Peach State Politics (Oct. 24, 2021)
Race for Mayor enters final week, Walker faces criticism for swastika controversy, GA Dems stump for VA Gov candidate, This Week in Washington, and more
Welcome back to Peach State Politics! We’ve got quite a bit to catch up on this week, from the race for Mayor, to a controversy surrounding Herschel Walker and Georgia Democrats hitting the campaign trail in the Virginia governor race. And as always, we’ve got to catch up on the latest from Washington. Let’s get started!
Race for Mayor enters final week
The race to become Atlanta’s next Mayor is now entering it’s final week. Candidates have just one week left to convince voters that they are the right choice to lead Atlanta forward.
On Tuesday, we are going to take a closer look at where things stand in the closing days, but the race is shaping up to be a two-person affair between City Council President Felicia Moore and former Mayor Kasim Reed. If no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election on November 30.
There are two issues dominating the election: the rise in violent crime, as well as the movement in Buckhead to break away from the city of Atlanta to form its own city. Most of the major candidate are opposed to the cityhood movement, though they each have different plans to combat Atlanta’s crime problem.
Early voting ends on Friday.
Jewish groups: Walker must condemn bigotry
Earlier this month, U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker found himself embroiled in controversy after he announced that he was going to hold a fundraiser with a supporter in Texas who shared an anti-Semitic photo on social media. Walker’s campaign then called off the fundraiser after backlash, but metro Atlanta’s Jewish community believes that the Republican needs to do more to condemn bigotry.
Jewish leaders gathered outside the State Capitol in Atlanta earlier this week and said that Walker must condemn all comparisons of COVID-19 regulations to the Holocaust. “Politicians like Herschel Walker make it harder for us to get ahead of the virus,” one said.
A campaign spokesperson issued a statement in response to the Jewish leaders, stressing that the campaign canceled the fundraiser after the disturbing social media photo was uncovered. She also said that the Walker campaign condemns bigotry “of all forms.”
GA Dems hit the campaign trail in tight VA Gov race
Prominent Georgia Democrats are traveling to Virginia to campaign for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, who is locked in a tight race for Governor.
Voting rights leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams traveled to Norfolk, VA this week to help McAuliffe’s Black voter outreach. She visited three Black churches in Norfolk and then campaigned with McAuliffe outside an early voting station. “What you say in 2021 will show the world who we are in 2022 and 2024 and beyond,” she told supporters. She is also scheduled to hold a rally in Charlottesville on Sunday.
Abrams isn’t the only Georgia Democrat campaigning for McAuliffe: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has also traveled to Virginia in the last week. Like Abrams, she has been encouraging Black congregations to vote in next month’s election. She acknowledged that the polls are showing a competitive race and said in a CBS interview that she is in Virginia “because the nation is watching.”
McAuliffe’s opponent is Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin.
This Week in Washington
With his approval ratings on the decline and his legislative agenda hanging in the balance, President Joe Biden is now taking his pitch directly to voters. The President took part in a town hall on CNN this week to hear directly from concerned voters. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders are attempting to hash out a deal on their budget and infrastructure packages. Plus, two more House Democrats have announced that they will not be running for re-election next year.
Biden provides insight into legislative negotiations at CNN town hall
Pelosi: Dems approaching an agreement on spending packages
Supreme Court to hear Texas abortion case, refuses to block controversial new law
House votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt in January 6 investigation
Bill Clinton recovering following hospitalization
Greene scolds Raskin, Cheney on House floor
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defends paternity leave after backlash from conservative commentators
POLITCO: “House Dem retirement rush continues with 2 new departures”
ICYMI: Rep. David Scott running for re-election
U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, announced this week that he will be running for re-election in 2022.
Scott, 76, has represented the 13th district since 2003 and has emerged as a moderate voice in his party. He faced a close primary last year and was seen as a possible retirement due to his age and his position as a committee chair (if Republicans take control of the House, Scott loses his chairmanship).
The 13th district is a majority-Black, heavily Democratic district that covers the southwestern portions of metro Atlanta.
Rest in peace, Gen. Powell
I would like to offer my condolences to the family and close friends of Gen. Colin Powell, who passed away this week at the age of 84 as a result of COVID-19 complications.
Powell, the first Black Secretary of State, was a role model for young Black men across the country. It was nothing short of monumental to watch a Black man ascend to the highest ranks of the U.S. military.
Thank you for your years of service to this great country, General. It’s leaders like you who inspire Black men that there’s nothing stopping them from doing anything that they want to do.
WORLD SERIES BOUND!
Your Atlanta Braves are headed to the World Series for the first time since 1999!
The Braves punched their ticket to the Fall Classic by defeating the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in Game 6 of the National League Championship.
The Braves will now face the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series, with Game 1 of the best-of-seven series set for Tuesday night at the Houston Astrodome.
Congratulations and best of luck to the Braves!