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Kemp, Cagle pitch party unity at GOP Rally
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Kemp, Cagle pitch party unity at GOP Rally

Kemp, Cagle pitch party unity at GOP Rally

Kemp, Cagle pitch party unity at GOP Rally

Georgia Republicans tried to present a united front at a “unity rally” Thursday after Brian Kemp’s blowout victory in the battle for governor.

And Democrats, who have their own fence-mending to do, don’t want voters to forget Casey Cagle’s remarks that Republicans would lose in November if he’s not the nominee.

For both parties, consolidating support is plenty easier when each nominee won landslide victories. Kemp beat Cagle by nearly 40 percentage points, and Democrat Stacey Abrams won by an even larger margin over her rival back in May.

But setting aside bruised egos is still complicated business. One of Cagle’s top supporters, state Sen. Renee Unterman, told reporters she won’t back Kemp until his campaign apologizes for questioning her mental health. It has yet to do so.

And down-ticket rivalries still simmer on. Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan defeated state Sen. David Shafer by a razor-thin margin, Tuesday night’s only cliffhanger. But Shafer, once the front-runner, hasn’t conceded defeat, and his supporters are demanding a recount. Neither Republican attended Thursday’s event. 

The focus at the rally, which attracted hundreds of supporters and dozens of elected officials, was on moving past the poisonous talk of the runoff.

A tide of Republican figures who endorsed Cagle or stayed neutral in the race promptly backed the secretary of state. Among them was Gov. Nathan Deal, a Cagle backer who gave Kemp a vote of confidence, and U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who didn’t publicly take sides.

“The Democrats keep doing us favors — they’ve given us a target who is the most radical, liberal, progressive candidate in Georgia history,” Perdue said. “We need to lay down a marker tonight that the march to socialism will not come through Georgia.”

Also on the stage was Cagle, who during the runoff campaign unleashed escalating attacks on Kemp and repeatedly said there was “no question in my mind” that the secretary of state will lose to Abrams in November.

Still, he quickly endorsed Kemp after his defeat — and got a hearty applause for telling the crowd he’s “confident and convinced that Brian Kemp is the right person to carry this torch forward.”

“We always win, as Republicans, on ideas. Let’s not ever forget that,” Cagle said, adding that Kemp can win “but we all have to come together to fight this fight.”

That led to snickering from national Democrats, who are poised to invest millions in the contest. The Democratic Governors Association released a highlight reel of Cagle’s most biting attacks on Kemp and predicted that “Georgia voters won’t be fooled by this phony photo-op.”

Asked about the Republican attacks during a campaign stop in Pooler, Abrams pivoted to a new proposal to boost the number of apprenticeships and avoided direct attacks on Kemp.

“My mission is to win this election by talking to every Georgian,” Abrams said. “It doesn’t really matter who else is doing this because I’m running for Georgia.”

Democrats quickly worked to patch things up after combative races to take on Republican incumbents in two competitive suburban U.S. House districts. They are among dozens of seats across the nation that Democrats are targeting this November to flip the chamber.

David Kim speedily backed Carolyn Bourdeaux in her bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall. And Kevin Abel urged his supporters to line up behind Lucy McBath, who won the nomination to face U.S. Rep. Karen Handel.

Even so, Abel displayed a tinge of regret over the tone of the campaign in a memo, lamenting that he was pilloried for musing about the potential creation of a moderate third party.

“I am saddened that party primary politics has a way of suppressing such messages of moderation; how the very word ‘moderate’ connotes such a vile response from those who prefer to play in the end zones,” he wrote. “But I am a realist and a pragmatist and I know that change doesn’t come with one swing of the bat.”

Progressives up and down the ballot won big victories during the nomination process, with a notable exception: John Barrow, a moderate former congressman, is running for secretary of state on a platform of securing the state’s election system and fighting gerrymandering.

Democrats hope a new strategy of appealing to a base that demands a more aggressive response to President Donald Trump’s policies will help them retake state offices they haven’t held in more than a decade.

“We have not been successful running campaigns to where we looked to validation from moderates and conservatives who may cross over,” said Michael Owens, the Cobb County Democratic chairman. “Now we have enough Democrats in this state to actually win these elections.”

