Political Insider

Georgia 7th: Why Rob Woodall is feeling bullish about his House race

Georgia 7th: Why Rob Woodall is feeling bullish about his House race

Story updated at 3:00 p.m. WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall’s campaign doesn’t tweet. It rarely sends out press statements or widely advertises its district events, nor has it aired any television ads in the 7th Congressional District, a swath of Atlanta’s Northeastern suburbs that includes portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.  The Lawrenceville Republican’s low-key...
On the Georgia trail: Kemp doubles down on rural strategy

On the Georgia trail: Kemp doubles down on rural strategy

It’s no secret that the heart-and-soul of Brian Kemp’s race for Georgia governor depends on rural voters. A tepid turnout in the agricultural areas that Donald Trump dominated would spell doom for his campaign.  With Election Day rapidly approaching, the Republican is doubling down on his rural appeal. He announced a 20-stop bus tour next week that skirts metro Atlanta and other dense...
How Sears and its catalog helped subvert Jim Crow in the South

How Sears and its catalog helped subvert Jim Crow in the South

Sears’ declaration of bankruptcy this week was entirely expected, a train wreck long in the making. What might have caught many by surprise were the immediate reflections by African-American scholars on the role that the retail giant – and its catalog — played in helping black Southerners survive the 20th century. Upon the Sears announcement on Monday, Louis Hyman, an associate professor...
The Jolt: When 107,000 Georgia voters were culled – for not voting

The Jolt: When 107,000 Georgia voters were culled – for not voting

Over at WABE (90.1FM), Johnny Kaufman is part of a national group effort looking at “use it or lose it” voter registration policies in several states, including Georgia. On a single July weekend in 2017, Kaufman’s team reports, more than half a million people – 8 percent of the state’s registered voters -- were cut from Georgia’s roster: From Secretary...
Deal cements hometown legacy with sparkling new Hall County campus

Deal cements hometown legacy with sparkling new Hall County campus

The ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday in Gov. Nathan Deal’s hometown will celebrate the completion of one of the costliest state building projects in recent Georgia history. It will also mark a signature achievement for the Gainesville Republican.  The event will commemorate the opening of the Hall County campus of Lanier Technical College, the first newly-constructed tech college in the history...
Kemp’s office removes video that triggered outrage on social media 

Kemp’s office removes video that triggered outrage on social media 

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office removed a video on his website after it triggered outrage on social media for featuring an African-American actor who failed to bring proper photo ID to vote. The minute-long video on the Republican’s website was created before the 2016 election and aimed to instruct voters how to cast a ballot during the early voting period. It cast several...
Kemp to stump with Marco Rubio on Monday in Cobb County

Kemp to stump with Marco Rubio on Monday in Cobb County

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is set to campaign with Republican Brian Kemp and other down-ticket candidates on Monday in vote-rich Cobb County, one of the few Georgia counties that he carried during his 2016 run for president.  Rubio will appear with Kemp and Geoff Duncan, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, at 9:45 on Monday at the Goldbergs in the Battery. He’ll follow that...
‘Not by a longshot’ Scathing new attack ad aims at Kemp 

‘Not by a longshot’ Scathing new attack ad aims at Kemp 

Brian Kemp might be hoping that voters forget the shotgun-toting image that helped him win the GOP nomination. Georgia Democrats are doing everything they can to remind them.  The state party launched a scathing new attack ad Thursday that opens with footage of that controversial commercial, which featured Kemp pointing a shotgun toward his daughter’s date.  Then it ticks...
The Jolt: A ‘legal mob’ accuses the Georgia GOP of libel

The Jolt: A ‘legal mob’ accuses the Georgia GOP of libel

Earlier this week, we ventured that this 2018 election season might be the most litigated on record, pointing to the spate of federal lawsuits over voter registration and the dismissal of absentee ballots in Gwinnett County. Picking up language generated out of Washington, the state GOP has accused a “legal mob” for targeting Brian Kemp’s practices as secretary of state...
Abrams rallies with seniors ousted from Black Voters Matter bus 

Abrams rallies with seniors ousted from Black Voters Matter bus 

Augusta – Stacey Abrams took a campaign detour to the scene of one of the more controversial moments of this year’s election: A senior center where county officials prevented a third-party group from taking elderly black residents to a voting site.  At a stop early Tuesday in Louisville, the Democratic candidate for governor met with several of the voters taken off the bus and urged...
On the Georgia trail: A tougher-talking Abrams and ‘condescending’ ag remarks

