Written by Staff Writer
The race to be the next governor of Georgia has been brewing for months. It’s already held up the national politics calendar with major announcements from candidates asking for support, and major endorsements from well-known political figures. CNN has compiled what’s changed and changed again in the last few weeks. Here are a few key moments:
Julia Ashley — Ellsworth Republican candidate for Georgia governor — steps down from Senate confirmation hearing, planned for Wednesday, after President Trump Twitter attacks: The U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Julia Ashley, Georgia’s newly elected state senator, was to be Wednesday. But Ashley, a Republican, now says she will cancel the appearance, after President Trump’s scathing rebuke of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. Trump attacked Manchin on Twitter, claiming the three-term Senator from West Virginia refuses to help the GOP in this year’s election. Trump made a play for Manchin’s support: He tweeted, “Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would not support the Criminal Justice Reform Bill because it includes funding for sanctuary cities, something he hates. Great. He should do the right thing and support law enforcement and vote for this bill!” Republican senators had pushed to pass the bill, a package of laws that would drop a mandatory minimum sentence for certain nonviolent drug crimes, as well as an end to mandatory minimum sentences for federal penalties for drug offenses.
Sam Clovis — Former Trump campaign adviser and nominee for chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency — delayed Thursday’s confirmation hearing: Donald Trump’s pick for chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency had been due to testify in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Thursday, but Sam Clovis no longer appears on the Senate Calendar for Thursday, according to Roll Call. Now, CNN reported that Clovis’ aides had told Democrats in the committee he’d be unable to attend his confirmation hearing for “personal reasons,” such as travel, but the Republicans objected to those explanations and said they wanted more information.
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson addresses medical marijuana debate — in court: Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson said in a court appearance that he would support medical marijuana legislation — but only if it includes CBD, a form of marijuana used to treat epilepsy, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The revelation comes in the state’s ongoing legal battle over medical marijuana, with advocacy groups seeking legalization and opponents arguing that state law already allows medical use of the drug.
Ralph Norman, who ran against Nikki Haley for governor, resigns: Ralph Norman, who competed with incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal for the Republican nomination, has announced he’s withdrawing his name from consideration. Norman is considered the frontrunner for the nomination, but had to fight a bizarre campaign on his background as a sheriff, which he later explained was meant to be a “joke.” After winning the Republican primary, Norman didn’t win over many Republican voters in the general election when he faced Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Andrew Gillum, who ran for Florida governor, will not hold news conference Wednesday: Andrew Gillum, who came within 3,000 votes of becoming the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, is canceling an announcement to discuss his future amid allegations he plagiarized speeches, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gillum’s campaign says he will discuss his future at a news conference in the coming days.