Political Insider

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

Gun-happy Kennesaw was won by Democrat Hillary Clinton

One of our number-crunching friends has taken a deeper dive into Cobb County’s November swing into the Democrat camp of Hillary Clinton, by lining up ballots cast with city boundaries -- a somewhat tedious and time-consuming process.

Here’s the biggest surprise: The city of Kennesaw, where the law requires the head of every household to own a firearm (unless he or she doesn’t want to), and which recently put up fierce opposition to a mosque’s move into a near-empty shopping center, was won by Clinton with 47.8 percent of the vote.

Trump garnered 47 percent in the gun-happy city. The vote totals: 6,227 for Clinton to 6,124 for the man who is now president-elect.

Municipal margins for Clinton were heaviest in southern Cobb, which has a higher African-American population. But the only city in Cobb in which Trump beat Clinton was Acworth in the far north: 49.5 to 46 percent.

But wait, you say. Cities account for only 43 percent of the Cobb vote. The news wasn’t any better for Trump outside the city limits. Clinton carried unincorporated Cobb, 49 to 47 percent.


Even without the presidential contest, this hasn't been the easiest stretch for the Cobb County GOP.

Only weeks after the county flipped blue for the first presidential election since Jimmy Carter's 1976 victory, the Cobb GOP finds itself engulfed in a debate over whether a former chairman charged with sexually molesting two boys should be formally ousted from the organization.

Attorney Jason Shepherd's bid to review whether Joe Dendy should still be a member of the Cobb party was delayed until after the trial next month. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

[Cobb GOP chair Rose] Wing said it was clear the Cobb County Republican Committee believed there was no need to look at removing Dendy until there had been a disposition in the case.


“Because there would be no other committee that would hear all the facts other than the judge and the jury,” she said. “And that has been my position, as you know, from the get go, from the day of the arrest. It is not for us to be making that decision. That is for a jury and/or judge … And you’re innocent until proven guilty.”

Wing is a retired assistant district attorney. Shepherd told us he was worried about the message leaving Dendy on the group's membership rolls sends to the community.


Either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is polling, or some rival candidate considers him the man to beat in the 2018 race for governor. Over the weekend, a loyal reader sent a rough transcript of the lengthy, live cell-phone questionnaire from a pollster. Among the questions:

-- If the candidates were David Perdue and Casey Cagle, who would you vote for?

-- Do you approve/disapprove of the job Cagle is doing?

-- What do you like most about Cagle?

-- What do you dislike most about Cagle?

-- Do you consider Cagle a liberal, moderate or conservative?

-- All things equal, would you prefer a governor who is new to politics and brings a fresh approach, or someone with a track record in government and list of accomplishments?

-- Would you prefer a governor who would continue Nathan Deal's policies or change them?

-- Would you prefer someone who speaks out against the establishment, or someone who works quietly to get things done?

-- Would you be more or less likely to vote for Cagle if you knew he endorsed Trump?



The health care-focused STAT news  took a deep dive into U.S. Rep. Tom Price's investments and concluded that some could create conflicts of interest should the Georgia congressman be confirmed as health secretary. According to the site, Price's portfolio includes investments in many health care industries -- pharmaceutical, medical device research, and insurance -- he would end up overseeing:

Federal ethics rules do not require that Price automatically divest himself of stock. As part of the nomination process, his holdings will be reviewed by the White House counsel’s office, the Office of Government Ethics, and the ethics division at HHS...

Jan Baran, an expert in federal election law, said conflicts would have to involve specific decisions he might make that could benefit himself or his family.

“It depends on whether he’s likely to encounter, as secretary of HHS, any decision that might affect any of those types of companies he owns,” Baran said. “Even if selling it is not seen as something that’s required, he can establish a so-called blind trust, and put all their assets into a blind trust. That would insulate him from future conflicts of interest.”

According to Roll Call, Price is the 50th richest member of Congress with a net worth of $7.28 million.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.