Kemp welcomed the rival party’s tilt to the left, saying it will be easier to draw a contrast with a Democratic ticketbacked by billionaires and socialists who want to turn Georgia into California.”

“This isn’t about me and my big truck. This is about us,” Kemp said, referring to his TV ads. “This is about fighting for literally the soul of our state in the fall. It’s about our values and the beliefs that make this such a great state to live, work and raise a family.”

Staff writers Tamar Hallerman and Becca Godwin contributed to this article.

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Local News

  • The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the organization has agreed to terms on a two-year contract for manager Brian Snitker. The contract does include a third-year club option for 2021.  Snitker took over as manager for the Braves in 2016 and led the team to their first National League East Division title in five years this season.  Here is the full statement from the Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta #Braves and manager Brian Snitker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/CsReyEyU9x — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 15, 2018 TRENDING STORIES: Georgia already topping list for flu activity in the nation President Trump to view storm damage in Georgia Atlanta police seize drugs and guns from a popular food mart Snitker has been with the Braves organization for 43 seasons, including three seasons as manager for Triple-A club in Gwinnett.  The National League 'Manager of the Year' candidate, who turns 63 on Wednesday, owns a 221-227 (.493) record in his two-plus seasons. Information from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
  • Jackson County Commissioners meet tonight at the courthouse in Jefferson: their session is underway at 6 o’clock this evening. Commissioners will consider a proposal from developers who wants 2 million square feet of warehouse space on 357 acres off Josh Pirkle Road in Jackson County. It’s a project opposed by the Jackson County Planning Commission. There is an afternoon meeting of the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, 4 o’clock at Oconee County Chamber of Commerce offices in Watkinsville.  Tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Planning Commission is set for 7 o’clock at the courthouse in Watkinsville.  Madison County’s Industrial Development Authority meets at 6 o’clock this evening at the Historic Courthouse in Danielsville.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police Lieutenant Jeff Clark begins his new assignment as the Department’s Deputy Police Chief. Clark is a 20-year veteran of local law enforcement. He takes over for Justin Gregory, who resigned earlier this month. The naming of a new deputy chief comes from interim Chief Mike Hunsinger, who took over after the resignation of former Chief Scott Freeman, who was asked to resign by Athens-Clarke County Manger Blaine Williams.  From the Athens-Clarke Co PD... ACCPD Interim Chief Mike Hunsinger has appointed Lt. Jeff Clark, a 20-year veteran with the ACCPD, to Interim Deputy Chief. Interim Deputy Chief Clark rose through the ranks from Patrolman to Detective, serving as a Sergeant and Lieutenant in both the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Bureaus. Clark is a veteran of the U.S. Army, a graduate of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Command College and a graduate of Columbus State College with a Master of Public Administration degree. “Interim Deputy Chief Clark is highly regarded in the department and has the education and experience needed for this position. I look forward to working with him in his new role,” stated Interim Chief Hunsinger. As Interim Deputy Chief, Clark will oversee the day-to-day operation of all police functions. Outside his work with the ACCPD, Clark volunteers with a variety of local organizations. “My favorite part of law enforcement is engaging with the officers and citizens to address public safety concerns. I look forward to working with the employees of the ACCPD and the citizens of Athens-Clarke County,' said Clark.
  • The GBI continues its investigation into a deadly officer involved shooting in Hall County: a man was killed by Hall County deputies after a 7-hour SWAT standoff at a home in East Hall. Those deputies say he fired at them from the front door of the house on Truelove Road. James Manus was 41 years old. No law enforcement officers were injured. From the Hall County Sheriff’s Office… On October 13, 2018, just before 5 PM, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 3185 Truelove Road, in East Hall County, regarding a man with a gun.    Upon arrival, they learned that the resident of that address had pointed at handgun at neighbors, and when the Deputies attempted to make contact with him, he barricaded himself inside the residence and refused all attempts at communication. SWAT team members and Investigators arrived on the scene a short time later, and an extended effort to establish contact and negotiate with the suspect was undertaken.    At approximately 11 PM, the suspect began shooting at Deputies from within the residence. Just after midnight, he appeared in the front doorway and again fired at Deputies, who returned fire, fatally striking the suspect.    No Deputies or bystanders were injured during the incident.    As is customary in officer-involved shooting cases, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene and has assumed the investigation.    No further information will be released at this time, pending the GBI investigation. 
