In this April 4, 2019 photo, Georgia Democrat and former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson poses for a photo in Columbus, Ga. Tomlinson says she's officially running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2020, just one day after fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams announced she wouldn't run. Tomlinson on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, announced her candidacy for the seat now held by incumbent Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue.
Photo: Mike Haskey/Ledger-Enquirer via AP
Photo: Mike Haskey/Ledger-Enquirer via AP

The Jolt: Tomlinson picks up some newspaper love - in Virginia

It’s pretty rare to see a Virginia newspaper wade into Georgia politics. But one of your Insiders’ hometown papers wrote a glowing review of U.S. Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson over the weekend. 

The Roanoke Times didn’t go as far as endorsing the Democrat, but it provides a detailed look at her successful bid to help save her alma mater from closing. 

The former Columbus mayor sets the scene on her campaign site: alumnae of Sweet Briar College, a small women’s college roughly two hours west of Richmond, were blindsided in 2015 when the board voted to close the school amid cascading financial troubles. Students were being transferred elsewhere and the school had little in assets beyond its property. 

The Times notes that Tomlinson had a standout role among the many alumnae who waged a fight that made it all the way up to the state Supreme Court. She volunteered to help her school get a handle on its finances, and in sworn court testimony eviscerating her college’s board before Circuit Court Judge James Updike, Tomlinson “went a long way toward Updike’s ruling that afternoon that opened the door for alumnae to continue their legal fight,” the paper said. 

The school’s legal team, per the Times, “did not fare well. If Tomlinson is ever in the U.S. Senate, we pity anyone who has to testify before a committee she’s on and tries to get away with clever talk.” 

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U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson filed the necessary paperwork for re-election less than a week after winning his third term in 2016. 

But some Republican insiders consider it a dim prospect, given his age (74) and diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. 

And yet: Stickers that read “Johnny 2022” were strategically located all over the Georgia GOP convention in Savannah over the weekend. (His campaign has raised nearly $917,000 since Jan. 2017.)

Something else we noticed: Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller got a particularly warm reception from the crowd of delegates. He’s considered a potential GOP candidate for Senate if Isakson doesn’t run. 

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Another Republican jumped in the 7th District race over the weekend. 

Dr. Rich McCormick, an emergency medicine physician and military veteran, entered the campaign with a pledge to push tax-cutting proposals. 

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We told you over the weekend that former state Sen. David Shafer was elected overwhelmingly to lead the Georgia GOP, despite opposition from his rival, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who backed another activist. 

Here’s the rest of the slate: 

First Vice Chair: Carolyn Hall Fisher

Second Vice Chair: Brant Frost

Secretary: Michael Welsh

Assistant Secretary: BJ Van Gundy

Treasurer: Joseph Brannan

Assistant Treasurer: Vikki Townsend Consiglio

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