Category: Runoffs

Wisdom Narrowly Conquers Lust

No, the defeat of Lust didn’t happen in a poll of dissuaded AshleyMadison users, and this is a family political blog, so this post will remain G-rated.


In the municipal and legislative runoffs that took place across Georgia on December 1, there were notable upsets, but perhaps none with as much at stake as that posed by Lust versus Wisdom. 1,173 voters in Powder Springs Post 2 faced this choice on Tuesday, and when all the votes were counted, Lust was vanquished by the hair’s breadth of 13 votes.

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Statewide, we only get our wisdom in moderation. In Powder Springs, Wisdom is theirs for the next four years.

(Meanwhile in Powder Springs, veteran Councilmember Al Thurman won Tuesday’s mayoral runoff with 57% of the vote – and also made history as the first black mayor elected in Cobb County. In the Marietta Daily Journal, Thurman emphasized his hope that his service as mayor will transcend race, stating, “I’m not the black mayor. I’m the mayor. I’m here to serve everyone… The demographics are changing and this is a clear reflection of this change.”)

Buddy Carter Earns Endorsement Of Sheriffs From All 17 Counties In GA-01

Endorsements may or may not influence the decision on voters, but sometimes it does show the support that a candidate has within his or her district. State Senator Buddy Carter has earned the endorsement of all 17 sheriffs across the 1st district. You can see the list below, but this may be a big break for Senator Carter to become the next congressman from Georgia’s 1st District.

Presser sent out today by the campaign:

The Buddy Carter for Congress campaign has been endorsed by all seventeen sheriffs in the First Congressional District. As a member of the Georgia Senate, Senator Carter was the Chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, where he was a staunch advocate for our State’s law enforcement community. Earlier this year he was named legislator of the year by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council for Georgia, the Georgia State Firefighters Association and the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs.

“It really is remarkable that Senator Carter received the endorsement from every single sheriff in the entire district,” said spokesperson Jud Seymour. “It shows not only the respect and trust they have for him, but also the confidence that he will continue to be a friend of law enforcement.”

Senator Carter, a pharmacist and public servant who has stood with law enforcement his entire career, is the clear law and order candidate in the race while his opponent Bob Johnson has publicly stated that he would “rather see another terrorist attack” than comply with the rules of law enforcement at airports.

From Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence:

In the Georgia Senate, Buddy Carter is the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and he has been a staunch advocate for law enforcement. He understands local governments and local issues, and he understands the importance of law enforcement in our towns and communities. He has supported sheriffs across Georgia as a State Senator and protected our ability to enforce the law, and that is why sheriffs across South Georgia support him.

He shares our conservative values, and he is a dedicated public servant. I have known Buddy Carter for thirty years and I can assure you that he is the right man for the job.
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Tea Party Patriots Agonistes

One of the subthemes of the 2014 election cycle has been the impact of the Tea Party in getting conservative candidates elected in Republican primaries. Widely looked at as having lost much of their influence during the early contests, the election of David Brat over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia allowed local Tea Parties in the Old Dominion to claim credit for the victory.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, Tuesday’s runoff election between six-term incumbent Thad Cochran and State Rep. Chris McDaniel is looked at as being the last major battleground in the 2014 primaries between the Tea Party and the Establishment factions of the GOP.

It’s also a big test for the Georgia-based Tea Party Patriots. Today, the Washington Post profiles the group and its founder, Woodstock’s Jenny Beth Martin:

Rick Santelli, a CNBC commentator covering financial markets, gave his famous rant, asking viewers: “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?”

That resonated with Martin, as did Santelli’s use of the term “tea party.” “We were quite literally cleaning our neighbor’s house so they wouldn’t have to take care of us,” she says. Inspired, Martin and Amy Kremer, a former flight attendant also from a suburb of Atlanta, organized a conference call to talk about having such a tea party.

What started as about 20 people has grown into a network of thousands. The group has raised about $30 million this year if you combine their various fundraising apparatuses. But the growth of the organization didn’t come without pitfalls or drama.

We’ve had plenty of discussions about the Tea Party: Whether they are effective or not; whether they have helped the Republican Party move to the right or not; and whether they have themselves become part of the political establishment they rail against, or not.

The Post story does a good job of describing the journey of the Tea Party Patriots from its founding to today. The results of tomorrow’s runoff in Mississippi could have a lot to do with the organization’s future.

House District 2 and 22 Special Election Results Open Thread

30 minutes remain (as of the posting of this article) in the run-off contests between Steve Tarvin and Neal Florence in the 2nd House District and between Sam Moore and Meagan Biello in the 22nd House District.

If you are a registered voter in either of those districts and haven’t voted, you have until 7p to get in line. Go vote. Now!!!

We’ll have updates as they come in.

