March 15, 2022

With the campaign season underway in earnest in Georgia, The Current is launching our newest newsletter — Soundings.

Soundings will provide trustworthy nonpartisan news about lawmakers, issues, and political races in Coastal Georgia. Like all our coverage, our aim is to increase the volume of facts, not fuel outrage; help our community navigate our stormy political seas; and help you, the voters, make more informed decisions ahead of party primaries in May and November’s general election

The Current will sponsor forums this spring and fall that enable you to directly question the people seeking to represent us locally, in the Georgia statehouse and in the U.S. Congress. Our editors and reporters also will regularly host events to discuss your thoughts and concerns face-to-face.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. We look forward to fostering political discussion and debate that builds a more engaged citizenry.

Uniting the GOP tent

Two of Coastal Georgia’s Republican heavyweights appeared together to rally the party faithful over the steam tables of scrambled eggs and sausage patties Saturday morning at Carey Hilliard’s: former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Donald Trump’s handpicked challenger to Gov. Brian Kemp, and U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter. 

Perdue Kemp composite

The event, sponsored by the Chatham County Republican Party, suggests that Perdue is energetically trying to boost his flagging ratings. A Fox News poll released last week showed Perdue trailing Kemp by 11 points in the race for the GOP nomination for governor. 

It also reveals the tricky path facing other Georgia Republican candidates who haven’t received formal backing from former President Trump as they navigate the party’s divided slate. 

Carter has been careful to walk the tightrope between the warring GOP gubernatorial candidates. But Saturday, he followed in Perdue’s wake and applause.

Although Carter spared a few words of praise for Kemp, his mixed message fell flat, however, due to the tone set by a third Republican luminary showcasing the event. Perdue’s team played a 30-second video of Trump denigrating Gov. Kemp.“The Democrats walked all over Brian Kemp,” Trump said. “Brian Kemp let us down. We can’t let it happen again.”

Some other key takeaways:

  • Perdue, the Uniter? Perdue insisted that his challenge to Kemp isn’t the source of division in Georgia’s Republican ranks. Rather, he said, it was Kemp’s failure to get to the bottom of alleged voting irregularities in the 2020 election. 
  • Reviving the Big Tent? Both Perdue and Carter told the crowd that they would support whoever wins the May 24 primary. However, neither man offered details about how to square the circle between Trump’s and Perdue’s the main talking point — alleged election irregularities — and support for the man who refused to cave into Trump’s fabrications of a stolen election in Georgia. 
  • Abrams as common enemy: The person to unify the Georgia Republican Party may not be a Republican, at all. Both Perdue and Carter demonized Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, saying her victory would usher in a political apocalypse, or as Perdue put it: a “woke takeover of Georgia.” That’s a talking point all Georgia Republicans will likely hammer on through the fall.

Georgia Capitol

Historic justice at the Gold Dome

Tuesday is Crossover Day for Georgia’s state lawmakers, the timeframe that determines which of the bills introduced in this legislative session have the greatest chance to become law.

Coastal Georgia’s Rep. Carl Gilliard and members of Georgia’s Legislative Black Caucus, the Urban League of Atlanta, Anti-Defamation League, and Georgia State NAACP are hoping to breathe life into a bill aimed at helping solve historic lynchings in the state. The bill would focus renewed investigative resources into the deaths of the first 33 African-American members of the Georgia General Assembly who were elected in 1868, the Atlanta race riot of 1906 and the Camilla massacre of 1868.

Rep. Gilliard was instrumental in helping revise Georgia’s citizens arrest legislation in the wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. 

First District candidate forum

Three Democrats have registered to run in the May 24 primary to become their party’s candidate for U.S. House, First District. The Current has profiled each of these candidates — Wade Herring, Joyce Griggs and Michelle Munroe. Each has accepted an invitation to appear Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Marshes of Glynn Library in Brunswick. The event, sponsored by the Sidney Lanier Environmental Advocacy Team, will have an environmental focus. But it is a public forum for anyone to ask questions to these candidates. U.S. Rep. Carter has also been invited, but has yet to RSVP.

For your calendar: 

  • DATE: Saturday, March 19, 2022
  • TIME:  2 p.m. 
  • PLACE: Marshes of Glynn Library, 208 Gloucester St, Brunswick, GA  31520

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