  • There has been a second deadly vehicle vs motorcycle accident in less than a week in Athens: last week, 27 year-old Douglas Nash was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car on Barnett Shoals Drive; last night, 43 year-old Antion Brown of Athens was killed in a wreck on Spring Valley Road. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash, which happened at Spring Valley and Indian Hills Drive.  A 29 year-old man is dead, the victim of a car accident in Hall County. Gainesville Police say Thomas Garrett lost control of his car, swerving off a roadway and overturning twice. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — College football games between relatively evenly matched teams can often come down to a handful of plays, with momentum playing a large role in the outcome. The LSU-Georgia game on Saturday in Tiger Stadium was no different, the Bayou Bengals prevailing 36-16 over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. Both teams had their strengths, but they had also shown their deficiencies leading up to a high-profile clash that drew the largest college football game rating last weekend. LSU did a better job of exposing the Bulldogs’ weaknesses than Georgia did the Tigers. Here are the three key moments that played a large role in determining the outcome of Saturday’s game 1. Georgia’s failed fake field goal Perhaps the biggest play of the game in hindsight, as Georgia had ran the ball nine straight times for 60 yards before two incomplete passes put the Bulldogs in position for a field goal attempt. Kirby Smart said the staff knew before the game they were going to run a fake if they saw an LSU alignment they felt they could take advantage of, and the Tigers presented that look on Georgia’s second drive. “They were like 15 of 17 (88 percent) with a look that it would work on,” Smart said, explaining why the Bulldogs passed on a 31-yard field goal attempt at the 3:28 mark of the opening quarter, down 3-0. “We wanted to be aggressive.” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Georgia’s fake field goal did indeed surprise him. “ It surprised me, 10 yards to go, it surprised me,” he said. “But we always have a guy for the fake. We have eyes. And when you’re playing for the field goal block, you have to have your eyes on your man, not on the field goal kicker. Tremendous discipline.” 2. LSU’s 47-yard run on third-and-1 Tiger Stadium erupted again on the final play of the first quarter on the ensuing drive after Georgia had lost its initial momentum with the fruitless fake field goal. The game within the game was LSU’s offensive line vs. the Georgia front seven, and this was the first short-yardage battle of the game, third-and-1 at the Tigers’ 46. RELATED: Kirby Smart challenges defense to ‘knuckle up’ at LSU The Bulldogs were not gap sound, and LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 47 yards to the UGA 7 to set up a TD that made it 10-0. It was only the second run of longer than 20 yards Georgia had given up all season. The play gave the Tigers the confidence they needed to go for it on four other fourth-and-1 situations against the Bulldogs, all of which they converted in back-breaking fashion. “At the end of the day,” Smart said, “you don’t win the line of scrimmage in this league, you won’t win the football game.” Orgeron, meanwhile, said LSU was still smarting from its 27-19 loss at Florida the week before. The Tigers coach was intent to make amends after electing to kick a field goal from the Gators’ 15-yard line on a fourth-and-inches situation in the second quarter with that game tied at 7-7.. “We were throwing out the kitchen sink, man, everything we had, we did,” Orgeron said, asked about the decision to go for it on four fourth downs against Georgia. “All week, we talked about being aggressive. I was a little pissed at myself for not going for it against Florida down there fourth and half an inch.” Third-and-6 sack in fourth quarter Georgia trailed 19-9 when it took over at the LSU 38-yard line with 14:39 remaining, Mecole Hardman having broken loose on a 27-yard punt return after the Bulldogs’ defense turned the momentum by forcing LSU to go three-and-out. RELATED: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia football A jet sweep call for Hardman was stopped for no gain, and then Justin Fields was brought in to handoff to third-string tailback Brian Herrien for 4 yards, bringing up the third-and-6 at the 34. Georgia was still within Rodrigo Blankenship’s field goal range when Jake Fromm took the snap, but the veteran QB failed to make a play — instead taking a 9-yard sack that took the Bulldogs out of field goal range. “Some of those you’ve got to escape and get rid of the ball, there’s a lot of pressures they run that are hard to pick up, and I was very concerned with that coming into the game,” Smart said. “But I didn’t think it was the protection as much as it was making decisions quicker, getting rid of the ball quicker, and at the end of the day, don’t be in third-and-long.”   LSU, its crowd still roaring from the sack, responded with a six-play, 86-yard drive to go up 26-9. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU         The post Georgia-LSU rewind: 3 momentum-changing plays in Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that the organization has agreed to terms on a two-year contract for manager Brian Snitker. The contract does include a third-year club option for 2021.  