T-SPLOST falls in metro Atlanta; several incumbents unseated

UPDATE at 12:16 p.m.: My colleagues on the news side have now called the referendum as well, declaring T-SPLOST defeated in metro Atlanta. It’s on to Plan B. The one thing I can say with certainty: There will be a Plan B.

That’s it for tonight. More to come Wednesday.

UPDATE at 11:55 p.m.: At least four incumbent House members were defeated Tuesday by challengers:

  • Charlice Byrd, R-Woodstock, lost 53-47 to Michael Caldwell;
  • Steve Davis, R-McDonough, lost 65-35 to Dale Rutledge;
  • Doug McKillip, an Athenian who went from being a member of the House Democratic leadership to a Republican who this year sponsored the so-called fetal pain anti-abortion bill, lost 50.4-49.6 to Regina Quick;
  • Keith Heard, D-Athens, lost 55-45 to Spencer Frye.

In addition, there are two districts where House Democratic incumbents were paired against each other. Pat Gardner had a 63-37 lead over Rashad Taylor, while Simone Bell led Ralph Long 57-43.

And another six House incumbents were in real trouble: Judy Manning, R-Marietta; Yasmin Neal, D-Jonesboro; Glenn Baker, D-Jonesboro; Kip Smith, R-Columbus; and Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, all were trailing late Tuesday night, and Pam Dickerson, D-Conyers, was headed for a runoff against Sharon Sawyer.

UPDATE at 11:30 p.m.: My prediction of a single-digit loss for metro Atlanta’s T-SPLOST is looking shaky. With two-thirds of the region’s precincts reporting, the tax is trailing by a whopping 18 28 percentage points, 64-36 (sorry, late-night math — KW). We shall see what the final margin is, but I feel safe in saying the tax has been defeated.

In other news, it would appear state Sen. Jack Murphy survived a tough primary challenge. Other endangered Senate incumbents (see previous update) were still having to sweat it out. Sens. Miriam Paris and Bill Heath, and probably Gail Davenport as well, appeared headed for runoffs.

UPDATE at 10:10 p.m.: A few incumbent state senators appear to be in some trouble tonight. With the caveat that it’s still early, with important parts of these districts still to report, the nervous ones tonight are:

  • Majority Whip Cecil Station, R-Macon, who trails challenger Spencer Price 51-49 at the moment;
  • Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, who trails Burt Jones 53-47;
  • Miriam Paris, D-Macon, who trails former state Rep. David Lucas 48-47 (with a third candidate taking a handful of votes);
  • Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, who has drawn criticism for remaining chairman of the Senate Banking Committee while being sued by the FDIC, leads Steve Voshall 50.2-49.8;
  • Bill Heath, R-Bremen, a.k.a. the man who put longtime Speaker Tom Murphy out of politics, leads Bill Carruth 45-42 in another three-man race;
  • Gail Davenport, D-Jonesboro, is trailing former state Sen. Gail Buckner 48-37 in a three-person race;

UPDATE at 9:44 p.m.: In congressional races, we appear to be headed to  runoffs in a couple of GOP primaries.

In the newly created 9th District centered on Hall and Forsyth counties, state Rep. Doug Collins has 42 percent of the vote and radio talk-show host Martha Zoller 41 percent. There still are a number of counties still to fully report in that large, Northeast Georgia district.

In the 12th, which Republicans redrew last year to be much more favorable to their party against incumbent Democrat John Barrow, state Rep. Lee Anderson has an early lead in a four-way race. But the Augusta area, home to two of the challengers, has yet to report most of its results.

We might also see a Republican runoff in the 2nd, although incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop is much safer in his redrawn district than he was in 2010, when he barely held onto his office. Whoever emerges from the GOP side is unlikely to give him nearly as tough a run this year.

Neither Hank Johnson (D) nor Phil Gingrey (R) nor Lynn Westmoreland (R), the only incumbents to face more than one primary challenger, seems likely to end up in a runoff. (Note: I left Westmoreland off that list originally. — KW)

UPDATE at 9:30 p.m.: Two and a half hours after the polls closed, we still don’t have a ton of clarity about how T-SPLOST is faring in metro Atlanta. That’s because Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties are just beginning to report the bulk of their returns. When they do, the 66-34 lead for the “no” vote will narrow considerably. I still look for disapproval of the sales-tax hike by single digits.

