PG A.M.: Trump allies rally behind US House candidate ahead of runoff

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Republican Brian Jack, who is seeking the 3rd Congressional District seat, is backed by former President Donald Trump.

Credit: Jason Allen/AP

Credit: Jason Allen/AP

Republican Brian Jack, who is seeking the 3rd Congressional District seat, is backed by former President Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump hasn’t yet scheduled a rally for his former aide Brian Jack’s U.S. House bid. But some of Trump’s top allies are going all-in for Jack in the final stretch before the June 18 Republican runoff against former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan.

Jack’s campaign will host a trio of events Monday across the west Georgia-based district featuring House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah and U.S. Rep. Mike Collins, the Jackson Republican who is Jack’s most important ally in the Georgia delegation.

Former President Donald Trump (left) is backing the bid of Brian Jack (right) for a seat in Congress.

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

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Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Jack is trying to hammer home his MAGA alliances after falling just short of an outright victory in a five-candidate race for the ruby-red seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson.

As for Trump, he posted a social media video reminding supporters of his “complete and total endorsement.”

“Brian joined my campaign in 2016 and he’s worked by my side — and I mean right by my side — for the last eight years,” said Trump. “And there’s nobody like him.”

Republican Mike Dugan faces Brian Jack in an upcoming runoff.

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

Dugan, meanwhile, is emphasizing his local support — he’s got the blessing of a range of sheriffs and county officials — and years of experience in public office helping to pass conservative legislation.

Stay tuned: Dugan will join “Politically Georgia” on WABE at 10 a.m. today. We’ve also extended an invitation to Jack to appear on the show later this month. The two will face off Sunday in an Atlanta Press Club debate.

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is critical of the immigration policies of President Joe Biden.

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

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Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

GEORGIA 2024. Republicans predictably panned President Joe Biden’s executive order that prohibits migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as too little, too late.

But some of the harshest comments came from a GOP figure who has little involvement with immigration: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. A potential candidate for higher office in 2026, Raffensperger used the opportunity to press one of his favorite initiatives.

“Now he should amend his executive order to make sure the illegal immigrants cannot vote in our elections by requiring all states to conduct citizenship verification of voter registrations like Georgia does,” he said. “It’s common sense. It works. It needs to get done.”

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, wants to impeach President Joe Biden.

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

IMPEACHMENT PUSH. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, is once again making noise about impeaching President Joe Biden — this time as retribution for last month’s guilty verdict in the New York hush money case against former President Donald Trump.

Greene met Tuesday with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to lay out her plans, which echoed her past complaints about her own party’s leaders in Congress.

“I told him Americans are fed up with do-nothing Republicans,” said Greene, terming her own party leaders ‘feckless’ as she demanded an official response to support Trump.

While Johnson called the meeting productive, Greene sternly disagreed in a chat with reporters.

“It’s only productive to me when there’s action taken,” Greene said, complaining about the lack of bills to defend Trump. “Honest to God, I don’t know why we’re here. This is like a clown show.”

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U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Ga., continues to champion contraception access for women.

Credit: Nathan Posner for The AJC

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Credit: Nathan Posner for The AJC

BIRTH CONTROL. Almost two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, Democrats in Congress are pressing the case to protect the right of women to get birth control.

With former President Donald Trump talking in recent weeks about possible limits on contraception, Senate Democrats will put GOP senators on the record today about the right to birth control. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, and House Democrats have launched a longshot bid to force action on that same bill in the House.

Neither effort is expected to succeed, but Democrats believe this is a powerful issue for them in the 2024 elections.

“Access to contraception is about health care,” said Williams, who talked about her struggle with endometriosis, a disease that affects the uterus, at a news conference. “It’s time for Congress to act to protect our fundamental freedoms, no matter your zip code, and no matter your bank account.”

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Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr wants the federal government to allow cellphone jamming devices in state prisons and local jails.

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

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Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

CELLPHONE CALL. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has renewed an appeal to the federal government to allow cellphone jamming devices in state prisons and local jails. On Monday, Carr sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to revise its nationwide ban on the devices to exempt local and state governments.

The request comes 17 months after Carr and the attorneys general of 21 other states petitioned Congress to craft legislation legalizing the use of jammers in correctional facilities. Legislators have yet to take action.

According to Carr’s office, Georgia correctional officers confiscated 8,074 contraband cellphones in 2023 and have seized 5,482 so far this year. The problem grabbed new attention recently when a jailed leader of the Yves Saint Laurent Square used a cellphone to order the killing of a Georgia man.

Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver said a cellphone in the hands of an inmate “can be used as a deadly weapon and gives them the ability to continue their criminal enterprise.”

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, posed for a portrait in front of the exhibit "John Lewis-Good Trouble" in 2019. Lewis died the following year.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/AJC

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Credit: Alyssa Pointer/AJC

LEWIS PAPERS. The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis spent his 80 years getting into “good trouble” as both a key figure in the Civil Rights movement and later as a member of Congress.

Our colleague Ernie Suggs reports that two Georgia Democratic lawmakers heavily influenced by Lewis — U.S. Sens John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — have secured $600,000 for the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation to help digitize and protect all of the documents Lewis created during his 34 years as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

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Atlanta Council President Doug Shipman is a guest today on the "Politically Georgia" show.

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

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Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

LISTEN UP. On today’s “Politically Georgia” episode, Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman speaks about the city’s struggles with water main breaks and aging infrastructure. We also talk to 3rd Congressional District candidate Mike Dugan, the former state Senate majority leader who faces Brian Jack in a GOP runoff later this month.

Listen live at 10 a.m. on WABE 90.1 or follow “Politically Georgia” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

If you missed Tuesday’s show, we talked to AJC City Hall reporter Riley Bunch about Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ response to the city’s massive water main breaks. Later, GOP political consultant Brian Robinson joined the show for a lively conversation about Republican voters’ reaction to the guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump.

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JaNice VanNess spoke at a Rotary Club meeting in Conyers on Tuesday.

Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

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Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

ROCKDALE RUSE? We’ve recently chronicled a new trend in Georgia politics — Republicans running as Democrats to gain access to the ballot in local election races. Insider Greg Bluestein takes an in-depth look at one of these DINOS, or Democrat in name only, in a story published this morning about the race to lead the Rockdale County Commission.

JaNice VanNess, a former Republican state legislator, advanced to a June 18 runoff for the commission chairman’s post. Rockdale is considered a liberal bastion, and the Democratic primary winner is all but assured of winning the seat, prompting VanNess to run as a Democrat.

From the story:

After stints as a commissioner and GOP state legislator, VanNess tells audiences she's a reluctant candidate, only joining the race when another contender she supported dropped out. But she felt compelled to run because someone needed to bring “smart growth and responsible leadership" to her native county.

- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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President Joe Biden is welcomed by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, left, upon his arrival at Orly airport on Wednesday.

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

TODAY IN WASHINGTON:

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Contractors work on the Hyundai Metaplant in Ellabell, Ga., on Feb. 8, 2024.

Credit: Stephen B. Morton for the AJC

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Credit: Stephen B. Morton for the AJC

HYUNDAI LEGAL CHALLENGE. Any motorist who regularly passes by the Hyundai Metaplant can attest to the rapid construction progress at the electric vehicle factory near Savannah.

One coastal Georgia conservation group is asking the courts to hit the brakes. On Monday, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers it intends to challenge permits issued for the plant because of risks posed to waters near the site, including the Ogeechee River, as well as to the local water supply.

The Hyundai Metaplant is the largest economic development project in Georgia history and championed by Gov. Brian Kemp. The assembly facility is expected to open later this year.

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AS ALWAYS, Politically Georgia readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to greg.bluestein@ajc.com, tia.mitchell@ajc.com, patricia.murphy@ajc.com and adam.vanbrimmer@ajc.com.