Issues: Elections

Georgia Democratic runoffs: what you need to know

Georgia Democratic runoffs: what you need to know

Georgia Democratic voters are set to decide their party’s nominees in some major races on Tuesday’s runoff election. Here’s what to watch.  Two Democrats are battling for the party nomination for Georgia schools superintendent, the state’s top k-12 educational post. Sid Chapman, a former teacher and state advocate for educators, is competing against Otha Thornton...
Georgia Republican runoffs: what you need to know

Georgia Republican runoffs: what you need to know

The Republican picks for some of Georgia’s highest offices are at stake in Tuesday’s runoff elections. Here are the key races.  The marquee match up is between between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the race for governor. Cagle frames himself as a conservative standard-bearer who will take on powerful interests, and he likes to say his election will usher...
Understanding Tuesday’s GOP runoff for Georgia governor 

Understanding Tuesday’s GOP runoff for Georgia governor 

The Republican runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp ends Tuesday, after more than a year of bitter GOP infighting over who is the best conservative candidate for governor.  The winner of the runoff faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November. Here is our guide to the people, events and trends that have helped shape the race for governor.  The bruising Republican...
‘Independent’ groups, some that hide donors, flood Georgia races

‘Independent’ groups, some that hide donors, flood Georgia races

When voters pick their final nominees for the November elections on Tuesday, they’ll do so after being overwhelmed by TV and radio ads, social media messaging and mailings from groups they’ve probably never heard of. Outfits such as Changing Georgia’s Future or PowerPAC or Black PAC or Conservatives for a Stronger Georgia or Higher Heights for Georgia or the Hometown Freedom Action...
With White House’s support, Kemp turns up heat on Cagle

With White House’s support, Kemp turns up heat on Cagle

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tried to minimize the damage to his race for governor after President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his rival. The White House tried to make sure that didn’t happen. And Secretary of State Brian Kemp shifted his focus beyond Tuesday’s vote. It was a weekend of furious campaigning across the state, as the two Republicans hurtling toward the runoff tried to...
Election Prep: A breakdown of Georgia’s top runoff races

Election Prep: A breakdown of Georgia’s top runoff races

Catch up on everything related to the July 24 runoffs before Election Day. “This is like Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Georgia and Alabama-Auburn wrapped into one at this point,” James Salzer said on the latest Politically Georgia podcast with host Greg Bluestein. Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. You can also download or stream the episode above. Podcast...
Pence touts Kemp as the ‘real deal’ in Georgia race for governor

Pence touts Kemp as the ‘real deal’ in Georgia race for governor

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s campaign for governor got a major boost Saturday from Vice President Mike Pence, who called him the best partner for the White House in an hourlong event that cast Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle as mostly an afterthought. Instead, Pence and other speakers who rallied the crowd of more than 1,500 at the Macon Coliseum called Kemp the only candidate who can keep Georgia&rsquo...
GOP Lt. Gov. hopefuls make last-minute pitch to group before runoff

GOP Lt. Gov. hopefuls make last-minute pitch to group before runoff

The runoff candidates for lieutenant governor made one of their last appeals to Republican voters Saturday during a forum hosted by a conservative Christian group in Lawrenceville. Timothy Head, executive director of Faith and Freedom Coalition, said he recognized that most Republican candidates hold similar views on issues facing the state, but the forum gave voters an opportunity to look a little...
Georgia GOP race for governor was Trump-like even before he stepped in

Georgia GOP race for governor was Trump-like even before he stepped in

The bruising Republican runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp that comes to an end Tuesday has brought all the hallmarks of a Trump-era contest to a Georgia race for governor. There have been covert recordings, vicious nicknames, allegations of sexism and bloody-knuckle debates. And now, with Donald Trump’s “full and total” support for...
Here’s a look at key contests in Georgia primary runoff