::UPDATE: 8:28p::
Hearing that Steve Tarvin has won the run-off in District 2 with 1925 votes to Florence’s 1648 and one precinct remaining (thanks to Doug Grammer for passing along the deets). The Secretary of State’s vendor for posting results apparently is having issues updating. It looks like Sam Moore will win in the 22nd District.

::UPDATE 2::

(un)Official Results: Congratulations to Representatives-elect Steve Tarvin and Sam Moore.

Tuesday Is Election Day: Runoffs in House Districts 2 and 22

Candidates in the special election for House Districts 2 and 22 are probably glad that the runoff was scheduled for this week rather than last Tuesday. After doing what they could to get voters to the polls back on January 7th, the worst day of the polar vortex, the prospect of a low turnout during a major snowstorm would have been disheartening.

In House District 2, which includes portions of Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties, Steve Tarvin of Chickamauga had 38% of the original vote, while Neal Florence of LaFayette had 34%. Apparently the campaigning has been nasty, forcing Congressman Tom Graves to issue a statement of neutrality on his campaign website after his picture was used on campaign materials.

In House District 22, Meagan Biello of Canton barely got by Jeff Duncan in January. With two more votes than Duncan, Biello will face Ball Ground’s Sam Moore in the runoff election. District 22 includes portions of Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton counties.

Polls are open from 7 AM to 7 PM on Tuesday. Just over 9% of eligible voters turned out in January. Based on runoffs from past special elections, there will be even fewer voters at the polls, despite the warmer weather.

Eldrin Bell is not moving an entire lake

…because it is impractical, not because large bodies of water cannot be moved simply as a matter of will.

In a super-fun runoff election type story, Eldrin Bell is denying that a probably fabricated email is evidence of his plan to move the community of Lake Spivey, which accounts for an incredibly high percentage of the Clayton County budget, into Henry County.

Nevertheless, the county commission has voted to investigate the ultimate basin transfer secret deal and someone will likely get right on that.

DOJ takes issue with runoff schedule

The U.S. Department of Justice may have approved Georgia’s new legislative and congressional district maps, but they’re not too happy with the state’s runoff schedule, which they say violates federal law:

The federal government has sent a letter to Georgia officials saying the state’s schedule for runoff elections violates federal law on overseas absentee ballots.

The U.S. Department of Justice sent the letter on June 15 to Georgia’s attorney general and secretary of state. It claims violations of a federal law that requires absentee ballots to be sent to military and overseas residents at least 45 days before federal elections, including runoffs. The letter threatens a lawsuit if the matter isn’t resolved quickly.

Georgia’s state primary runoff is scheduled for three weeks after the state primary election, and Georgia’s general election runoff is scheduled for four weeks following the general election.
The secretary of state’s office said it would have a statement later Friday.

We’ll post the statement from Secretary Kemp’s office as soon as it is available.

This can’t possibly be correct – Michael L. Rothenberg nominated for DeKalb Superior Court

Last month the Judicial Nominating Commission started accepting name submissions to fill the vacancy on the DeKalb County Superior Court (formally the Stone Mountain Circuit) caused by Judge Hancock’s resignation. Anyone can submit a name, and apparently, somebody submitted the name of Michael L. Rothenberg, and there is only one person by that name who is a member of the Georgia Bar.

If Rothenberg’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he has a long history with PeachPundit that includes trying to run for an office for which he was not qualified, dropping out of that race, then running again in 2010 and making the runoff before being sued in federal court and by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged fraud.

In 2008, Rothenberg ran for Superior Court and Erick questioned his eligibility.

After initially arguing that he was indeed eligible, Rothenberg later ended that campaign. Erick congratulated him on making the right decision and wrote, “I hope in 2010 he will run.”

Rothenberg did indeed run in 2010, and made the runoff against Courtney Johnson, who won the election. Between the general election and the runoff, Rothenberg was accused of running a ponzi scheme in a federal lawsuit seeking the return of $1.35 million “invested” with Rothenberg.

Rothenberg called the lawsuit “nothing more than a political hit job on me.”

He said the lawsuit’s allegations were “absolutely outrageous, slanderous and completely untrue, completely untrue.”

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There is a class act running in HD-113

Dan Matthews, a Democrat running in the runoff for HD-113 against Chuck Williams, is a really classy guy. After it was revealed that Rep. Charlie Norwood had cancer in 2007 and would be coming home to Georgia to live out his last days, Matthews wrote this at his blog:

The Congressman has refused treatment in Georgetown to come home to a 24-hour hospice care. Oddly he may actually make a case for Dr. Kevorkian style euthanasia in his waning days. Governor Perdue will have to call a special election after Norwood’s evidently eventual extinction. Terry Holley would like you to consider him for the position, if you please. There will be a non-partisan election so he may actually have a chance this time. Holley addressed the Oconee County Democratic Committee meeting the last two months and talked about Norwood’s increasingly grave condition. We certainly wish the best for Congressman Norwood, but if he is refusing treatment, the least he could while still alive is to resign the seat with dignity intact. Death is a tremendously difficult subject to write about, and it proves an old adage one step further: Republicans want to control how you are born, how you live and how you die, and now it seems control your life after they die.

