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Picking a side: Austin Scott endorses Marco Rubio’s White House bid

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta in August. (AJC/Hyosub Shin)

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta in August. (AJC/Hyosub Shin)

GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio comes to Buckhead this morning for a rally that will serve as the kick-off for his ground game in Georgia.

The U.S. senator’s operation named several state lawmakers as supporters over the weekend, but left off the top name on its list: U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton. 

From the campaign:

“Marco Rubio is the candidate who is ready to be Commander in Chief the first day in office,” said Congressman Austin Scott. “He will provide the type of strong conservative leadership in national security that is important to the state of Georgia and vital to our country as a whole. He has a bold vision for uniting the nation, and has the optimism and strength of character to move our economy and country forward.”

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Scott is the third member of the Georgia GOP delegation to publicly pick a presidential hopeful. Rep. Jody Hice, of Monroe, is with Ted Cruz, while Rep. Doug Collins, of Gainesville, is behind Scott Walker.

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Neurosurgeon Ben Carson provided the weekend buzz with his statement that a Muslim should not be elected president. The irony is that his own religion – Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist – has been a source of some controversy. Particularly among Southern Baptists. From an April report by the Baptist Press:

Likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference have “mutually agreed” that Carson will not address the Pastors’ Conference in Columbus, Ohio, as previously scheduled…

Among the concerns cited were that Carson’s appearance could be construed as an endorsement of his presumed presidential campaign, that his appearance could be construed as an endorsement of the Republican Party and that it would be inappropriate for a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church — the religious group with which Carson identifies — to address the Pastors’ Conference.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to the North American Mission Board’s 4truth.net website, is “in basic agreement with historic, biblical Christianity. Thus, the SDA is not a cult by definition. However, the SDA can be correctly regarded as a Christian sect because it has a number of distinctive doctrines not in accord with the mainstream of historic Christian faith.”

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As you know by now, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush was in Athens to witness a spectacular Bulldog win over South Carolina. It won’t be the last Bulldog game he sees this year. In fact, Bush has adopted something of an SEC strategy to go with an SEC primary.

The candidate has these political tailgate events on his calendar:

— Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee on Oct. 10;

— LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide on Nov. 7;

— and Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State in Starksville, Miss. on Nov. 28

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Over the weekend, we checked out a rumor that Hillary Clinton might accompany her husband on a fund-raising excursion to Atlanta on Oct. 1. Only to be told that no, “only the first President Clinton” would be attending.

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First, Atlanta rapper “Killer Mike” almost ran for the state House. Now he’s wading deeper into the political realm with a presidential endorsement.

The hip hop star known best for his role in the group Run the Jewels is among 128 artists who has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign for president. Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lil B and two of the four members of Phish rounded out the list.

The rapper, whose real name is Mike Render, flirted with the idea of running as a write-in candidate for an open Atlanta state House seat earlier this year before he was informed he couldn’t run because he never registered to do so.

We also know this much about Render’s political leanings: He’s not exactly a Ronald Reagan fan:

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As Carly Fiorina picks up momentum after last week’s debate, her Super PAC is adding bodies — including another Georgian. CARLY for America hired Mimi Wertz, a Marietta native and Georgia Southern grad, as its deputy press secretary for digital media.

Wertz joins former GAGOP and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland communications staffer Leslie Shedd in the PAC’s Georgia-tied contingent.

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Take a close look at this fundraiser invitation for John Ernst’s mayoral bid. John Ernst fundraiser

You’ll see much of the Democratic establishment coalescing around his bid against Rebecca Chase Williams, who became interim mayor when Republican J. Max Davis resigned to run for a state House seat. Among the names are former Gov. Roy Barnes, state Rep. Taylor Bennett, state Sen. Elena Parent, and party insiders David Worley and Jeremy Berry.

But you’ll also see a surprising number of Republicans backing Ernst’s candidacy. They include Greg Williams, who ran against Parent last year, and Shawn Keefe, who ran for chair of the DeKalb GOP earlier this year.

(Also note that half of the Brookhaven City Council and prominent cityhood and anti-cityhood advocates are on the list.)

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U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Jon Tester were in town Sunday to raise some money for Democratic efforts and share some tidbits about the party’s plan to retake the Senate.

Here’s some snippets:


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