Here’s a look at key contests in Georgia primary runoff

Georgia voters head back to the polls Tuesday to decide their party’s nominees in some of the state’s top races. Here are the biggest races to watch in the runoff: Voters will settle the battle for the Republican nomination for governor when they decide between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Cagle frames himself as a conservative standard-bearer who will take...
Capitol Recap: GOP race reveals an opening for medical marijuana

Capitol Recap: GOP race reveals an opening for medical marijuana

The two Republicans still running for governor appear to be more open to discussing the in-state cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes than the man currently sitting in the big chair at the Capitol. Neither Casey Cagle nor Brian Kemp has actually endorsed legalizing in-state cultivation, but they both said during their debate last week on Channel 2 Action News that they would take advice...
Now the underdog, Cagle grapples with Trump fallout

Now the underdog, Cagle grapples with Trump fallout

No sooner had Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle wrapped up the second in a string of campaign rallies Thursday than he faced a barrage of questions he’d rather not hear: one query after another about President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his rival in next week’s GOP runoff for governor. Cagle tied himself each time to Gov. Nathan Deal, who endorsed him earlier this week, and he lamented that...
Reacting to Trump’s support for Kemp, voters on both sides double down

Reacting to Trump’s support for Kemp, voters on both sides double down

President Donald Trump’s last-minute endorsement of Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the GOP runoff for governor came as a surprise to Georgia voters of all stripes. For supporters of Kemp, it confirmed what they already believed. Backers of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, however, voiced reactions ranging from indifference to trepidation. “I’ve got to really re-evaluate,” said Robert...
Friday is the last day to vote early in Georgia’s primary runoff

Friday is the last day to vote early in Georgia’s primary runoff

Friday is the last opportunity Georgia voters have to cast their ballots early for next week’s primary runoff election. Those who aren’t able to cast a ballot by then will have to go to their polling place Tuesday to vote. Many Georgia voters have taken advantage of the early-voting window. As of Wednesday, more than 153,000 people had cast ballots since early voting opened July 2. Republicans...
Trump endorses Brian Kemp in Georgia GOP gov race

Trump endorses Brian Kemp in Georgia GOP gov race

President Donald Trump gave Secretary of State Brian Kemp his “full and total endorsement” Wednesday in Georgia’s Republican race for governor, dealing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle a devastating blow in a bitter runoff. In an afternoon tweet, Trump said Kemp was “tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration,” and the president urged his supporters to cast ballots...
Deal endorses Shafer in Georgia GOP lieutenant governor runoff

Deal endorses Shafer in Georgia GOP lieutenant governor runoff

Gov. Nathan Deal has endorsed state Sen. David Shafer in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor. Shafer faces former state Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming in Tuesday’s runoff election. Earlier this week Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the race to succeed him as governor. Cagle faces Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the right to take on Democrat Stacey Abrams this fall. In a statement...
Two Democrats are vying to lead the state’s public schools.

Two Democrats are vying to lead the state’s public schools.

Two Democrats are battling for the party nomination for Georgia schools superintendent, the state’s top K-12 educational post. Sid Chapman, a former teacher, turned state teacher advocate is competing against Otha Thornton, a former national parents’ advocate. The pair emerged from a three-way primary election in May. The winner on July 24 will face incumbent Republican Richard Woods,...
The Georgia GOP secretary of state race: What you need to know

The Georgia GOP secretary of state race: What you need to know

The Republican runoff for Georgia secretary of state, one of the most powerful elected positions in Georgia, comes down to two pro-business candidates who both say they’ll protect the integrity of elections. State Rep. Brad Raffensperger, who received the most votes in a four-way primary, faces runner-up David Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta. The winner of the July 24 Republican...
A pledge to fight poverty riles up the Georgia governor’s race

A pledge to fight poverty riles up the Georgia governor’s race

Is a Republican’s pledge to fight poverty now an inexcusable offense in an ultracompetitive race for the most conservative voters in Georgia? That’s the question both GOP candidates for governor confronted Tuesday after another clip of a secretly recorded conversation was released. Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s allies hope to rile up conservatives with the recording of Lt. Gov...
Delayed reports by Kemp’s office allowed felons to vote in two counties

