Political Insider

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

Strangest moments of the campaign season


By Aaron Gould-Sheinin

It’s not easy being a candidate for public office, especially in high-profile races where your every utterance, quip and off-the-cuff remark is liable to be parsed by opponents and media. There are self-inflicted wounds and there are simple mistakes. Then, there’s the just bizarre moments where a candidate looks for an opportunity to stand out in the crowd.

Whether intentional or unintentional, we are thankful for them all. Here’s a few of these moments that stood out in the run up to Tuesday’s primaries. Vote on the best moment or suggest your own in comments below. Look for even more on myajc.com

Well, think about it: His name isn’t Fastinski

Brian Slowinski, a Republican running in the 10th Congressional District, released a music video May 6 that almost defies description. It features thrumming electric guitars and his own, um, odd vocal stylings over shots of him working the heavy bag and tossing effigies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton off the steps of of the national Capitol. Sample lyric: “Democrats and deficits aren’t for me,” and “Slowinski! Slowinski! Slowinski! Republican fighter for me!”

 

Now that you mention it, it is sort of hard to believe

“It’s Vernon Jones. That’s right, Vernon Jones. Listen, you’re not going to believe this. (Dramatic pause.) I am now running for sheriff.” That’s the recorded phone call DeKalb County voters have received as the former county CEO — and failed candidate for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House — seeks to become DeKalb’s new sheriff. Jones, who’s been campaigning in a 10-gallon Stetson, is making his bid in the face of a recommendation from a special grand jury that his tenure as CEO be investigated for evidence of bid-rigging. Jones has denied any wrongdoing.

 

His college major was tone-deafness

Veteran business executive David Perdue, another GOP Senate hopeful, gave a speech to the Bibb County GOP in January in which he appeared to criticize primary opponent Karen Handel for not having a college degree. When a video of the speech was released in April, that comment led to a backlash against Perdue — abetted by ads from the Handel campaign — and gave Handel a boost in the polls. Eight days later, Perdue apologized.

 

That’s one way to get on the no-fly list

Down in the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, a video surfaced earlier this month of Savannah surgeon airing some rather pointed views about airport security screenings by the Transporation Secruity Administration. He began his February comments with a small disclaimer: “ … now, this is going to seem outrageous … ” He wasn’t kidding. “I’d rather see another terrorist attack — truly I would — than to give up my liberty as an American citizen,” Johnson continued. “Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our Republican — or, republic?” Johnson later apologized for the remarks.

 

 


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