Gov. Brian Kemp landslide boosts GOP outlook for November
Georgia race now 'leans Republican'
Now that we’ve had a bit more time since Tuesday’s primary to unpack the results of Tuesday’s Georgia Primary, here are a few more takeaways.
Gov. Brian Kemp was expected to demolish ex-U.S. Sen. David Perdue. But the outcome was really a humiliation. How complete was Kemp’s victory?
Kemp won by a bigger margin than he did in 2018 when he humbled Casey Cagle. Kemp carried all of Georgia’s 159 counties, including Perdue’s native Houston County by nearly 40 points. Kemp won Glynn County, where Perdue now lives, by a similar margin.
But Kemp posted some of his biggest numbers in the populous Democratic strongholds of core Atlanta counties, where he could have been helped by crossover votes. He won Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties with about 80% of the vote.
Perdue’s collapse was so monumental that the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics shifted its rating of the November general election from “tossup” to “leans Republican.”
Burt Jones, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, declared victory over rival Butch Miller Wednesday, although the Associated Press had not called the race yet by Thursday morning. The latter didn’t immediately concede.
With 99.37 percent of the votes counted, Jones stood at 50.06 percent of the vote, just north of the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff, while Miller had 31.14 percent.
“What a great and hard-fought win!” Jones wrote in a statement. In response, John Porter, a spokesman for Miller said, “It’s ironic the guy who wanted to spend 12 months analyzing the last election results has seen enough to know he’s good in less than 24 hours.”
In the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath’s win over fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has released a statement praising them both.
“Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux is a proven fighter for Georgia families in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said. “Our House Democratic Caucus is deeply grateful for Congresswoman Bourdeaux’s leadership and will sincerely miss her voice in the House.”
The message goes on to applaud Bourdeaux for supporting small businesses through relief bills passed during the coronavirus pandemic, her work to include transportation and public transit initiatives benefiting Georgia in the infrastructure bill and her efforts to address health care costs.
But Pelosi ends by celebrating McBath’s primary win, which sets her up for a third term in office.
“Congresswoman Lucy McBath is a courageous and an admired legislative leader in the Congress For The People,” Pelosi wrote. “Her indomitable spirit in the face of adversity has inspired her colleagues in the House and mothers across our nation. House Democrats look forward to her continued public service in the Congress.”
A few more election results we were watching for:
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson won reelection Tuesday night with 61 percent of the vote;
The Augusta mayor’s race is headed to a runoff between former Richmond County Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick, who finished with 39.4 percent of the vote, and Augusta businessman Garnett Johnson, who won 38.8 percent. The Augusta Chronicle has the details.
The races in the 14th Congressional District ended with huge margins of victory-- U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene won with about 70 percent of the vote, while Marcus Flowers took about 75 percent in the Democratic primary. But the raw votes tell another story: Greene won more than 72,000 votes, while Flowers got just north of 20,000.
After an unreadable memory card delayed final results in the Savannah Chatham School Board race, the Savannah Morning News reports Roger Moss won the race outright with 50.17 percent of the vote. Moss is the co-founder of a charter school in Savannah.
The 2022 legislative session in Georgia was dominated by multiple cityhood efforts, including Vinings, Lost Mountain and East Cobb, where lawmakers pushed for approval. But all three were rejected by voters Tuesday night.
The AJC’s Brian Eason writes:
Covering many of the northwest Atlanta suburbs' most affluent communities, the proposed cities of Lost Mountain, East Cobb and Vinings were billed by supporters as the only way to preserve their spacious suburban neighborhoods in the face of a rapidly developing — and increasingly diverse — Cobb County.
But resoundingly, voters elected instead to preserve something else: Their independence from a city government.
Once the votes were counted, 73 percent voted against a City of East Cobb, 58 percent voted no on the City of Lost Mountain, and a proposed City of Vinings was rejected by 55 percent of voters.
