Political Notes — Handel is sworn in, Ossoff signs off

[private]The long, long race for the 6th Congressional District seat was finally laid to rest Monday as Karen Handel was officially sworn in as the successor to Tom Price.

Handel was welcomed at the U.S. Capitol by the members of the Georgia delegation and can look forward to about six or seven months of work as a congressperson before she gears up to run her first reelection race.

Her Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, signed off from politics, at least for a while, by contributing an op-ed column to the Washington Post:

Grass-roots politics, linking small-dollar fundraising to massive local volunteer organization, showed that it can rival the power of a right-wing machine comprising super PACs backed by entrenched interests and mega-donors. These outside groups were forced to spend nearly $20 million defending a seat gerrymandered never to be competitive. . . .

We lost, but I am proud of the campaign we ran, and I am proud of my community for standing up against the odds. I launched this campaign believing that America can become stronger, more prosperous and more secure only if we stay true to the values that unite us. I still believe that, and I’m not done fighting.

Mullis gets involved in mayoral race

State Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) represents a Northwest Georgia district that’s a long way from Atlanta, but he’s taking an interest in the city’s mayoral race.NorwoodMullis

Mullis, the chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, is hosting a fundraiser for mayoral candidate Mary Norwood on Wednesday in Buckhead.

As the invitation shows, the event is being held at Architectural Accents, next door to the Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Kemp explains

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Monday he has finally received a satisfactory explanation from the federal government about the attempted computer breach last fall of Georgia’s election system:

“Earlier today, I personally spoke with current DHS Secretary John Kelly and learned that the investigation is now complete. DHS did not knowingly attempt to breach Georgia’s firewall or hack our systems. Federal officials were able to recreate the event, and they have promised to provide a detailed report for my review.

“While I am disappointed that it took a new administration to investigate this highly important incident, I am pleased to learn this information and relieved that our federal government is not trying to interfere with elections in our state or others involved in this situation.”

Lidl comes to Cartersville

Lidl, a discount supermarket chain based in Germany, said it will spend $100 million on a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville. The firm operates more than 10,000 stores across Europe but only recently expanded to the U.S.

“We are excited to be part of the community in Cartersville, which has a vibrant workforce and offers a central location for our distribution network,” said Brendan Proctor, CEO of Lidl US. “This facility will be an important part of Lidl’s efficient infrastructure that will allow us to deliver outstanding quality goods to our customers at the lowest possible prices.”

The Cartersville facility will be Lidl’s fourth regional headquarters and distribution center. The other centers are in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

Ralston appointments

House Speaker David Ralston has named three new members of the Capitol Arts Standards Commission:  Reps. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta), James Beverly (D-Macon), and Andrew Welch (R-McDonough).

Ralston also named three members of the Agricultural Education Advisory Commission: Reps. Terry England (R-Auburn), Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City), and Robert Dickey (R-Musella).

Woods appointment

State school Supt. Richard Woods has named Stephanie Johnson to oversee the Department of Education’s school improvement efforts. She will serve as the GaDOE’s Deputy Superintendent for School Improvement.

After working at Sequoyah Middle School and Jonesboro High School in Clayton County, Johnson served as the turnaround principal of Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta, where she was a finalist for National Principal of the Year in 2017.

“Stephanie Johnson is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of beating the odds and eliminating barriers for students,” Woods said. “I’m confident she will make a great addition to our team at the Georgia Department of Education as we work to provide all schools with the meaningful support they need to improve student outcomes and expand opportunities.”

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

Tags: Brian Kemp , David Ralston , Jeff Mullis , Jon Ossoff , karen handel , Lidl , Mary Norwood , Richard Woods