Political Notes — Kemp says he’s ‘in a strong position to win’ as poll shows him 21 points down

[private]In reading the latest email from the Brian Kemp campaign, one is reminded of the old joke where Gen. George Custer turns to his aide and says, “We’ve got them right where we want them — overconfident.”

Kemp, the secretary of state who’s running in the GOP primary for governor, released the results of his own internal poll that shows him trailing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle by double-digits: 34 percent support for Cagle, 13 percent for Kemp.

The poll of 400 Republican voters was conducted by the Wickers Group, and it also had former legislator Hunter Hill at 2 percent, state Sen. Michael Williams at 1 percent, and a whopping 48 percent in the “not sure” category.

Here’s what Kemp campaign manager Tim Fleming said in a fundraising email:

Thanks to your support, leadership in all 159 counties, and a conservative message that’s resounding with hardworking Georgians throughout the state, this is a two-man race and Brian Kemp is in a strong position to win.

After decades of time working in Georgia politics, I can tell you that the most important number to watch in any poll is definite support. These voters are committed. They aren’t influenced by soft name recognition, fake news, or campaign tricks. They are the base.

Same song, fifth verse

It’s become a yearly ritual for Gov. Nathan Deal. As the leaves start turning in October, his office cranks out another news release proclaiming that Site Selection magazine has once again ranked Georgia as “the no. 1 state” for doing business.

Here’s the latest verse of this very familiar song:

“For the fifth year in a row, Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business, highlighting the value of our business-friendly environment and the success of our economic development initiatives,” said Deal. “I’d like to thank Site Selection for this recognition.”

Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to place this in its proper context: Site Selection is a minor real estate trade publication. It has received advertising dollars from the state. Its opinion is not shared by other business trade publications.

Here’s where other sources rank Georgia: CNBC places Georgia second, while Forbes places it seventh. The Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research placed Georgia 24th. Researchers at Ball State University created a composite score for each state using a number of these best-state-for-business rankings and placed Georgia No. 15 in 2016.

Executive appointments

The governor’s office announced these appointments to state boards and commissions —

Georgia Student Finance Commission: Lowery May of Rome, who sits on the boards of Open Door Children’s Home and Young Life of Rome-Floyd County.

Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operated Board: Natalie S. Jones of Jackson, the chief operating officer of Convenience Stores, Inc.

DFCS State Advisory Board: JaNice Van Ness of Conyers, a former state senator.

Georgia Board for Physician Workforce: Dr. Steven Kitchen of Albany, the chief medical officer of Phoebe Putney Health System, and Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky of Atlanta, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Emory University.

Georgia Board of Massage Therapy: Kelly Teague of Atlanta, who works in commercial real estate and manages commercial properties.

Georgia Environmental Finance Authority: Jimmy Andrews, the mayor of Sandersville; George McIntosh, a Lee County developer, and Jason Winters of Lyerly, the sole commissioner of Chattooga County.

Georgia Film Music and Digital Advisory Board: Jeff Stepakoff of Marietta, the executive director of the Georgia Film Academy.

Immigration Enforcement Review Board: Amor Kok of Peachtree City, a licensed professional counselor.

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Compliance Advisory Panel: Bert Brantley of McDonough, the chief operating officer of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

State Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology: Robin Pasquale Alverson of Fayetteville, a practicing clinical audiologist; Melanie W. Hudson of Canton, a director of EBS Healthcare; Holly S. Kaplan of Athens, a clinical professor of the Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education at the University of Georgia; Miranda Ross of Evans, a clinical audiologist; and Alisa Norris Schultz of Athens, a clinical associate professor for the University of Georgia Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education.

State Board of Podiatry Examiners: Joseph Giovinco of Peachtree City, the founder of Ankle and Foot Centers of Georgia; Leonard R. LaRussa of Americus, a practicing podiatrist; and Barry Turner of Hartwell, a practicing podiatrist.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Brian Kemp , Casey Cagle , Nathan Deal appointments , Site Selection magazine