Well, it’s a New Year and with the New Year comes a new chapter in Georgia’s history with the convening of the Georgia General Assembly. This year’s session will be busy for the state’s legislators as they tackle everything from education reform to religious freedom to defense of the First Amendment, while trying to get out of town in time to raise money and campaign for reelection by primary time in May. And will teacher merit pay and a new model for school funding gain any traction in an election year? Rep. Lynn Westmoreland has announced that he will not seek another term in the U.S. House. Is he coming home to prepare a 2018 run for governor? And speaking of the 2018 governor’s race, how will Attorney General Sam Olens’ legal opinion that Georgia can’t deny state benefits to Syrian refugees play into his decision to pursue the governor’s office? Governor Deal has since reversed his earlier order denying those benefits. And who might emerge to run for Rep. Westmoreland’s seat? O Canada. Is Donald Trump’s “raising” of Ted Cruz’s birth country as an issue in the campaign an indication that the frontrunner is feeling pressure from the Texas senator as the early caucus and primary states prepare to go to the polls? Will the mainstream GOP candidates gain traction as voters start to pay more attention? Or, will they cannibalize each other with negative ads and clear the path to the nomination for an outsider? Finally, Political Rewind is expanding. Join us on Wednesdays at 2 PM starting on January 13th.