Delayed reports by Kemp’s office allowed felons to vote in two counties

At least two felons were allowed to vote illegally in May primaries thanks to a backlog of felon lists overseen by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. With less than a week until the primary runoff, that backlog has left some county elections offices across the state scrambling to process unusually large lists of felons that need...
Ethics complaint accuses ex-Georgia pol of funding dark-money group

Ethics complaint accuses ex-Georgia pol of funding dark-money group

A Georgia ethics watchdog is preparing complaints against a group that is funding campaign advertisements targeting Republican lieutenant governor candidate David Shafer, as well as the ex-lawmaker he says is behind the ads. William Perry said he plans to file the complaints Wednesday, a little less than a week before Shafer, a state senator, faces former state Rep. Geoff Duncan in the July 24 Republican...
An endorsement highlights slight GOP shift on medical marijuana

An endorsement highlights slight GOP shift on medical marijuana

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are both open to researching new ways to expand access to medical marijuana if elected governor, though neither Republican candidate has explicitly endorsed legalizing the in-state cultivation of the drug. That’s a shift that state Rep. Allen Peake, who wrote the state’s medical cannabis law, has long sought as essential for Georgian...
$1 million Soros gift gives Georgia Democrats advantage over state GOP

$1 million Soros gift gives Georgia Democrats advantage over state GOP

Thanks to a $1 million contribution from billionaire mega-donor George Soros, the Georgia Democratic Party began the second half of 2018 with three times as much money in the bank as the state’s majority Republican Party, according to new campaign finance reports. That’s a turnaround from most recent gubernatorial election years, when the Georgia GOP had big money advantages. That still...
The GOP lieutenant governor’s race: What you need to know

The GOP lieutenant governor’s race: What you need to know

The nine-week runoff battle for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor between former state Rep. Geoff Duncan and state Sen. David Shafer will come to an end when voters cast their ballots July 24. The winner of next week’s runoff election will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November. Duncan: 44 years old; former state House representative from Cumming; attended Georgia...
The 7th Congressional District race: What you need to know

The 7th Congressional District race: What you need to know

Perhaps no congressional district in Georgia has seen demographic shifts quite as profound as the 7th. Spanning portions of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties, the district was once lily white and deeply conservative. But an influx of immigrants, particularly in Gwinnett, has heralded a major political shift, demonstrated by Hillary Clinton’s win there in the 2016 presidential race. Despite the changes...
The 6th Congressional District race: What you need to know

The 6th Congressional District race: What you need to know

It wasn’t all that long ago when Democrats had trouble finding any credible candidates to challenge the GOP’s dynasty in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. But the political grounds shifted after Democrat Jon Ossoff, a previously unheard of millennial filmmaker, nearly won the seat in a special election last spring. Ossoff ultimately lost to former Georgia Secretary of State...
Deal endorses Cagle in Georgia gov race

Deal endorses Cagle in Georgia gov race

Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Monday in the race to succeed him, giving the Republican candidate key support from a popular incumbent in his July 24 race against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The governor called Cagle the best candidate to continue his “tradition” of conservative leadership, making the announcement during a question-and-answer session at the end of...
Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the upcoming runoff election

Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the upcoming runoff election

Greg Bluestein and James Salzer analyzed the results of a recent poll of Georgia Republican voters in the latest episode of the Politically Georgia podcast. Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. You can also download or stream the episode above. Podcast reading material: Interactive: Poll of Georgia Republican voters AJC/WSB poll: Cagle, Kemp are neck and neck...
Georgia GOP governor’s race: What you need to know

Georgia GOP governor’s race: What you need to know

The brutal, bitter battle for the Republican nomination for governor ends next week when voters decide between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The winner of the July 24 runoff faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November. Cagle: The 52-year-old Gainesville native attended Georgia Southern University, and later he owned a tuxedo rental shop and founded a community bank. He was first...
Audio: Analysis of final televised debate in GOP runoff for Georgia governor

