Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP
Political Rewind: Kemp endorses constitutional carry; Warnock pushes for federal voting rights bill
Emma Hurt — Reporter, Axios Atlanta
Greg Bluestein — Politics reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Leroy Chapman — Managing editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Riley Bunch — Public policy reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting
1. Gov. Brian Kemp endorses "constitutional carry" in Georgia ahead of the legislative session.
- "Constitutional carry" legislation allows residents to carry an open or concealed handgun in public without a license.
- Kemp endorsed the issue during his 2018 campaign for governor, but "constitutional carry" legislation has so far failed to gain traction in the General Assembly.
- The 2022 General Assembly session, which begins next week, is an opportunity for Kemp to follow up on similar legislation during an intense Republican primary versus challenger David Perdue.
2. Georgia reports a record number of COVID cases in the New Year.
- After being overwhelmed with data from the holiday weekend, the Georgia Department of Health reported more than 60,000 cases during the four-day stretch.
- The omicron variant is the main cause of this surge. The variant is now responsible for 95% of new COVID cases — just a month after since being marked as a variant of concern by The World Health Organization.
3. Warnock continues to push for voting rights, as the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection looms.
- Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock blasted state GOP lawmakers for additional voting changes proposed ahead of Georgia’s legislative session this year, including a bill that would eliminate ballot drop boxes altogether.
4. Atlanta welcomes new leadership with the inauguration of Mayor Andre Dickens
- Dickens was sworn in as Atlanta's 61st mayor on Monday.
- He outlined several initiatives including addressing crime and creating affordable housing.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind: Political Rewind's 9 a.m. broadcast will be preempted by NPR's special coverage of the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. We will be live on the air at 2 p.m. to talk about how the attacks on the U.S. Capitol changed the course of American history. Our panel is set to include longtime political commentator Jim Galloway, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution's Editor Kevin Riley, and Republican political consultant Leo Smith.