 31 percent tonight, with 92 percent of precincts reporting. Kemp won 83 percent of the vote in Clarke County.
More Oconee County voters cast Republican ballots in early voting for the runoff elections than cast Republican ballots during early voting for the party primaries in May.
That was true even though there was one fewer days of early voting in the runoff because of the July 4 holiday and no Saturday voting.
In the 14 days of early voting that ended Friday, 2,103 voters cast Republican Party ballots, compared with the 1,967 voters who cast Republican ballots in the 16 days of early voting before the May 22 primary.
I guess we can declare a winner in the War of Who's Trumpiest.
The orange one himself, President Donald Trump, weighed in on the Republican primary runoff for Georgia governor this afternoon, using his preferred mode of communication to express his preference for Secretary of State Brian Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican runoff for governor today over Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
The endorsement could help stop Kemp's momentum in the weeks leading up to the July 24 runoff. Cagle finished first out of five candidates with 39 percent of the vote on May 22, with Kemp trailing at 26 percent. Since then, though, Kemp has surged. A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll gave Kemp a slight lead, 44 percent to 41 percent.
As his second term winds down, Deal remains popular, with an 85 percent approval rating among Republican voters—even higher than President Donald Trump.
The endorsement comes as little surprise, given that Deal and Cagle are both from Gainesville and have worked closely together over the past eight years to pass Deal's agenda in the state Senate.
A prominent Athens Republican has stepped down from state House candidate Houston Gaines' campaign after an Atlanta magazine reported that she posted several anti-LGBTQ comments on Facebook Tuesday, the second anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
According to Project Q, Joan Rhoden shared a photo on Facebook of pride-themed clothing at Target and accused "homosexuals" of spreading propaganda. She also characterized homosexuality as a disease and an "alternative lifestyle," criticized a New York bill that would add a third gender option to birth certificates and a cartoon featuring drag queens, defended Chick-Fil-A (a company that has taken anti-LGBTQ stances) and said that LGBTQ people's aim is "to annihilate free speech and dismantle the established facts of biology.”
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson called last week’s local elections—in which progressives backed by Athens for Everyone swept the mayor’s race and all six commission races—a “U-turn” in an interview with WGAU 1340 AM this morning.
Host Tim Bryant suggested that the results were “a left turn.” Denson responded, “It wasn’t just a left turn; it was a U-turn.”
Both Bryant and Denson chalked the results up to enthusiasm on the progressive side, while, as Athens GOP chairman Gordon Rhoden said in a recent mass email, conservatives stayed home.
“When you have that kind of passion from small, very vocal groups, and they organize, we saw what they did… I have to give them credit, they did an amazing job of taking over this election,” Denson said.
The state legislature’s decision to move nonpartisan elections like Athens’ from November to May also played a role, Denson said.
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