Audio: Analysis of final televised debate in GOP runoff for Georgia governor

Listen to post-debate analysis following Sunday's televised GOP gubernatorial runoff debate between Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. WSB Radio’s Condace Pressley moderated a conversation featuring Politically Georgia podcast host Greg Bluestein, Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane, AJC lead political writer Jim Galloway and Deputy Managing Editor Leroy Chapman. You...
GOP gubernatorial rivals trade jabs at debate before runoff

GOP gubernatorial rivals trade jabs at debate before runoff

Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leveled relentless attacks against each other’s trustworthiness during Sunday’s final televised debate before the July 24 GOP runoff for governor. In the Channel 2 Action News debate, Cagle defended himself against Kemp’s repeated references to a secretly made audio recording of the lieutenant governor that surfaced last month...
At NRA rally, Cagle rewarded for move to ‘kill’ Delta tax break

At NRA rally, Cagle rewarded for move to ‘kill’ Delta tax break

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle earned the NRA’s endorsement after he followed through on his vow to “kill” a tax break for Delta Air Lines. And the Second Amendment rights group rewarded him on Saturday for that headline-grabbing move. National Rifle Association President-elect Oliver North stumped with Cagle at three events around the state, saying it backed him over Secretary of...
AJC/WSB Poll: Shafer holds slight lead over Duncan for lieutenant governor

AJC/WSB Poll: Shafer holds slight lead over Duncan for lieutenant governor

State Sen. David Shafer holds a slight lead over his opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, according to a new poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News.  The two face off in the July 24 GOP runoff. The poll found that 35.4 percent of likely Republican runoff voters said they would cast their ballot for Shafer.  Results...
Georgia GOP race for governor hurtles toward a close finish

Georgia GOP race for governor hurtles toward a close finish

The Republican race for Georgia governor is hurtling toward a nail-biting finish, with an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll showing the bitter contest between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp to be neck and neck. The poll of likely voters in the July 24 Republican runoff showed Kemp with an edge of 44 percent to 41 percent over Cagle, a lead that’s...
Georgians continue to flock to polls to vote early

Georgians continue to flock to polls to vote early

Georgians continue to flock to the polls early, with more than 42,000 votes cast this week. The early voting count was up to nearly 88,000 since the window opened on July 2. Slightly more than 76 percent of the ballots cast in early voting so far have been in the Republican runoffs. About 23 percent of the ballots cast have been in the Democratic primary, but the draw to the polls fell after the top...
AJC/WSB poll: Cagle, Kemp are neck and neck in GOP race for governor

AJC/WSB poll: Cagle, Kemp are neck and neck in GOP race for governor

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are neck and neck in Georgia’s Republican race for governor less than two weeks ahead of the vote, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll released Friday. The poll of likely voters in the July 24 GOP runoff showed Kemp with a lead of 44 percent to 41 percent over Cagle, within the margin of error of 3.5 percentage...
Capitol Recap: The path to the Georgia governor’s office gets muddier

Capitol Recap: The path to the Georgia governor’s office gets muddier

Words like “brutal,” “bitter” and “nasty” are often used to describe political campaigns. They really don’t cut it, though, in trying to characterize the GOP contest for governor after the spokesman for one camp questioned the mental stability of a party officeholder backing another candidate. Especially when that officeholder has dealt very publicly with...
Cagle recording, Kemp donations fuel Georgia GOP candidates’ debate

Cagle recording, Kemp donations fuel Georgia GOP candidates’ debate

The secretly made recording of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle took center stage in Thursday’s televised debate with Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with both candidates trading jabs over the audio that has rocked the GOP runoff for governor. Kemp used all three of his questions to Cagle to pummel him over the audio, secretly recorded by a former Republican candidate, and challenged him to disavow his remarks...
Republican lieutenant governor candidates trade barbs in runoff debate

