With Labor Day behind us, football is back and political campaigns are starting the sprint to Election Day.
But for the top two political contests this year in Georgia, Nov. 4 may not be the end of the campaigns.
That’s because few are ruling out that the races for Georgia’s Governor and the U.S. Senate won’t go to a runoff. And depending on the outcome, that could stretch the election season into the next calendar year.
To avoid a runoff, Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal will have to pull more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day.
The same holds true for either Democrat Michelle Nunn or Republican David Perdue, who are vying for the open U.S. Senate seat that Saxby Chambliss is vacating.
GOP primary for the seat Saxby Chambliss is vacating. Speaking Wednesday at a press conference, Handel said Republican voters can count on Kingston not to flip-flop. “We need someone who is going to be a consistent conservative, not someone who flails all over the place and flip-flops on what their viewpoints are,” said Handel. “We need a United States senator who believes in the American dream for everyone."
Seven candidates started out the race, but only two will take it to the finish line. Republican Senate hopefuls David Perdue and Jack Kingston will face off again in the July runoff when voters will choose which GOP candidate will represent them in the general election.
A normally a quick and controversy free Friday at the Capitol was instead filled with fireworks as members of the Senate tried to make changes to a bill dealing with the state ethics commission. What started as a so–called "simple bill" became a political grudge match as Senate Democrats tried to make changes to the state's ethics policies. The bill clarified a provision lawmakers passed last year, which exempts local level politicians from reporting campaign contributions to the state if they total less than $2,500 dollars.
Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt. The vote Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats. Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson voted against the bill. They are concerned the legislation will add to the deficit.
U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston is not taking back his remarks that students on free and reduced school lunch should have to pay or “sweep the floor” for their meals. Kingston, who is running for U.S. Senate, made those comments over the weekend to the Jackson County Republican Party. A video of Kingston’s talk has gone viral after The Huffington Post uploaded it to its website Wednesday.
Georgians will be paying about $101 million more in Medicaid costs next year. According to the state Department of Community Health (DCH), the additional expenses are due to changes to the program under the Affordable Care Act.
Congress passed a continuing resolution just under the wire Wednesday night to reopen the federal government and avoid default. Georgia's Representatives and Senators in Washington cast votes both for and against the bill.
State Senator Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, is considering drafting legislation that would require members of the General Assembly to pay for special elections if they resign to run for higher office. Officials say special elections cost anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000.