Newsletter: Call him the Mayor Whisperer. Why we have 4 GOP candidates in that state Senate race. 3-Dot Buzz:  Of trains and dining and … Peaks & Valleys.

Newsletter: Call him the Mayor Whisperer. Why we have 4 GOP candidates in that state Senate race. 3-Dot Buzz: Of trains and dining and … Peaks & Valleys.

POPCORN & POLITICS: A different look at campaigns and candidates…

Call him the Mayor Whisperer: A year ago, Bill Collins was seeking another term as mayor amid a challenge from Craig McDaniel. The votes going in were pretty clear — a four-four tie with Commissioner Mark Cochran holding the deciding vote. He went McDaniel and that’s how it stood for 2021. On Monday, it was another 4-4 vote going in only this time McDaniel was being challenged by then-pro tem Sundai Stevenson following her nomination by Collins and seconded by Bonny Askew.  Again, Cochran was the swing vote. Stevenson won, 5-4, and Cochran was named the pro temp in another 5-4 vote over Randy Quick. On the outside, the vote looks black (four black members) and white (four older white men). And then there’s Cochran, also white (mid 40s) and very much his own person with a progressive look at how Rome grows. Much like the work we’ve seen from his firm CEVIAN Design Lab, Cochran has different ideas. This will be an interesting year for the commission.

Anyone else want to join the state Senate 52 race? Monday’s Hometown Newsletter looked at the three-way GOP state Senate race already on the boards — incumbent Chuck Hufstetler facing a May primary with Rome attorney Luke Martin and former state Rep. Jeff Lewis. So in our best Ronco TV ad voice, we add “but wait; there’s more! Derek Keeney, recently re-elected as chair of the Bartow County Board of Education, has declared for the state Senate as well. It turns out, the staunch conservative and evangelical candidate might have been the first. But there’s a caveat: Keeney intended to run for the District 14 seat Bruce Thompson is leaving as he runs for Labor commissioner. But then there was this redistricting thing, a once-a-decade reimaging of legislative and congressional districts. So now Keeney is in the four-man scramble for the District 52 seat. Says Keeney in his announcement about electing candidates who “embody the calling of the defending of the Constitution:”

While this race looks like a fractured Republican party thing (it is), it also feels territorial: Floyd vs. Bartow.

Experience? Wait… what? About that elections job …:  It has taken 14 months to get this close to hiring what’s now an elections supervisor for Floyd County. And, along the way, we remember the election board was getting grief for requiring applicants have elections office experience. Now, suddenly, in the most recent job description, this item:

“… and five (5) years of elections processing, clerical, production, or closely-related work experience which must include two (2) years of experience in a supervisory or leadership capacity …”

You can see the entire help-wanted pitch here.

Stunt of the week: State tax refund. We’ll call it the Re-election Stimulus Check. How nice of the incumbent governor to champion state tax refunds of $250 to $500 in a very tight election year. In 2018, it was claims of a since-debunked Democratic hack of the elections data base from Kemp on the eve of a very vote. This year, a refund from the state Department of Revenue. Seeing all the issues facing the state’s most vital department right now — Public Health — we’re surprised there’s any surplus to be had. Let’s address life-saving priorities first. But then there is that May GOP primary….


Tag team champions: The image popped up soon after Georgia won the National Championship late Monday — mascots Hairy Dawg and Blooper of the world champion Atlanta Braves. Those creative folks at Doug’s Deli Downtown jumped on it immediately to feature commemorative cookies (the above didn’t last long as the cookies tasted as good as they looked)..

Dining: We’ve got an update on the return of a favorite posting Saturday (weather permitting — them, not us) . . .

Trainspotting: All that Norfolk Southern Railroad work begins next week. Remember all those gas line headaches? Here we go again. (By the way, the road to the post office and Mount Berry Trail still needs work — Coligni Way) We’ll post the latest schedule as we receive it . . .

That New Yorker piece on Coosa Country Club’s newest member(s) should be out very soon. Be ready for a blast from the past being mixed into the piece . . .

PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.

Peak to the national exposure we’re getting from Ball Corp. Talk about corporate citizens. The folks at Ball and their made-in-Shannon aluminum cups not only continue to grow their economic impact here (multimillion-dollar plant, incoming distribution center, etc.) but they take to social media as well to boast about what’s produce in northeastern Floyd County. Recycling never felt so good. The latest example: College football’s national championship game won by Georgia.

Peak to quarterback Stetson Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs: For much of the season, Bennett was battered in social media and sports columns because he didn’t fit the mold of past UGA greats. That’s all being deleted now with the Bulldogs’ huge win and Bennett’s MVP honors. Kirby Smart brushed aside the downpour and stayed with Bennett; so did the team. Result: A compelling win over Nick Saban’s Alabama team. As a lifelong Tide fan from “L.A” — lower Alabama — reminded us Tuesday afternoon: “Everyone is a Georgia fan today. UGA only needs 16 more national championships.”

And some one-liners …: Peak to the parents (mostly moms) of our students who were dozens of minutes ahead of any school lock downs and updates on the escaped inmate Wednesday… Valley that we don’t have a central, quick notification service from the sheriff’s office to the schools on these situations.

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