The Jolt: Brian Kemp headed to David Perdue’s hometown, with David Perdue’s cousin

November 5, 2018 Atlanta - Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp share a smile ahead of Putting Georgians First Fly Around a day before the election day at Peachtree DeKalb Airport on Monday, November 5, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

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November 5, 2018 Atlanta - Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp share a smile ahead of Putting Georgians First Fly Around a day before the election day at Peachtree DeKalb Airport on Monday, November 5, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

News and information from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A few days after the first gubernatorial debate of the primary season, Gov. Brian Kemp plans to make a beeline to David Perdue’s hometown, where he will make a major announcement.

Just as notable is who is scheduled to join him for the event: Former Gov. Sonny Perdue, the family’s patriarch who is now more closely aligned with Kemp than his first cousin, Kemp’s rival for in the upcoming May gubernatorial primary.

The governor plans to head to Bonaire on Tuesday to sign a tax-cut measure that will eventually save taxpayers more than $1 billion a year, possibly far more.

His venue of choice is the White Diamond Grill – one of David Perdue’s favorite local eateries and the setting for one of his earliest campaign ads.

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10/16/2020 -Macon, Georgia - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) give Gov. Brian Kemp a high five as he prepares to make remarks at a President Donald Trump rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Friday, October 16, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

10/16/2020 -Macon, Georgia - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) give Gov. Brian Kemp a high five as he prepares to make remarks at a President Donald Trump rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Friday, October 16, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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10/16/2020 -Macon, Georgia - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) give Gov. Brian Kemp a high five as he prepares to make remarks at a President Donald Trump rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Friday, October 16, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Kemp will then travel about 12 miles south to Perry for what’s billed as a “special economic development announcement” with Sonny Perdue that’s expected to create hundreds of jobs in the region.

Over the last year, Kemp and his allies overhauled the Board of Regents to build enough support to ensure that Sonny Perdue could be the chancellor of the higher education system; he took office earlier this month.

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POSTED: The cash cavalry is coming for David Perdue, whose campaign is set to get a another major boost from an outside group with ties to Donald Trump in his bid to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp.

Our Greg Bluestein reports it’s not immediately clear if Trump’s Save America PAC is behind the new cash infusion, and the former president’s spokesman declined comment.

But a group called Take Back Georgia linked to a pro-Trump state legislator booked $2 million worth of airtime for ads starting this week, and media buyers said they expect the ad to feature Trump’s endorsement of Perdue.

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Speaking of the governor’s race, mark your calendars for Sunday night at 7:00, when Gov. Brian Kemp and former Sen. David Perdue will square off in their first debate, live on WSB-TV.

One of your Jolters will be on the panel asking the questions, and we’ve got a full breakdown of what to expect in our Friday’s edition of the Politically Georgia podcast.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Today is the day. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is expected to testify in person during a state administrative court hearing in Atlanta.

The challenge to her eligibility to run for another term is far from a certain success.

The voters who filed the challenge cite a clause in the 14th Amendment written to keep people who served in the Confederacy from returning to Congress. The challengers’ attorneys have the burden of proving that Greene aided in a rebellion against the government on Jan. 6, 2021, despite there being no public evidence that she was one of the riot’s organizers or facilitators.

But the eligibility issue is not just what this challenge is about.

The voters, led by pro-democracy group Free Speech for People, say her testimony today would be a victory itself. It would be her first time answering pointed questions about her actions leading up to and on the day of the rebellion.

The 9:30 a.m. hearing will be aired on C-SPAN and streamed live on the C-SPAN website, as well as others. We’ll be bringing you updates, so stay tuned.

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Republican Senate frontrunner Herschel Walker gave one of his most in-depth interviews to our friends over at WDUN in Gainesville this week, which illuminated the former football star’s stance on several key issues.

He wouldn’t echo former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud.

“I don’t know if there were problems with the 2020 election. What I do know is I’m going to win this seat,” Walker said.

He added that “a lot of people have been saying a lot of things,” about 2020 and praised Gov. Brian Kemp for signing Senate Bill 202, complete with an ID requirement for absentee voting.

Asked about his diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder, Walker said, “Mental health is like anything, you can go out and get it taken care of…that’s one of the reasons I am more qualified is I can get knocked down, get up and still succeed.”

Pressed to respond to his GOP rivals on skipping primary debates, his history of domestic violence, and lying about graduating from college, he said he’s been open and honest about his background.

“I think it’s jealousy, because right now Herschel’s going to win that seat. They can’t win it so they’re going to the old politics…they can’t do anything but complain.”

He addressed several areas of policy, including saying it was not “right” to focus on taxing the rich.

And will he commit to debating Warnock if he wins the GOP nomination? “I’m committed to doing whatever I need to do to win this seat,” Walker said.

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The Democratic Party of Georgia is literally outdoing itself in 2022 compared to previous election cycles.

Party officials have now reported $1.8 million cash on hand at the end of the first-quarter – more than double the amount it had at the same point in the 2018 midterm cycle.

The party raised $1.16 million over the first three months of the year, with roughly 72,500 campaign contributions averaging about $26 a pop. That’s a 10-fold increase over the first-quarter of 2018, when there were only about 7,500 contributions that averaged nearly $38 each.

And the party has staffed up with 35 employees, compared to the 18 employed at this point in 2020, including a trio of deputy political directors for outreach to Black, Latino and Asian-American Georgians.

In all, Democrats count 130 active county committees, compared with 117 at this time in 2020 and 95 in 2018. Altogether, 309 Georgia Democrats qualified for state and federal office this year, compared to 259 in 2018.

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Former Congressman Doug Collins appeared at an event for David Perdue to say he thinks Perdue is the best candidate in the Republican primary for Georgia governor.

“When I look at the election in November when Stacey Abrams is going to come in with $100 million and an agenda that makes Biden’s look easy, then I look around and say who do I want to be the Governor of the State of Georgia?,” Collins said. “And who can take that fight and take that race and take our Republican conservative values and do that? And in my opinion, that’s David Perdue.”

In 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp bypassed Collins to appoint Kelly Loeffler to the U.S. Senate seat that Collins hoped to have for himself. That chain of events led to a heated challenge from Collins and an eventual Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

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In more endorsement news:

  • U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams picked up endorsements from End Citizens United/Let America Vote and the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund in her re-election campaign in Georgia’s 5th District.
  • Forsyth County Commissioners Alfred John and Laura Semanson are backing Republican Rich McCormick in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
  • The Buckhead City Committee has already endorsed state Sen. Burt Jones for Lieutenant Governor. Now word comes that the committee, along with its lobbyists Cynthia and John Garst, will host a high-dollar fundraiser for Jones at the home of Bill White, the controversial CEO of the Buckhead effort.

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The White House has released another $9.6 million for Georgia residents as a part of a $385 million round of funding to help low income Americans with energy costs, especially ahead of summer months when air-conditioning causes bills to rise sharply.

In total, Georgia has received $149 million under the Total Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, as a part of the American Rescue Plan. The state will determine how the money will be distributed to residents.

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U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath is campaigning in Snellville today as part of her tour of local businesses.

Today’s visits are focused on businesses owned by Black women, including a hair salon and coffee shop.

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Since it’s Friday, we always like to send you into the weekend with a little light reading, including:

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As always, Jolt readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to patricia.murphy@ajc.com, tia.mitchell@ajc.com and greg.bluestein@ajc.com.

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