Political Notes – SEC Primary pulls out the voters

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It’s still a day before election day, but Secretary of State Brian Kemp can rightly declare that his “SEC Primary” idea has been a roaring success.

The presidential primary has drawn a record number of people to cast ballots during the early voting period: more than 405,000, which smashes the old early voting record set in 2008 by more than 134,000.

“The fact that nearly 100,000 people voted on Friday alone shows voters are getting engaged as they meet candidates visiting Georgia,” said Kemp. “Voters are having their voices heard, while candidates are enjoying our famous southern hospitality. This is why I lead the charge to create the SEC Primary.”

Presidential primaries are being held in Georgia and 11 other states Tuesday, along with American Samoa.

For Republicans, 595 delegates are up for grabs in 11 states. For Democrats, the primaries in 11 states and American Samoa will divvy uip 865 delegates in all.

Kiernan leaving Sierra Club

Colleen Kiernan, the director of the Sierra Club’s Georgia chapter since 2010, announced last week she is stepping down from the job on April 1. She said she is “heading to Northern California for some well-earned R&R” and will return to Atlanta in May. No successor has been announced.

Kiernan and the Sierra Club claimed some notable victories during her tenure: Cobb EMC’s withdrawal from the Plant Washington coal plant, cancellation of the proposed Longleaf coal plant, and Georgia Power’ s decision to shut down several of its coal-fired power plants. Kiernan was also heavily involved in the successful opposition to the 2012 T-SPLOST sales tax referendum.

Executive appointments

Gov. Nathan Deal has made the following appointments to state boards and commissions –

Board of Dentistry: Wendy Johnson of Atlanta, a retail pharmacist for Rite Aid, and Dale Mayfield of Fayetteville, the chief dental officer of Kool Smiles.

Board of Juvenile Justice: Lisa Colbert of Savannah, a juvenile court judge in Chatham County.

Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) State Advisory Board: Kathy Cooper of Flowery Branch, a Hall County commissioner; Toni Oliver of College Park, the president of the National Association of Black Social Workers, and Michelle Zeanah of Statesboro, a partner at the Bulloch Pediatrics Group.

Georgia Board of Nursing: Tracey Blalock of Warner Robins, the chief nursing executive for Navicent Health.
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Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority: Emily Myers of Macon, the president and CEO of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting; Jeff Van Note of Roswell, a former Atlanta Falcons football player, and Earl Wright of Augusta, a pharmacist.

State Board of Occupational Therapists: Rafael Salazar of Augusta,an occupational therapist at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Augusta.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Brian Kemp , Colleen Kiernan , Nathan Deal , SEC primary , Sierra Club