Clayton County’s oldnew latest Sheriff Victor Hill started his term yesterday at midnight by sending out patrol cars to check for drunk drivers. No word on rooftop snipers…yet.
Those 32 counts of felony indictment are just trivial distractions, after all.
But whether he continues in the office while his racketeering and theft charges are unresolved is not certain.
The Georgia Sheriff’s Association asked the governor weeks ago to appoint a committee of the attorney general and two sheriffs to recommend whether Hill should be suspended with pay while he remains under indictment.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said repeatedly in recent weeks that the governor would do nothing until Hill is sheriff. Since Tuesday was a holiday, the governor still has not acted.
So, until the governor appoints a committee, if he does, and it recommends suspending Hill and the governor agrees, Hill will remain sheriff.
Qualifying for three Special Elections ended at Noon today. Special Elections for Senate Districts 11 & 21, and House District 21 are set for Tuesday January 8.
Here are the candidates:
State Senate District 11
Marshall Berman (R) – Thomasville
Dean Burke (R) – Bainbridge
Brad Hughes (R) – Blakely
Mike Keown (R) – Coolidge
Eugene McNease (R) – Thomasville
Lisa Collins (D) – Blakely
Jeffrey G. Bivins (L) – Cairo
State Senate District 21
Brandon Beach (R) – Alpharetta (website)
Sean Jerguson (R) –Canton (website)
State Rep. District 21
Bill Fincher (R) – Canton
Brian Laurens (R) – Canton (website)
Kenneth Ashley Mimbs (R) – Canton
Scot Turner (R) – Holly Springs (website)
Natalie Bergeron (D) – Canton (website)
Eduardo Correia (I) – Canton
From where I stand some bad things and some good things happened last night.
First the bad: I’m obviously disappointed with the outcome of the Presidential Election. Finger pointing on the Right has already begun and I’m sure the 2016 campaign will start before we finish carving our turkeys in a few weeks. Smarter political minds than mine will dissect yesterdays results ad nauseam but I have no interest in that. President Obama won and I hope he and the Congress very quickly pivot from campaign mode to governing mode. The nation faces very serious problems that, as Charlie points out, need to be addressed quickly.
The so-called fiscal cliff Washington is headed toward could have serious implications for Georgia. We have a large number of military installations in our State and should the Pentagon bear its share of half a trillion in cuts Georgia will be impacted. Other cuts mandated by sequestration could impact Georgia’s budget as well. Yes serious cuts to the Federal budget need to be made but I fear the gridlock in DC means no serious reforms will be made only more unfunded mandates pushed down to the States. The end of various temporary tax cuts and the implementation of new taxes related to Obamacare are also of concern. I have little hope these problems will be addressed adequately. Perhaps after a few good nights of sleep my optimism will return.
Now for the good: I’m very pleased the charter school amendment passed with solid support. I’ve written more on that topic than I care to think about but suffice it to say I remain convinced this is a positive step forward for our State. I’m glad most Georgians agreed with me on amendment 1.
We can examine results in particular races as we move forward but last night remains for me a bittersweet election day.
Among the items on your ballot tomorrow will be your State Representative and State Senator. Some of you live in areas where those races are contested and a few seats are actually in play. Several incumbents were tossed out in primaries earlier this year but will that translate into voters tossing out members of one party and replacing them with the other? With a few exceptions I don’t think so. My take on the seats in play tomorrow is as follows:
The Senate is rather quite. The only race really in doubt is SD6 between incumbent Democrat Doug Stoner and GOP challenger Hunter Hill. Both candidates have plenty of money and I think the race will be close either way.
SD9 between incumbent Republican Don Balfour and Democratic challenger Scott Drake has attracted interest but I don’t see this race as close. Balfour wins easily in the solidly Republican district.
UPDATE: Also there is a special election in SD30. Republicans Dugan, Hembree, Naughton, and Richardson square off. My prediction is a runoff between Hembree and Naughton. While Richardson has name ID, so does Hembree. Naughton is from Carroll County, which represents the largest part of the district.
I don’t think any GOP House incumbent is in serious trouble.
Possible pickups for the GOP:
HD12: Barbara Massey Reece (D) v. Eddie Lumsden (R) probably a toss up race.
HD16: Rick Crawford (D) is in serious trouble. I think Trey Kelley (R) wins big.
HD66: Open seat with 43% black voting age population. Bob Snelling (R) v. Kimberly Alexander (R D). Leans Democratic.
HD81: Scott Holcomb (D) v. Chris Boedeker (R). Leans Republican.
