Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

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...

Posted: a day ago

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...
Georgia GOP secretary of state candidate seeks rival’s disqualification
 A candidate for Georgia secretary of state wants his opponent removed from this month’s ballot because of old tax debts. David Belle Isle’s campaign asked Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday to investigate his opponent, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek. The two candidates are competing in the July 24 Republican...

Posted: 13 days ago

A candidate for Georgia secretary of state wants his opponent removed from this month’s ballot because of old tax debts. David Belle Isle’s campaign asked Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday to investigate his opponent, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek. The two candidates are competing in the July 24 Republican...
Doraville voters might have been given wrong ballots
 The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office opened an investigation Thursday into whether voters in the Doraville area have been voting in the wrong state House district. Nearly 700 voters who should be included in House District 81, represented by state Rep. Scott Holcomb, were incorrectly placed in House District 79, he said. They...

Posted: 13 days ago

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office opened an investigation Thursday into whether voters in the Doraville area have been voting in the wrong state House district. Nearly 700 voters who should be included in House District 81, represented by state Rep. Scott Holcomb, were incorrectly placed in House District 79, he said. They...
Georgia secretary of state candidate offers explanation for tax debts
 A candidate for Georgia secretary of state in this month’s runoff election, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger, says he can explain most of $135,000 in tax debts that appeared to be tied to him and his companies. Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News on Monday that government agencies verified...

Posted: 16 days ago

A candidate for Georgia secretary of state in this month’s runoff election, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger, says he can explain most of $135,000 in tax debts that appeared to be tied to him and his companies. Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News on Monday that government agencies verified...
Early voting underway for Georgia primary runoffs
 Georgia voters can now early ballots for primary election runoffs in races for governor, Congress and other offices. Advance in-person voting lasts three weeks, from July 2 to July 20. Voters can also wait until Election Day on July 24 to make their choices. Runoffs are required in Georgia for races in which no candidate won a majority...

Posted: 17 days ago

Georgia voters can now early ballots for primary election runoffs in races for governor, Congress and other offices. Advance in-person voting lasts three weeks, from July 2 to July 20. Voters can also wait until Election Day on July 24 to make their choices. Runoffs are required in Georgia for races in which no candidate won a majority...
Georgia election might be voided after voters were given wrong ballots
 Something went very wrong when dozens, maybe even hundreds, of voters received the wrong ballots in a tight primary election in North Georgia. They lived in one state House district but voted in another. Now, the election that seemed to unseat an incumbent representative might be thrown out. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, who lost the May 22...

Posted: 17 days ago

Something went very wrong when dozens, maybe even hundreds, of voters received the wrong ballots in a tight primary election in North Georgia. They lived in one state House district but voted in another. Now, the election that seemed to unseat an incumbent representative might be thrown out. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, who lost the May 22...
Black and Democratic voters gain on Republicans in Georgia
 Turnout among black voters soared in last month’s Georgia primary, a show of strength that could bode well for Democrats in this year’s contests for governor and other statewide offices. The number of black voters rose 43 percent in the May 22 election when compared with 2010, the last time there was a competitive race for governor...

Posted: 20 days ago

Turnout among black voters soared in last month’s Georgia primary, a show of strength that could bode well for Democrats in this year’s contests for governor and other statewide offices. The number of black voters rose 43 percent in the May 22 election when compared with 2010, the last time there was a competitive race for governor...
Georgia Runoffs 2018: What you need to know
 Voters across Georgia will return to the polls July 24 for runoff elections that will decide some of the state’s most important races: The runoffs will determine which candidates for governor, Congress and other offices advance to the Nov. 6 general election. Runoffs are required in Georgia for races in which no candidate...

Posted: 23 days ago

Voters across Georgia will return to the polls July 24 for runoff elections that will decide some of the state’s most important races: The runoffs will determine which candidates for governor, Congress and other offices advance to the Nov. 6 general election. Runoffs are required in Georgia for races in which no candidate...
Cityhood efforts in Georgia might face hurdles after Eagle’s Landing
 When Gov. Nathan Deal approved creating a city of Eagle’s Landing, he also warned Georgia lawmakers that their rush to start local governments has gone too far. Deal said state legislators should enact a “comprehensive, detailed and uniform process” before de-annexing land from existing cities to form new ones, as they...

Posted: 24 days ago

When Gov. Nathan Deal approved creating a city of Eagle’s Landing, he also warned Georgia lawmakers that their rush to start local governments has gone too far. Deal said state legislators should enact a “comprehensive, detailed and uniform process” before de-annexing land from existing cities to form new ones, as they...
Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia
 Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...

Posted: 27 days ago

Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the...
Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim
 A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...

Posted: 29 days ago

A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until...