New CEO at Alico Inc
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GA-Gov: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein has been following the developing field in Georgia’s gubernatorial race closely, and in a new piece, he runs down the prospects of just about every potential candidate in both parties. Two tidbits are particularly notable. For Republicans, Bluestein says that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is “almost certain to run,” though he doesn’t cite any sources. He also offers something similar about a leading Democrat, state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, saying she’s “all but certain to run” and adds that her supporters are trying to clear the field for her. Both Cagle and Abrams have not ruled out bids.
GA-06: A fourth Democrat has jumped into expected special election for GOP Rep. Tom Price’s suburban Atlanta House seat: Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide and campaign operative who now runs a documentary film company that investigates crime and corruption. That political background has already proven to be a big boon to Ossoff, as he kicked off his bid with endorsements from Atlanta-area Reps. Hank Johnson and John Lewis, both of whom he’s worked for in the past. He also says that donors have pledged $250,000 to his campaign.
And he’ll need the help if he’s to have a shot. As we’ve noted before, all candidates from all parties will run together on a single ballot in the special election, with the top two vote-getters advancing to a runoff in the likely event no one takes a majority in the first round. Because there are so many Democrats already in the race—including two former state legislators—there’s a worrisome chance that they’ll split the vote and allow two Republicans to squeeze into the second round.
Someone would either need to clear the field or emerge as the only credible Democrat to ensure the runoff is contested, and with his claimed financial strength and his support from Lewis, a civil rights legend, Ossoff may have suddenly become the top contender. And while Georgia’s 6th District has traditionally been very conservative, tremendous hostility to Donald Trump saw him carry the district by just a 48-47 margin, so Democrats could have an opening if they don’t botch the runoff.
Meanwhile, oddly enough, there’s still only one Republican who’s declared for the race, state Sen. Judson Hill, though plenty of others are considering, including Price’s wife, state Rep. Betty Price, and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. What could be keeping them? Well, while Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to do whatever Donald Trump demands of them, Price could face some ugly confirmation hearings for Health and Human Services secretary thanks to allegations that he may have engaged in insider trading based on secret information he learned as a member of Congress. It could be that his fellow Republicans are waiting to make sure he’s safely ensconced as Obamacare Destroyer-in-Chief before sticking their necks out, lest they risk his taint.
Vulcan acquires Lojac assets in Tennessee
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SC-Gov: In mid-November Republican Catherine Templeton, who served as head of the state health department under Gov. Nikki Haley, said she was planning to announce her 2018 campaign in January. Templeton was planning to campaign to succeed the termed-out Haley, but Donald Trump threw a big wrench in Templeton’s plans when he nominated the governor to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations. In the likely event that Haley is confirmed, Lt. Gov. Henry McMasters will become governor, and he’ll enter the 2018 GOP primary with incumbency on his side.
Templeton hasn’t ruled out challenging McMasters, but the unexpected state of events has definitely altered her plans. Templeton told The Post and Courier this week that she was calling off her planned January campaign kickoff and fundraiser. Templeton now says she “can announce our intentions in the spring,” but won’t do any fundraising for now.
SC-05: There are a ton of Republicans looking to run in the likely special election to succeed Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who is Donald Trump’s nominee for head of the Office of Management and Budget. However, state House Majority Leader Gary Simrill has announced that he’ll sit this one out.
Chatham Area Transit pushes for funding sources in the new year
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Comprehensive Election Results
Doraville set to vote on new 320,000 s.f. home improvement showroom
Atlanta, GA Mayor: Over the holidays, both ex-Gov. Roy Barnes and Rep. David Scott announced that they were holding a fundraiser for state Sen. Vincent Fort, a fellow Democrat and one of the many candidates running for mayor of Atlanta this fall. Fort is a vocal opponent of GOP Gov. Nathan Deal and was a prominent supporter of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid while Scott is one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, so it may seem odd to see them on the same side; Barnes also isn’t particularly liberal. However, Barnes and Fort served together in the state legislature, while Scott also served with Fort.
where Scott ’s brother also served. Perhaps more importantly, none of the three men are friendly with the state Democratic establishment.
FL-Gov, FL-13: Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, who was just sworn into Congress on Tuesday, told the National Journal‘s Zach Cohen the very same day that he won’t run for governor next year and is in fact “already working on” his own re-election. A return to the governor’s mansion wasn’t even a possibility we’d seriously considered for Crist, but earlier on Tuesday, the disreputable right-wing site Sunshine State Newsreported that a “‘deep throat’ contact” of theirs said Crist had been putting out feelers about a gubernatorial bid. Better get that checked out by an ENT.