Three Southside mayors are looking to cement reelection, including Elizabeth Carr-Hurst in Fairburn, Forest Park’s Mayor Angelyne Butler, and South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards, while an open mayor’s race in Peachtree City has come down to a runoff between Kim Learnard and Eric Imker.
Today in town, Our City Hall team of J.D. Capelouto and Wilborn Nobles has continuing coverage of what to watch in that historic, open-seat contest between City Council President Felicia Moore and Councilman Andre Dickens.
Look for Moore to crisscross the city for one last pitch to voters, while Dickens plans to make a whopping 19 stops as Atlantans cast their ballots.
A celebrity gossip blog that isn’t exactly known for its fact-checking is one of the sources of a last-minute rumor in the Atlanta mayor’s race that Felicia Moore wants to shut down Atlanta’s strip clubs or restrict their hours.
Moore has said multiple times that she doesn’t support closing clubs, and now the Atlanta mayoral candidate has been forced to spend time during the final hours of the runoff campaign explaining it herself.
Moore addressed the controversy Monday night in an interview with Charles Blow. “It’s a lie,” she said of the notion.
The false rumor about Moore seemed to gain traction after Atlanta rapper T.I., who supports Andre Dickens, reposted a screenshot of the blog post, along with other anti-Moore memes, to his Instagram page.
Former President Donald Trump’s high-dollar fundraiser for Herschel Walker on Wednesday will be co-hosted by sports stars, GOP mega-donors and other figures in Trump World.
We’re also keeping an eye on the lesser-known names traveling to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the event. Among them is Mallory Staples, a GOP candidate for the 6th District who hasn’t attracted as much attention as several of her prominent rivals.
Staples tells us that Walker was “nice enough to invite me down for his event” with Trump this week. She also said she recently met with Mark Meadows, Trump’s ex-top aide, and has posted photos of herself with Walker and Trump-endorsed LG hopeful Burt Jones on her social media accounts.
Staples’ campaign is pro-Trump, “America First” fare, including warnings about Critical Race Theory and open borders, along with calls to fully fund law enforcement.
In Washington this week, we’ll be watching for progress on the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
Politico Playbook updates that a bipartisan group of senators blocked debate on the bill Monday night, frustrating Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who had wanted to quickly dispense with the crucial military spending bill this week.
The NDAA includes spending authorization levels for all 13 military installations in Georgia, as well as policy items for the U.S. military around the globe.
The hottest topic in the House before passing the bill was language to extend the military draft to all 18-year-old women, in addition to 18-year-old men who are already required to register for the Selective Service.
We’re picking up word that another Republican could join the race to challenge U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop in southwest Georgia.
William Crozer, a veteran political operative and lobbyist, was a deputy director of the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Donald Trump administration.
If he enters the contest against Bishop, he’ll join at least one other Republican contender. Wayne Johnson, a former student loan official in the Trump administration, announced his campaign last week.
Gov. Brian Kemp is shuffling key advisers into new positions to gear up for the 2022 election.
Cody Hall, the spokesman for Kemp’s official office, was named the campaign’s director of communications and senior adviser. The 20-something is already a GOP veteran with experience working for Hunter Hill’s campaign, Kemp’s 2018 bid and the Georgia Chamber.
He’ll be succeeded by Katie Byrd, who was Attorney General Chris Carr’s longtime spokeswoman. The office also announced that Andrew Isenhour, a former staffer to Nathan Deal, will serve as Byrd’s deputy.
(Kemp critics promptly dug up what appears to be an anti-Trump tweet from Isenhour during the throes of the 2016 contest.)
It’s been a minute since we checked in with Charlie Hayslett over at Trouble in God’s Country, but the rural Georgia numbers cruncher has an alarming finding on his blog this morning about just how severe the wealth gap between Georgia’s richest and poorest counties has become.
The first unhappy headline out of this data dive is that Georgia counties occupy the bottom two places on the national list (of per capita income).
Wheeler County finished 3,114th out of 3,114 counties with a 2020 PCI of $21,087, just ahead of Telfair County at 3,113th with a PCI of $22,644. As a frame of reference, those figures are less than one-fourth of Fulton County's state-leading per capita income of $95,683 and about one-tenth the PCI of $220,645 in Teton County, Wyoming, which ranks No. 1 nationally.
Perhaps even more troubling, Georgia is home to 10 of the bottom 30 counties nationally. The only other states with more than two counties in the bottom 30 are Florida with six and South Dakota with four.
- Trouble in God's Country
A federal judge is moving a wide-ranging voting rights lawsuit filed in 2018 by Fair Fight Action, the group founded by Stacey Abrams, toward a trial early next year. More from the AJC’s Mark Niesse:
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in court Monday that a two-week trial could begin the week of Feb. 7, (more than) three years after the voting rights organization Fair Fight Action sued in the wake of Democrat Stacey Abrams' loss to Republican Brian Kemp.
It will be the first voting rights case to go to trial in Atlanta's federal court in at least a decade.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
POSTED: It’s not just Buckhead. The AJC’s Tyler Estep has the latest on the ongoing effort to create a City of Dekalb in southern Dekalb County.
With 200,000-plus residents, it would have more than three times the population of DeKalb's largest existing cities — similar to populations in Columbus and Augusta, the second- and third-largest cities in the entire state.
A significant majority of the new city's residents would be Black.
Kathryn Rice spearheaded the fruitless attempts at creating Greenhaven that started in 2014. She's also the coordinator of the new group, DeKalb Cityhood Movement, that's pushing state legislators to introduce and pass legislation that would let residents vote on a city of DeKalb.
She said that, with several new DeKalb cities having formed in recent years and the controversial Buckhead City proposal looming in Atlanta, it's time for her community to have a referendum too.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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