Abrams out; Democrats Looking for a Perdue Opponent

Abrams out; Democrats Looking for a Perdue Opponent

Tuesday’s announcement by failed 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams that she will not challenge the 2020 re-election campaign U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., sent Democrats scrambling to ascertain who could be their strongest candidate to oppose him. So what is the future for Abrams? The former House of Representatives minority leader is expected to remain highly visible on the national scene as a voice within the party. She even met in March with former Vice President Joe Biden, causing speculation she might be considered by him or others for a 2020 vice presidential slot. (Abrams says such speculation is premature.) Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist and consultant, told Fox5Atlanta that Abrams might want a rematch against Gov. Brian Kemp, who narrowly defeated her last fall to claim the governor’s mansion. But that would occur in 2022, and various pundits agree she would have to remain relevant in some political fashion until then. Johnson also hopes “the state’s demographics” may change in Abrams’ favor (meaning the share of the white vote may decline). As for Republicans, they are glad Abrams is out of the 2020 senatorial race. (GOP state chairman John Watson believes she couldn’t have beaten him anyway.) And GOP leaders think Abrams’ black voter base may not turn out as much if a white Democrat runs against Perdue. Also, with Abrams out, President Donald Trump’s chances of carrying Georgia in his 2020 re-election bid is enhanced if black turnout is somewhat down. (Trump won Georgia by 5 points in 2016.) As for other Democrats wanting the party nomination to run against Perdue next year, there’s former Columbus...
Three different Confederate-related bills in Georgia

Three different Confederate-related bills in Georgia

Georgia House Bill 175, which removes protections for Confederate monuments on public property in Georgia, is co-sponsored by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, and others. It deletes language from OCGA 50-3-1 which prohibits the removal, relocation, or defacing of publicly owned monuments, plaques markers, or memorials which are dedicated to, honor, or recount the military service of any past or present military personnel. That means Confederate-related statues and memorials on public property would no longer be protected and vandalism against them would not be punishable under Georgia law. You can read the bill here. However, state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, declares “We need to respect and preserve our history, good, bad or indifferent. “We need to just add new ones, not take away our old ones,” he says. He has introduced Senate Bill 77 which prohibits relocation of any Confederate monuments and triples fines and penalties for anyone who vandalizes or moves monuments. Another bill – Senate Bill 51 by Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta- would permit localities to decide whether Confederate monuments should stay or be moved. She says it is in response to a controversial obelisk in front of the downtown Decatur courthouse that pays homage to fallen Rebel soldiers. You can see Senate Bill 51 here. A footnote to House Bill 175 involves the Stone Mountain Confederate memorial. Current law ensures that the carving of the three Confederate leaders on the mountain can never be removed, altered, concealed, or obscured and OCGA 50-3-1(c) says Stone Mountain “shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of...
A Georgia Post-Mortem: GOP & Democrat wins

A Georgia Post-Mortem: GOP & Democrat wins

After county elections officials counted and reported absentee ballots for Tuesday’s election, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp led Democrat Stacey Abrams by 1.6 percent— more than 64,000 votes. As first reported by InsiderAdvantage when it called his victory late Tuesday night (the first media outlet to do so), Kemp’s margin is such that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his win or force a run-off election. But aside from that big outcome, it is instructive to reflect on Democrat wins and GOP losses that will affect Peach State politics. One statistic that dominates all others is the divide between metro Atlanta (now consisting of 29 counties) and the rest of Georgia. Consider: * Metro Atlanta— Kemp 43 percent, Abrams 56 percent, Libertarian Ted Metz 1 percent (roughly 318,000 vote margin for Abrams) * Rest of Georgia– Kemp 61 percent, Abrams 38 percent, Metz 1 percent (roughly 381,000-vote margin for Kemp). In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won metro Atlanta by 8 points (52 Clinton, 44 Donald Trump) but lost the rest of Georgia by 24 points (61 Trump, 37 Clinton). Thus, there was hardly any difference in the Trump/Kemp numbers outside metro Atlanta (2016 and 2018) but Abrams improved notably in metro Atlanta over Clinton. Some sobering statistics for the GOP and good news for Democrats: * Cobb and Gwinnett both voted Democratic for governor for the first time since 1986. Abrams won Gwinnett by 14 points (a sign the multiracial county is moving steadily into the Democratic camp). In 2016, Clinton won the county by 6 points. The GOP lost 5 State House seats...
So Far Ga. Early Votes Not What Media Thought

So Far Ga. Early Votes Not What Media Thought

If there is a “blue wave” of Democrat voters forming in Georgia it has not been seen yet. Log on to the website http://georgiavotes.com/ and you can see the early statewide vote totals for last week which are also broken down by every county. Republicans and Democrats who are voting in this mid-term election can be identified by the way they vote in party primaries, and so far more Republicans than Democrats have trooped to the polls to “bank” their votes. It also looks like the overall black percentage of the early voting electorate so far— 30 percent—matches Georgia’s overall rate in 2008 and 2012 when Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama was on the ballot. He lost the state by 5 points the first time and 8 points the second time. Objective observers would have to agree that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams needs far more than 30 percent to win statewide. There’s an older electorate early voting, too, judging by the 65 and older crowd. (Millennials aren’t exactly the early voting type— as we see from the statistics.) Fulton County Republicans are early voting en masse; Johns Creek Ocee Library was in the lead for early voting—and Johns Creek faithfully votes Republican. (In 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump won the city.) Republican-heavy Hall County last week more than doubled its early voting from the 2014 election. As for the Democrats, their reliable early voters really showed up in the metro Atlanta counties of DeKalb and Clayton. It will be interesting this week to see if Democrats – and specifically the Abrams campaign— can step up their early voter...
Georgia congressional candidate faces residency questions

Georgia congressional candidate faces residency questions

Residency is again an issue for this year’s Democratic Party candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga. Only a year after Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff– who never moved into the suburban Atlanta 6th Congressional District– was defeated by Handel, challenger Lucy McBath is facing probing questions raised by the Handel camp and journalists. InsiderAdvantage has learned that McBath’s family is claiming a homestead exemption on property in Cobb County, while being registered to vote in Tennessee and not Georgia. Her family has registered personal vehicles in Tennessee, further calling into question her residence and eligibility for homestead exemption. Consider these specifics: 1) In a May 1 public debate McBath said that her husband was a permanent resident of Tennessee. Yet Curtis McBath has claimed a homestead exemption in Cobb County, Georgia, since 2002. So here’s a question now being asked: How many years did the McBath family financially benefit from a tax exemption to which they were not legally entitled while residents of another state? 2) The McBath’s cars appear to be still registered in Blount County, Tennessee. Curtis McBath is still registered to vote in Tennessee. Georgia law requires those claiming homestead exemption to register cars owned at the same address. If registering to vote, homestead also determines residency. How do the McBaths explain continuing to receive the homestead exemption without meeting these requirements? Both Democrat and GOP political observers agree that Ossoff’s candidacy was hurt since he did not have close ties or lived in the 6th Congressional District. That’s why longtime resident Handel believes that the district’s voters again have a right to know the truth...