Peach State Politics (Oct. 1, 2021)

First congressional draft unveiled, Trump rally recap, This Week in Washington, and more

Good Friday morning, everyone! It’s the end of another busy week, which means it’s time for us to go over this week’s biggest stories in Georgia politics!

There was a major development in redistricting news this week, with Republican mapmakers releasing their first official congressional map draft. Plus, we’ll go over some of the main takeaways from former President Trump’s rally in Perry last weekend, and we’ll recap a busy week in our nation’s capital. Let’s get started!

First congressional draft unveiled

The biggest news this week involved redistricting. On Monday, Republicans in the Georgia Senate unveiled the first of what will likely be many congressional map drafts.

The draft is expected to undergo several revisions and changes before November’s special redistricting session, but Republican state lawmakers clearly have a goal in mind: undoing recent Democratic gains in the metro Atlanta suburbs.

If anything resembling Monday’s draft is passed, Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath will soon find herself in unfamiliar territory, while neighboring Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux will have a lock on her Gwinnett-based district for several cycles to come.

Outside of metro Atlanta, changes to the map are relatively minimal from a partisan lean standpoint. Population changes led to some rural districts either taking in more or fewer counties.

My overview of Monday’s draft can be read here.

Trump rally recap

Former President Donald Trump was in Perry, GA last weekend to campaign for his handpicked slate of statewide Republican candidates. Here are some of the main takeaways from the event:

  • Herschel Walker’s first campaign rally as a Senate candidate

  • Trump’s remarks lasted for about 90 minutes

  • Trump continued to air 2020 election grievances, continues to insist he won the election

  • Trump attacks Kemp, suggests Abrams would be a better Governor: “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”

  • Trump attacks AG Chris Carr for not joining longshot lawsuit to overturn election

  • Trump criticizes Biden’s handling of Afghanistan withdrawal

  • SOS candidate Hice attacks Raffensperger for “irregularities and fraud”

The former President’s full remarks can be viewed here.

This Week in Washington

DeKalb lawmaker enters LG race

A Democratic state lawmaker from DeKalb County is entering the crowded field for Georgia Lieutenant Governor.

State Rep. Renitta Shannon has been one of the most vocal critics of Republican policies, going viral in 2019 for a giving a speech opposing Georgia’s controversial six-week abortion ban. She has also become known for boycotting several of Gov. Brian Kemp’s speeches.

If elected, Shannon — the first openly bisexual member of the General Assembly, would make several historic firsts: the first Black Lieutenant Governor, the first female Lieutenant Governor, and both the first Black woman and LGBTQ person to hold a statewide elected office.

She joins a field that so far includes two of her State House colleagues: State Reps. Erick Allen (D-Smyrna) and State Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone) both joined the race earlier this year.

Happy 97th Birthday, Mr. President!

I would like to end this week’s newsletter by wishing a very happy birthday to Georgia’s favorite peanut farmer, James Earl Carter Jr! The 39th President of the United States and former Governor of Georgia turns a youthful 97 years old on Friday.

From the U.S. Navy, to the Georgia Governor’s mansion, the White House, as head of the Carter Center and yes — even as a Sunday school teacher in his lovely hometown of Plains, President Carter has spent his entire life serving and helping the people of this great state. He embodies the best qualities of a statesman and Georgians are truly grateful for his leadership.

On behalf of all Georgians, we hope your birthday is as special as you are, Mr. President. Thank you once again for your continued service to our state, and here’s to many more wonderful years to come!