Snitker took over as manager for the Braves in 2016 and led the team to their first National League East Division title in five years this season.  Here is the full statement from the Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta #Braves and manager Brian Snitker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/CsReyEyU9x — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 15, 2018 TRENDING STORIES: Georgia already topping list for flu activity in the nation President Trump to view storm damage in Georgia Atlanta police seize drugs and guns from a popular food mart Snitker has been with the Braves organization for 43 seasons, including three seasons as manager for Triple-A club in Gwinnett.  The National League 'Manager of the Year' candidate, who turns 63 on Wednesday, owns a 221-227 (.493) record in his two-plus seasons. Information from our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.
  • BATON ROUGE, La. — Dave Aranda is the highest paid coordinator in college football, and Saturday afternoon the LSU   defensive wizard earned his $2.5 million annual salary by throttling Georgia’s multifaceted offense. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said in the days leading up to LSU’s 36-16 win over the Bulldogs that it would be a chess match, and the coaching moves from both staffs were on display. Georgia marched 60 yards on nine consecutive run plays on its second offensive series, displaying a dominant run game that seemed to bode well for the afternoon before an ill-fated fake field goal attempt changed the momentum. The Bulldogs managed just 17 yards on their next seven carries, LSU forcing three consecutive three-and-out series in pulling away to a 16-0 halftime lead. WATCH: LSU coach Ed Orgeron says physical football in Tigers’ DNA “You know they started running the football on us in the first quarter, (and) Dave (Aranda) made some adjustments,” Orgeron said. “Dave did a great job. We mixed up the personnel groupings that we use. We gave them some stuff that they didn’t see. Obviously, everything was built on stopping the run and the deep pass, and we did it. “We were playing one certain defense, and it wasn’t working. And we changed to play another one, and it worked.” Georgia, with its two-headed monster at quarterback, it’s four-man tailback platoon and double-digit receiver rotation, could not strike the right combination. The same versatility that has made the Bulldogs a tough matchup for an opponent worked against coach Kirby Smart — Georgia had no offensive identity to lean on when times got tough. “We were in four-open sets and we were running the ball really well and we drove down there and … we kind of stayed with that the next drive,” Smart said, asked why the Bulldogs abandoned the run. “We actually went back to it (the run). They changed some things up and it wasn’t working as well.” It put quarterback Jake Fromm in a difficult situation, with LSU running different looks than it had shown all year, making Georgia’s celebrated offensive line appear ineffective and overmatched at times. “We were just taking advantage of what they were giving to us,” said Fromm, who was sacked three times and pressured on several others, “and then they started kind of taking that away later in the game, and we started slinging the ball around a little bit.” Orgeron said the key  adjustment involved changing up the defensive fronts, creating different angles, with Aranda expertly mixing in different personnel to create problems for the Bulldogs. “We challenged our defensive line, especially (nose tackle) Ed Alexander,” Orgeron said. “That’s one of the best centers (Lamont Gaillard) we’ve seen. I thought he (Alexander) played one of his best games today. ” Smart said in the days leading up to the game he respected Aranda, his words foretelling. “ Dave Aranda is one of the premier defensive coordinators in the country, we look at what he does week to week, they do a tremendous job, always looking for new ideas, he’s a guy you look at,’ Smart said. “So for us, we’ve got to keep our quarterback’s upright. We’ve got to keep them in the pocket. Can’t get our offensive line confused.” It was clear by the end of the afternoon LSU was the better prepared team, its players out-executing what had been a very focused and dominant Georgia football team through the first half of the regular season. “ They played more physical than we did, they attacked us, they did a good job, they created turnovers, we didn’t do that, we didn’t protect the ball as good as we had,” Smart said, owning the defeat. “You can look at a lot of things, and I’m perfectly OK with that. We’re gonna look at a lot of things, and how we can get better.” Georgia dropped to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll with the loss, and No. 6 in the Coaches’ Poll. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia planned ill-fated field goal early in the week Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU   The post On the beat: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia’s multifaceted offense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia eased past UNC Asheville, 20-7, in a 14-inning exhibition victory on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 361 at Foley Field.  The visiting Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, putting across three runs in the top of the second inning after a hit-by-pitch, walk and three singles.    