Two weeks after the formal vote, election officials in Alaska say U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has a 1,706-ballot lead over GOP nominee Joe Miller.
She has 92,164 votes to Miller’s 90,458. (By comparison, Georgia had four counties – Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett — that each cast more ballots in the governor’s race.)
But apparently, Murkowski felt confident enough to give this CBS interview last night, in which she talked about the woman behind Joe Miller’s candidacy:
Said Murkowski of Sarah Palin:
“She has been very good and engaged in motivating people. She has an ability to connect with people that is really quite remarkable. But she would not be my choice for president….
“I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies. You know, she was my governor for two years – just about two years, there — and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing. I don’t think liked to get down into the policy.”
When Gov.-elect Nathan Deal announced the leaders of his transition team the day after the election, many born-and-bred Republicans noted that the picture was filled with ex-Democras.
Dave Williams of the Atlanta Business Chronicle notes that Deal has since sought to balance the ledger:
From Republican circles, Deal tapped Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who will act as honorary chairman; state Republican Chairman Sue Everhart; Robert Highsmith, former deputy executive council to Gov. Sonny Perdue now serving as head of the Georgia Government Relations practice for Holland & Knight LLP; and longtime GOP activist Carolyn Meadows, a member of the National Rifle Association and American Conservative Union boards.
Earlier this month, Deal named veteran Capitol lobbyist Jay Morgan and conservative activist Tricia Pridemore as the committee’s co-chairs.
Larry O’Neal of Bonaire, the new House majority leader, on Monday told the home folks that – despite his election — south Georgia’s political clout is about to shrink. From the Macon Telegraph:
He said he hopes to continue to be a voice for Middle Georgia in the General Assembly, which is currently dominated by Atlanta-area and North Georgia politicians, and will likely be even more so in the future.
“We have a seat at the table,” he said. “The people of Middle Georgia have a voice, even though the new census is going to show the population is less. We may lose six House seats and a Senate seat south of Macon.”
Senate Democrats are seeing the same thing. On Monday, in a very brief caucus, members re-elected state Sen. Robert Brown of Macon as minority leader.
The major change in leadership: Doug Stoner of Smyrna was elected caucus chair, replacing Tim Golden of Valdosta. Golden’s seat could be the one erased in next year’s redistricting session.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Monday that he was suing the U.S. Department of Justice in an effort to win federal permission for a system to verify the citizenship of new voters. From Walter Jones with Morris News Service:
[Kemp] filed a similar lawsuit in June, and two months later the Justice Department agreed to grant its OK if the state dropped that suit. Over the previous two years, the department had rejected that procedure three times.
“Litigation worked the first time, and so it would make sense that it would work again,” said Kemp’s spokesman Matt Carrothers.
Kemp has handed the matter to a private attorney, Anne Lewis, who is also general counsel for the state GOP. Jones continues:
At issue in June was a process for comparing voter-registration data to records held by the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
The new lawsuit is over a Georgia law passed in 2009 that would require anyone registering to vote to provide documentation of citizenship, from a driver’s license number to a copy of a passport or certain other documents.