The Georgia GOP response to unrest over policing: A gathering in College Park

Olens, Douglas County Solicitor Matthew Krull and Georgia GOP minority engagement guru Leo Smith are among the panelists discussing "strategies to repair the relationship between law enforcement and the community." Also there will be GOP vice chair Michael McNeely, who is African-American and a former police officer.

There's no cover charge, but you have to register here to attend.

Said Smith:

On the same topic, the city's streets were largely quiet on Tuesday night, a respite from the protests. Credit the negotiations between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and protest organizers, who agreed to meet Monday at City Hall for a two-hour discussion after what Hizzoner called a "cooling down" period.

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He told WSB's Sophie Choi that he never meant to offend the protesters, only to thank the police officers who showed restraint during the demonstrations.

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Kenneth Zachary submitted nearly 3,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office this week to appear on the November ballot as an independent. Democrats turned to him after James Williams was disqualified from running against Republican Rep. Gerald Greene of Cuthbert due to a redistricting error that showed he actually lives in a different district.

Zachary has also faced his own ballot turmoil. He was kicked off the ballot in the race for Calhoun County's sheriff after a judge ruled his convictions for writing bad checks disqualified him for the office. His supporters say the crime, which took place about 26 years ago, shouldn't block him from seeking office. And they are prepared to contrast him with state Rep. Tom Taylor, the Dunwoody Republican backed by party leaders despite a recent DUI offense.

Democrats have long salivated over House District 151, the only majority-minority district in Georgia that is now being represented by a white Republican. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams has put her clout behind Zachary, a former law enforcement officer and pastor, and Williams has endorsed him.

“Whether rejecting Medicaid expansion or failing to stand up for quality public education, the incumbent has acted against the interests of this community time and time again," said House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley. "Kenneth Zachary has received overwhelming support from the people of 151, and it is clear they are ready to elect a leader who shares their values.”

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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