Republican lieutenant governor candidates trade barbs in runoff debate

The candidates in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor ramped up their pointed critiques of each other during a testy debate Thursday, each often scoffing and shaking his head as his opponent spoke. Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan doubled down on comments he began making last week that accuse his opponent, state Sen. David Shafer, of receiving nearly $100,000 worth of stock in a company...
Duncan faces uphill battle against Shafer in lieutenant governor race

Duncan faces uphill battle against Shafer in lieutenant governor race

Geoff Duncan acknowledges he has an uphill battle to win the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor later this month. David Shafer, a state senator, nearly walked away with the nomination outright in May, falling just short of 50 percent of the vote. Candidates that get that close in primaries typically win runoffs. And Shafer, a Duluth resident, has also outpaced Duncan in fundraising. As...
Georgia GOP gubernatorial debate set for Sunday, July 15

Georgia GOP gubernatorial debate set for Sunday, July 15

The two remaining Republicans in the race for Georgia governor are preparing for a live debate on Channel 2 Action News.  Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will face off in a runoff debate from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15, on Channel 2 Action News. The debate also will be livestreamed at that time on AJC.com. Plus, Monday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution will provide...
Why Cagle’s home county may be linchpin in Georgia GOP’s governor’s race

Why Cagle’s home county may be linchpin in Georgia GOP’s governor’s race

On a sweltering Friday in late June, Gov. Nathan Deal huddled inside a bank boardroom with some of Hall County’s most prominent business leaders. The three dozen people knew exactly what was coming: a heart-to-heart with the governor on the race to succeed him. During his eight years in office, the center of Georgia’s political universe gravitated to Hall. And, Deal told his longtime allies...
Georgia moves to secure federal grant to improve election system

Georgia moves to secure federal grant to improve election system

Georgia election officials are taking steps to secure a $10.3 million federal grant to upgrade the state’s voting system. Georgia Elections Director Chris Harvey sent a letter to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on Tuesday requesting the grant to “improve the administration of elections for federal office, including to enhance election technology and make election security improvements...
Georgia candidate sets up site to rebut opponent’s ‘deceptive’ claims

Georgia candidate sets up site to rebut opponent’s ‘deceptive’ claims

Republican lieutenant governor hopeful David Shafer’s campaign launched a website Tuesday aimed at rebutting claims being made by his runoff opponent. Shafer’s campaign says mailers and a commercial paid for by a Washington-based political action committee contain “egregious lies” about the candidate. Shafer, a state senator, is competing against former state Rep. Geoff Duncan...
The Georgia race for governor sets a spending record with months to go

The Georgia race for governor sets a spending record with months to go

The race for governor has fast become the costliest contest for the state’s top job in Georgia history. New financial reports released this week show the candidates in the hunt to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal have raised or loaned themselves roughly $33 million. That figure is only set to grow: There’s still four months to go in the race. The documents reinforce trends that have long shaped...
Georgia Republicans rush to polls to cast early-voting runoff ballots

Georgia Republicans rush to polls to cast early-voting runoff ballots

With no Democratic candidates in runoffs for Georgia’s top two political offices, Republican voters are vastly outpacing Democrats after the first six days of early voting for this month’s runoff. Early voting began July 2 and lasts through July 20. The runoff will be held July 24. Nearly 75 percent of the ballots cast were in the Republican runoff. A little less than one-fourth of the...
Guide: Prepare for Georgia’s primary runoff elections

Guide: Prepare for Georgia’s primary runoff elections

Prepare for Georgia’s upcoming runoff elections with the Politically Georgia podcast.  Since the May 22 primary, host Greg Bluestein and guests have broken down the races and issues to watch ahead of the runoff. RELATED: View the races on the ballot in the July 24 Georgia primary runoff election. You can subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. You can...
Culture wars debates shape Georgia GOP race for governor

Culture wars debates shape Georgia GOP race for governor

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have pledged deeper tax cuts and tighter spending. But those fiscal policies have been vastly overshadowed by divisive campaign promises revolving around social issues that have dominated their campaigns for governor. The two Republican candidates in the July 24 runoff for governor have traded barbs over who would be the bigger champion of &ldquo...
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