Political Notes – Who benefits from the bombshells in 6th District race?

[private]In the past week, three bombshells have exploded over Georgia’s political terrain.

Gov. Nathan Deal finally signed the controversial campus carry gun bill.

Republicans in the U.S. House passed Trumpcare, which would repeal Obamacare, and sent the measure over to the Senate.

Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in an obvious attempt to kill the agency’s investigation of Trump’s alleged Russian connections, igniting a national firestorm hardly seen since President Nixon lopped off several heads in the Saturday Night Massacre of 1973.

Those late-breaking events could all have a measurable impact on not just the 6th Congressional District runoff election between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel, but also on a state Senate runoff in Cobb County in less than a week, where Democrat Christine Triebsch faces Republican Kay Kirkpatrick.

These are classic Democrat-versus-Republican issues.

Democrats had urged Gov. Nathan Deal to veto campus carry, while independent polls of Georgia voters have indicated that a sizeable majority supported a veto. Republicans support Deal’s decision.

The NRA has already endorsed Handel: “Karen Handel supports our right to keep and bear arms. She has fought for the values and freedoms that Georgians hold dear. In Congress, she will defend our right to protect ourselves and our families.”

“With her support for this campus carry bill to allow guns in the classroom despite the opposition of parents and campus law enforcement officers, Karen Handel makes clear she puts ideology over the safety of Georgia’s students,” Ossoff said.

On the healthcare issue, Democrats have pushed hard to keep Obamacare in place while Republicans finally achieved a majority to get the bill passed on their second attempt. All of the wrangling over the fate of Obamacare has resulted in a narrow majority of Americans who tell pollsters the system should be retained and tweaked rather than replaced.

Ossoff has said numerous times he’ll work to fix Obamcare rather than repeal it. Handel said early on: “I’m going to deliver finally on repealing and replacing Obamacare.”

We don’t have hard poll numbers yet on the reaction to Comey’s firing, but there are indications that Trump’s explanations for why he fired the FBI director aren’t going over well.

Handel is okay with it: “It’s been clear for some time that FBI Director Comey has lost the confidence of Republicans, Democrats and broader institutions, and his removal as FBI Director was probably overdue. I hope that the President will quickly nominate a strong, independent leader as the next Director of the FBI and that the Senate will consider the nomination as quickly as possible.”

Ossoff, however, called for a special prosecutor to be appointed: “Comey’s firing raises severe questions. There should be bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference.”

In tightly contested races like these, a late-breaking news development has the potential to nudge the result one way or the other. We have three major bombshells here, with the Democratic candidates generally taking positions that have broader public support – which has to be a concern to Republicans.

Shafer’s in

State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R-Duluth) has filed the paperwork to run for lieutenant governor.

“I have spent the five weeks since the Legislative Session ended on the telephone and in meetings, talking with and listening to nearly 1,200 of my fellow Georgians, old friends and new,” Shafer said on his Facebook page. “The response has been heart-warming. I have filed paperwork to begin running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.”

A Senate member for more than 15 years, Shafer organized a campaign to run for the state’s second-highest office in 2010 but backed off when Casey Cagle decided to run again.

He’ll face state Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) in the GOP primary for sure, but other candidates are expected to jump in as well.

Tomlinson’s out

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has removed herself as a potential Democratic candidate for governor, telling the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that she had come close to entering but decided against it.

That leaves House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) as the lone Democrat so far to filed their papers.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: 6th Congressional District runoff , David Shafer , Teresa Tomlinson