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Delta, Braves, and Home Depot execs place their bets in Atlanta race for mayor

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Atlanta mayoral candidates at the Buckhead Coalition. File.

The Atlanta mayor’s race may seem like a free-for-all, but campaign finance disclosures from the candidates show who some of the big fish are betting on.

Peter Aman raked in big checks from some of Atlanta’s corporate heavyweights. Delta chief executive Ed Bastian gave $4,000, and developers Ken Ashley, Jim Borders, Matt Bronfman all chipped in. So did Doug Hertz, a giant of the liquor distributing industry, and Equifax chief Richard Smith.

Councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms’ donors include Home Depot vice president Derek Bottoms and Jenna Garland, the press secretary for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. (Reed hosted a fundraiser for Lance-Bottoms but said it wasn’t an endorsement.)

Former Gov. Roy Barnes and his law firm contributed $8,000 to state Sen. Vincent Fort’s campaign, and the Atlanta Federation of Teachers added another $1,000.

Councilman Ceasar Mitchell has the backing of retired Judge Marvin Arrington, former DeKalb chief executive Lee May and Cobb commissioner Lisa Cupid.

Ex-Reed deputy Michael Sterling’s contributors include Justin Tanner, a one-time adviser to the mayor who worked in the Obama administration.

Atlanta Braves president Terry McGuirk donated to Councilwoman Mary Norwood’s campaign, as did one-time GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Milner and the family of pesticide king Gary Rollins.

And LiveNation president Peter Conlon contributed to former city council president Cathy Woolard’s mayoral bid.

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We wouldn’t be shocked to learn that Fulton County chair John Eaves joined the crowded race for Atlanta mayor. Now we have another hint he could jump in:

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U.S. Senate confirmation of Tom Price’s nomination as secretary of health and human services early this morning is the official start of a free-for-all to fill his Sixth District seat:

We’ve got a substantial wrap-up on the race to replace Price here. Among the small army of candidates is Kurt Wilson, a Roswell small business owner who appears ready to challenge his rivals to sign a term-limit pledge that includes a promise that:

I nor any of my immediate family will engage, for compensation, in activities describe as “lobbying” of Congress or its members for the rest of our/their natural lives…

But this is a pledge riddled with loopholes. There’s no reason that best friends, next-door neighbors, grandchildren and favorite uncles should get a pass.

 



 

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Last night’s hoopla over a federal appeals court’s decision not to lift a freeze on the Trump administration’s travel ban overshadowed another important bit of news. From the Washington Post:

President Trump just backed down from what could have been a serious fight with China.

On Thursday evening in Washington, he appeared to shy away from confrontation with Beijing by agreeing to honor the one-China policy, during a lengthy telephone call with China’s President Xi Jinping.

The move is set to ease tensions between the world’s two most powerful nations: relations had been inflamed after Trump suggested he would only commit to the one-China policy if Beijing addressed his concerns about trade and currency issues.



 

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A House Republican has introduced legislation Thursday that he said would create as many as 100 new health care centers geared to low-income residents in some of Georgia’s poorest areas.

State Rep. Geoff Duncan’s measure would move Georgia’s State Health Benefit Plan, which manages billions of dollars in state insurance policies, from the Department of Community Health the the Department of Administrative Services – and require the agency to hire a chief data officer skilled in predictive modeling and other tools of the trade to run the program. It would be overseen by an advisory board would include two active members of the plan.

It would also require the department to create as many as 100 federally qualified health centers – nonprofit centers that provide healthcare to low-income patients regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay – and then give families covered by the state health insurance plan incentives to use the centers. Get your copy here.

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Former state Sen. Mike Crane has announced his bid to be chairman of the Third Congressional District GOP:

Crane got to know the Third District well this spring and summer when he ran to replace Lynn Westmoreland in the deeply conservative swath of west Georgia. He lost in the GOP runoff to now-Rep. Drew Ferguson by about 8 percentage points.

Crane, who backed Ted Cruz in the GOP primary, said Donald Trump in the White House provides an opportunity “to reclaim the heart of the GOP which may be better represented by President Trump than any previous standard bearer the GOP has put forward.”

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This morning, U.S. Sen. David Perdue will get his chance to meet privately with Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Perdue was in the crowd at the White House earlier this month when Trump announced the pick and has been complimentary of the federal judge to date.


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