Posted: 10:18 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Georgia GOP settles on newcomer to fill state lawmaker’s spot 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The executive committee of the state GOP on Tuesday settled on a political newcomer, David Clark, the brother of state Rep. Josh Clark, R-Buford, to replace the late Michael Brown as a Gwinnett County candidate for House District 98.

The substitution must be reported to Secretary of State Brian Kemp by 4 p.m. today to make the November ballot.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogBrown died last week, after winning the May 20 primary – and the seat. There is no Democratic candidate, so the nomination is tantamount to election.

The seven-day process resulted in a fierce tug-of-war over the seat, with tea partyers on one end of the rope and the business community on the other. Among the mentioned candidates: tea partyer David Hancock, who lost the primary to Brown; businessman James Sanford; and former Gwinnett County commissioner Tommy Hughes.

We understand that Sanford was deep-sixed by his vote in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. His defense, which did him no good: He was taking Rush Limbaugh’s advice and trying to boost Hillary Clinton.

Hughes was backed by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who sent a note to the executive committee that included this:

“While we served together as District County Commissioners, I observed this stellar work ethic, unquestioned integrity, and leadership ability as an elected official. I have the utmost faith in his ability to serve as a state legislator with knowledge, honor and dignity.

“His enclosed resume is reflective of his dedication as a public servant. Having served our community and our state for 26 years now, I know the sacrifice and commitment that is required of an elected official. I have no doubt that Tommie Hughes will fulfill every commitment and help the Republican Party in any way possible.”

David Clark apparently emerged as a compromise candidate. We do not know much about him, and the GOP’s announcement includes no biography.

But we have one sign that the decision was unexpected. Georgia’s newest legislator needs to work on his Facebook page:



State Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, chairman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, has issued a set of deadlines for the carving up of DeKalb County into cities:

– Each of the three DeKalb County cityhood proponent groups (City of Briarcliff Initiative, Lakeside Yes, and Tucker 2015) will have until September 5 to identify one authorized signatory for a compromise boundary map.

– DeKalb County cityhood proponents have until November 15 to come to a mutual agreement on city boundary lines and submit the agreed upon map bearing three signatures from the authorized signatories to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

– If an agreement cannot be reached by that date, House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Amy Carter will appoint a panel of five state House members to carry out the task of drawing city boundaries for the proposed cities. The panel’s sole charge will be to produce a boundary map no later than December 31 by majority vote of the panel.

– Either the agreed upon map by cityhood proponents or the map drawn by the legislative panel will be the only acceptable version that the House Governmental Affairs Committee will consider.


hicejeffersonJody Hice, the likely Republican successor to U.S. Rep. Paul Broun in the 10th District, continues to attract national attention. But in this case, it’s not for an outlandish quote, but for his inaccurate citations of the Founding Fathers.

Buzzfeed breaks it down here, but we’ll use the one at left as an example. Says Buzzfeed:

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation said it has “not found this particular statement in his writings” and Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience is the real source of the quotation.


Georgia Democrats are fast turning Gov. Nathan Deal’s board appointments into a campaign rallying cry.

The latest attack focuses on the AJC investigation that found only five of the 51 members of the state’s top three boards are women and only one is black.

Deal told us Monday he “appoints people who think the way he thinks” but doesn’t sit each down to vet their decisions.

The Democratic Party of Georgia sent over quotes from four Democratic state lawmakers, including this from state Rep. Roger Bruce:

“Governor Deal said he does not appoint anyone he does not know or have confidence in. Based on his record of appointments, one can conclude that he either does not know or does not have confidence in woman or African Americans and for any appointments remaining during his time in office I would be happy to introduce him to both!”


This Tweeted photo from the account of Georgia Beer Wholesalers, which has since disappeared, sparked a furious reaction from the state’s craft brewers:

gabeerwholesalersAs Creative Loafing explains, crafters are complaining that wholesalers have blocked legislation that would permit local breweries to sell their work to consumers on site.


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is ratcheting up his opposition to Common Core education standards by suing the federal government. From a press release this morning:

“The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the U.S. Department of Education has violated federal statutes and the Tenth Amendment by requiring, as condition to grant funding under the Race to the Top programs, that states join a consortium of states under federal direction and to adopt Common Core standards and assessment products created by the consortium.  The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to enjoin the Department’s use of such unlawful conditions in connection with further awards and from disqualifying or penalizing a state that withdraws from a consortium and refuses to further participate in the scheme.”

