Phoro: State Sen. Bruce Thompson, a Republican from White, donated convalescent plasma at the Rome office of Blood Assurance last month following his hospitalization at Northside in Canton and later recovery at his family home on Saint George Island in Florida. Facebook photo.
Bartow County politics are a big part of the focus of a Sunday column by AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway as he illustrates the coronavirus pandemic, how it possibly was brought to the state Capitol by either state Sen. Bruce Thompson or state Rep. Matthew Gambill, whether Thompson picked his case up at that March 1 gathering at virus hot spot The Church at Liberty Square — and what it means to a bruising Senate race in neighboring Cherokee County (Ga.).
The column, appearing on the front of the local section of Sunday’s paper as well as online here, looks at state Sen. Brandon Beach, his re-election campaign, Thompson’s support of his primary opponent, Michael Caldwell, as well as exactly who is responsible — or getting the blame — for spreading the virus among House and Senate members.
Galloway expertly diagrams the “he said/he said” nature of the tension between the two senators. Thompson is quoted as saying his contact might not have been at the Cartersville church where he was a guest speaker that morning. Several members of the congregation have died, including those in a crowded choir loft as singers assembled to pay tribute to a choir director who was leaving.
You know the names of some of those — Clay Bentley, the patient who went on CNN from his Redmond Regional hospital room and has been a media darling since his recovery; Kyle Abernathy, the Cave Spring Elementary principal who recovered but almost lost his wife, April, to the disease; and several Rome and Cartersville residents who didn’t survive.
You also saw the stories about Thompson’s diagnosis as he posted that he spent time in Northside’s ICU in Canton before being discharged. He made interstate headlines as the sheriff in the county that is home to Saint George Island blasted him for recuperating there and not at home (Galloway has a Thompson update on that as well). Thompson, since recovered, was very public in donating plasma in an effort to help with experimental treatment to help other virus victims.
You saw where Gambill also confirmed he had tested positive but has since recovered. We checked with state Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, who car-pooled to Atlanta with Gambill, and he said he was fine.
As Galloway says, the next milepost will be the June 9 primary. Thompson does not have an opponent in the Republican primary; he will face Democrat Travis Johnson in the Nov. 3 general election. Gambill is unopposed in the primary and general election.