Johnny Isakson gets an opponent — a Libertarian one

Georgia Democrats have yet to muster a candidate for next year’s Senate race, but the Libertarian Party may have found its man.

Libertarian Senate candidate Ted Metz.

Libertarian Senate candidate Ted Metz.

Ted Metz announced he was joining the race to unseat Republican Johnny Isakson and he has the website to prove it.

Metz said he served in the U.S. Navy before working in the insurance and financial planning industries in Cobb County. His campaign revolves around the typical Libertarian themes of less government and more civil liberties.

This isn’t his first run for office – he waged an unsuccessful campaign for Insurance Commissioner in 2014. The odds are stacked even more greatly against him next year: Isakson, seeking his third term, is so heavily favored to win that Democrats have so far failed to recruit a contender.

A ranking of Senate targets out Wednesday by Reid Wilson at Morning Consult ranked Georgia as the 21st most likely Senate seat to change parties next year — behind even California’s chances of going red.

Metz will have some familiar company, though. He worked on last year’s failed Senate campaign of Derrick Grayson. The MARTA engineer and fellow long-shot has also said he would challenge Isakson next year.

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Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogDemocratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in Savannah on Sunday. The 6 p.m. event at Savannah Station comes at the end of a weekend swing through South Carolina, during which Sanders will file to be on the ballot in the First in the South primary.

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On the other side of the aisle, we’ve written before about Ted Cruz’s impressive Georgia network. The Dallas Morning News digs in further in a dispatch from Marietta:

Still trailing Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the polls, Cruz has a plan to surge ahead: Win or stay close in the early contest states; use home-field advantage to stomp the competition in Texas; and impress Republican voters nationwide with a dominant performance in Georgia.

Already, Cruz has a more extensive organization in the Peach State than any of his rivals. The campaign has enlisted 1,500 volunteers, and it’s aiming for 5,000 by year’s end. There are Cruz supporters in each of Georgia’s 159 counties and designated campaign directors in the two-thirds or so that will generate the bulk of primary votes.

“When the time is right, when it’s time to move, we’ll be ready,” said Kay Godwin, the director of Cruz’s grass-roots efforts in Georgia. Godwin said new volunteers are signing on daily, “and we’re training them quickly.”

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Expect more of this: A pro-John Kasich Super PAC is out with an ad using the Paris attacks against Donald Trump and Ben Carson, saying the political novices will need “on the job training” for the presidency.

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If you are in a betting pool on the next presidential candidate to drop out, the Washington Post has a headline for you: “O’Malley’s presidential campaign is perilously close to financial collapse.”

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Todd Rehm over at gapundit.com snagged a copy of the letter Secretary of State Brian Kemp sent to county voter registrars about the data release that is embarrassing his office.

Here’s a snippet:

All twelve discs have been accounted for. Each recipient, including the Georgia Republican Party and the Georgia Democratic Party, has confirmed that the data was not retained or disseminated to any outside parties.

To reiterate, the Georgia Voter Registration System was not breached. The system has been and remains secure, and I am confident no voter’s personal information has been compromised.

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Better Georgia, the left-leaning guerrilla group that targeted Gov. Nathan Deal much of last year, has turned its sights to Attorney General Sam Olens.

The group is questioning Olens’ ties to Georgia Power in the wake of his decision to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan,” which mandates steep greenhouse gas emission reductions in the states.

Olens’ wife Lisa has worked for Georgia Power since July 2010 and his financial disclosures indicate the has owned stock with the utility company since his election. A spokesman for Olens declined to comment.

Better Georgia spokesman Brandon Hanick accused Olens of “abusing his public power” and called the lawsuit a “clear conflict of interest.”

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Your sign of the times, as daunting as it may be. From the press release:

The Powder Springs Police Department will be sponsoring a Church Security Seminar on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Powder Springs Cultural Arts Center located at 4181 Atlanta Street in Powder Springs, Georgia. Pastors and Key Church Leaders are encouraged to attend. The seminar is FREE to attend and lunch will be provided.

Topics will include church safety and security, policies and procedures, security assessments and what happens when the police become involved should an incident arise.

We asked, and were told that, yes, Muslim congregations had been invited.


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