Archive for the ‘Michael Thurmond’ Category

Guess who won’t be coming to lunch with Obama?

Updated on Monday: Although a staffer said he didn’t plan to show, U.S. Rep. John Lewis was present for President Barack Obama’s visit to Atlanta, we’re told.

President Barack Obama’s second visit to Georgia this year may be one of those parties best remembered for the guests who failed to show.

The president will spend the better part of Monday in Atlanta — first speaking to a convention of disabled veterans. Then the president will be the featured guest at a Democratic National Committee luncheon and fundraiser.

President Barack Obama last week addressed the National Urban League. Associated Press

President Barack Obama last week addressed the National Urban League. Associated Press

Many Democrats will flock to the downtown events. Michael Thurmond, the labor commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate, will be there. U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta will greet Obama as he steps off Air Force One, as will Gov. Sonny Perdue — a Republican.

Mayor Kasim Reed will give the first African-American president an effusive introduction at the DNC fundraiser. A spokesman …

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Until south Georgia voter fraud inquiry is settled, Terry Coleman says he’ll hold off on concession

According to the secretary of state’s web site, Darryl Hicks of Fayetteville beat former House speaker Terry Coleman of Eastman by 572 votes in the Democratic primary for labor commissioner.

But nearly a week later, Coleman has yet to concede – and won’t until a situation in Brooks County is sorted out by the GBI and Brian Kemp’s office.

“Apparently they’ve never had but a couple hundred absentees. This time they had something like 1,400 requested, and voted about 1,100 of them” Coleman said. “Of course, I lost the absentees by two-and-a-half to one or more. So it looked kind of suspicious.”

In next door Lowndes County, which hosts the big city of Valdosta, 439 ballots were reportedly mailed out – and 169 returned.

Coleman’s allies are now looking to see if any other counties have shown jumps in absentee ballots.

“There may be a little fraud involved. Who knows?” the former speaker said.

Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, confirmed this …

Continue reading Until south Georgia voter fraud inquiry is settled, Terry Coleman says he’ll hold off on concession »

Web site: Michael Thurmond skipped financial disclosures for two years

Jim Walls at atlantaunfiltered.com says state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond hasn’t been taking care of his paperwork:

Thurmond, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, filed no financial disclosure forms with the State Ethics Commission in 2008 or 2009, a check of the commission’s online look-up shows. Elected officials in Georgia are required to report on basic details of their personal finances every year by July 1.

Since he’s leaving his state job, Thurmond is not required to file the form this year. A similar disclosure for the Senate campaign is due Tuesday.

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Your morning jolt: The beginnings of a U.S. Senate race in Georgia

Washington has begun to acknowledge the possibility of a U.S. Senate race in Georgia this November. This from Congressional Quarterly:

[A]t least a glimmer of competition has entered the contest because of the April decision by state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to enter the race, which followed recruiting entreaties by Democratic officials.

Thurmond is African-American, which could give him particular appeal to a black constituency that makes up more than a quarter of the state’s population. CQ Politics has changed its rating on the race to Likely Republican.

The seat had been designated “safe Republican.” But don’t cry for Isakson. Fund-raising requires a certain amount of dramatic tension.

Over the weekend, Walter Jones of Morris News Service tackled the question of why Republican candidates for governor Karen Handel, Nathan Deal and Eric Johnson have been shooting at each other – and not at John Oxendine, conceded to be the front-runner:

How come? They all want …

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A baseline Rasmussen poll: Johnny Isakson, 51%; Michael Thurmond, 35%

Rasmussen Reports has just posted its first (automated) poll on the U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson and Democrat Michael Thurmond:

Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson finally has a major Democratic opponent in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate, but the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the race finds the incumbent holding on to more than 50% support.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of likely voters in the state favor Isakson in a match-up with State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond who earns 35% support. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and eight percent (8%) remain undecided.

A month ago, Isakson posted a 52% to 31% lead over an unnamed generic Democratic candidate. Thurmond just entered the race on Wednesday.

