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Gold Dome fights, Brookhaven's first steps, and congressional battles

Other Nov. 6 races worth watching


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North metro Atlanta's newest city, which 55 percent of residents voted to create this summer, is already doing grown-up things like electing its entire city government. The city, which sits north of Buckhead near Lenox and borders Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Chamblee, will elect its mayor and four district representatives on Nov. 6 from a list of 24 names. The lucky winners will oversee what could be a brand-new day of lower taxes and local control — or endure the growing pains of building a city.


State Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, who's served in the Gold Dome since 2002, finds himself fighting for his political career in yet another one of the districts Republicans designed to make white Democrats extinct. The pro-rail Democrat, one of MARTA's biggest advocates under the Gold Dome, squares off against Republican Hunter Hill, a security company executive and U.S. Army veteran also from Smyrna, to represent an area that stretches from Cobb County and into Buckhead. Keep an eye on this race: Should Hill upset Stoner, Senate Republicans might be just two seats shy of a supermajority, allowing them to make changes to the state Constitution without Democrats' support.


Remember the name Glenn Richardson? The powerful House Speaker who ruled the lower chamber with an iron fist? And who resigned in disgrace after his ex-wife gave a tell-all TV interview accusing him of having an affair with a lobbyist while carrying legislation that would benefit her employer? Well, he's seen the light and he's running for an open seat in the Senate to represent portions of Carroll, Paulding, and Douglas counties. Come Nov. 6, we'll see if there are any second acts under the Gold Dome.


Last summer during the redistricting process, Georgia Republicans redrew the state's political maps to pit Democrats against each other and dilute the minority party's power. State Rep. Simone Bell, D-Atlanta, the country's first openly lesbian African-American state lawmaker, survived one such battle against a fellow Dem during the July primary. Now she's crossing her fingers that the gerrymandered district that encompasses Virginia-Highland, Old Fourth Ward, and Sylvan Hills in southwest Atlanta hasn't magically turned Republican. Vying against the 43-year-old consultant for the seat is Republican Earl Cooper, a salesman.


If you're running for office against a veteran who served 12 years in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq and Bosnia, you might not want to publicly chide him for "bragging" about his service. Oh, and of "using drugs" while in the military. Especially when you have no proof. Tell that to Chris Boedeker, a Republican attorney fighting for the district that includes Tucker and Northlake. His campaign released an ad accusing state Rep. Scott Holcomb, the Democratic incumbent and aforementioned veteran, of opposing drug testing for welfare recipients because of his own drug use. It turns out, however, that Boedeker's campaign deceptively edited the footage. When journalists, including CL, called Boedeker out on the trick, it mysteriously disappeared from YouTube. House Republicans are praying for a supermajority. Boedeker winning this heated race could help.


Congressman John Lewis, D-Atlanta, defends his deep-blue district against Republican Howard "Go With Sto" Stopeck, a divorce attorney. If Lewis wins (as expected), the Civil Rights Movement icon would return to Washington, D.C., for his 14th term, and only fuel political observers' speculation over when Lewis would step down. Congressman Tom Price, R-Alpharetta, a far-right Ned Flanders doppelganger, squares off against Jeff Kazanow, the Democratic hopeful. Political observers have eyed Price as a possible Senate candidate. Down in southeast Georgia, Congressman John Barrow, D-Augusta, is fending off a challenge from state Rep. Lee Anderson, R-Grovetown. The slow-talking state lawmaker has declined TV debate invitations, citing the long drive to Atlanta studios, but has ventured to the big city to attend a fundraiser.


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