In Memoriam: Former State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, 88, who was the longest-serving state official in Georgia history and the longest-serving agriculture commissioner in the country, died in September. Irvin, a Democrat, served for 42 years.
He was appointed to the post by former Gov. Lester Maddox and won re-election 10 times, most recently in 2006. He declined to run again in 2010 and was succeeded in office by Republican Gary Black.
Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter, in a statement, said of Irvin: “Tommy knew and understood more about rural Georgia and farming families than just about anyone else. We’ve lost a good man, and we’ve lost a good Democrat.”
Irvin, who was born in Hall County, served in the Georgia House of Representatives prior to becoming agriculture chief.
Atlanta Mayor’s Race: A big crowd of candidates in the Nov. 7 Atlanta mayoral election is competing for two slots in a likely December runoff.
As the race heated up, City Councilwoman Mary Norwood appeared ready to claim one of those runoff spots, with the second up for grabs.
Among those hoping for that second spot are Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, Council President Caesar Mitchell, the former city COO Peter Aman, Councilman Kwanza Hall, former City Council President Cathy Woolard, former State Sen. Vincent Fort, former federal prosecutor and city official Michael Sterling and former Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves.
Evans to Luxembourg: Atlanta attorney Randy Evans, a partner in the Denton’s law firm, is President Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Luxembourg.
Evans, a Republican, is co-chair of Georgia’s judicial nominating commission and counts Gov. Nathan Deal and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among his clients.
AGs Fighting Opioid Crisis: Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is one of 41 attorneys general in the country involved in a bipartisan effort to curb the overuse and abuse of prescription opioids. The AGs are seeking information from five major drug companies in an attempt to determine whether manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale and distribution of the drugs.
“Between 1999 and 2015, more than 560,000 people in this country died due to drug overdoses,” Carr said in a statement. “Opioids are the prime contributor to this national emergency, and we are prepared to communicate with all industries to review, investigate and eliminate any practices that may have led to this epidemic.”
New Deal Appointments: Gov. Nathan Deal named Christopher Nunn commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. Nunn, a native of Perry, was previously commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services. He succeeds Camilla Knowles, who left the DCA for a private-sector position.
The new commissioner of the administrative services department is Shawn Ryan, former president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Caylee Noggle is Deal’s choice to fill the vacancy left by Ryan’s departure. Noggle was COO and CFO for the commission.
NATO Role for Carden: Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Carden is the new deputy commander of NATO’s Multinational Division Southeast, headquartered in Bucharest, Romania.
Carden was previously assistant adjutant general of the Army of the Georgia Department of Defense and commander of the Georgia Army National Guard. His nomination was made by Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and approved by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, effective Oct. 1.
Special Elections: Nov. 7 will see special elections for two State Senate seats and seven House seats, with a runoff date set for Dec. 5.
For State Senate, in District 6, three Democrats and five Republicans will vie for the seat vacated by Republican Hunter Hill, who is running for governor. In District 39, four Democrats and a Republican are running to replace Democrat Vincent Fort, a candidate for Atlanta mayor.
For State House, in District 4, three Republicans and a Democrat are seeking the seat vacated by the resignation of Republican Bruce Broadrick. In District 26, two Republicans and a Democrat are on the ballot to replace Republican Geoff Duncan, who is running for lieutenant governor. In District 42, a Democrat is the only candidate to replace Democrat Stacey Evans, who is running for governor.
In House District 60, three Democrats are running to replace Democrat Keisha Waites, who resigned to run for the Fulton County Commission. In District 89, four Democrats are seeking the seat vacated by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor. In District 117, one Democrat and one Republican are running for the seat vacated by Republican Regina Quick, who was appointed to a Superior Court judgeship. In District 119, one Democrat and three Republicans are running to replace Republican Chuck Williams, who was appointed director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.