On the Georgia trail: A tougher-talking Abrams and ‘condescending’ ag remarks

Brunswick - Not so long ago, Stacey Abrams avoided many direct attacks on Republican Brian Kemp even as he pummeled her relentlessly. Not anymore.  At campaign stops this week, she repeatedly laced into her GOP rival over a slew of his policies.  On his $600 million plan to raise teacher pay? “I’m not going to make false promises to our teachers because a gimmick is...
Georgia 6th: Handel opponent draws abortion contrast

Georgia 6th: Handel opponent draws abortion contrast

Lucy McBath, U.S. Rep. Karen Handel’s Democratic opponent, is using her latest ad to delve into abortion rights, one of the starkest policy differences in the 6th District Congressional race.  The gun control advocate highlighted Handel’s vote in favor of a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the spot, which debuted today on local network and cable stations...
New poll shows razor-thin race for Georgia governor and solid Trump approvals 

New poll shows razor-thin race for Georgia governor and solid Trump approvals 

A new poll released Wednesday shows a neck-and-neck race for Georgia governor, solid approval ratings for President Donald Trump and that voters are more likely to support Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation than oppose it. The Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia Center for Politics poll had Kemp leading Abrams 47-46, a statistically insignificant difference within the margin...
Third time’s a charm: Pence to raise cash for Kemp - but this time in D.C.

Third time’s a charm: Pence to raise cash for Kemp - but this time in D.C.

Vice President Mike Pence has twice had to scrap a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp because of hurricanes. In September, it was Florence. Last week, it was Michael. Perhaps a third attempt would have raised questions about cause-and-effect. Our WSB Radio colleague Jamie Dupree spotted this on Pence’s Wednesday schedule in Washington at 5 p.m.: &ldquo...
Ex-Rep. Tom Price donates thousands to aid Georgia GOP allies 

Ex-Rep. Tom Price donates thousands to aid Georgia GOP allies 

A donor caught our eye as we skimmed through U.S. Rep. Karen Handel’s latest campaign finance filings this week: one Thomas Edmunds Price. A political action committee linked to the former health secretary and Sixth District congressman donated $2,000 to his successor last month, the new fundraising report shows. Turns out Price, who has largely laid low since resigning under pressure in...
The Jolt: On paper, Brian Kemp doesn’t know how brother-in-law makes a living

The Jolt: On paper, Brian Kemp doesn’t know how brother-in-law makes a living

Under state law, when they file campaign disclosure reports, candidates are supposed to list the names, addresses, occupations and employers of donors as a way of helping the public know who is bankrolling their bids for office. Campaigns are good about listing the first two, but some are better than others with that last bit. Take Brian Kemp’s Republican campaign for governor, for instance...
How Exact Match 2.0 happened -- but the real question is why

How Exact Match 2.0 happened -- but the real question is why

This 2018 election could become one of the most litigated in state history. Already, in June, we saw Georgia’s practice of purging from its rolls hundreds of thousands of voters, some dead and many others simply disinterested, given shelter by the U.S. Supreme Court. Monday brought a lawsuit that asked a federal judge to ponder why Gwinnett County, a rapidly changing community with 9 percent...
Dem challengers show off massive fundraising tallies in Ga’s top House races

Dem challengers show off massive fundraising tallies in Ga’s top House races

Two years ago, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall cruised to reelection in his Gwinnett and Forsyth-based House district, easily defeating a Democrat who challenged him on a shoestring budget.  The financial picture couldn’t be more different in 2018. Carolyn Bourdeaux, his current Democratic opponent, has clobbered him in the fundraising department. Her campaign said Tuesday that she outraised...
The Jolt: New lawsuit challenges Gwinnett rejection of absentee ballots

The Jolt: New lawsuit challenges Gwinnett rejection of absentee ballots

The 2018 race for governor in Georgia could soon become one of the most litigated in state history. The AJC reported Monday that a large number of absentee ballots rejected by Gwinnett County election officials: And you know that one federal lawsuit had already been filed last week, challenging the state’s “exact match” policy that has resulted in 53,000 voter registrations...
On the Georgia trail: Michael whips up gov race, an early-vote approach, ‘Glascoe’ County 

