Political notebook: Races set in Lawrenceville, Norcross

While voters' minds are mostly directed to the presidential election this November, residents will also have a choice of leaders in Lawrenceville, Norcross and Loganville.

In Loganville, Ray Nunley will become mayor, since he was the only person to qualify for the seat last week. Voters will still have to decide between incumbent Mark Kiddoo, Michael Lynch, Kevin Madsen, Pedro Vega and Eileen Waring for three council seats.

In Lawrenceville, though, the mayor's race will come down to incumbent Rex Millsaps and Councilwoman Judy Jordan-Johnson, who wants to follow her father's footsteps to lead the county seat.

For City Council, there will be a rematch between incumbent Mike Crow and Mary Thompson. Jordan-Johnson's seat is being sought by Planning Commission Chairman Richard Johnson and Marie Beiser.

In Norcross, Councilman David McLeroy secured a fourth term, but Michelle (Shelly) Croston, Ross Kaul and Barry Payne will square off for the seat being vacated by Jeff Allen. With Councilman Keith Shewbert seeking a House seat, Andrew Hixson, Jan McKinney and Brian Mock will face off on November ballots for his seat.

Grayson councilmembers Tammy Shumate and David Schroder gained new terms because they did not draw competition.

Georgia GOP praises Palin

Georgia Republicans were encouraged this week, when John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"As a fellow governor, I have come to know Sarah Palin as a smart and tough leader that I respect and admire," Gov. Sonny Perdue said. "John McCain's selection of Sarah is a decision that transcends politics. In her, he will have a partner that will always stand on principle and work closely with him to bring real reform to Washington.

"The difference between the two tickets could not be more stark. Republicans have two candidates with a proven record of working across the aisle to deliver real results to their constituents, while Democrats have nominated a ticket with a history of talk instead of action."

Sen. Don Balfour, the Snellville man who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, said he was also impressed with the choice.

"Palin has successfully brought Republicans and Democrats together, she's challenged the influence of big oil, she put a stop to the 'bridge to nowhere' that could have cost taxpayers up to $400 million, she passed a landmark ethics reform bill and she's the mother of a soldier who's fighting in the Middle East," he said. "She's a maverick like John McCain who will shake things up in Washington."

In a joint statement, U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson said they would work to get the pair elected in November.

"Gov. Palin is fiscally conservative, pro-life, pro-family, a Second Amendment advocate, a champion of ethics in government, and is dedicated to increasing our domestic energy production," the statement said. "She is a devoted wife, mother and public servant.

"The American people will see the obvious difference between the conservative ideals of the McCain-Palin ticket and the liberal, Washington establishment record of the other ticket. McCain and Palin have the vision for a better America and the experience to move our country forward."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.