After nine weeks of intense, often personal campaigning, Georgia's primary runoff election is now over. In the biggest race, businessman David Perdue defeated 1st District congressman Jack Kingston for the republican nomination for U.S. Senate. While Kingston did well in southern and coastal counties, Perdue prevailed in the Atlanta suburbs and North Georgia.
Last month, 119 state legislators in the House voted for a sweeping gun bill that, if Gov. Nathan Deal signs it into law, would loosen restrictions on taking firearms into churches, government buildings and other places previously off-limits. Republicans pushed the measure, after failing to pass a similar bill in the waning moments of the 2013 legislative session. But three Democrats were among those ratifying the bill in the House. And another person supporting gun legislation was state Senator Jason Carter, a Decatur Democrat who’s running against Republican Governor Nathan Deal.
It would appear two inches of snow can cripple traffic in metro Atlanta. It can force people to abandon their cars and start walking. It waylays children and teachers at schools and keeps workers shut in at the state Capitol. And it can cause even the mightiest of Governors to admit maybe the state wasn’t prepared. But can it turn elections?
Georgia Democrats have little power these days. They hold no statewide offices, and have forceless minorities in both chambers of the state legislature. So when House and Senate Democrats rolled out their agendas in separate press conferences Thursday, it’s not an exaggeration to say little of what they proposed will come to pass. Much of it will fail to even garner a committee vote, much less make it to the floor of either chamber for a vote.
Georgia Democrats are energized ahead of the 2014 elections. They have two high-profile candidates in statewide races--state Senator Jason Carter running for governor and Michelle Nunn running for U-S Senate. Members of the state’s minority party also say they have a third person generating enthusiasm and interest- Georgia Democratic party Chairman DuBose Porter. The Democrats’ 2014 campaign kickoff last month had the air of a tent revival. People came out to see Carter and Nunn. But they were also drawn to Porter, a former state legislator from Dublin who took over the party this summer.
The Georgia Federation of Democratic Women is conducting a letter-writing campaign trying to convince Governor Nathan Deal to expand Medicaid in the state. They say accepting $40.5 billion from the federal government will help hundreds of thousands of Georgians without healthcare and could generate 70 thousand jobs. Federation President Gail Buckner says too many poor people in Georgia have no health insurance. She says they wait until they are really sick, then go to the emergency room, which puts pressure on hospitals who provide care with no reimbursement.
A grandson of former President Jimmy Carter has announced he will run for Governor of Georgia. Jason Carter, a Democratic state Senator from Decatur, near Atlanta, filed paperwork Thursday to become Deal’s highest profile challenger. He seeks to unseat incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal at a time when Democrats hold no statewide offices in Georgia.
Two weeks after Congress passed the continuing resolution that reopened the shuttered federal government, Democrats claim the shutdown will cost Georgia at least $324 million dollars this quarter (October, November and December.)