GPB 2020

2020 will be an important year in Georgia politics with a presidential race, two U.S. Senate seats and local legislative races on the ballot. The GPB News team will have you covered every step of the way, from new voting machines to the presidential debate in Atlanta to the issues that matter to people across the state.  

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.

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.


Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

Today on Political Rewind, the senior-most Republican in Georgia’s congressional delegation announces he will not seek re-election. Why has Rep. Tom Graves joined the GOP exodus from Congress? 


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.

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

On Wednesday's Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp officially announced that Kelly Loeffler is his pick to replace the retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson. An Atlanta business executive, Loeffler is new to the game of politics. 

What can we expect from Loeffler as a senator and as a senatorial candidate leading up to Georgia’s 2020 elections? And, now that the announcement has been made, how will conservative Republicans react to Kemp’s choice? How will Rep. Doug Collins, President Donald Trump’s choice for the Isakson seat, respond?


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.”


Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Today on Political Rewind, we are live from the studios of WUGA in Athens. We will discuss the impending announcement from Gov. Brian Kemp about his decision regarding Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat. At the moment, Atlanta business executive Kelly Loeffler seems likely to be the pick, despite pressure from President Donald Trump to tap a fierce ally from Georgia, Rep. Doug Collins.

How will Georgia conservatives react to this perceived rebuke of the president? Will Collins, if he is not tapped for the seat, plan on contesting it in 2020?

We also hear Sen. Isakson's farewell address from the U.S. Senate floor.


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.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Today on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp is locked in a battle with President Donald Trump over his choice to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Kemp is set to name Atlanta business executive Kelly Loeffler to the seat. Critics claim Loeffler is not a true Trump conservative and want Rep. Doug Collins for the job.

How will this fierce battle play out in the week ahead? Our panel weighs in.

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.  

Democratic Candidates on the Debate stage
John Bazemore / AP

Before Wednesday's Democratic president debate in Atlanta, GPB's Rickey Bevington spoke with a political consultant from Grady County in South Georgia about what rural Democrats wanted to hear from the candidates.

Pete Fuller heard our interview and shared his persepctive. Fuller is the chair of the Jackson County Democrats and the Rural Caucus Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Bevington checked in with him after the debate to get this reaction to how the candidates addressed rural issues.


John Amis / AP

Joe Biden did not hold any public campaign events in Atlanta following Wednesday night's debate. Instead, the former vice president held a closed-door meeting with a group of black mayors from cities across the South. 

The group represents an important potential partnership that could help Biden strengthen his support among Southern leaders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. 

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.”

Tiffany Cross, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris greet the crowd at a breakfast in Atlanta.
Robert Jimison / GPB

A day after candidates sparred over race and culture during Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate at Tyler Perry Studios, candidates crisscrossed through Atlanta to pitch their message to black voters from every background.   

 

Religious black voters were courted by five candidates over breakfast hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton. Across town Sen. Kamala Harris held her own morning buffet where she spoke to a group of black women.

 

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. 

Ross Terrell / GPB News

The Democratic presidential debate ended Wednesday night, but the candidate events in Atlanta did not. 

Five of the 10 candidates from the debate stage campaigned at the National Action Network breakfast Thursday morning. The breakfast was attended by African American religious leaders from across the southeast.   


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. 

Emily Jones / GPB News

Ten candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination took the stage Wednesday night for a debate in southwest Atlanta. 

While the nation was focused on the event at Tyler Perry Studios, GPB’s team of reporters attended watch parties across the state from Savannah to Marietta to hear from voters on both sides of the aisle.  


Democratic Candidates on the Debate stage
AP Photo/John Amis

Some of the top Democratic presidential candidates have spent the week in Atlanta reaching out to black voters ahead of Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate.

GPB's Rickey Bevington interviewed race & ethnicity reporter for the Associated Press, Errin Haines about the importance of Atlanta as the debate stage and how candidates are addressing race.


Robert Jimison / GPB News

Just a few hours before the top Democratic presidential hopefuls were set to take the debate stage at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, there were new reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that President Donald Trump was pushing for Rep. Doug Collins to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Gov. Brian Kemp recently closed an application to replace the retiring senator. About 500 people applied.

Kemp is expected to announce Isakson's successor before Isakson leaves office at the end of the year.

GPB's Rickey Bevington went over the breaking news with state Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, during a live broadcast from the media center just a studio away from the debate stage. 


Candidates on debate Stage during fifth Democratic Presidential Debate
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Georgia is playing host to this month's Democratic presidential debate.

Ten presidential candidates will make their case to voters as to why they are the candidate that can beat President Donald Trump just a few months before the first caucus in Iowa.

GPB's Rickey Bevington interviewed NPR Political Correspondent, Asma Khalid about her reporting heading into the fifth debate and what she's hearing from voters across the country.


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Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta took place in the middle of a flurry of impeachment hearings and less than three months away from the first primary votes.

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

Speaking with reporters ahead of Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she hopes voter suppression and the upcoming census will be center stage. 

The Fair Fight Action founder said she sees her role in this election cycle as a voice to champion those issues.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

On this two-hour Special Edition of Political Rewind, we were live from Tyler Perry Studios on the day of the Democratic Presidential Debate with an all-star panel of guests discussing what to expect from the candidates in tonight's debate. 

AP

Ahead of Wednesday night's Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, political figures are weighing in on the national focus of Georgia's politics.

The event will bring 10 candidates on stage to tout their proposals for how they would govern as the nation's chief executive.

In a familiar line of attack against Democratic primary candidates, Republican Sen. David Perdue anticipates the two-hour debate will display far left ideas that he believes do not align with the desires of Georgia voters. 


(L) Flickr (R) NBC Universal

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will take to the debate stage at Tyler Perry studios in Atlanta Wednesday night. The candidates will answer questions from a panel of four women journalists. 

While that may sound historic, it’s the third time in U.S. history where the moderators are all women, but it is the first time in this election cycle.


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