On the Georgia trail: Michael whips up gov race, an early-vote approach, ‘Glascoe’ County 

Neither Brian Kemp or Stacey Abrams joined President Donald Trump on his trip to middle Georgia on Monday to survey damage from Hurricane Michael. But the storm has still whipped up the governor’s race.  Kemp traveled to southwest Georgia on Saturday to help local officials prepare for the start of early voting and returned to the area on Monday.  His campaign organized a disaster...
A new clash over voting engulfs Georgia gov candidates 

A new clash over voting engulfs Georgia gov candidates 

The clash over ballot access in the Georgia race for governor intensified on Monday as Republican Brian Kemp went on national TV to claim that his Democratic opponent wants “illegals to vote.” Stacey Abrams responded in campaign stops across middle Georgia by accusing him of “cherry-picking information” to willfully mislead the public three weeks before the election. The...
The Jolt: David Perdue snatches Tech student’s smart phone

The Jolt: David Perdue snatches Tech student’s smart phone

For the second time in two weeks, a social media video has surfaced highlighting a confrontation between U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and critics. But instead of a D.C. airport, where the Republican was recently cornered by a group of women angered by his support for Brett Kavanaugh, the latest exchange took place at Georgia Tech, Perdue’s alma mater. Perdue was on campus for...
Brian Kemp reclaims his own name online. Sort of. 

Brian Kemp reclaims his own name online. Sort of. 

For much of the last year, going to the command line on your computer and typing “briankemp.com” brought you to the website for his archrival Stacey Abrams.  But over the weekend, the Republican reclaimed the rights to his name – sort of.  He has newly-minted state Rep. Colton Moore to thank for it.  Moore is a recent college graduate in northwest...
Abrams makes history with Atlanta Pride march 

Abrams makes history with Atlanta Pride march 

Stacey Abrams emerged from her SUV on a busy Midtown Atlanta street corner on Sunday with a declaration to make to the throngs of voters attending the Atlanta Pride Parade, the annual celebration of LGBT rights in the heart of the city.  “We’re here because we stand together, because we know that allies do not run from fights. And because we know we all have pride in Georgia,&rdquo...
Abrams jabs Kemp on CNN, NBC – and gets slammed on Fox News 

Abrams jabs Kemp on CNN, NBC – and gets slammed on Fox News 

Democrat Stacey Abrams made the Sunday talk show rounds on Sunday to sharpen her criticism of Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s oversight of Georgia’s elections.  On CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Democratic candidate for governor said her Republican rival’s handling of voter registrations that were put on hold is...
Kemp embarks on tour of hurricane-hit southwest Georgia 

Kemp embarks on tour of hurricane-hit southwest Georgia 

Republican Brian Kemp embarked on a flyaround tour of southwest Georgia on Saturday to visit parts of the state devastated by Hurricane Michael. The secretary of state’s visits are designed to help local officials prepare for the start of early voting on Monday, though he hopes they will also boost his campaign for governor by showing him responding to the storms. His stops include trips to...
Kemp calls on Amico to withdraw from race for Georgia’s No. 2 job

Kemp calls on Amico to withdraw from race for Georgia’s No. 2 job

Republican Brian Kemp opened a new line of attack Friday, demanding that the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor withdraw from the race because of a “disturbing” racial discrimination lawsuit targeting her family’s business.  Calling the lawsuit’s allegations “unacceptable and disqualifying,” Kemp said Sarah Riggs Amico should “listen to the...
On the Georgia trail: A clash over voter suppression, ‘bias and bull’ and a Pride Parade first 

On the Georgia trail: A clash over voter suppression, ‘bias and bull’ and a Pride Parade first 

In an interview Friday on Georgia Public Broadcasting, Democrat Stacey Abrams amplified her criticism of Secretary of State Brian Kemp over his support of a controversial law that has stalled the voter registrations of more than 53,000 potential voters until they verify their basic information. She called the Republican’s decision to put those registrations on hold “an act of voter...
AJC/Channel 2 poll shows Trump’s popularity growing in Ga.

AJC/Channel 2 poll shows Trump’s popularity growing in Ga.

