Political news

Georgia officials say a recount of ballots hasn't changed the outcome of a Democratic state Senate primary.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp says Thursday's recount showed Tonya Anderson received 10 more votes than Dee Dawkins-Haigler in the July 26 runoff. That's the same result reported in an initial vote tally.

Losing candidates within one percentage point can request recounts under Georgia law.

Anderson is a pastor from Lithonia. Dawkins-Haigler leads Georgia's Legislative Black Caucus and gave up her state House seat for the state Senate bid.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Republican incumbent Sen. Johnny Isakson Thursday distanced himself further from his party’s nominee Donald Trump who continues to hover in controversy.

Since before Trump won the Republican nomination, Isakson has had a go-to line, and he repeated it to the Roswell Rotary Club after a question came to him from the audience about the presidential race.

“The first person I’m interested in is me. I’m not an egotistical person, but I enjoy my employment,” said Isakson.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has posted line-by-line responses to demands made by local protesters in the weeks of demonstrations following high-profile police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights.

In some cases, Reed’s statement said the city and Atlanta police are either already working on changes or that the specific demands were not applicable. In others, the administration pledged openness to policy reviews. Some demands met with full-throated rejections.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Rebecca DeHart got an exciting phone call this week from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

“The Clinton campaign called me Monday night to confirm that they were going to be investing in Georgia,” said DeHart, the executive director of the state’s Democratic Party.

DeHart said she’d been making the point for days to the campaign that Clinton can beat Donald Trump in Georgia where Republicans hold all offices elected statewide.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act hold up signs as the opinion for health care is reported outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday June 25, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Georgia could pull down $8 to $9 from the federal government for every one state dollar it spends to expand Medicaid, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit looked at Georgia and the 18 other states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The findings show Georgia could get from $8.86 to $9.42 for every state dollar it spends to expand the federal health program that covers the poor and disabled, depending on how many people enroll in the program.

If Congress doesn't reach an agreement on the federal Highway Trust Fund, Georgia could have to reduce the number of highway projects it moves forward with starting in September.
Faith Williams / WABE

This week Fulton County commissioners will meet to officially place a $.75 sales tax on November's ballot.

If voters approve it, the tax would fund transportation projects worth several hundred million dollars in county areas outside of Atlanta.

Each Fulton County city outside of Atlanta developed a list of projects to be included in the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – or T-SPLOST.

Jason Parker / WABE

It's a tough year to be a Georgia Republican Party official.  

Although Donald Trump easily won the GOP presidential primary in March, a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll finds Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has taken a slight lead over Trump in Georgia.  

The poll, taken earlier this week, found in a two-way race, 44 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Clinton, while 40 percent favored Trump.  That's within the poll's margin of error, so it's a statistical tie.

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Republican leaders' frustration with Donald Trump mounted Wednesday following a series of startling statements from the GOP nominee, including his refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan's re-election. But there was no evidence GOP officials were backing off their support of Trump in the White House race.

Alison Guillory / WABE


Two new polls taken after the Democratic National Convention show Georgia would be up for grabs -- if the presidential election were held today. A poll conducted by Landmark/Rosetta Stone for Channel 2 found the Georgia race is a tie, with Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each getting support from 45 percent of those surveyed. Libertarian Gary Johnson got 4 percent, with 1 percent going to Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

The Democratic candidate for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat wants six debates against Sen. Johnny Isakson.

In a letter addressed to Isakson, Jim Barksdale's campaign proposes a debate series on "economic issues." The letter also requests the debates be held in Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah.

Barksdale is a first-time political candidate and so far has depended largely on his personal wealth. Federal campaign reports show he's given more than $3 million to his campaign as of June 30 and had about $1.5 million in cash.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The 2016 Democratic National Convention heard several voices from Georgia: Congressman John Lewis; former President Jimmy Carter (via video), and his grandson, former state Sen. Jason Carter; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; and State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

In her speech on the first night of the convention, Abrams talked about a "new American majority." On "Morning Edition," hours before Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech, Denis O'Hayer asked Abrams what she meant by a new majority, and what she thinks Clinton needs to do to win over voters who view her with suspicion.


President Obama will make the case for Hillary Clinton Wednesday night with about as many Americans approving of him as disapprove of him.

That puts him somewhere in the middle of other outgoing presidents who have given convention speeches supporting their potential successors. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower were all relatively well liked when they left office. George W. Bush and Harry Truman, meanwhile, delivered their addresses even while their approval numbers were in the tank.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

In advance of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, "Closer Look" invited three local Democratic leaders – each of different backgrounds – to sit down and assess their party.

The panel included former U.S. Rep. John Barrow, who's a Hillary Clinton delegate at the DNC; Gigi Pedraza, co-founder of the social venture YoSoyM; and Khalid Kamau, an organizer with ATL is Ready, as well as a Bernie Sanders delegate.

While the three agreed on several points, there was a split when it came to issues of free higher education, gun control and immigration.

Cobb County Board of Elections

With about 64 percent of the vote, retired Marine Colonel Mike Boyce easily won a runoff election last night against incumbent Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee.

Once in office, Boyce said his priority is having a transparent government.

Boyce said one reason he beat outgoing Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee is because of how Lee handled the contract for the new Atlanta Braves Stadium.

Lee's critics said the deal was not transparent and lacked public input. 

But Boyce said, the contract is a done deal and the county needs to move forward.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Andrew Harnik/Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Republicans have finished an often-contentious national convention; Democrats began their convention with the resignation of their national chair, and demonstrators in the Philadelphia streets.  Meanwhile, new polling shows Georgia could be a presidential election battleground, for the first time in more than two decades.

