Stephen Fowler

Reporter

Stephen Fowler is an award-winning reporter and photographer for GPB News covering state and local politics. His work focuses on voting and elections, state government and policy and legal issues.

He got his start with GPB's All Things Considered in Atlanta, where he helped create live shows everywhere from a brewery to a baseball game to a rooftop midway, was part of award-winning hurricane coverage and (occasionally) filled in as the afternoon news host. In college, he served as the Executive Digital Editor of The Emory Wheel and was part of the inaugural cohort of the Georgia News Lab, a yearlong investigative journalism program.

His reporting takes him many places, like the collapsed rubble of I-85, fishing in the Flint River and protests in the streets of Atlanta. His stories have appeared on Marketplace, Here and Now, All Things Considered and NPR’s national newscasts, as well as ProPublica and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Sara Tindall Ghazal

A longtime voting rights advocate and former voter protection director for the Democratic Party of Georgia is challenging a Republican incumbent from Cobb County in the state House.

Sara Tindall Ghazal announced she is running for House District 45, which covers parts of East Cobb and Sandy Springs. The seat has been held by Republican Matt Dollar (R-Marietta), who was first sworn in in 2003.

Stacey Evans

Former Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Evans has announced she will run for a soon-to-be vacated House seat in Atlanta. 

Evans served for seven years in a Cobb County-based House district and lost to Stacey Abrams in the gubernatorial primary. 

She's seeking to replace Rep. Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta), who has held the District 57 seat since 2001.

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

A federal judge says Gov. Brian Kemp must answer some questions about his time as Georgia's top elections official as part of a wide-ranging lawsuit challenging how elections are administered.

U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones ruled last week that the governor will need to answer two hours' worth of questions about comments he made about increasing minority voter turnout and his actions as chair of the State Election Board.


Rep. Tom Graves
Rep. Tom Graves

Georgia Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) announced Thursday he will not be seeking re-election in 2020. 

In a letter to his constituents, the northwest Georgia lawmaker said "the time has come for me to pass the baton" and leave after nearly a decade in the House.

Georgia Secretary of State's Office

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has unveiled a new education program to help voters acclimate to a new $104 million election system that prints out a paper record of your vote that is then scanned and stored for counting.

Secure The Vote” is a website and awareness campaign that will show Georgians how the Dominion Voting Systems ballot-marking devices work, including a streamlined check-in process using iPads, the touchscreen machines where you make your selections and the printed ballot with a summary of your selections that is then inserted into a precinct scanner.

Mary Grace Heath, Office of the Governor

The wait is finally over: Gov. Brian Kemp has formally announced his pick to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Kelly Loeffler is a political newcomer and longtime Republican donor who has decades of experience in the financial services sector. She will be the second Georgia woman to serve in the Senate, and, if she wins a special election next November, she would be the first woman elected to the Senate.

Her appointment comes as President Trump and others urged Kemp to appoint someone else, and as Democrats look to flip the state in 2020.


Elijah Nouvelage / AP

Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday named Atlanta businesswoman Kelly Loeffler as Georgia’s next U.S. Senator as the Republican party in Georgia seeks to maintain control of two Senate seats, the state House and its presidential vote heading into the 2020 election cycle.

Loeffler will be the second-ever woman to represent Georgia in the Senate, and, if she wins a special election next fall, she will be the first Georgia woman elected to the Senate. In her remarks, she acknowledged that it will take work for her become known to voters in Georgia.

“But here’s what folks are gonna find out about me: I’m a lifelong conservative, pro-Second Amendment, pro-military, pro-wall and pro-Trump,” she said. “And I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges.”


Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins accompanied by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler speaks as Attorney General William Barr does not appear before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

When the House Judiciary Committee takes up the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, expect Georgia Congressman Doug Collins to lead the Republican messaging.

As ranking member, the Gainesville Republican tells GPB News that he’s heading into tomorrow’s proceedings ready to push back against “what is actually going to be very much a waste of American taxpayers’ time.”


isakson.senate.gov

Sen. Johnny Isakson is set to deliver his farewell speech Tuesday afternoon from the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The three-term Republican is the only Georgian to be elected in the state House and Senate and the U.S. House and Senate and has served for 45 years in elected office.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

After months of speculation, hundreds of resumes submitted and a holiday weekend Twitter war mentioning jellybeans and jorts, Gov. Brian Kemp is set to finally announce who Georgia’s next U.S. Senator will be.

 

Kemp will be joined by members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation, state lawmakers and party leaders, grassroots activists and his appointee at 10 a.m. Wednesday in his ceremonial office.

John Amis / AP Photo

Gov. Brian Kemp has a big decision to make: who will be Georgia’s next U.S. Senator?  

The first-term Republican has leaned towards Kelly Loeffler, an Atlanta businesswoman who co-owns the local WNBA team and runs a bitcoin trading and storage company. But President Trump, whose Twitter endorsement helped push Kemp to a gubernatorial primary victory, has called for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) to be selected.  

Former Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams speaks during an interview ahead of a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta.
John Amis / AP

The campaign for former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams is asking a Fulton County judge to dismiss a motion by the state ethics commission asking for additional documents in an ongoing ethics probe into alleged campaign finance violations.

