There are a few updates to the scandals brewing over Gwinnett politics.
First, we heard back from Laurie McClain, one of the two candidates who already made the July ballot to replace Shirley Lasseter, even before the commissioner pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge and left her post early.
Officials have called for a November special election to serve out the final weeks of Lasseter's term, a requirement since she left office with more than 180 days left in the term.
"Assuming the details of the qualifying date and the fees makes sense, it is my intention to qualify for the special election," McClain said last week. "This county is so thirsty for leaders with integrity, I think it is imperative that someone like myself fills that seat as soon as possible."
In Thursday's Political Notebook, former Suwanee Councilman Jace Brooks said he would also be up for the special election. But since Brooks and McClain will square off in the GOP primary on July 31, Brooks added that if the special election qualifying is after the primary and he doesn't win it, he will bow out of the special election.
With no Democratic contender, the winner of the GOP primary will become the candidate-elect to serve the District 1 commission term from 2013 through 2016.Ramey calls on Balfour to resignAlso, the third GOP candidate in the Senate District 9 race waded into the ethics controversy facing incumbent Sen. Don Balfour.
"The state of Georgia is in crisis when it comes to the ethics of many elected politicians currently holding office. As Republicans, we must adhere to the strong ethical standards set forth in our party's platform," Steve Ramey, a tea party leader, said of his opponent in July's election. "As a citizen of District 9, I have pointed out the problems facings our district with regard to Sen. Balfour's questionable practices for some time, and now with the findings against Balfour released by the Senate Ethics Committee, it is definitely time for a change. I call on Sen. Balfour to do the right thing for the citizens of District 9 and for the Republican Party, and resign as state senator. Our citizens and our party deserve better."
Last week, candidate Travis Bowden called on Senate leadership to remove Balfour as the body's Rules Committee chairman, after officials found case in complaints that Balfour had received per diem reimbursements on days he was not in the state.
"Georgians have, rightfully so, lost faith in their government and trust in their elected officials," Ramey added. "Republicans must lead in the effort to reform the ethical standards and rules governing all elected officials in Georgia on the local and state levels. I am proud to have signed on to the ethics pledge set forth by the Georgia Alliance for Ethics Reform, and as state senator I promise to be a sponsor of strong and comprehensive ethics reform in our state. I encourage all candidates to sign the pledge and all concerned citizens to contact their senators and representatives and tell them to sign on and commit to comprehensive ethics reform with a cap on lobbyists gifts."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.