That said, the nightmare scenario for state officials seems to be unfolding: Metro Atlanta, for whom the T-SPLOST was created, will vote it down while it passes in other regions, tying the hands of state lawmakers in coming up with Plan B. The tax is currently ahead in the regions surrounding Augusta and Columbus, along with the one in rural southeast-central (ish) Georgia stretching from Wrightsville to Jesup. I still think the only option will be for another vote within a couple of years.

ORIGINAL POST:

Tonight — or early Wednesday morning — we’ll learn the fate not only of the T-SPLOST in metro Atlanta and 11 other regions around the state. We’ll also find out the winners in a number of elections for Congress and the statehouse, whether other races are going to runoffs, and how the ballot measures fared in the Democratic and GOP primaries.

I’ll update this post as the evening wears on. You can get results here.

– By Kyle Wingfield

456 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
8:24 pm

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
8:25 pm

Don’t know whether it’s the SoS website, or the county itself, but Forsyth County is completely dark as far as returns go thus far.

They’re going to contribute a great deal to the regional totals up in this neck of the woods. Three very hotly contested commission races and a contentious sheriff’s race this year in Forsyth.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
8:26 pm

They could build 80 lanes on I75 north, some moron will still try to cross all of them a quarter of a mile before their exit.

Numbers-R-US

July 31st, 2012
8:29 pm

They could build 80 lanes on I75 north, some moron will still try to cross all of them a quarter of a mile before their exit.

Those I can deal with. It’s the ones that turn around and head back to the exit they missed that get me.

iggy

July 31st, 2012
8:36 pm

As Jerry Lee would say “WHOOOLLLE lotta spankin goin on!!”

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
8:36 pm

My goodness, there are a couple of total babes in the seats at Target field tonight. What, is it tourist season in Minnesota? Did the ice finally thaw?

Ooops, I’m off topic :-)

Del

July 31st, 2012
8:38 pm

Has Kyle’s blog been shut down again?

Del

July 31st, 2012
8:39 pm

Great, it appears not.

TruthBe

July 31st, 2012
8:40 pm

VOTE NO !!!! This is a slash fund for politicians and their special interest donors. Only 40% goes towards road work. And MARTA gets most of that. Gov. Deal said we need this15% tax increase for Georgia. Well if this Racist Communist President Obama would stop giving away our hard earn tax money to the enemy thru Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Almost Four Billion Dollars to the PLO, Hamas, Hezbullah, and the Muslim Brotherhood thus far. If we would stop building up our enemies and the rest of the world just MAYBE we will have enough money to fix America.

td

July 31st, 2012
8:40 pm

Looks like Savannah voters want more roads but the rest of the state appears to be NO votes.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
8:40 pm

Looks like Hall County is voting down TSPLOST. Supporters were really hoping they’d come through for the GA Mountains region.

JamVet

July 31st, 2012
8:43 pm

And that is the sweet irony of the situation in the metro area.

Who pays the price for this situation?

The government hating faux conservatives who absolutely waste hundreds of hours every year in that grinding, endless, maddening, stop and go gridlock traffic every working morning and evening of their lives.

Until the end of time, amen.

Sucks to be all of those commuters in Woodstock, Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Cumming, Milton, John’s Creek, Suwanee, Duluth, Lawrenceville, etc. I guess…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
8:43 pm

Have you ever driven to Savannah? It’s like traveling through the Sahara. I thought I was gonna die. Or never get there, one. They should move that sucka closer to the rest of the world.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

July 31st, 2012
8:47 pm

I Report
_______

No worries. In about a hundred years the ocean will rise 100 feet. Savanna will be 80 miles or more closer.

