Political Rewind: Ga. leaders take differing tones on COVID; Wedge issues in 2022 session, races
Dr. Andra Gillespie — Professor of Political Science and Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University
Emma Hurt — Politics reporter, Axios
Dr. Adrienne Jones — Professor of political science, Morehouse College
Tamar Hallerman — Senior reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. Atlanta and state leaders take divergent approaches, again, on COVID-19 public health measures as numbers rise.
- The omicron variant overtook the Delta variant in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 73% of new cases nationwide the result of omicron.
- On Tuesday, outgoing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reissued a citywide indoor mask mandate.
- Meanwhile, Gov. Brian Kemp is joining other states in suing the federal government over the mask mandate in the Head Start program.
2. A combination of wedge issues and primary races in state politics could lead to a contentious 2022 General Assembly session.
- In the Republican primary for Georgia governor, challenger David Perdue could be looking for conservative political issues to create distance between himself and incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp
- Perdue might see some room to criticize Kemp on "constitutional carry." Gun rights were a big theme of Kemp’s 2018 campaign, but the legislation stalled in the General Assembly.
3. Democratic congressional primary in newly drawn 7th District in Atlanta suburbs.
- Georgia 6th District U.S. House Representative Lucy McBath announced she would run against Carolyn Bourdeaux in the 7th District after congressional maps were redrawn in November.
- Both congresswomen are considered rising stars in the Democratic party, though they take different platforms.
4. Camden County's spaceport secures FAA license, though liftoff is a far away.
- The Federal Aviation Administration granted the Camden County Board of Commissioners a license to operate a spaceport launch facility on the Georgia coast.
- Many hurdles remain before the Camden Spaceport can be operational.
- Opponents to the project include the National Park Service, who are worried about the effects on nearby Cumberland Island National Seashore.
5. We looked back at some of the biggest political trends we saw in 2021 — and what trends might be big in 2022.
- The murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the subsequent trial of Gregory and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan received national attention and played a big role in a continuing conversation about race in America.
- Civil rights leaders welcomed the convictions last month, but urged the public to remember more work is needed.
- Lies about the 2020 election results continue to fester a year after Democrats claimed the state in the presidential race and flipped Georgia’s two Senate seats blue.
- Rhetoric from Republican lawmakers and in ongoing runoffs show misinformation about election results remains a talking point heading into 2022's races.
- Buckhead succession received wide attention over the past year, including by prominent media and political figures far outside the proposed city’s boundaries.
- Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Republican lawmakers statewide are among those who have weighed-in on the cityhood movement.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
Host Bill Nigut reads Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."