James Magazine May-June 2020 - Magazine - Page 10
Except when it comes to General Assembly incumbents under a fund-raising ban, the pandemic disadvantages challengers more than incumbents. Incumbents,
especially those with long records of public service, enjoy
high name recognition. Challengers must work to become
known. Meet and greets, door knocking, and neighborhood coffees are inexpensive ways for challengers to
make contacts. With the public riveted to the latest
news of the pandemic, it becomes even harder
than usual for challengers to get voters to pay
enough attention for them to overtake incumbents in the primary.
With money less available and pressing
the flesh taboo, success may depend on how
readily candidates adapt. It has been observed that successful candidates run the same
election over and over again. It ain’t broke so they
don’t fix it. Candidates are being forced to break the
mold this year. Advertising will use more social media
and less television. A payoff for this change is that having
a greater social media presence will help candidates connect with the swelling ranks of younger voters who rarely
watch commercial television.
To facilitate risk-free participation, Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger sent every registered voter the form
needed to request an absentee primary ballot. Five states,
pioneered by Oregon in 1995, have only vote by mail. The
opportunity to mark a ballot at any point for several weeks
and eliminating the trek to the polls boosted turnout there.
News of the Wisconsin primary fiasco, where many
precincts closed since elderly poll workers didn’t show up
and voters waited for hours six feet apart, may encourage Georgians to mail their ballots. More extensive
voting by mail will significantly slow tabulations
and may delay results for days. Alternatively,
some voters who do not return the request
for an absentee ballot on time will forego a
trip to the polls rather than risk their health.
While the pandemic may advantage incumbents in the primary, it may
hurt in the general election. Anger and fear
are stronger motivators than positive feelings
which explains the effectiveness of negative ads.
Fear of infection if coupled with anger about how public
officials have dealt with the pandemic could spur turnout. Individuals incentivized by these concerns are not
likely to reward incumbents.
Charles S. Bullock, III, is the Distinguished University Professor of Public and
International Affairs at the University of Georgia. He is co-author of Georgia
Politics in a State of Change now in its third edition.
ttorneys occupy a pivotal role in
our society. Lawyers inuence our
politics, adjudicate our disputes
and counsel our businesses and
families. As such, James magazine’s spotlight on “inuential Georgia attorneys” considers not just expertise in court— some may not step foot
in a courtroom— but also activity inuencing the court
of public opinion, the development of our laws and the
legal profession itself.
This listing recognizes lawyers who shape public
or private policies— sometimes behind the scenes—
in the interconnected world of the law, business and
politics. Don’t confuse this list with the usual, patronizingly parochial “ultra lawyer” rosters of Peach State
attorneys who are touted for their areas of litigation
or deal-making, or who may merely serve powerful
clients or work in “megarms.”
Instead, this feature looks at discernable impact
on policy, politics and the practice of law. As such,
whether and to what extent these attorneys’ thoughts
and perspectives are sought after by other attorneys,
politicians and the public at large is a major factor. So,
too, is their capacity to steer public discourse.
M AY/JUNE 2020
There are, of course, a tremendous number of talented, inuential attorneys that may not appear on this
list. Likewise, not all the achievements of those listed
can appear herein. Our list merely provides a snapshot
into some of the more prominent Georgia barristers
who walk among us.
— PHIL KENT
the EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Let’s rst focus on Gov. Brian Kemp’s office where
David Dove serves as executive counsel
and Candice Broce as deputy executive counsel as well as communications
director. Gaining prominence are assistant executive counsels to Kemp Tommy
Ratchford and Javier Pico-Prats.
Attorney General Chris Carr, a former chief of staff
to former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, is the state’s top
prosecutor. Recognized lawyers for Carr are Solicitor
General Andrew Pinson and human trafficking prosecutor Hannah Palmquist.
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