Del

July 31st, 2012
8:48 pm

Looks like TSplost may be in the toilet.

td

July 31st, 2012
8:48 pm

I Report ,

I love the drive down I-16. It is straight with not a great deal of traffic. Cruse control on and get to catch up on good music. Very relaxing.

iggy

July 31st, 2012
8:48 pm

Interstate 16 is kinda fun. I hooked in with a band of about 9 autos and we were rolling until two little girls in a Mazda got to the front of the pack. I followed them to Macon cruising between 90 and 100 mph!!

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
8:51 pm

TSPLOST is down 75% – 25% in Forsyth with a mix of precincts in.

Bruno

July 31st, 2012
8:52 pm

Looks like T-SPLOST is going down in flames.

I invite josef, Del or anyone interested to read my summary of the latest chapter of a course PB and I are taking called “From Jesus to Constantine”. That chapter is entitled “The Beginning of Jewish-Christian Relations”.

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=6577

td

July 31st, 2012
8:53 pm

Looks like Columbus and Albany now wants more roads. No one lives there and their rush hour is like Saturday night on 285. I have no idea why they want more roads.

iggy

July 31st, 2012
8:53 pm

WIth TSplat going TSplat and instead of biting his nails, Mayor Reed has probably already chomped down an entire box of yellow crayola crayons.

Bruno

July 31st, 2012
8:53 pm

Summary is in the thread below. Comments are welcome, especially from the Christians here. Thanks, and good night.

Del

July 31st, 2012
8:55 pm

I love Savannah and Tybee Island. It’s an easy drive from Atlanta. I also love Destin,Florida a somewhat more difficult drive, but isn’t Georgia great? This is God’s country.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
8:55 pm

You’d better have a strong bladder driving down the wasteland known as I-16. No trees to hide behind if you don’t.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
8:56 pm

16 is ate up with state troopers.

Dorothea Quincy

July 31st, 2012
8:56 pm

Support your local Chick – Fil – A on April 1st on Chick – Fil – A appreciation day.

Bruno

July 31st, 2012
8:58 pm

Looks like Columbus and Albany now wants more roads.

Whoa–The early results were the exact opposite.Still less than 10% of the precincts reporting, however.

I believe that it will be all-or-none for the whole state, no?? Various regions can’t vote themselves in or out, can they??

As I’ve stated numerous times, our roads are good down here, and traffic is minimal. What may be driving the “yes” vote are all of the grading/hauling contractors who are out of work right now. One of my clients, a hauling contractor, says there has been a big push among themselves. Since it is likely that a small percentage of the voters will turn out, their voice may be heard disproportionately.

JamVet

July 31st, 2012
8:58 pm

You cons crack me up.

OF COURSE, this thing never was gonna pass. It never had the first chance. I L’dMAO when it was first run up the flagpole.

You guys would vote against having lifeboats on the Titanic if they cost you a penny.

Enjoy your evening.

(And the gridlock…)

Ray

July 31st, 2012
8:58 pm

Hope the percentages hold up, as they will send a message that the public is demanding better governance and stewardship.

Slapped Down Again

July 31st, 2012
8:59 pm

Bruno

Left you a message downstairs

iggy

July 31st, 2012
9:00 pm

I calculate the Yes votes need Approx 90,200 votes just to get to 50% and thats with the No votes remaining as is.

Awwww…..OUCH!

Del

July 31st, 2012
9:01 pm

I see Leminy Snicket has migrated over to Kyles blog.

getalife

July 31st, 2012
9:02 pm

Our Speed limit is 75 when I drive to Dallas .

RC (R--apoi)

July 31st, 2012
9:04 pm

Well, I ain’t seem a beatdown like this since Ziggy Zickafoose mouthed off to the big guy up at Billy Bob’s. By the time that one was over you could of used Ziggy for a door stop.

We told you we didn’t want this bunch of boondoggles and you put it on the ballot anyway. Now we showed you we didn’t want it. What’s next—you going to charge the extra sales tax anyway?

I guess all those pro-Tsplost people are going to show up at their fancy digs and moan about how backward we all are. I expect the fine French wine will taste a little sour tonight.

td

July 31st, 2012
9:04 pm

Bruno

July 31st, 2012
8:58 pm

Looks like Columbus and Albany now wants more roads.

