The Jolt: Reps. Clyde and Greene hammer GOP redistricting process

News and analysis from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/TNS)

It isn’t just Democrats unhappy with the redistricting process that the Georgia General Assembly finalized on Monday, with the approval of all GOP senators and all but two Republican House members.

U.S. Reps. Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Greene, two of the state’s most outspoken Republicans, are slamming the GOP leadership who oversaw the process, which drew Clyde out of his district and reconfigured Greene’s to include liberal portions of South Cobb County.

There is no requirement that members of Congress live in the district they represent. On Tuesday, Clyde said he’s running again in the 9th Congressional District, even though he won’t live within its new boundaries.

In a statement on Facebook, Clyde wrote, “I knew when I was elected that being a hardcore conservative would come at a steep price in Washington...What I never anticipated was the unprecedented act of being drawn out of my own district by a Republican Lieutenant Governor and a Republican Speaker of the House.”

That complaint echoes Greene’s comments earlier in the week, when she described the new maps political retribution against conservatives and “a fool’s errand that was led by power obsessed state legislators. Not true representatives of the people of Georgia.”

While their new territory isn’t what either wanted, the redrawn districts should be easy for a Republican to win easily anyway. The AJC’s Mark Niesse’analysis shows the new 14th District will have an R +40 advantage, while Clyde’s new 9th will be R +43.

By staying in the 9th District, Clyde also won’t have to risk a crowded primary for the vacant seat in the 10th Congressional District, where he’ll live once the maps take effect. None of the other six Republicans in Georgia’s GOP House delegation have registered any complaints about their new lines.

GOP leaders, including state Rep. Bonnie Rich and state Sen. John Kennedy, have defended all of the new boundaries as fair, legal, and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

For his part, House Speaker David Ralston didn’t mice words when he responded to Greene and Clyde’s complaints early Wednesday morning.

“A few folks have so lost sight of the greater good that they wouldn’t know it if it hit them like a Jordan Davis sack,” Ralston said.


That sound you hear is Georgia Republicans trying to distance themselves further from disgraced attorney Lin Wood.

The former Atlanta lawyer, who promoted pro-Donald Trump lies about election fraud, drew attention this week after Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murder charges. His defense team filed a motion seeking bail money raised on his behalf, but so did a nonprofit led by Wood.

The roughly $2 million raised by the FightBack Foundation is in limbo now. But Rittenhouse told Fox News earlier this week that he was “taken advantage of” by Wood and another attorney, John Pierce, who he said convinced him he’d be “safer in jail” than with his family.

After the Rittenhouse interview, some Georgia GOP figures blasted Wood again. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was among the loudest, saying Wood “should go to jail for what he did to Kyle.” She also blamed him for GOP losses in the Senate runoffs after he encouraged Trump supporters not to vote.

Other Georgia Republicans have separated themselves from Wood in quieter ways.

Wood earlier this year said on Telegram that Senate candidate Herschel Walker had joined the FightBack Foundation’s board of directors. Walker spokeswoman Mallory Blount said he is not involved with the board but offered no further comment.

And a recent financial report from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue shows he refunded $10,500 in contributions from Wood – in September 2021.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, by the way, saw a note of hypocrisy in Greene’s criticism of Wood.

“Say it ain’t so @mtgreenee. Next you’ll turn on the former President when you realize he lied about the election conspiracy stuff too like Lin Wood.”


In yesterday’s Jolt, we reminded you not to sleep on the Republican battle for Georgia’s 6th District after incumbent Democrat Lucy McBath jumped to safer blue territory in the 7th District. Now more maneuvering is afoot.

Military veteran Harold Earls, a Republican who had been in the 6th District for months, quit the contest on Tuesday citing his family responsibilities. He ended his statement with a “to be continued,” raising the possibility he could run for the Legislature.

As we reported earlier this week, Dr. Rich McCormick – who narrowly lost to Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux last year – is expected to announce he’s switching to the 6th District next week.


U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux rolled out endorsements from more than a dozen elected officials in Gwinnett Tuesday, just one day after learning that her House colleague, U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, will challenge her in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District next year.

The list includes state Rep. Gregg Kinnard, D-Lawrenceville, state Rep. Beth Moore, D-Peachtree Corners, state Rep. Dewey McClain, D-Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Commissioners Ben Ku and Jasper Watkins, along with the mayors of Suwanee, Norcross, Berkeley Lake, Peachtree Corners, and Lawrenceville.


It won’t quite be a “Dirt Road Anthem” but country singer and Macon favorite son Jason Aldean is bringing his act to Athens in January for a fundraiser to support Republican Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Tickets for the concert start at $2,500 a couple, and $7,600 won’t get you just “Any Ol’ Barstool” but a VIP meet-and-greet reception.

“Why?” Ok, we’ll stop with the song references now.


POSTED: The AJC has continuing coverage of the Ahmaud Arbery trial, where jurors are now deliberating the fate of three men charged with murdering Arbery as he ran through a Brunswick neighborhood.


Today is the final day of early voting in the Atlanta mayoral runoff. But over in Augusta, the mayoral campaign season is kicking into high gear.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the city’s nonpartisan municipal election in May has already attracted 11 candidates to fill the shoes of outgoing mayor Hardie Davis, Jr..

The paper has the details on the field, which includes “an array of seasoned politicians, public servants and newcomers registered to run in the May 22 elections.”


The AJC reported yesterday on the decision by the Georgia Board of Regents not to rename 75 buildings on state campuses with names connected to slavery or white supremacy, despite a committee recommendation to do so.

Today the Red & Black lists the 33 buildings and institutions at the University of Georgia that the committee advised should be renamed, including The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; Cobb House; Lumpkin House; the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library; and Vinson Hall.

The full list is available at the AJC.

A Jolt reader enquired yesterday about the makeup of the Board of Regents. The 19-member board oversees the entire University System. The board is unpaid and made up of men and women appointed to seven-year terms by the sitting governor.


In personnel news, Reese McCranie has started a new gig as a senior adviser at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. McCranie was a deputy state director for President Joe Biden’s campaign in Georgia and was previously a top Atlanta City Hall aide.


Be sure to check out the latest Politically Georgia podcast, a closer look at the AJC’s latest poll in the race for Atlanta mayor and a deep dive into where Andre Dickens and Felicia Moore stand on key issues in their words.

You can listen here or on your favorite podcast platform.

And new Political Georgia episodes with the Jolt team drop every Friday to review the week that was in Georgia politics.


Your Jolters are taking a break Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkey, and we will see you on Monday. In the meantime, thank you for reading and subscribing!


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