State Sen. Rick Jeffares Joins Race for Lieutenant Governor

The AJC is reporting that state Sen. Rick Jeffares of McDonough has filed paperwork to run for lieutenant governor in 2018. He joins the Republican field, which already includes Senate Pro Tempore David Shafer of Duluth and state Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming.

There wasn’t much chatter about Jeffares running for the position until very recently. He keeps a relatively low profile in the state senate, where he chairs the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. He is known for being a man of few words whenever he speaks on the floor of the senate. Last session he carried a bill that would have prohibited new oil pipelines in Georgia’s coastal counties. Despite being backed by House Majority Leader Jon Burns and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill, the bill did not make it through.

Jeffares likely faces an uphill climb for the Republican nomination. Shafer is the current favorite as he has picked up the endorsement of state Sen. Burt Jones (a wealthy middle-Georgian who was previously considering a run) and the support of Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. Moreover, he is generally thought to come from the wing of the party that has access to major dollar donors. If the Senate Republicans consolidate around one candidate, it will almost surely be him.

Duncan leans toward the conservative wing of the House Republicans, often voting with the far-right Appeal to Heaven caucus. Jeffares is more enigmatic, with the oil pipeline ban being his only major initiative last year.

The word is that state Sen. Butch Miller is no longer planning on running. Other names that have been mentioned include state senators Steve Gooch and John Kennedy and state Rep.  Allen Peake.

 

Morning Reads – Friday, May 26, 2017

The body slammer wins Montana.

Peaches

Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Speaker Ralston Announces Appointments to House Commission on Transit Governance & Funding

On Thursday, Speaker David Ralston announced appointments to the House Commission of Transit Governance and Funding. The commission was created by HR 848, a measure that was introduced and passed on the final day of the 2017 legislative session. The senate and house were unable to agree on a bill establishing a transit governance council for the metro Atlanta region. The Senate insisted on SB 6 and the House insisted on  HB 160. When neither looked likely to pass, HR 848 was pushed through. The members of the commission are listed below the fold.

Speaker Ralston had this to say:

“Transit is becoming more and more important to Georgia’s future. From congestion relief to economic development, a robust transit network across our state will have long-term benefits for our citizens. Situations like the recent I-85 rebuild have clearly demonstrated the importance of transit to our state and its economy. The House is proud to lead on this initiative to develop actionable, meaningful solutions.”

Continue reading “Speaker Ralston Announces Appointments to House Commission on Transit Governance & Funding”

Stacey Evans Announces 2018 Gubernatorial Bid

State Rep. Stacey Evans is running for governor in 2018, making her initial announcement via email. That now puts two Democrats in the race. Evans will face the powerful House minority leader Stacey Abrams, who already has begun consolidating support at the national level. And so it begins…

The announcement is below the fold:

Continue reading “Stacey Evans Announces 2018 Gubernatorial Bid”

Morning Reads – Thursday, May 25, 2017

On this date in 1787, the Constitutional convention opened in Philadelphia with George Washington presiding. Also on this date, in 1935, Babe Ruth hit his final home run, his 714th, and set a record that would stand for 39 years.

Peaches

Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Ossoff’s Gift From A Slobbering Media

The tsunami of commercials from Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff drowning television viewers in the metro Atlanta media market is distorting some basic facts about the contest, and the general tone of the media coverage isn’t helping inform anyone either. As a former reporter, political consultant and a news consumer in Atlanta for more than 40 years, I’ve never seen any candidate receive deeper, wetter kisses from the Atlanta press corps than the ones they’re giving Jon Ossoff every day. His fiancée ought to be worried, because every news director, assignment editor and reporter in this town wants to have Ossoff’s baby. It’s not incompetence as much as a character trait –Atlanta media is so deep in the tank for Ossoff they’ve become like the goldfish who don’t know that water is wet. Continue reading “Ossoff’s Gift From A Slobbering Media”

Handel Releases #GA6 Ad About Ossoff’s Mistruths

Karen Handel has released a new ad entitled “Caught” that alleges Ossoff has been misleading voters about his experience and Karen Handel.

