Political Notes – Ayers surfaces as potential candidate for governor

[private]Nick Ayers, the boy wonder who got his start in politics in the 2002 governor’s election, is being mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2018 race.

The Ayers rumors started floating around the capitol during the last two weeks of the legislative session, but he’s now been outed in the media by Politico, which speculates:

While it is not clear yet whether Ayers will jump into the contest, people close to the White House are already discussing what impact an Ayers run would have on the pro-Trump nonprofit group America First Policies, where he has worked as an adviser and fundraiser since January.

Ayers declined to comment on his plans.

Ayers worked for Sonny Perdue in Perdue’s successful gubernatorial runs in 2002 and 2006. He worked under Perdue again when Perdue headed the Republican Governors Association, and he married one of Perdue’s cousins, a marriage that has produced a set of triplets.

Although the Politico piece doesn’t mention it, Ayers caused some embarrassment for Perdue in that 2006 campaign when he was nailed on a DUI charge, subsequently reduced to reckless driving.

Meanwhile, other candidates are moving forward with real plans for 2018. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is expected to run for governor and the word is he’ll make his official announcement on April 30 in Gainesville.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has already jumped into that Republican primary race, where he could be joined by former congressman Lynn Westmoreland, state Sen. Hunter Hill, and a host of others. Democratic possibles include state Reps. Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans.

As Cagle prepares to leave the lieutenant governor’s office, there are several Republican legislators being mentioned as potential replacements, including state Sens. David Shafer, Michael Williams, and Burt Jones, along with state Rep. Geoff Duncan.

Down at the legislative level, Doug McKillip of Athens says he will take on Rep. Regina Quick in 2018 in a rematch of their first race five years ago.

McKillip was a Democratic House member who switched parties to become a Republican, only to be defeated by Quick in a close 2012 Republican primary.

First Vogtle, now this

The Vogtle nuclear reactors are not the only Georgia project going seriously over budget.

The Associated Press reported that the dredging of the Savannah harbor is also busting some deadlines, costing 38 percent more and taking two years longer to complete than initially projected, according to a the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps estimates that the project will now cost $973 million, or $267 million more than first projected. The harbor dredging is now scheduled to be completed in January 2022.

The state has already contributed $266 million to this project, but may have to cough up an additional $67 million – for now.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: governor\'s race , Nick Ayers , Savannah dredging project