Only recently had Gaines been elected as president of the University of Georgia’s student government. He managed the 2014 re-election campaign of Athens Mayor Nancy Denson while still a college freshman.
But last Nov. 7, Gaines finished 424 votes behind Democrat Deborah Gonzalez, a local attorney.
That’s not the sin. Gaines raised more than $200,000 for his race, including maxed-out contributions from the likes of House Speaker David Ralston and state Rep. Terry England, the House Appropriations Committee chair.
When election night arrived, Gaines still had $96,863.60 in his campaign kitty. And still does. That’s the sin. Returning the cash to some specific donors might have assuaged a few hard feelings at the state Capitol, but that hasn’t happened.
Qualifying begins Monday. Gaines is expected to make another bid for the seat, but assistance from within the state Capitol may be harder to find this time around.
God, guns and proof of citizenship are what U.S. Rep. Tom Graves is about, according to our AJC colleague Alexis Stevens:
Two guns, a driver's license, credit cards, birth certificates, a laptop and a Bible were among the items stolen from a parked SUV belonging to U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., according to Atlanta police.
Graves and a staff member, Travis Loudermilk, had just left a Baker Street deck Saturday night when the two realized items were missing from the GMC Yukon, according to an Atlanta police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Loudermilk is the son of U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.
We've written at length about U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson's Donald Trump strategy: embracing the president but also keeping him at arm's length. That was not the case on Thursday evening, when the three-term Republican senator came out firmly against the administration's new, steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Isakson warned the new duties would harm local manufacturers: "Georgia has made great strides in attracting manufacturing jobs and building our workforce to meet that new demand,” Isakson said in a statement. “These tariffs on aluminum and steel are not only a new tax on American consumers, but also an impediment to economic growth."
But it’s not just manufacturing that has Isakson and plenty of others worried. Georgia is a major exporter of poultry and soybeans. Both commodities could become retaliation targets.
State Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, has landed yet another endorsement in his bid for lieutenant governor. From the press release:
Former U.S. Senator Mack Mattingly, the first Republican elected statewide since Reconstruction, has endorsed David Shafer for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.
"David Shafer is a Republican stalwart who has worked tirelessly to build our party and elect our candidates," said Mattingly.
We're late in reporting this, but Jim Gillis – a quieter member of the once-powerful Gillis family based in Soperton – died this week at the age of 101. The funeral was Wednesday.
Gillis served a single term as a state senator, from 1945 to 1946. But he was a Democratic heavyweight and served as Georgia campaign manager for Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 presidential election bid.
The right-leaning Washington Examiner breaks down the way Georgia U.S. Sen. David Perdue is approaching his role on a newly-created bipartisan panel tasked with finding ways to overhaul the budget process. Many of the Republican's ideas overlap with those included in a bill he introduced in 2016 that didn't gain much traction, such as penalizing lawmakers for not completing their annual government funding work on time.
Speaking of Georgia's senators, both David Perdue and Johnny Isakson made the top 50 in Roll Call's annual rankings of the wealthiest members of Congress.The Capitol Hill newspaper ranked Perdue as the richest member of the state's delegation and Congress' 31st wealthiest lawmaker overall, with a net worth of $15.8 million. Isakson is 47th overall, with $9.7 million. Six of Georgia's 16 federal lawmakers have negative net worths, according to the list.
Jon Ossoff said he'd stay involved in politics even after he decided not to run for Congress this year. And since that announcement, the former Sixth District candidate has made a flurry of endorsements. We've already told you that Ossoff is backing Democrat Lucy McBath in her challenge to state Rep. Sam Teasley, R-Marietta. Ossoff has also announced his support for Democrat Mike Wilensky's bid for the open Dunwoody-based House seat being vacated by Republican Tom Taylor, as well as and Josh McLaurin's campaign for a Sandy Springs-centered House seat being given up by Wendell Willard, a Republican.
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