Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

After conceding Atlanta mayor race, Norwood's allies turn up heat

Mary Norwood conceded the race for Atlanta mayor last week. But her allies have ratcheted up the pressure on City Hall and Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms' supporters.

Norwood's attorney, Vincent Russo, penned a letter to county and city officials the day after her Dec. 20 concession alleging her campaign uncovered "serious irregularities" after her second-place finish in the December runoff. Insider Advantage posted the three-page letter here.

And on Wednesday, the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans accused the Democratic Party of Georgia of "campaign mischief" for sending out volleys of campaign mailers attacking Norwood as a closet conservative.

The LGBT Republican group, headed by Norwood campaign treasurer Jamie Ensley, accused the party of skirting campaign finance rules by attaching the names of two Democrats - House Minority Leader Bob Trammell and state Sen. Nan Orrock - at the bottom of each mailer. Trammell called the attacks "frivolous."

In her concession video last week, Norwood said there were signs of electoral irregularities bur that she couldn't muster enough evidence to contest them in court.

“For the future of this city, I believe it is the right thing to do to move on and hold a new administration accountable,” Norwood said in the post.

She lost to Bottoms by 821 votes in a race in which nearly 90,000 people cast ballots, mirroring her razor-thin defeat to outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009 . (Greg Bluestein)


Congressman Rob Woodall formally kicked off his campaign to lead the House Budget Committee on Wednesday. The Lawrenceville Republican has been quietly lobbying his Republican colleagues for the position for months after the current chairwoman, Diane Black, announced her bid for Tennessee governor. But he waited until Black formally announced she was stepping down from the committee position on Wednesday to make a public announcement.

“The new Budget Committee Chairman and the Committee will need to hit the ground running," Woodall said in a press release announcing his run. "Of my friends seeking the gavel, each has their own set of impressive skills and talents that would serve the Committee well, but no one has more time on the Committee or more experience moving budget legislation than I do."

Woodall has the seniority to make a real run at the chairmanship – which must be approved by a committee of GOP party and regional leaders and then the broader caucus – but he faces real competition from Steve Womack, a well-liked Arkansas Republican. Winning the position would help him greatly with fundraising as he stares down several challengers at the ballot box next year. The Budget Committee chairman will be a key figure should the GOP decide to pursue welfare reform in the new year, or perhaps another run at killing Obamacare using special filibuster-proof legislation. (Tamar Hallerman)


Republican Josh McKoon is no fan of the Legislature's potential schedule shakeup after the college football championship game. "What message does it send to the millions of Georgians who will get up to work that Tuesday if the legislature lays out for a football game?" he wrote in a tweet. McKoon, who is running for secretary of state, was responding to a story on how the Jan. 8 game has pushed back some of the staples of the legislative session by one day. Lawmakers could also decide not to take Tuesday as a formal day in the 40-day session, though that hasn't been announced yet. (GB)


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.