You can read the full statement of candidacy for president lawsuit here. Notice it’s Jindal’s name at the top and not the state attorney general.


Politico has named the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ad hitting U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta — and featuring a monkey — as one of the season’s most bizarre political ads. Read on to see which candidates invoked Ebola, alligators and shooting a television.


As a person who knows David Clark I'd like to speak up in his defense.  How many of you would like to be judged by 1 photo? I doubt any of you would.  There's no date on that photo, nor is any context provided.

A political consultant was passing around the photo Mr. Galloway published and that consultant was working for one of the people who did not receive the GOP's nomination yesterday.  I'd like to see Debbie Dooley express a little outrage over that.  I wont be holding my breath.

Here's another photo of David Clark that I think better represents who he is:

It's a photo of David Clark in Afghanistan fighting to protect the rights of people like Debbie Dooley and the person who sent Mr. Galloway the photo published in his article..

I understand Debbie Dooley is upset that her preferred candidate did not win.  That's understandable, but she has been all over the internet and on Facebook attacking the process, attacking everyone involved in the process, promising Mr. Clark a primary challenge two years from now and generally impugning his character - all the while admitting she's never met him.

There were several candidates who I'm sure would have done an excellent job but the process was followed and as Mr. Galloway points out, David Clark emerged as a compromise candidate and won fair and square.

I hope folks will take the time to get to know David Clark as I do, and if they do I think they'll like him.  

Rep. Buzz Brockway

House district 102, which borders district 98.  


There were three names submitted by the 7th district nominating sub-committee to fill the vacant spot in HD 98 and they are in order of preference: David Hancock, Tommy Hughes and Clint Dixon. David Hancock ran in the GOP Primary for that seat and received 39.13% of the vote and finished 2nd. David is also very active in the Gwinnett GOP and is a founder of a very active tea party in Gwinnett. David was the unanimous choice of the sub committee. The sub-committee spent hours interviewing potential candidates.
 It was a clear snub to tea party activists by not putting David on the ballot.

Oh yea the GOP wants the tea party to work to help elect Republican candidates and help do the grunt work to help elect the Republican slate in the general, but want us to disappear in a corner until we are needed again. Heck, I would have been happy had one of the other two been selected that the sub committee recommended because they would have been nominated by people within Gwinnett County where the House District is.

But no, that wasn’t the case. You see former Rep. Josh Clark and his associates look at that seat not as the peoples set but a legacy seat reserved for a family member of Josh Clark or another elitist. The Executive Committee of the GA GOP apparently feels the same way .The decision was made by elitists outside that House District Make no mistake-the message was loud and clear… 


Jim, Jim....7 articles...All critical of Republicans and conservatives. ....and the AJC wonders why they cannot expand circulation/subscriptions.  Your TV ad shows your Editor talking about how "balanced" the AJC has become.  

Does that mean that....maybe he doesn't read your articles!  

All I can say is.....Atlanta's own little communist...Cynthia Tucker...would be proud of you!  


I'm not a lawyer, but Jindal's lawsuit seems frivolous.

Race To The Top is an optional program. Louisiana didn't have to participate if they didn't want to. But they did, and they received $17.5 million in federal grant money. Taxpayer money.

Now Jindal wants out because some conservatives have decided they don't want any part of common core. (Chamber conservatives still do, but they're losing momentum on this issue.)

Is Jindal going to give back the money?


Indian Opie is an idiot who doesn't understand either Federal law OR the constitution.  Or he's just politically craven.  All Federal programs come with strings, including Medicaid, of which his state receives a huge amount.



Thanks for providing this background. I don't have a horse in this race, but I did wonder why they didn't just pick the candidate who came in second. That would seem to carry more legitimacy with voters.

This choice seems to have come out of some "smoke-filled room," as the saying goes, without regard for the will of the voters.



And RCP still has it as a Toss Up with Jason ahead if you throw out the entirely bogus 'insider advantage' poll.



Yep, Hancock came in second twice now. In 2-man races. A distant 2nd. Why give the voters the 2-time loser they didn't vote for?