Political Notes — Deal suspends Worth County sheriff from office

[private]Gov. Nathan Deal has decided that Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby, who was indicted on criminal charges after he ordered body searches of hundreds of high school students in a drug sweep, will be suspended from office.

Deal signed an executive order Monday suspending Hobby “pending the final disposition of the case or until the expiration of his term of office.”

Hobby made national headlines after the April 14 search in which the entire Worth County High School was locked down for four hours while deputies subjected some 900 students to drug searches, including alleged “invasive searches” where female students said deputies touched their breasts and private parts.

Hobby was indicted Oct. 3 by a Worth grand jury on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of his oath of office. Two of Hobby’s deputies were also indicted.

Alabama’s a tossup

The non-partisan Cook Political Report has now decreed that the Alabama Senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones is a tossup.

Wrote Jennifer Duffy:

In truth, the biggest winner in all of this has been Jones, the Democratic nominee. Apart from condemning Moore and seeing his fundraising spike, Jones hasn’t changed much about his campaign, nor does he have to.

Moore’s problems are likely to make it easier for Jones to get his supporters to the polls and to expand his base to include Republicans who can’t vote for Moore or accept the possibility that he could serve in the Senate. It is still a tough road, but it gets a bit smoother every day.

So, yes, this race is a hot mess that is likely to get messier between now and December 12.

Moore is in hot water right now because of allegations that he was sexually aggressive towards teenage girls when he was a district attorney in the 1980s in Alabama’s Etowah County.

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson said this in a Monday speech in Cobb County:

“As a member of the Republican Party and an elected Republican, there’s no circumstance under which having a Democrat would be better . . . That said, anybody who violates the moral code of ethics and decency should not be serving in the United States Senate.”

Isakson is chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and could end up playing a key role in this controversy if Moore wins the Dec. 12 election.

Tippins is in

Clay Tippins, a Republican candidate for governor, will open the “Clay for Georgia” campaign headquarters on Wednesday in Atlanta. The headquarters will be located at 99 West Paces Ferry Road, Suite 1.

Tippins, the nephew of state Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) let slip some time ago he was mulling a race for governor, but has not surfaced publicly until now.

On the Democratic side of the race, Stacey Abrams will roll out a major policy proposal Wednesday that is intended to “help foster a thriving economy in every part of the state and educate bold and ambitious children in Georgia.”

In the race for insurance commissioner, Democratic candidate Cindy Zeldin has a high-powered endorsement from Kathleen Sebelius, the former head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who oversaw the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius said:

Cindy is a tireless health care advocate with nearly a decade of experience fighting for better access, working across the aisle, and ensuring that Georgians have the financial security they need to not only survive but to thrive.

Cindy knows how to deliver the commonsense solutions that Georgians need and expect when it comes to their insurance. And it has never been more important for smart, compassionate, and dedicated female leaders and public servants like Cindy to run for elected office.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Cindy Zeldin , Clay Tippins , drug search , Nathan Deal , Stacey Abrams , Worth County sheriff