Sadie Fields, the Christian conservative leader behind the 2004 fight over gay marriage in Georgia, this morning endorsed former radio talk show host Martha Zoller in the Republican primary runoff for the 9th congressional district.
The endorsement comes as something of a surprise — the former head of the Georgia Christian Coalition has lately retired from politics, and the endorsement sets her squarely against the many forces in the state Capitol. The press release from the Zoller campaign includes this:
“Martha’s conservative position on important issues is not just rhetoric, but a part of her belief system,” said Fields. “More than ever, we need conservative leaders who will stand firm on the principles espoused by our Founding Fathers. Martha will do just that and will work hard and tirelessly to help get this country back on track. I endorse her candidacy wholeheartedly and without reservation.”
Zoller’s opponent, state Rep. Doug Collins, has accused Zoller of waffling on core GOP issues of abortion and gay marriage. Collins is passing around a video clip in which the talk show host clearly says she supports civil unions. Zoller says an extended version of her remarks shows her retracting her own comments — but we haven’t seen that.
Here’s a robo-call that the Collins campaign is using against Zoller, handed in by a reader.
My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy says state Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown, trying to beat back a surge by businessman Rick Allen of Augusta in the Republican contest for the 12th District congressional district, has sent an email to supporters advertising some very kind words from Gov. Nathan Deal.
Anderson has been criticized by Allen for his legislative vote to place TSPLOST referendums on the July primary ballot. These lines from Deal appear to be designed as a counterweight:
“Lee Anderson strongly supported my conservative tax reform agenda, which cut taxes on Georgia families and businesses. With Lee’s help, I was able to enact one of the most pro-jobs laws in our state’s history.”
A spokesman for Deal says such phraseology doesn’t amount to an endorsement, but is accurate. A picture of the governor shaking hands with Anderson is also part of the package.
With only a few days left, candidates (and their supporters) in primary runoff campaigns are losing that veneer of cordiality.
My AJC colleague Rhonda Cook attended Wednesday’s taping of the debate for Clayton County sheriff between Democratic incumbent Kem Kimbrough and his predecessor, Victor Hill – who has been indicted by a grand jury on 37 charges of misconduct in office.
A debate panelist asked the two men to name one thing they like about the other:
“He can grin and lie at the same time,” said Hill, who lost to Kimbrough four years ago.
“Absolutely nothing,” Kimbrough said.
On a similar note: Last May, Paulding County resident Bill Houston filed a formal candidacy challenge against Bill Carruth of Dallas, who is running against incumbent state Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen. But spending time with Heath at the hearing – Carruth’s candidacy was upheld, and the runoff will settle things Tuesday – apparently did more harm than good.
Houston handed Paulding.com a copy of his break-up email with Heath, which is filled with more passion than grammar:
”I am so sick of your phone calls and the junk mail. Carruth didn’t saw what you claim, and he is not going to take our guns. I hope to hell you lose this in a big way and never get into politics again. This [stuff] from places claiming to be the Ga tax association is a bunch of s and you should be put away for it. You are typical of a so called Christian, lie and cheat to get your way, but yet you can pray over a hot dog. This is why I believe in the Freedom from religion group. Religion and politics should not mix.”
The Savannah Morning News reports that former South Carolina U.S. Rep. John Spratt has been appointed to mediate a federal lawsuit filed by environmentalists, challenging the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel. Spratt lost his re-election bid to Republican Mick Mulvaney two years ago.
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss have spent much of August preparing their constituents for the Washington battle over sequestration and the federal deficit that will begin as soon as the presidential contest ends. Isakson was in north Georgia on Wednesday with a dire assessment that you won’t hear from Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. From the Rome News-Tribune:
The Georgia Republican told Rome business, industry and education leaders that the crisis has been created by politicians in both parties.
“We’ve all got our fingerprints on the problem,” said Isakson.
The senator said that simply cutting spending was not the answer to the problem. He illustrated that idea by pointing out that discretionary spending this year totaled $1.182 trillion. The deficit this year is $1.2 trillion, so cutting all the discretionary spending would still leave an $82 billion deficit.
“So you can’t cut the budget enough to solve the problem,” Isakson said. “We’ve got some hard work to do.”
Eric Robertson, political director for Teamsters Local 728 in Georgia, sends word that his union will be endorsing state Rep. Gerald Greene, R-Cuthbert, in November. We’re assuming that Greene, who is unopposed, was among those Republicans who opposed SB 469, a measure introduced in the Legislature this year to restrict union picketing. It was defeated — without coming to a vote in the House.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be in Gainesville tonight for a Mitt Romney fundraiser with Gov. Nathan Deal. The 5:30 p.m. affair is at the Robson Event Center in downtown Gainesville.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider