The Jolt: Geoff Duncan for president?

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


Is Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan running for president? That’s what Manchester’s WMUR-TV wanted to know last night when Duncan visited New Hampshire’s famous Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.

St. Anselm is a must-do stop for any presidential hopeful in the first-in-the-nation primary state, so a visit there inevitably leads to the question: Are you considering a run for the White House?

Duncan was in New Hampshire selling “GOP 2.0″-- the idea behind both his book and his vision for a possible post-Trump version of the Republican Party.

Here’s what Duncan told the station when asked if he’s considering a White House run, and it’s not a “no” …

“Well, I’m focused on healing and rebuilding the party right now. If you looked at my to-do list every day of what I have to do in all 50 states and the people I’ve got to talk to, I’m certainly consumed with trying to heal and rebuild the party, and we’re going to be in a process of trying to figure out who’s the best leader.”

WMUR’s takeaway: “Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan could end up in the mix of contenders for president in 2024.”

And take note that Duncan could wind up visiting other early-voting states in the next few weeks to promote his “GOP 2.0“ vision.

Before Capitolites dismiss the notion, remember that the last two presidential cycles have featured the mayor of South Bend, Ind., Marianne Williamson, a motivational speaker, and a New York businessman with no political experience. Stranger things have already happened.


State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who is also running to become Georgia’s next elections chief, was arrested Tuesday during a voting rights rally in Washington.

Nguyen and 24 others, including some Georgia faith leaders, were charged with a misdemeanor after deliberately blocking a sidewalk in front of the White House. They paid a fine and were never taken into lock up.

Georgia State Rep. and candidate for Georgia Secretary of State Bee Nguyen speaks during a demonstration outside of the White House about voting rights on October 19th, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Credit: Nathan Posner

icon to expand image

Credit: Nathan Posner

Nguyen told AJC photojournalist Nathan Posner that she was in Washington “to urge the president and Congress to prioritize federal voting rights protection.”

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote on the compromise election bill backed by all 50 members of the Democratic caucus. Republicans are expected to filibuster.

Nguyen. a Democrat, has also put out a video previewing her campaign that makes it clear the race for secretary of state won’t be the sleepy down-ballot contest that it’s been in years past.


In more 2022 news, U.S. Rep. David Scott has announced he’s running for an 11th term representing the 13th Congressional District.

Scott is the first Black chairman of the powerful House Agriculture Committee. He said in a news release that he’s proud of the work he’s done in Congress, including his committee work, adding funding for land grant colleges, and holding job and health fairs in his district.

Scott’s first elected position came in 1974, when he won a seat in the Georgia state House. He later also served in the state Senate.

As of now, the 13th District includes portions of Cobb, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton and Henry counties, although changes are likely ahead in redistricting.


POSTED: Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that Georgia is expanding its low-income child care program with money from the American Rescue Plan, which passed earlier this year. More from Ty Tagami:

One reason employers cannot find workers is that many parents lack a safe and affordable place to keep their children, but new federal funding could help solve that problem for thousands of Georgians.

Starting next month, an additional 10,000 low-income families will get help from the state to pay for child care. That's a 20% increase over the 50,000 who get help now. Also, the state will be giving care providers more money if they provide higher quality service, which generally means paying teachers more.

- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The global supply chain crunch is hitting home at the Port of Savannah in Garden City, but the Savannah Morning News reports there may be hope for improvement in time for the holidays.

Georgia Ports Authority Director Griff Lynch held a press conference at the end of last week to preview what’s ahead.

“You might think nothing is going to be on the shelves," Lynch told a small gaggle of local media while a 13,000-container ship hoisting a Greek flag loomed behind him. “I would say what we're struggling here for is to get 90% (of product) on the shelves. So, there is 10% at-risk right now."

- Savannah Morning News


The City of Marietta has a mayor’s race of its own that’s heating up, where Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly is challenging Mayor Steve Tumlin, who is running for a fourth term atop City Hall.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports age and experience are two issues animating the campaign.

The other day, (City Councilwoman Cheryl) Richardson said she noticed a sign that read “Keep Marietta, Marietta."

By contrast, Kelly's campaign platform is “Move Marietta Forward."

“We can't ‘Keep Marietta, Marietta.' If we continue with that mindset, we will be left behind in getting people in," Richardson said.

- Marietta Daily Journal


Mark your calendars for Friday at 11:00 a.m., when U.S. Jon Ossoff will be the speaker at the Atlanta Press Club Newsmakers series. Ossoff will deliver remarks on infrastructure and then sit down for a Q&A with our fellow Insider, Greg Bluestein.


Former Clayton County school board member Alieka Anderson narrowly defeated Alaina Reaves last night in a special election runoff for an open Clayton County commission seat.

Anderson defeated Reaves, a Democratic National Committee member with support from Stacey Abrams, in the low turnout election.

Abrams had posted a video endorsing Reaves as a “smart, energetic young organizer” who can help Clayton County grow its economy.

The District 1 seat was formerly held by Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory. Gregory died in late May after a long fight with ovarian cancer.


Georgia Public Service Commission Chair Tricia Pridemore and Commissioner Jason Shaw have endorsed Meagan Hanson in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat.


Power the Vote, a new Georgia-based political organization, says it will partner with the Democratic Party of Georgia to fund voter protection staff leading up to the 2022 midterms. Georgia U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux are among the group’s honorary co-chairs.


Finally, the Red Clay Democrats threw Atlanta’s top mayoral candidates a curveball at a forum earlier this week: If one has to go, would it be the Braves, Falcons, Hawks or United?

Councilman Antonio Brown said he’d ditch the Falcons. So did Councilman Andre Dickens. But it was Council President Felicia Moore who brought down the house with her curt answer.

“I’m going to say Braves because they already left.”

No word yet on where former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed stands on the issue, since he wasn’t at the panel.

We can imagine he might side with Moore, given that he learned of the Braves decision to ditch Atlanta for the suburbs just days after his 2013 re-election.

A shout-out to WABE’s Rahul Bali for capturing the moment:


As always, Jolt readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to, and

Sign Up to receive the Morning Jolt & AJC Politics newsletters in your inbox.