President Donald Trump’s support appears to be rising slightly among likely Georgia voters, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll, a development that could aid GOP candidates on the ballot next month.  The survey found the president’s approval has edged up roughly 4 percentage points compared to a similar poll last month and is now sitting...
White women voters are sticking -- not just with Kemp, but Trump, too

White women voters are sticking -- not just with Kemp, but Trump, too

Slightly more than a year ago, Stacey Abrams made clear that African-American women, the most dedicated demographic group within the Democratic party, would form the core of her campaign for governor. At this, she has succeeded. With a little more than three weeks to go, she still runs neck-and-neck with Republican Brian Kemp in her bid to become the first black woman to become chief executive of...
The Jolt: Stacey Abrams, Georgia Dems double down on ‘exact match’

The Jolt: Stacey Abrams, Georgia Dems double down on ‘exact match’

Stacey Abrams and Georgia Democrats are doubling – even tripling -- down on attacks aimed at Georgia’s “exact match” voter registration mandate, which has placed 53,000 voters in a kind of purgatory. A new Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll shows the race for governor to be a statistical dead heat at this point. And 6.9 million voters are now registered...
The Jolt: On health care, Republicans say offense is the best defense

The Jolt: On health care, Republicans say offense is the best defense

Stacey Abrams has put Medicaid expansion in Georgia at the core of her gubernatorial campaign. But elsewhere, some Democrats are embracing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a single-payer system. Which Republicans have begun using to shield themselves from accusations that they are trying to sink the most popular provision of the Affordable Care Act – the part that doesn’t allow...
As hurricane pounds Georgia, Pence cancels trip to Atlanta

As hurricane pounds Georgia, Pence cancels trip to Atlanta

Vice President Mike Pence canceled his Thursday visit to Georgia to host a high-dollar GOP fundraiser as Hurricane Michael roared through the state.  It was the second time the Republican was forced to scrap a visit to Georgia to boost Brian Kemp’s run for governor due to a major storm. He canceled a September visit because Hurricane Florence was barreling toward the Southeast. He...
A Georgia city’s $50 voter registration discount under scrutiny 

A Georgia city’s $50 voter registration discount under scrutiny 

A metro Atlanta city offered residents who registered to vote or confirmed their voter status a $50 discount from citations, raising questions about whether the plan violated state law that bans giving money or gifts in exchange for registering voters.  The City of South Fulton advertised the discount ahead of the voter registration deadline, and city solicitor LaDawn Jones said it was an example ...
Republican women blast Amico’s #MeToo dig at Kemp

Republican women blast Amico’s #MeToo dig at Kemp

Dozens of conservative women on Wednesday condemned Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico’s remarks that Republican Brian Kemp might not “make it four years” in the #MeToo era.  Conservative activist Julianne Thompson said Amico, the nominee for lieutenant governor, has “intellectually insulted Georgia voters” by suggesting that Kemp could get sidelined by the movement. &ldquo...
The Jolt: Two polls say Georgia’s race for governor remains neck-and-neck

The Jolt: Two polls say Georgia’s race for governor remains neck-and-neck

We’ve got two statewide polls to chew over this morning. Both register Georgia’s race for governor as a dead heat. And both will be judged by an AJC survey that will be out tomorrow. An 11Alive/Survey USA online poll posted Tuesday puts Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams at 47-45 percent, respectively. (MOE +/-4.9 percentage points) From the notations above SurveyUSA&rsquo...
Handel’s Dem opponent announces major fundraising bump

Handel’s Dem opponent announces major fundraising bump

The campaign of Lucy McBath said the Democrat will report raising nearly $1 million this summer, a relatively large sum for her quest to unseat U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.  The campaign said McBath raised $962,000 between July 5 and September 30. That’s the largest single-quarter fundraising haul from any 6th District candidate since last year&rsquo...
On the Georgia trail: Trump and Herschel, another close poll and Grindr 

On the Georgia trail: Trump and Herschel, another close poll and Grindr 

Athens – Donald Trump Jr. had a confession to make. He missed part of the invocation before his fundraising speech for Republican Brian Kemp in Athens to talk to a local icon. No, not his father, who lost Athens-Clarke County by a huge margin. He was chatting with Herschel Walker, the Georgia football legend and vocal supporter of Donald Trump. “The first time I went to Disney...
Ted Turner, Sam Nunn, and a partnership worth remembering

