COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Raging Election

  • In the Loop: Six Candidates Qualify to Run in Special Election for Two Athens House Seats

     

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    Democrat Deborah Gonzalez will go head to head with Republican Houston Gaines in the Nov. 7 House District 117 special election

    Former state Rep. Doug McKillip will not try to reclaim the District 117 seat he lost to Regina Quick after switching parties in 2012—for now.

    The qualifying period to run in the two Nov. 7 special elections for Athens-area state House seats ended Friday without McKillip signing up to run. But he held out the possibility that he’d run next year, when the seat will come up again in the usual election cycle. “Said I’d run in ’18, not ’17,” he said. “We’ll see.”

    The seat opened up last month, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Quick as a Superior Court judge, replacing the retired David Sweat, requiring her to resign from the House. 

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  • In the Loop: Brian Kemp Takes On Trumpian Tone at UGA

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    Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp called out the media and his Democratic opponents and defended his record as secretary of state Wednesday night while visiting the UGA College Republicans.

    Kemp—joined by newly appointed Judge Regina Quick and Houston Gaines, the former UGA Student Government president looking to fill Quick's vacant state House seat—stopped in his Athens hometown during his statewide campaign tour in an effort to get the college students involved in his "grassroots army."

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  • In the Loop: Athens Special Elections Officially Set for Nov. 7

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    As expected, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has officially called a special election Nov. 7 to fill two vacant Athens-area state House of Representatives seats.

    District 117 representative Regina Quick and District 119 representative Chuck Williams both recently resigned, Quick to accept an appointment as Superior Court judge and Williams to become director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

    Both districts include parts of Clarke and Oconee counties, and 117 includes parts of Jackson and Barrow counties, as well.

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  • In the Loop: Third Candidate Jumps Into House District 119 Race

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    A third Oconee County businessman has announced that he plans to run for what will be an open seat in the Georgia General Assembly representing Oconee and Clarke counties.

    North High Shoals resident Steven Strickland said he wants to bring his 17 years of business experience in the communications and software industries to the Georgia House of Representatives.

    “I look forward to being the voice of District 119, and leveraging my experience in collaboration, negotiations and technology innovation to drive meaningful legislation for our local community,” Strickland said in announcing his intention to run.

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  • In the Loop: Rep. Chuck Williams May Be Stepping Down, Too

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    Thursday, we reported that Gov. Nathan Deal had appointed state Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) a Superior Court judge. Now, Deal might be eyeing another Athens legislator.

    Rep. Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville), who owns a tree farm in south Oconee, is under consideration for a position on the Georgia Forestry Commission, Lee Becker reported last night at Oconee County Observations.

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  • In the Loop: Mark Martin Announces Commission District 2 Candidacy

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    Photo Credit: courtesy of Mark Martin

    Teacher Mark Martin will announce he's running for Commissioner Harry Sims' District 2 seat at 10 a.m. Saturday at City Hall.

    Martin, a Cedar Shoals High School graduate and an eighth-grade math teacher at Hilsman Middle School, is the first to say he's running for the soon-to-be vacant seat.

    Sims is stepping down next year to run for mayor after 26 years on the commission.

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  • In the Loop: Russell Edwards Is Running for Commission District 7

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    Flagpole reported a couple of weeks ago that activist and business owner Russell Edwards was considering a run for mayor.

    As it turns out, Edwards is passing on that race, but he will seek the Commission District 7 seat currently held by Diane Bell.

    In a statement released this afternoon, Edwards said:

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  • In the Loop: Kelly Girtz Is Finally Officially Running for Mayor, Almost

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Commissioner Kelly Girtz speaks at a rally to expand Medicaid in 2015.

    Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Kelly Girtz has already told Flagpole, the Banner-Herald and WXAG 1470 AM, among others, that he plans to run for mayor in 2018, but he hasn't done much, you know, actual campaigning. That will change soon.

    Girtz announced a campaign kickoff event this morning, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m.–noon at the Lyndon House Arts Center. 

    "We can build a strong foundation that will support Athenians of every walk of life, one that will set the stage for great lives for generations ahead,” Girtz said in a news release. “A safer, healthier, more prosperous Athens is awaiting, and I can't wait to work with you to build it.”

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  • In the Loop: Kemp Hits Back at Abrams' Voter Suppression Jab

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    Secretary of State Brian Kemp's feud with House Minority Leader and Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams continued this week after Abrams accused Kemp of voter suppression at an Athens campaign rally.

    For Kemp, "voter suppression is a way of life," Abrams said Saturday, criticizing Georgia's aging electronic voting machines and photo-ID requirement.

    Monday, Kemp released a statement in response to the AJC's summary of Flagpole article:

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  • In the Loop: Democratic Candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams Talks Saving HOPE, Voter Suppression at Athens Rally

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    Photo Credit: Richard Hamm

    House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams smiles during a speech at Pulaski Heights BBQ on Saturday.

    In 2011, when Republicans voted to cut the HOPE Scholarship that, until then, had provided free college tuition to every Georgia high-school student with a B average, they had help from an unlikely place: Stacey Abrams, the highest-ranking Democrat in the state House.

    Abrams made an agreement with Gov. Nathan Deal that, if he removed a provision tying HOPE to test scores and included low-interest loans for students who would no longer have their full tuition covered by HOPE, she’d back the bill. The move split her caucus, and could come back to bite her as she runs for governor. One of those who criticized her actions was state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna), who’s now her opponent in the May 2018 primary.

    “The argument that we should let the HOPE Scholarship die so we could use it as a political tool four years later is absurd, because students don’t have the luxury of a do-over, especially four-year-olds who’d lose access to pre-K,” said Abrams (D-Atlanta).

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