Youngest delegate 17-year-old Clarissa Rodriguez of Texas and the oldest delegate 93-year-old Ruby Gilliam of Ohio deliver the pledge of Allegiance during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo


Georgia's Democrats are in Philadelphia this week for the national convention, where they say the state could be a key battleground in November, though it's not the first time Democrats have made the case that Georgia could turn “purple.”

In 2014, Democrats made the pitch in 2014 when Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, ran for governor, and Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, ran for an open Senate seat.

Despite their family names, both Democrats lost, getting 45 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 53 percent.  

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The 2016 Democratic National Convention opens Monday in Philadelphia. The presumptive presidential nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is scheduled to give her acceptance speech on Thursday. But after a long career at the highest levels of national government, Clinton hardly needs an introduction to most voters. And, like Republican nominee Donald Trump, she has often been at the center of controversy -- in her case, on issues from health care to the private email server she set up when she was Secretary of State.

Courtesy of the Crane For Congress/Ferguson For Congress

A Georgia congressional race drawing national attention – and dollars – is set to be decided Tuesday in a runoff.

In the Republican race for Georgia's 3rd Congressional District, former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson has received thousands of dollars from national business groups, including those representing car dealers and beer wholesalers, along with an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Former State Sen. Mike Crane has gotten money from conservative groups like the Freedom Caucus. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed him.

Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Georgia Early Voting Rally
Al Such / WABE

Georgia will be well-represented at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the only Georgia politician who spoke at last week’s Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio. This week, Congressman John Lewis, Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will all speak. Former state Sen. Jason Carter will introduce a video of his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Hillary Clinton named Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate Friday, adding a centrist former governor of a crucial battleground state to the Democratic ticket.

In a text message to supporters, the presumptive Democratic nominee said, "I'm thrilled to tell you this first: I've chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate."

On Twitter a few seconds later, Clinton described Kaine as "a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others." She called him "a relentless optimist who believes no problem is unsolvable if you put in the work to solve it."

Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Georgia Early Voting Rally
Al Such / WABE

Hillary Clinton moved closer to introducing her running mate Friday, seeking to snatch attention from newly crowned Republican nominee Donald Trump just hours after he closed out his convention with a fiery and foreboding turn at the podium.

Crews were still sweeping confetti from the GOP convention floor as the Clinton campaign signaled an announcement was coming soon. In a tweet Friday morning, her team urged supporters to text the campaign to get first word. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine was the leading contender, according to a pair of Democrats familiar with Clinton's search.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was at the center of a debate on Capitol Hill recently as members of the U.S. House of Representatives debated a federal “religious liberty” bill.

At the first hearing on July 12, Cochran shared his story of being fired by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday not to tear down Central Library.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Atlanta's Central Library downtown will be getting an upgrade.

After many months of public debate on whether to build a new library or renovate the existing one, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday not to tear down the building.

The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library system will now select an architecture firm to work with it on designing the renovated spaces and coming up with the actual cost.

Gerry Broome / Associated Press

In advance of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, "Closer Look" invited three local GOP leaders – each of different backgrounds – to sit down and assess the Republican Party.

The panel included Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the national Tea Party movement; Allen Fox, director of Georgia Republicans for the Future; and Michael Roundtree, senior at Morehouse College and political director of the Morehouse College Republicans.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson says he's raised more than $888,000 in the past three months for his re-election campaign.

Isakson's campaign on Tuesday said the incumbent had about $5.7 million in cash as June ended.

The campaign statement said Isakson raised the money between April 1 and June 30, a period including the May 24 primary. Reports to the Federal Election Commission before the primary say Isakson raised about $156,000 from April 1 to May 4.

Isakson defeated two primary challengers to seek a third term.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his budget address at the state Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Atlanta. Deal spoke Thursday afternoon to lawmakers charged with reviewing his $45 billion spending plan. Deal limited his comments Thursday to criminal
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal was in Cleveland Tuesday, where he spoke at a panel at the Republican National Convention about criminal justice reform.

Deal spoke alongside the Republican governors of Oklahoma and Kentucky on Georgia’s efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, and how the issue has become bipartisan in the state. 

Martha Dalton / WABE

Protestors gathered at Atlanta’s city hall Monday night. The group wants changes to Atlanta’s police force in the aftermath of police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. Organizers weren’t satisfied after an earlier meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Some activists associated with a movement called “ATL is ready” met with the mayor. They said they wanted a public meeting, but instead Reed met with them privately. Organizer Avery Jackson was included in that meeting. At city hall Monday night, he said the group presented a list of demands to the mayor.

John Locher / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to take the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday morning to talk about criminal justice reform.

Deal will sit on a panel with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin for a special issue briefing at the convention.

Criminal justice reform is part of the 2016 GOP Platform.

Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts, said Georgia's reforms have been some of the most far-reaching in the nation.

A Republican National Convention logo is seen though silhouetted production equipment on a huge video screen at Quicken Loans Arena for the Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland.
Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

PBS NewsHour provides live, "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Watch the news as it happens, below:

In this June 22, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in New York.
Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

The 2016 Republican National Convention opens Monday in Cleveland. Presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to give his acceptance speech on Thursday, but it will hardly be the first time the nation's voters have heard from him. Like few nominees before him in either party (at least the ones who weren't incumbent presidents), Trump has spent months making high-profile – and often controversial –statements.