Two months and change after a harsh defeat at the hands of Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, north Fulton chamber executive Brandon Beach on Tuesday took Rogers’ seat, putting a quick end to a lightning fast campaign.
Results in two other contests — even though one remains unfinished — guarantee Republicans 38 seats in the 56-member Senate. That’s an official super-majority, though it won’t be achieved until one runoff, for the District 11 seat in south Georgia, is held on Feb. 5.
In the hottest contest of the evening, Beach beat former state Rep. Sean Jerguson, R-Holly Springs, a gun shop owner, with nearly 58 percent of all ballots cast in a special election that followed Rogers’ December decision to take a job with Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Beach apparently benefitted from a 2012 campaign that never really ended. One edge: a 3-to-1 ratio in advanced, in-person ballots that were cast, according to the secretary of state’s website. Beach narrowly beat Jerguson (52 percent) in Cherokee County – significant since robocalls made on Jerguson’s behalf attempted to cast the race for District 21 – which covers Cherokee and parts of north Fulton – in geographic terms.
This was Beach’s third try for entry into the Senate. He lost to John Albers, R-Roswell, in the 2010 primary. Beach’s victory is also a win for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle — who endorsed the head of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
In the related House District 21 contest, to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Sean Jerguson, the sole Democrat participating in four races across the state was shut out.
Republicans Scot Turner (46 percent) and Brian Laurens (30 percent) will settle things in a Feb. 5 runoff. Dozens of voters are likely to cast ballots.
Natalie Bergeron, the Democrat, took 21 percent of the vote. But given that House District 21 is in Cherokee County, the percentage is nothing to sniff at.
In the general election phase of the Senate District 30 contest, Republican Mike Dugan, a Carrollton contractor, defeated Libertarian James Camp with 87 percent of the vote. No Democrat qualified in the race to replace Bill Hamrick, who left the Legislature to accept a Superior Court judgeship.
The south Georgia contest to replace John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, now proceeds to a Feb. 5 runoff between Republicans Dean Burke (43 percent) and Mike Keown (37 percent).
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, who last year was attempting to make a go of it as a political pundit, is on the card of a Jan. 19 professional wrestling extravaganza at the Cobb County Civic Center. It’s a charity event. Click here for details.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said this morning that he’s banned “Call of Duty” and other violent video games from his house. Via Politico.com:
“You cannot tell me that a kid sitting in a basement for hours, playing ‘Call of Duty’ and killing people over and over again does not desensitize that child from the real life effects of violence,” the governor, who has four children, said on MSNBC.
In a speech to the Vinings Business Association on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., didn’t rule out a shutdown of the federal government when Republicans in Congress next clash with President Barack Obama over federal finances. From the Marietta Daily Journal:
“We’re going to be going up against these deadlines a lot. The president better get ready. … He does not want to negotiate on the debt ceiling, but we’re going to talk about it and take action.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider