The Jolt: A top Tomlinson supporter flips to Ossoff’s camp

The Republican-on-Republican battle in the race for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat is getting the lion’s share of attention, but don’t sleep on the Democratic maneuvering in Georgia’s other Senate contest.

State Sen. Emanuel Jones flipped his endorsement Friday in the race to challenge U.S. Sen. David Perdue from Teresa Tomlinson, a former Columbus mayor, to Jon Ossoff, a media executive known for his 6th District campaign.

Jones, the former chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, said he sided with Ossoff because he’s more electable than Tomlinson or Sarah Riggs Amico, the other prominent Democrat in the race.

“To win this race, we need a candidate who can inspire massive turnout among new voters of all ages and backgrounds, and a candidate who can inspire a legion of volunteers to pour their hearts and souls into victory,” the Decatur lawmaker said in a statement. 

“To me, that choice is now clear, and that’s why I’m endorsing Jon Ossoff for U.S. Senate.”

Ossoff also picked up another supporter, this one from Tomlinson’s hometown: Columbus City Councilor Jerry “Pops” Barnes, a registered nurse and retired U.S. Army master sergeant.

Jones joins several high-profile Ossoff supporters, including U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, and state Rep. Karen Bennett, who chairs the legislative black caucus. Tomlinson has a sweep of endorsements, too, highlighted by former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.

Congressman Devin Nunes questions Ambassador Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union during the open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
Photo: Kirk McKoy/Tribune News Service

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Senate candidate Doug Collins has another prominent Republican in his corner. 

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California endorsed the Georgia congressman on Friday, calling him a “bold leader in the battle against the Russia collusion hoax and the sham impeachment against President Trump.”

Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, joins former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, chair of the Freedom Caucus, in supporting Collins’ campaign against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

“I shared a very small foxhole with Devin Nunes for a very long time, and I know his character,” said Collins. “That’s why his endorsement means so much to me personally.”

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Stacey Abrams appears to be a lock to be on the V.P. short list for Mike Bloomberg, who echoed other presidential contenders by saying he would consider her as a running mate.

Bloomberg, who donated $5 million to Abrams’ Fair Fight Action group, told NBC’s Kasie Hunt in an interview that she’s among the potential nominees.

The transcript:

HUNT: Stacey Abrams? You’ve spoken with her? 

BLOOMBERG: She’s very competent. I’m one of -- I may be her biggest supporter or funder; I’m certainly one of, for her whole initiative to get out the vote.

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At noon today, DeKalb chief executive Michael Thurmond will endorse Mike Bloomberg’s campaign for president. Read more here. 

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A U.S. House investigation into complaints received from voters in three states after the 2018 election has yielded a report that is critical of Gov. Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state at the time oversaw Georgia elections.

Democratic leaders of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee said that Kemp’s office had withheld 1,400 pages of documents requested but what was available had evidence of Republican Kemp “mocking” allegations of voter suppression.

The AJC’s Mark Niesse has more:

In one email, Kemp congratulated his campaign team for its efforts to blunt the impact of an article by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about voters whose registrations were improperly canceled because they didn’t match water billing records.

“Good work, this story is so complex folks will not make it all the way through it,” Kemp wrote in the subject line of a September 2017 email.Kemp’s office declined to comment Thursday, but a spokesman referred to a statement from Kemp’s chief of staff, who said at the time that it wasn’t appropriate for voter registration cancellations to be based on water bills.

… Kemp also replied in October 2017 to a Democrat’s campaign email about voter registration cancellations with a smiling emoji next to the word “us.” 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been pushing for the city auditor and ethics officer to fall under a new Office of Inspector General.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Activists who have protested Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the city of Atlanta’s use of eminent domain to seize properties in the Peoplestown neighborhood are taking their concerns to South Carolina.

Their goal is to bring this criticism to former Vice President Joe Biden, who received Bottoms’ endorsement and has invited her to campaign with him across the nation.

In a news release announcing the trip ahead of South Carolina’s primary on Saturday, the activists noted that Biden has spoken about the negative effects of gentrification on black families.

“His passion on this point raises the question, ‘Why would he engage Atlanta Mayor Bottoms as a key surrogate when she is using eminent domain to accelerate gentrification and to displace black families in her own city?’” the release said.

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An internal memo from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has outlined the issues caused by Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to move a key agency from Washington to Kansas City.

That memo was obtained by Politico, which reported that only 41 out of 233 positions at the Kansas City offices have been filled. Perdue had said the move would lower costs and bring researchers closer to the farmers their work impacts, but union members and other critics said career employees would be reluctant to relocate.

Politico said that the USDA is “mounting a vigorous hiring process” to fill jobs in the new office but current employees are overworked and feeling stretched thin.

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