Whoa–The early results were the exact opposite.Still less than 10% of the precincts reporting, however.

I believe that it will be all-or-none for the whole state, no?? Various regions can’t vote themselves in or out, can they??

I may be wrong but it is my understanding that each regional vote is separate with different projects and they vote to just tax items inside that region or not tax the region.

Del

July 31st, 2012
9:05 pm

Androids driving at high speed is a clear and present danger on our highways.

Honest Abe

July 31st, 2012
9:05 pm

I hope the T-SPLOST burns in Hell with Ted Kennedy, Adolf Hitler, Joe Paterno…

… and all the CNN-loving Chick-fil-A Haters.

Yes, Really.

iggy

July 31st, 2012
9:07 pm

Slapped Down Again

July 31st, 2012
9:07 pm

Honest Abe

Hope you are not showing your Christian side at this moment?

Maybe you are back sliding at this time.

Jesus be with you

Bless your heart

Del

July 31st, 2012
9:09 pm

Remember y’all, tomorrow is Chick-fil-A appreciation day, so buy many for family and friends.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
9:09 pm

Half of Forsyth’s precincts are in and TSPLOST is still going down 75% – 25%.

Del

July 31st, 2012
9:12 pm

G’nite all…Taps.

Slapped Down Again

July 31st, 2012
9:13 pm

Honest Abe

Changing names, but the styles the same

tick, tick, tick

TruthBe

July 31st, 2012
9:14 pm

JamVet Bookman’s boy wonder, No WE are tired of the tax and wasteful spending from your good buddies downtown Atlanta. Maybe you could ask your boss Obama if he could spare the change from the Feds to fix the Atlanta Traffic problems. If you could convince Obama from giving away all our hard earned tax money to his terrorist friends the Muslim Brotherhood, PLO, Hamas, and Hezbullah. Obama and Hillary Clinton have given these Muslim Brotherhood folks almost 4 BILLION DOLLARS so far. By the way these are the same terrorist groups that are killing our Soldiers and Civilians. Not to mention 260 million tax dollars this week to his campaign donors.

Kyle Wingfield

July 31st, 2012
9:15 pm

td @ 9:04: You are correct: Each of the 12 regions is holding its own referendum. If they pass it down in Albany, they get it down in Albany, whatever happens everywhere else.

The only effect elsewhere will be to narrow the options of the Legislature to try different approaches to adding infrastructure in the places that vote it down. Which is why I still think we’ll see a re-vote in a couple of years. As far as I know, every other city/region in other states that has tried this approach voted it down the first time, only to approve it the next go-around.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 31st, 2012
9:17 pm

Jesus wasn’t a gay baiter, Slapped, just sayin…

Slapped Down Again

July 31st, 2012
9:22 pm

Kyle

I voted no because I do not think there was sufficient coordination and few too many pet projects, not because I do not think the region needs infrastructure improvements.

With that said, are there any studies regarding the Dallas and Charlotte infrastructure improvements they have worked on in the last 10 or so year in terms of new businesses relocating.

I know that might be a difficult study because companies relocate and expand for various reasons.

I’m sure their Chamber of Commerce would say it helped, but is there any studies that were not done by orgs directly tied to either of those cities?

Slapped Down Again

July 31st, 2012
9:22 pm

I report

What? Save your hate for someone else. Move along

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 31st, 2012
9:27 pm

How sheepish is Savannah and surrounding environs going to feel tomorrow if TSPLOST goes down in flames everywhere but there.

JamVet

July 31st, 2012
9:29 pm

Boy wonder?

I was serving this country when someone was still changing your dirty diapers, Truthmeat.

I see a common refrain that some people did not like the projects that were selected.

I feel confident that NO project anywhere, at any time would ever meet with the approval of moat of these folks.

Unless all of the money went to widen their driveway and the streets in their subdivision. And the roads that took them to their nearest Walmart.

THAT is the primary reason that metro wide projects will never, ever, ever pass anymore.

Most people are far too self-obsessed and self-absorbed…