Jeff Emanuel weighed in on Matthews’ comments over a Red State. Norwood, who served Georgia honorably in Congress for 12 years, passed away a week after these comments were posted. Terry Holley didn’t run in the special election for GA-10, and the three Democrats that did run received 28.4% of the vote combined and didn’t make the runoff.

Jason Fincher For Cobb State Court

As you know, each county has it’s own front page poster except for Hall.   That’s  just how we roll around here, and I’m the Cobb County guy, when I’m not the Fayette County guy.  Or the Fulton County guy.   Or,…

Anyway, I voted early last week as I’m out of town this week.   Voted for Nahmias for Supreme Court, and McFadden for Court of Appeals.   I’ll have to admit that there was one race I skipped on the general ballot as I didn’t know anything about the candidates, and didn’t start asking in time to get an informed answer. Read more

Nahmias Building Bipartisan Coalition For Runoff

Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias is receiving support from all corners of the state’s political spectrum.  The AJC is reporting four significant endorsements today:  Governor-elect Nathan Deal and Attorney General-elect Sam Olens from the Republican camp, and Former Mayor Shirley Franklin and Democratic nominee for Attorney General Ken Hodges.

Nahmias’ race verses Tammy Adkins will head the statewide ballot for the November 30th runoff.

What You Can Buy for $100k

If you’re Karen Handel you can pay for a chartered private jet to fly Sarah Palin into one of the ritziest hotels in Buckhead where she can then instruct her followers to vote for you.  Your 5 or 6 point lead in the final pre-election poll can then turn into a 2,500 vote loss.

Alternatively, you could have purchased 1,000 GRP’s of television (the average prospective voter would see your advertisement 10 times) in EACH of Macon, Savannah, Albany and Augusta telling Republican primary voters oh I don’t know…that Nathan Deal voted against parental notification as a member of Congress, that in 1989 he voted for the largest tax increase in Georgia history, that he voted over ten times to raise the debt ceiling from about $1 trillion when he got to Congress to over $7 by the time he left.  Take your pick really.  You only have to swing 1,300 votes.

Not having been an accounting major myself, I can only assume they don’t cover this until year 3 or 4.

Some Runoff Numbers

I know the runoff was nearly a week ago – an eternity in political time – but I found some numbers interesting on runoff night at around 2 AM that are still of interest to me today and nobody has really commented on them.  Going into the runoff, I actually predicted a Deal win of 51-49 and made a few nominal bets around the office that will probably never be collected on.  So I was right about that, and so were a lot of people out there who sensed that Deal had the momentum.  But one thing I was wrong about was how I internally calculated that result.  I assumed Handel would win the core metro counties of Atlanta by a huge margin and that Deal would roll up a similarly huge margin elsewhere.

In reality, Deal won the counties that contained all or portions of his Congressional district with 61%.  Counties not in the 9th district he actually lost with 48%.  What about Handel’s base?  I define that as Fulton and DeKalb, two counties that had huge Republican turnout for Karen.  She got a whopping 68% in these two counties, and similar to Deal got 48% in the other 157 counties.

And when you look at each of their bases above and then all the parts of the state that weren’t in each’s respective base, you see Deal getting 61% in his base, Handel getting 68% in hers, and the rest of the state splitting 51/49 for Deal.  Even though my topline prediction was right, Georgia Republican voters took a route to get there that was much different than what I, and I assume many others, had imagined.  What about y’all?

Deal: Handel selfless in devotion to Georgia, GOP

From Deal’s Campaign:

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel called Nathan Deal this morning to concede the race for the Republican nomination for governor. Selflessly putting the Republican Party first, Secretary Handel said that she would not request a recount.

“I’m extremely grateful to Secretary Handel for her graciousness,” Deal said. “Secretary Handel has served our state with honor and distinction. She’s a tenacious campaigner, so it’s a relief to have her running with me. I think the close finish shows that both campaigns did a great job at convincing voters to support them.

“I had a productive conversation with Secretary Handel. She said that she would not seek a recount, even though the margin is less than 1 percent, and she said that she was encouraging her supporters to work for my candidacy with the same energy and enthusiasm as they showed hers. These actions are in keeping with Karen Handel’s longtime devotion to her state and to the Georgia Republican Party. This selfless gesture allows Republicans to rally together to beat Roy Barnes.

“I look forward to working with Karen Handel and all the other candidates on behalf of the entire Republican ticket, which will include Johnny Isakson, Casey Cagle and other strong conservative leaders. Together as Republicans, we will offer our plan for lower taxes, new jobs and a better future for Georgia’s families. Roy Barnes is a smart politician but even the smartest liberal will have a difficult time selling new big government programs at a time when Georgians are outraged by the explosion of debt under the Obama administration.”