Gov. Brian Kemp hardly goes anywhere on the campaign trail without his wife and three daughters. Now Stacey Abrams is introducing her family to a wider audience, too.
In her first post-primary TV ad, Abrams is on screen cooking with her parents and niece, who live with her in her Atlanta home.
“I always try to find time to cook for our family. It’s about bringing the right ingredients together, like I’ve brought Democrats, Republicans and independents together to create good paying jobs by helping small businesses.”
She closes by promising “to lift up hardworking people, and bring everyone to the table.”
That is a play on one of Kemp’s favorite lines, a focus on helping “hardworking Georgians” that has dominated his two campaigns.
With the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas at the top of their minds, Democrats in Congress are planning to try again to pass new gun restrictions.
Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has encouraged members to negotiate a bipartisan gun bill that can pass the Senate with the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster. But Schumer has also taken the steps necessary to bring two measures already passed in the House to the floor: one that would close the background check loophole and another that gives the FBI more time to conduct background checks.
But first, Schumer said the Senate will attempt to move forward the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act. The House passed it after the Buffalo mass shooting earlier in the month, which was carried out by a young man with white nationalist ideologies. The bill establishes domestic terrorism offices at several federal agencies and requires them to coordinate with one another.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House will consider a gun control measure sponsored by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, to create a federal “red flag” law to keep guns away from people deemed a risk to themselves or others.
Today in Washington:
We’re watching to see if Senate Republicans filibuster action on domestic terrorism legislation passed by the House after the Buffalo mass shooting;
President Jimmy Carter is still wading into policy fights on the issues he cares about-- even at the age of 97. The New York Times has the latest example in King Cove, Alaska, where local groups are pushing for a new gravel road from the isolated town to an airport, but conservationists say the road would cause irreparable harm to a federal wildlife refuge.
Carter played a role in originally protecting the land, but a three-judge panel, including two appointed by Donald Trump, may have cleared the way for the road. More:
In response to questions from The New York Times, Mr. Carter wrote that the law “may be the most significant domestic achievement of my political life."
“Our great nation has never before or since preserved so much of America's natural and cultural heritage on such a remarkable scale," he added.
Georgia U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop chaired a House hearing on the infant formula shortage Wednesday in the appropriations subcommittee that he leads. In his remarks, the Albany Democrat, discussed what he believes are the root causes of the national shortage.
“FDA’s failure to expeditiously address the bacterial contamination at Abbott Nutrition’s formula processing plant raises serious structural questions,” Bishop said. “While FDA and Abbott have agreed to a plan to reopen the plant, and while planes filled with formula have started arriving from abroad, it will take weeks to fully alleviate the shortages. In that time, families will still face impossible decisions, such as rationing formula or deciding whether accessing formula may outweigh the potential risk of bacterial infection.”
Former DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta.
Brown served as DeKalb’s sheriff from 2001 to 2016. Prior to that, he was the county’s Director of Public Safety, overseeing its police, fire, 911 center and animal control departments. Brown is also the former DeKalb fire chief.
Georgia U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is participating in a Twitter Spaces discussion this afternoon about his efforts to pass new ethics guidelines for U.S. Supreme Court justices and other members of the federal judiciary.
It’s hosted by watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Other panelists include CREW president Noah Bookbinder, and Slate reporter Dahlia Lithwick.
The late U.S. Sen. Max Cleland was remembered at a memorial service in Atlanta Wednesday, where speakers included former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes and former Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, a fellow Vietnam veteran.
Jason Carter, a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, read letters from Carter, President Joe Biden, and former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But it was a letter from former Secretary of State John Kerry, another Vietnam veteran and close friend of Cleland’s, that stood out.
“Max left pieces of himself behind in Vietnam. But he brought home with him something much more: an unmatched will. A relentless desire to care for others. And the heart, soul, and body of a patriot-- one of the finest in this country’s history, a title that no one can or should question.”