Georgia wasted no time on answering with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Riley King, Kaden Fowler, Patrick Sullivan led off the inning with consecutive doubles. After Tucker Maxwell reached on a bunt, Tucker Bradley cleared the bases with a home run shot into the trees beyond the right-center field wall.  Another five run inning followed for the Bulldogs in the third, giving Georgia a healthy 10-3 lead. Jon Cable and Sullivan scored on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively, while a groundout roller to first by Fowler allowed King to score. The other two runs came off RBI singles from Cam Shepherd and LJ Talley.   At the extended seventh inning stretch, the score read 12-5. Georgia struck first after the reset with a RBI single from King that scored C.J. Smith. UNC Asheville scored two in the ninth inning to cut its deficit to 13-7.    Chaney Rogers found the right field bleachers off the bounce in the 11th for a RBI ground rule double that scored Talley.    King finished off his impressive day with a grand slam that landed in the camera stand just past the center field wall. King went 4 for 7 with two doubles and five RBIs. Bradley finished 3 for 5 with a home run, stolen base and three RBIs. Georgia amassed nine doubles on the day.   Georgia used 13 pitchers in which 10 threw a scoreless inning. Tim Elliot and Riley Crean registered three strikeouts each in their one inning of work. Darryn Pasqua closed out the day on the mound with two strikeouts in one inning.   The contest concluded the fall exhibition series, however the Bulldogs will compete in the annual Bulldog World Series, a three-game intersquad affair, occurring Nov. 2-4.  Coach's CornerIke Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin  On the run production today... 'I thought we had some really good at-bats early. Innings one-through-four, I thought our guys were pretty locked in. We had good at-bats – almost every single guy went in there and battled and had good at-bats. Late in the game we did that too. I think the first four innings and the last four innings, I thought we were awfully good offensively. We took advantage of some things that they gave us – we got some walks, and they made a couple errors. Good teams take advantage of those things, so I thought early and late we were very good offensively.'   On what to improve on as fall practice continues... 'The bottom line is we gave up too many free passes. We walked or hit 17 guys today. We played 14 innings, that's a long day, but that's too many free passes, and that's going to come back to haunt you. So we have to be better in the strike zone. A lot of young guys out there getting their first taste of college baseball, so it was to be expected a little bit, but that needs to clean up. We need to throw more strikes; we need to be more aggressive in the zone. If we do, I think our pitching staff can be really, really good, when we put everybody together. A lot of young guys went out there, with some mixed results. Some guys were very good, some guys have a lot of work to do. More than anything, we've got to throw strikes.' Player's Perspective RS-Soph. 3rd #31 Riley King  On his approach at the plate... 'Coach has been preaching staying even, and just going with your gut. Staying even, not trying to get too hot, not trying to get too low. Just going in there with a lot of confidence. It's been a big thing for me...this year, I'm going up there with a lot more confidence.'   On the benefit of fall scrimmages as a hitter... 'Every week, we see the same guys (on our team). So being able to see new arms is pretty good – seeing different arm slots, different angles. Just getting the confidence against other people. When you see the same guys over and over, they start learning you, so being able to see a new pitcher is a good experience for sure.”
  • ATHENS, Ga. — Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings. “T he message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do. “Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.” The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider. But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved. Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on the respect the team earned during its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago. This season’s UGA team has not beat an opponent that’s currently ranked in the Top 25 The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) freshmen or sophomores. Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Kentucky on Nov. 3. “W e’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. “This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.” SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week. But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington. The Wildcats have opened as an 11 1/2-point favorite over the Commodores, according to VegasInsider.com. Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville on Saturday to Florida, 37-27. Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeat the Gators 27-16 in Week 2. The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs. Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week: Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11 1/2) Alabama at Tennessee (TBA) Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA) Memphis at Missouri (-7) Auburn (-2 1/2) at Ole Miss Mississippi State at LSU (-6 1/2)   The post Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny appeared first on DawgNation.