Opposition to the recently-enacted national health care plan runs slightly higher in the state than it is nationally, which plays to Isakson’s advantage…

Isakson gets 83% of the votes of …

Continue reading A baseline Rasmussen poll: Johnny Isakson, 51%; Michael Thurmond, 35% »

Michael Thurmond and the gamble of a cautious man

thurmondannounce

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, left, wipes tears from his eyes following his announcement that he would enter the Democratic race for U.S. Senate. AP Photo/John Amis

Note: Portions of the column first appeared in a post earlier this week.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, considered one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics, on Wednesday took a huge gamble — and jumped into the U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

Consider that Thurmond, despite his status as an A-list Democrat, starts with a vacant campaign treasury. Isakson has already squirreled away nearly $4 million.

Also consider that, within the dynamics of a general election, Isakson, 65, may be the strongest and most popular Republican in Georgia.

So the immediate question becomes whether Thurmond, 57, a former state lawmaker from Athens and a history buff, has been hiding a fondness for the roulette wheel. Or a penchant for Texas hold ’em.

The answer is yes — …

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Michael Thurmond, Carol Porter meet with Capitol Democrats

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond spoke to members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses today.

Thurmond is to announce his Democratic candidacy for U.S. Senate at noon Wednesday in the state Capitol rotunda.

In a conversation with Democratic senators, Thurmond was joined by Carol Porter, a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Thurmond had been expected to run for lieutenant governor. His decision to go for broke against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson essentially gives Carol Porter, wife of House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter, the nomination for lite gov without a fight.

So the conversation with senators was quite rosy. “We had an extensive conversation about the future of Georgia,” said Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown of Macon.

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Your morning jolt: State employees and the race for governor

Over the weekend, one of the Political Insider’s dedicated readers in Marietta, blessed with fast keyboard fingers, received a call from a polling firm that had taken aim at state employees.

The survey was clearly trolling for union support – with all the talk of layoffs, the subject is a natural. But the questions also attempted to determine where state employees are leaning in the race for governor.

Respondents were asked to say whether they rated the following favorably, or unfavorably:

– The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees;

– Barack Obama;

– Workers United;

– Nathan Deal;

– Sonny Perdue;

– The Georgia State Employees Association;

– The National Association of Government Employees;

– John Oxendine;

– Service Employees International Union;

– Roy Barnes;

– Karen Handel;

– Labor unions;

–The Democratic party

– The Republican party;

– The tea party.

There was no mention of Eric Johnson, the former GOP state senator from Savannah. Then came this …

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Your morning jolt: Behind Michael Thurmond’s run for the U.S. Senate

Michael Thurmond, known as one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics, spent the weekend on the phone with the essential stage hands of the state Democratic party, explaining the gamble he’s about to take.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

The three-term state labor commissioner has plans on Wednesday – moved from Tuesday, as first reported — to announce his U.S. Senate candidacy against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

 

Consider that Thurmond is, like Attorney General Thurbert Baker or former Gov. Roy Barnes, an A-list Democrat – often mentioned as a candidate for higher office, but never taking the plunge.

Also consider that Isakson may be the strongest and most popular Republican in Georgia.

So the question becomes whether Thurmond, a former state lawmaker from Athens, has been hiding a passion for the roulette wheel.

The answer is yes – and no.

Thurmond is better than good on the stump, and has a friendly demeanor that goes down …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Behind Michael Thurmond’s run for the U.S. Senate »

Michael Thurmond to make Senate run against Johnny Isakson

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, a Democrat, on Tuesday will announce his entrance into the U.S. Senate race against Republican Johnny Isakson.

Thurmond, one two remaining Democrats holding statewide office, had been spoken of as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

But many Democrats had expressed concern that a strong bid for governor could be affected by the lack of a strong candidate at the top of the ticket running against Isakson.

The entry of Thurmond, who is in charge of unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of Georgians looking for work, guarantees that the U.S. Senate race will carry a heavy emphasis on the economy.

R.J. Hadley, a novice candidate from Rockdale County, is currently the only announced Democrat.

We’re told that the courting of Thurmond by Democrats in Washington stepped up with Isakson’s recent back-to-back hospitalizations.

Isakson, 65, was hospitalized first for a bacterial infection, then for a potential blood clot in a leg. The …

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