Political Notes – Albany State’s Dunning will retire

[private]Art Dunning announced he will retire as president of Albany State University next January, wrapping up a 31-year career in higher education.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the president of Albany State University during such a pivotal time in the institution’s history,” said Dunning, the fulltime president there since 2015.

“President Dunning has impacted so many lives for the better, serving as a veteran administrator, scholar and lecturer,” said University System Chancellor Steve Wrigley.. “Thanks to Dr. Dunning’s vision and leadership, we will continue the momentum of the consolidation of the new Albany State University.”

During Dunning’s tenure, Albany State was successfully consolidated with Darton State College.

Kaple running in 6th District

Former CBS-Atlanta news reader Bobby Kaple will run as a Democrat in the 6th Congressional District next year.

Kaple stepped down from his TV job to run for the office and may face Jon Ossoff in the Democratic primary to see who takes on U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the general election.

Ossoff, who narrowly lost to Handel in a special election earlier this year, has not said whether he will run again.

“I’m going to make this campaign about me and what I can do positively in this district, but it’s also going to be a referendum on Karen Handel as well,” said Kaple, who will make access to healthcare a major campaign issues – Handel is a longtime supporter of repealing Obamacare.

Sonny flies to Europe – at whose expense?

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will make an official visit to Europe over the next week that includes stops in Italy to speak at the World Food Day observance, London, Rome and Madrid.

“We value our close relationship with our European partners, but there is work to be done to address the numerous trade barriers U.S. exporters face in that market,” Perdue said.

In announcing Perdue’s itinerary, his office did not specify how Perdue will be traveling: via commercial airliners, by private charter jet, or by military aircraft.

The excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft for officials trips resulted in the firing of another Georgian, former HHS secretary Tom Price.

The time is now to register

Secretary of State Brian Kemp reminded Georgians that Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote and still be eligible to cast a ballot in the Nov. 7 municipal elections and special legislative elections.

“I want to make sure that every Georgian who is eligible has the opportunity to vote in the November 7th elections,” said Kemp.

A wrinkle in the religious freedom debate

The entry of Marc Urbach into the Republican primary for governor has added an interesting twist to the long-running debate over religious freedom laws.

Urbach, you see, is a lifelong Jew who recently converted to Christianity and wants other Jews to do the same.

As reported by Sam Kestenbaum in The Forward:

Marc Allen Urbach, a Marietta man who works for Jewish War Veterans USA, faced off at a forum over weekend against more seasoned politicians, like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. During the debate, Urbach announced his recent conversion to applause.

“I’m a Messianic Jew and I love you,” he said, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Urbach ran a failed — very long-shot — campaign for president in 2016, decrying then-president Obama as “not mentally competent to hold office.”

“The Tea Party has found their man,” his campaign boasted. Then, an Atlanta Jewish Times article about Urbach called him an “observant Jew” and reported that he worships at an Orthodox synagogue called Congregation Ariel.

But on Facebook at the beginning of this October, Urbach declared that he had been baptized at Riverbend Baptist Church, “with my New Friend, Jesus Christ.” “All glory goes to Him,” he wrote.

Awards and honors

The consumer advocacy organization Georgia Watch gave its Consumer Champion Lifetime Achievement Award to state Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville) for her work to protect Georgia consumers.

“We owe her a debt of gratitude for the energy she put forth every day to make Georgia a model for consumer protection,” said Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Albany State , Art Dunning , Bobby Kaple , Brian Kemp , Georgia Watch , Marc Urbach , Sonny Perdue