In a filing Wednesday, lawyers for Abrams' campaign argue that several subpoenas issued by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission are too broad, asking for communications that don't relate to its purview of campaign finance - and that there are no documents that show any sort of illegal coordination between several third-party groups and the campaign.

Georgia House of Representatives

State Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) passed away Monday after collapsing at a House Republican caucus leadership retreat in north Georgia, according to a letter sent to House members from Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) Tuesday morning.

"At this time of heartbreak, we take solace in the fact that our brother is now with our Lord Jesus Christ," Ralston wrote. "We lift up his wife Deidra and his beloved family. We pray for God's mercies and comfort for them."

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech dedicated to the history of black women in politics as she seeks to increase support after Wednesday’s primary debate.

In a gym on the campus of Clark Atlanta University, the presidential candidate was welcomed by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat. 

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says if he is elected president, attending any historically black college would be tuition-free.

Speaking at a rally on the campus of Morehouse College, Sanders outlined his latest affordable education policies.

“We are going to encourage young people to go into teaching because we're going to give educators the respect and compensation they deserve,” he said. “And that means that no teacher in America should earn less than $60,000 a year.”

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Four presidential candidates joined Stacey Abrams Thursday to help reach out to some of the 313,000 registered Georgia voters who may be removed from the voter rolls ahead of the 2020 election.

At a phone bank set up by Abrams’ Fair Fight Action group in a room at Ebenezer Baptist Church, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg churned through voter contacts, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker tapped a rhythm along with the names of his voters and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar joked about beating her fellow candidates’ score of total voters reached. 

Sarah Rose / GPB News

While the four moderators and 10 presidential candidates on the debate stage largely eschewed discussion of Georgia issues for a more national view, local Democratic leaders said they are pleased with the overall experience.

 

The presidential primary debate at Tyler Perry Studios was one of the more robust conversations among the expansive Democratic field, with the two-plus hour debate touching on everything from paid family leave to affordable housing to the role of race and gender in politics. 

Atlanta's Tyler Perry Studios has been home to Wakanda, the White House and The Walking Dead, but on Wednesday night it will host its most topical production yet: the next Democratic presidential primary debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

Special to GPB News

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into allegations that three vocal critics of Georgia’s new ballot-marking device voting machines potentially violated election law while observing voting at a Paulding County polling place this past Election Day.  

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Atlanta Democrat began her remarks with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer: “My name is Stacey Abrams and I am not the governor of Georgia.” 

 

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg told a room of about 250 people at Morehouse College Monday that he has what it takes to earn the support of black voters, while outlining his plans for lowering the cost of higher education.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

State elections officials say issues that arose during last Tuesday’s pilot of the new ballot-marking device voting system can be easily fixed before the first statewide election in March.

The secretary of state’s office also says the delivery of the new voting system should be complete by the end of January, about two months before the March 24 presidential preference primary election.

Georgia State Senate

State Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) is ending his campaign to represent Georgia's 6th Congressional District. 

In an email to supporters, the transportation committee chairman said he felt he would better serve Georgians staying in the Senate.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

President Donald J. Trump kicked off a new effort to increase support among African American voters in Atlanta Friday, as local Democrats and other groups denounced his policies.

Speaking to a full capacity room of several hundred at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, Trump launched his "Black Voices For Trump" coalition by arguing his policies were beneficial to black Americans.

Grant Blankenship/GPB

Voting in Georgia has remained a prickly subject after last year's midterm elections. 

The governor's race between Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams was steeped in allegations of voter suppression targeting minorities.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Elections officials say there were few hiccups in the pilot of the new $107 million touchscreen voting system that will be implemented statewide in the coming months.

Six counties piloted the Dominion ballot-marking devices that print out a paper record of your vote that is then inserted into a scanner for tabulation, and a seventh county tested hand-marked paper ballots as a backup system in case the BMDs are not ready in time.

Elijah Nouvelage/Invision/AP

The center of American politics will be in southwest Atlanta for a few days next month as Georgia plays host to the next primary debate for several Democratic presidential contenders. Tyler Perry Studios will be the site of the Nov. 20 debate, co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

An all-female panel of moderators (MSNBC anchors Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker) will grill around nine presidential hopefuls from 9 to 11 p.m. that night.

Andrew Harnik / AP

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has released a list of Georgia voters that will be removed from the rolls later this year if they do not vote or respond to official election mail.

In all, 313,243 names of registered voters, or 4% of the state’s voter roll, are on the spreadsheet published Wednesday. A new state law means that in addition to this public list, those inactive voters set to be purged from the rolls will be notified by mail before being removed.

Ross Terrell / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a memorial for victims of the Atlanta Child Murders will be placed outside of Atlanta City Hall.

During her Ask: The Mayor monthly conversation with GPB’s Rickey Bevington, Bottoms said the memorial will be in a green space on the Mitchell Street side of City Hall and there will also be an exhibit at Atlanta’s airport.

John Amis / AP

Former President Jimmy Carter is out of the hospital where he was treated after fracturing his pelvis in a recent fall.

In a press release, Carter Center spokeswoman Deanna Congileo said the former president had been released from Phoebe Sumter Medical Center and was recovering at his home in Plains.

The 95-year-old fell Monday evening at his home.

Congileo had said in an earlier statement that his fracture was minor, and he was in good spirits at the hospital and looking forward to recovering at home.

It was the third time Carter fell in recent months.

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