On the campaign trail – Turnover of the Cherokee County delegation is virtually complete

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One thing that voters in Cherokee County don’t need is a term limits law – the fast-growing county in Metro Atlanta’s northern suburbs has almost completely turned over its entire legislative delegation in the space of just two years.

The political carnage started in the 2012 Republican primary when veteran House member Charlice Byrd was ousted by Michael Caldwell.

It continued in November 2012 when William M. “Chip” Rogers of Woodstock, the veteran Cherokee lawmaker who had been the Senate majority leader, resigned from the Legislature to take a $150,000 job at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The special election to fill Rogers’ senate seat attracted the candidacy of legislator and gun dealer Sean Jerguson of Holly Springs, thus requiring another special election to fill Jerguson’s vacant House seat.

Jerguson lost the special senate election to Brandon Beach, while Scot Turner was elected to replace Jerguson in the House.

The next domino to topple was Barry Loudermilk, whose state senate district includes a large portion of Cherokee County (along with Bartow County). Loudermilk resigned from the senate last summer to focus on a campaign for Congress, thus necessitating yet another special election that will be held next Tuesday.

On the eve of that special election, state Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Canton) passed away Wednesday a few months after he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. There will have to be another special election called, probably in December or January, to replace Hill in the Georgia House.

All of these resignations, defeats, and untimely deaths mean that most of the legislators who represent Cherokee County will have been in office no earlier than January of 2013.

The one exception is Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), who is considered to be a Cobb County legislator but whose House district includes a small slice of Cherokee.

Carson is now the senior member of the Cherokee delegation – and he was first sworn into office on Nov. 1, 2011, almost exactly two years ago, after winning a special election to replace the late Bobby Franklin.

Reed, Koch brothers criticized for campaign cash

Some groups aren’t happy at the fact that Koch Industries, a business conglomerate operated by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has made a $6,500 contribution to a political action committee, Continue Atlanta’s Progress, that’s associated with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

A news conference was held Wednesday at the Georgia Pacific Building – the Kochs own the forest products company and its edifice – by the Atlanta Federation of Teachers, labor representatives and Democratic activists to protest the donation.

State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) said the committee should return the Kochs’ contribution and he called on the school board and city council candidates who’ve received money from Reed’s committee to renounce Koch Industries.

Hice fundraiser features Cain

Jody Hice, a candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat, will hold a fundraiser Nov. 7 that features a guest appearance by talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

The event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the 1818 Club on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. The required contribution levels are $2,600 for a “roundtable” with Cain, $1,000 per couple for the host photo reception and $250 per couple for the general reception.

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Barry Loudermilk , Calvin Hill , Cherokee County , Chip Rogers , Herman Cain , Jody Hice , Kasim Reed , Koch Industries , legislative delegation , Michael Caldwell , Scot Turner , Sean Jerguson