Georgia eyes another ‘SEC primary’ in 2020

Secretary of State Brian Kemp. AJC file/Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Secretary of State Brian Kemp. AJC file/Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

As Republican officials debate sweeping changes to the way presidential nominees are picked, Georgia’s top election official wants to stick with the Southern regional primary he engineered this year.

The New York Times reported that it seemed less likely that the four early-voting states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – would remain first in line, and that some of those states could be paired up with others. It’s one of a range of options up for debate at July’s Republican convention in Cleveland.

From the Times:

In one possibility that members of the Republican National Committee have floated, the early voting states, also known as “carve-out states,” would retain their special status. But to bring more states into the process earlier, each would be paired with a nearby state that would vote on the same day. So Iowa would still hold the first contest in 2020, but on the same day as Minnesota. New Hampshire would vote next, but on the same day as Massachusetts. And the same-day pairings would change: In 2024, Iowa would be twinned with South Dakota, and New Hampshire with Maine.

That raises the possibility that Georgia could be paired with South Carolina, which held first-in-the-South primary votes on consecutive weekends in February. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the architect of the March 1 “SEC Primary” that centered on Georgia, Texas and a band of other mostly Southern states, seemed lukewarm on the idea.

 “The SEC Primary’s success has put the idea of future regional primaries on the map,” Kemp said. “The increased cooperation of the states, the excitement of the grassroots, as well record-breaking turnout is what’s driving this movement.  Partnering with states like South Carolina is intriguing, but my focus remains on having Georgians’ voice be heard while the race still matters.”

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A former Gov. Nathan Deal appointee lost a heated House race Tuesday to represent a west Georgia district. But Deal’s allies are counting it as a win nonetheless.

Former state Rep. Tim Bearden, who Deal tapped to lead the state police training academy in middle Georgia, failed in his bid to claim state Rep. Dusty Hightower’s Carroll County-based district. The seat came open when Hightower was appointed by Deal as a judge.

The victor was J. Collins, a former mayor of Villa Rica who got into Deal’s good graces shortly after another west Georgia conservative, state Rep. Kevin Cooke, blasted the governor as a closet liberal for his vetoes of two controversial measures.

Collins called Deal’s chief of staff the day the comments were published to let him know that Cooke’s comments were “not of his opinion or that of Villa Rica as a whole,” according to a records request.

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Seems like we have a mystery on our hands.

From GeorgiaPol.com:

The question of the night in GA-12 seemed to be who exactly is Patricia “Trisha” Mc­Cracken, the newly selected Democratic challenger set to face Rep. Rick Allen in GA-12 in November. McCracken defeated Joyce Nolin 62% to 38%, despite apparently not speaking to the media, putting out signs, setting up a website or Facebook page, attending events, or even having a way to be contacted. A Facebook post on my feed included several prominent Democrats in GA-12 discussing the fact that no one knew who she was.

Blog for Democracy has a post that includes a picture they claim is of Ms. McCracken, along with some interesting commentary of a singular encounter with her (not to mention some awesome comments from their readers).

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Even as former President Jimmy Carter announces an Atlanta summit to target “inherent racism,” the 91-year-old cancer survivor is taking a step back from another part of his public life.

The Georgia Democrat resigned this week from a role with The Elders, an international nonprofit comprised of elder statesmen who try to bring diplomatic solutions to pressing global problems.

Politico has more:

The 91-year-old, who had played a large part of the group since its founding in 2007, announced in March that he no longer needed treatment for cancer, less than seven months after publicly revealing that doctors had found melanoma that had spread to his brain.

“From the Middle East to climate change, women’s rights to superpower diplomacy, Jimmy has brought the gravitas of his Presidential office but also the passion of an activist who believes the world can, and must, be changed for the better,” Elders Chair Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, said in a statement. “The Elders would not be the organisation it is today without his drive and vision, and he will stay an inspiration for all of us for many years ahead.”

Carter traveled with the organization’s first mission to Sudan in October 2007 amid the crisis in Darfur and most recently led a delegation in May 2015 to Israel and Palestine to draw attention to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He will now hold the title of honorary “Emeritus” elder, the group said Wednesday.


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