April 12, 2022

fish fry
The scene from Saturday’s Savannah Regional Central Labor Council’s 32nd annual fish fry Credit: Craig Nelson/The Current

Talking points

With primary elections only six weeks away, candidates for local, state, and federal offices were out in force in Chatham County on a very brisk Saturday. The Current attended three events: the monthly meeting of the Chatham County Republican Party; the Savannah Regional Central Labor Council’s 32nd annual fish fry; and a meet-and-greet of Democratic candidates at The Landings on Skidaway Island.

Here are some comments that caught our attention:

“I’ll annihilate him in the runoff.” – Republican Gary Black on Herschel Walker, his opponent for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator

Gary Black
Gary Black

“They know that every time he gets close to a microphone, it’s a CSI murder scene. It’s a murder of the language and a murder of policy.” – Gary Black on why Herschel Walker, apparently on the advice of his campaign aides, is limiting his public appearances and avoiding debates with his rivals for the nomination

“The things that we’ve done for voter integrity, even though we have been crucified, if you will, are going to go a long way to make sure your ballot counts.” – Georgia Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican representing Savannah-area District 164, on why the recent session of the Georgia State Assembly was “probably one of the most Republican sessions that we’ve ever had.”

Ron Stephens
Rep. Ron Stephens

“You won’t have to stand in line anymore when it comes to getting your permit to protect yourself. That didn’t seem like a big deal to your city of Atlanta and defunding the police on every single step. . . You can protect yourself finally once the governor signs the constitutional carry.” – Rep. Stephens, on a new gun law that will eliminate the need for a permit to conceal and carry a gun, known as “constitutional carry”

“I remember the first time I got into a little give and take with a Republican senator. [Afterward] I got called to the Republican chairman’s office. He sat me down and he said, “You know, I’ll give you some unsolicited advice . . . Maybe you should smile a little bit more? If you have children, bring them to the floor. That might make you a little more relatable.” – State Sen. Jenn Jordan, a Democrat representing District 6, running for Georgia attorney general, on the treatment of women lawmakers by their male colleagues in the Georgia State Assembly

“The people of Georgia are sick of the establishment politicians. Stacey’s establishment. Kemp and Perdue definitely are. The people want somebody normal. They’re ready to be represented by somebody like them. It’s not about parties. It’s about good versus evil. It’s about right versus wrong.” – Republican Kandiss Taylor on why she is the best person to face Democrat Stacey Abrams in this fall’s gubernatorial race

Kandiss Taylor
Kandiss Taylor speaks in front of her campaign bus. Credit: Craig Nelson/The Current

“We have to get rid of this ideology that has been pushed by the woke liberal left in our school system. . . .  [Georgia’s common core performance standards] have to go. They’re dumbing down our kids. Critical race theory teaches oppression. . . Social emotional learning teaches communism, it plants children in their mind to be transgender—all kinds of issues. It’s ridiculous.” – Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor on educational reform

“Listening is my superpower.” – Tammy Stokes, chief judge of the Chatham County Recorder’s Court, on her qualifications for election as judge on the Chatham County Superior Court

Tammy Stokes
Judge Tammy Stokes

“We need people that are willing to fight against believers of the Big Lie.” – Latricia ‘Trish” Brown on why she’s running for a seat on the Chatham County Board of Elections

“School board elections are probably the most important elections in the county because what we do with our school system affects everything — economic development, crime, affordable housing.” – Roger Moss, candidate for Savannah-Chatham County school board president  

Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods

“Once it’s signed into law, we’ll be looking at making this operational. . . . It allows you as parents, you as community members, to have a say as far as what is going on in your school, what is being taught. Is there anyone — has a teacher, is there anyone — a teacher who has gone rogue? Is there a district out there promoting things that should not be promoted, which is very discriminatory in statute?” – Richard Woods, a Republican seeking another four-year term as Georgia’s school superintendent, on implementing so-called “divisive concepts” legislation passed by the General Assembly

“I believe that if things were being taught that shouldn’t be taught, I’d be hearing from the parents of students in those classrooms and I’d be hearing from teachers and administrators that things are being done in classrooms that shouldn’t be done. I have not had those conversations.” – David Bringman, who is running for re-election on the Savannah Chatham County School Board from District 6, on the perception that parents have lost control over what their children are taught

Insurrection and re-election

Federal Judge Amy Totenberg of the Northern District of Georgia was expected Monday to rule on the constitutionality of a lawsuit challenging Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s right to seek re-election for the state’s 14th District House seat in Congress.

On Friday, Totenberg indicated she would allow the lawsuit, brought by a group of constitutional scholars and liberal activists from Georgia, to go forward. The plaintiffs claim Greene aided those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and in so doing, abrogated her right to hold the congressional seat.

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits officeholders from returning to elected positions if they supported an insurrection. 

Pres. Donald Trump and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue Credit: voteperdue.com

Perdue & Trump on Jan. 6

Much has been said and written about the more than 7½-hour gap in the White House phone logs turned over to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

What’s received little attention is that then-Sen. David Perdue was the last person who spoke to Donald Trump before the then-president left the mansion to address the “Save America” rally at the Ellipse.

According to the logs, Trump directed the White House operator to ring up Perdue. Six minutes later, at 11:04 a.m., the Georgia senator returned the call. The two spoke for two minutes.

Perdue’s campaign headquarters did not reply to a request for comment on what the president and then-senator discussed.

Last time we checked…

Speaking of Gary Black’s appearance in Savannah on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 8 described the “definite rural flavor” of the Senate candidate’s statewide tour of about a “dozen towns far from metro Atlanta.” The AJC was correct about one thing: Savannah is “far from metro Atlanta.”

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Craig Nelson is a former international correspondent for The Associated Press, the Sydney (Australia) Morning-Herald, Cox Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal. He also served as foreign editor for The...