HD96: Pedro Marin (D) v. Mark Williams (R). Leans Republican.
HD132: Carl Von Epps (D) v. Gene King (R). Could be close but leans Democratic because of a 41% black voting age population.
HD105: New toss up seat in Gwinnett. Joyce Chandler (R) v. Renita Hamilton (D). Black VAP is 34%. The election is a toss up in my opinion.
Where am I wrong and what races did I miss?
Full disclosure: I’ve donated money to Boedeker, Chandler, Kelley, King, and Williams.
UPDATE: I should have also mentioned HD111. It’s a new seat in Henry County. Brian Strickand (R) v. Bill Blackmon (R). The seat leans Republican so Strickland is favored to win.
Americans For Tax Reform has purchased $496,000 worth of TV ads for GOP Challenger Lee Anderson in the 12th district Congressional race. ATR says the ads are meant to combat accusations by The Center Forward, a group supporting centrists, that Anderson violated his “no tax increase” pledge.
ATR has reserved air time in the Augusta-Aiken, Macon, and Savannah media markets for television ads to begin airing on Monday, October 15th. The first ad, which can be seen here, will respond to Center Forward’s ad. It explains that the Taxpayer Protection Pledge “is a simple Pledge, to not raise your taxes.” It is a Pledge that Anderson has made to the taxpayers of Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.
In addition to $496,000 in television ads, ATR has spent $17,500 on a targeted direct mail campaign. The campaign will highlight the fact that Anderson has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising Georgians that he will oppose any effort to raise taxes. It will also highlight Democrats’ reckless behavior in Congress over the last couple of years.
Meanwhile, Barrow announced via press release his campaign raised $648,070 during the third quarter and has $1.19 million cash on hand for the final three weeks of the campaign.
“I’ve been honored to have the support of folks from both political parties,” said Congressman Barrow. “We’ve got a positive message and a great record of cutting spending and bringing good-paying jobs to the 12th District. Washington already has too many hyper-partisans like Lee Anderson, and the voters are overwhelmingly rejecting his style of dirty politics.”
Below is a spreadsheet showing the reported cash on hand for competitive PSC, State House, and State Senate races. Some of the 9.30.2012 reports are in and I’ll be updating this sheet from time to time as we approach the reporting deadline.
Click here to view the sheet in a separate window.
If you want to report the COH for the various Congressional candidates, feel free in the comments.
Barrow is up with a new ad (his second) and he has “Some Things” he thinks you should know. No information about the buy, but a guy who works for him in some capacity passed this along:
“I’m one of the most independent members of Congress,” said Congressman Barrow. “My voting record proves that I’ve never been a rubber stamp for any party, or any President, and I never will be. Lee Anderson has adopted a partisan plan to cut Social Security and Medicare, forcing seniors to pay thousands more in health care costs that they can’t afford. Unfortunately, Lee is just another politician who can’t be trusted to stand up for folks in this district.”
As Charlie posted earlier today, Sen Bill Hamrick will leave his Senate seat and accept a judicial appointment. Speculation that Rep. Bill Hembree would seek the soon to be vacated Senate seat appears to have been validated:
Bill Hembree is officially running for Georgia Senate District 30. Will resign his position in the state House.
John Barrow’s 12th district is a targeted race for pretty much everyone as he has a new, R-leaning district.
This is both a contest of message and of the four campaign strategists. Expect a couple weeks of these and then some brand new polling to see which one worked best. So, look for new polling from the RNCC in the 12th in the next month once they have a candidate.
The Walker County Republican Party will be hosting a debate between House District 1 Republican Run-off candidates Alan Painter of Walker County and John Deffenbaugh of Dade County. The debate will be held at the Rossville Civic Center (400 McFarland Rd. Rossville, GA 30741) at 7p.
Feel free to come on up to Northwest Georgia, visit with us, and watch the debate.
You may not know anything about John Lewis’s primary opponent. Very few do. Until last year he was a Fulton County Superior Court Judge making $151,000 per year. Then he quit in order to challenge Lewis, the Democratic incumbent.
John Lewis has the ear of President Obama, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year and this year received honorary degrees from Brown and Harvard, and he is the Senior Deputy Whip. He has raised about $1,000,000 in the last cycle.
Michael Johnson has raised $126,000. So he cannot buy TV, and can afford maybe a couple mailings to super voters, who surely will vote for Lewis anyway, so around 7:05 tonight the race will be called for John Lewis with approximately 75% of the vote.