Ted Turner, Sam Nunn, and a partnership worth remembering

One of the first encounters between Sam Nunn and Ted Turner dates back to the days when Atlanta TV consisted of three network stations, a fuzzy dab of public broadcasting, and a UHF station called WTBS, which had just begun pushing out its signal nationwide via satellite. “I was over there one day, doing an interview. Ted came and grabbed me,” said Nunn, then a young U.S. senator. &ldquo...
Some Georgia voters report registration delays ahead of deadline 

Some Georgia voters report registration delays ahead of deadline 

Scattered online problems on the last day of voter registration in Georgia have some voters complaining of long delays and slow-loading websites.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received reports from a half-dozen voters who reported problems registering to vote, and officials with the Democratic party and Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign said they’ve heard from dozens more...
Pence to visit Atlanta, campaign for Kemp Thursday

Pence to visit Atlanta, campaign for Kemp Thursday

Vice President Mike Pence plans to visit on Atlanta on Thursday, where he will visit a Delta Air Lines maintenance facility and headline a fundraiser for the Georgia Republican Party and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Brian Kemp.  Air Force Two is scheduled to arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 1:40 p.m., according to a White House official, where Pence will be greeted by Kemp,...
The Jolt: The Atlanta tie to a Trump look at online voter manipulation

The Jolt: The Atlanta tie to a Trump look at online voter manipulation

The New York Times is back on the Robert Mueller probe of the 2016 presidential contest. And there’s an Atlanta connection. In today’s editions, the newspaper reports that Rick Gates, the Donald Trump campaign operative who has already pleaded guilty to unrelated charges, sought proposals to create a fake social media campaign to target delegates to the Republican party&rsquo...
Georgia 7th: Woodall opponent homes in on Obamacare repeal vote in first ad

Georgia 7th: Woodall opponent homes in on Obamacare repeal vote in first ad

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux entered the 7th District congressional race last year with a health care-focused message that drew heavily from her family’s own experience with sky-high medical bills. Now U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall’s opponent is making clear she plans to double down on the subject in the weeks leading up to the election.  Bourdeaux’s campaign is debuting a 30-second...
Do you really live here? Handel recycles Ossoff attack to ding Dem opponent

Do you really live here? Handel recycles Ossoff attack to ding Dem opponent

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel is reviving one of her most stinging attacks from last year’s special election to hit Lucy McBath, the Democrat vying for her 6th District seat this fall.  The Roswell Republican relentlessly swung at Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff last year for living outside of the congressional district, a “he’s not one of us” argument she credits with...
The Jolt: Sam Nunn still second-guesses himself over Clarence Thomas

The Jolt: Sam Nunn still second-guesses himself over Clarence Thomas

Several hundred of the people who once made Georgia tick gathered at the Historic Academy of Medicine on West Peachtree last Friday to celebrate Sam Nunn’s 80th birthday. The all-day affair was a sober one. The offered toast was consummated with small bottles of Coke Zero, and the day concluded with a massive dose of ice cream sundaes – official recognition of two vices that the former...
Ga. Republicans see Kavanaugh’s confirmation as rallying force

Ga. Republicans see Kavanaugh’s confirmation as rallying force

What took you so long?  That was the sentiment broadcast by many metro Atlanta Republicans on Saturday as the Senate prepared to cast a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.   At a pair of county GOP meetings in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, the party faithful cheered the news that the D.C. circuit court judge appeared on the cusp of confirmation, and they...
Looking for signs of a blue wave in north DeKalb County

Looking for signs of a blue wave in north DeKalb County

In wave elections, the most vulnerable politicians are often the ones who play well with others. That’s not a secret — just an irony for our polarized times. Yet another non-secret is the fact that, if a blue tsunami does sweep into Georgia on Nov. 6, it’s likely to crest in north metro Atlanta — which polling suggests is a mother lode, if you will, of female distaste for President...
On the Georgia trail: Deadline day, a new Nike slogan and Marty Kemp puts her foot down 

On the Georgia trail: Deadline day, a new Nike slogan and Marty Kemp puts her foot down 

It’s a moment of truth time for candidates up and down Georgia’s ballot: The deadline to report how much cash they’ve raised over the last three months. Reports are trickling in, but here are some early figures: Republican Geoff Duncan, running for lieutenant governor, has raised a total of $2.2 million since entering the race and has $1.2 million cash on hand. He collected $1.2...
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