This Wednesday is shaping up to be one of the busiest political days of the year, and now state Sen. Jason Carter is carving out a half-hour to put his stamp on the events.
Gov. Nathan Deal plans three separate addresses, the first in the morning at the Eggs & Issues breakfast followed by his State of the State speech at 11 a.m. at the statehouse and then a 1 p.m. roll-out of a budget plan highlighted by new education spending.
Sandwiched in between there, Deal's Democratic foil will make perhaps the biggest speech of his political career. Carter, who announced his challenge against Deal back in November, will deliver his party's response to the governor at 12:30 p.m.
You can expect him to target the governor for doing too little, too late to bolster education funding and the HOPE scholarship program. Yet as a gubernatorial candidate, he'll have to do more than blast Deal. He'll face pressure to offer a credible alternative to Deal and counterproposals that back up his campaign focus on the middle-class independent voters he'll need to threaten the incumbent.
In between, there's the matter of a budget of more than $20 billion that even many top state officials haven't seen yet. Lawmakers who usually have three or days of hearings to vet the spending plan will instead get about six hours to review the plan - you guessed it - Wednesday afternoon.
Hang with us tomorrow. Your insiders will be around up and early ahead of a marathon day.