Political Insider

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

As Tuesday’s runoff for mayor of Atlanta looms, Mary Norwood names her transition leaders

Seventy-two hours before the runoff for mayor of Atlanta draws to a close, Norwood named the principals of her transition team. Peter Aman, a formal rival, will serve as chairman. As co-chair, Norwood named Mtamanika Youngblood, a long-time advocate for historic preservation in Georgia, especially when it comes to Auburn Avenue.

Call it hubris. Or confidence. Here’s how her campaign put it in the press release: "Norwood noted that she is preparing for the Transition prior to the Election because there is less than a month before the winner will take office."

But none of those motivations truly hit the mark. The real reason Norwood wanted the information out is to allay any qualms that come with electing the first white mayor of Atlanta in 44 years, which would amount to a revolution within the city's political hierarchy.

Though she has run a business, Norwood has no executive experience in politics. Aman served as chief operating officer in the Kasim Reed administration, and advised Shirley Franklin during her mayoral tenure as well.

And tapping Youngblood can be read as a signal that she doesn’t intend to place City Hall in Republican hands, as Bottoms and state Democratic leaders have alleged. Again, from the press release:

"My administration will not only reflect the diversity of our City but will also respect Atlanta’s history,” said Norwood.


"Remember who you are." That's the subject line of a last-ditch appeal from Democratic Party of Georgia chair DuBose Porter on Monday for voters to back Atlanta mayoral contender Keisha Lance Bottoms. "She stands firm for our shared values, and as a Democrat, I stand firm for her. You should too," he wrote. Bottoms faces Councilwoman Mary Norwood, an independent, in Tuesday's nonpartisan runoff. (Greg Bluestein)


Missed the Sunday afternoon debate between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood? WSB-TV has your Quick fix:


Early this morning, President Donald Trump abandoned all pretense and endorsed Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race. Moore is accused of laying hands on a 14-year-old girl and other teenagers several decades ago. ">Trump’s Twitter message emphasized other qualities:

Here’s why Moore could become the most junior member of the U.S. Senate in eight days:

A new CBS News poll finds 71 percent of Alabama Republicans say the allegations against Roy Moore are false, and those who believe this also overwhelmingly believe Democrats and the media are behind those allegations.

Deep into a New York Times account of the final days of the race is this gem:

“I don’t think the Lord Jesus could win as a Democrat in Alabama,” said Brad Chism, who runs a Democratic communications firm in Mississippi that has conducted surveys of female voters in Alabama in recent weeks. “They’re just waiting for the Republican Party to tell them how they’re going to fix this.”


You’ve heard some reports that President Donald Trump has been telling friends that he doubts that the voice on that “Hollywood Access” tape was his. Billy Bush, who was present when Trump said celebrity gave him free access to a woman's genitals, has an op-ed in today’s New York Times:

Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.

We now know better.


On Sunday, as part of another series of Tweets, President Donald Trump attacked the FBI, asserting that its reputation was “in tatters.” The comment was part of his denial that he ordered former FBI Director James Comey to halt an investigation of national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Sally Yates, the federal prosecutor from Atlanta sacked by Trump earlier this year, stepped up to defend the agency last night:


Democrat Stacey Evans has seized on a must-read AJC report published over the weekend, examining how some doctors abused their privileges to further the opioid crisis. The gubernatorial candidate wrote on Twitter that the spate of opioid abuse is particularly prevalent in her home county of Catoosa. "In the Legislature, I worked to curb abuses in the system, authoring bills to stop the scourge," she wrote. "When I'm governor, we'll finish what we started."(GB)


This was a rather unexpected endorsement: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch will headline a Friday fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's gubernatorial campaign. Tickets to attend the Republican's fundraiser start at $1,000, but to host the event you'll need to pony up $10,000. (GB)


Tricia Pridemore's campaign for a vacant state Public Service Commission seat has received a jump start from Cobb County GOP heavyweights. A trio of countywide officials - Solicitor Barry Morgan, District Attorney Vic Reynolds and Sheriff Neil Warren - are hosting a Wednesday fundraiser for her campaign. (GB)


Former Georgia congressman and U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is backing the Washington lobbying push of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and two of its largest U.S. competitors to punish rivals from the Persian Gulf.

We reported over the weekend that an effort led by Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to include pro-Delta language into the Senate tax bill had ultimately failed as leaders made last-minute changes to the measure. In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, less than 24 hours after senators passed that legislation, Gingrich argued that the Trump administration should meet with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to “address grievances” raised by Delta and others.

“If free and fair trade is to continue to expand in the 21st century, those of us who advocate robust international commerce free of government interference must be willing to stand up for U.S. workers when other countries are not playing by the rules,” wrote the husband of the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. If that doesn’t pan out, he said, the Trump administration should bar the Gulf airlines from adding new routes to the U.S. until they come to the table. (TH)


Kelly McCutchen, head of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and a policy expert we interview quite frequently for this blog, is stepping down from his perch at the end of the year. The conservative think tank said McCutchen will head to the venture philanthropy group the Healthcare Institute for National Renewable and Innovation, where he’ll focus on health care policy. He’ll also continue on with the Foundation as a senior fellow. He’s led the group since 2010 and joined the organization in the early 1990s. (TH)


You can bet this has sparked conversations in newsrooms across the country:

A man who recounted his longtime girlfriend’s arrest in a Seattle Times story about ramped-up immigration enforcement in Pacific County last month has now been detained, and says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents told him the arrest was because he was in the newspaper.

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.