Handel campaign spokeswoman Kate Constantini:
 
“The 6th District needs someone who has the experience and the record of success to be an effective representative in Congress. Dangerous liberal Jon Ossoff has neither. Instead he chose to lie to the people of the 6th District, padding his resume and misrepresenting his credentials. That’s not someone Georgia families can trust.”

About That “Draft Westmoreland” Campaign….Nevermind

Lynn Westmoreland has withdrawn his name from a list of potential candidates for the 2018 Governor’s race.  We were just forwarded this statement:

“After much prayer and consideration, Joan and I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2018. While I am humbled by the kind words and encouragement that we have received from so many over the last few months, I think the best contribution that I can make to our state is outside of elected office. I’ve always thought of public service as a noble cause and it was truly an honor of a lifetime to represent so many hard working Georgians for so many years in both in the legislature and then later in congress. I look forward to doing all I can to support the Republican nominee for Governor and the entire Republican ticket in 2018.”

Just this week House Speaker David Ralston also indicated he’ll be running for re-election, and not seeking the Governor’s mansion. That’s two high profiled candidates down, with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and State Senator Hunter Hill officially in the mix. Maybe a few others have announced (I’ve been busy). Y’all discuss who this helps, and who still may get in the mix in the comments.

Draft Westmoreland Campaign Emerges

Call it a trial balloon. It appears that former District 3 Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is seriously flirting with a run for governor (or some of his allies are trying to convince him to do so). Greg Bluestein of the AJC reported yesterday that a “plea” was sent to Georgia Republicans on Tuesday urging them to show support for a Westmoreland 2018 bid. The plea was contained a link to this website, which gave a brief outline of Westmoreland’s policy prescription for Georgia -reforming education, the tax code, and transportation.

The Westmoreland plea went out as the Republican side of the race is in a state of flux. It came just a day after House Speaker David Ralston indicated he would not join the race. Although Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and state Sen. Hunter Hill have announced their runs, the powers that be are not satisfied with the current candidates. According to Bluestein, Governor Nathan Deal is still looking for an acceptable successor and Senator David Perdue wants an alternative as well.

Besides Westmoreland, there are a few other prominent Republicans mulling a run. Former District 1 Congressman Jack Kingston indicated in an interview with ZPolitics that he is considering it. State Sen. Michael Williams held a fundraiser in Cumming last night and has launched a website indicating that he is running for higher office (his candidacy is less likely to excite Deal and other big name Republicans though).

House minority leader Stacey Abrams looks all but sure to step in on the Democratic side, having already filed papers to run and securing the support of the progressive PAC Democracy for America . She was also featured in this New York Times piece about young progressive black Democrats stepping up to run in the age of Trump.

Westmoreland was interviewed by GPB’s Bill Nigut in early April, and while he didn’t rule out a run, he did not seem very enthusiastic either. Maybe the results of this trial balloon will change that.

Walton GOP BBQ Kicks Off 2018 Primary Race

Buzz Brockway holds court at the Walton GOP BBQ

As is custom, Roy Roberts welcomed GOP activists from across the state to his farm last evening for a little bit of BBQ and a lot of politics.  (Good BBQ, excellent Brunswick stew – with no added green stuff, the way God intended it.)

The Walton County annual event draws Republicans from well outside the region, and is the semi-official kickoff to statewide Republican primary contests.  As such, the three announced candidates for Governor were there, as were at least two candidates for Secretary of State.

I’ll note that this was one of Jon Richards’ favorite events and he loved the picture taking opportunities.  What follows won’t do his work justice, but are a short collection of candid shots of the gathering are included below the jump.  These are for those that lacked faith that God & Roy had made a deal for the weather to clear up and provide blue skies by the time Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black sang “God Bless America” to open the bad joke telling and political speechifying.  Continue reading “Walton GOP BBQ Kicks Off 2018 Primary Race”