Gwinnett residents who are early risers may have seen Republican 7th Congressional District candidate Mark Gonsalves addressing them on TV early Saturday.

Gonsalves launched a 30-minute infomercial campaign ad this weekend and he plans to run the ad several more times through the end of December. The ads are intended to serve as an opportunity for voters to learn about Gonsalves’ candidacy for the congressional seat, including his platform.

“I’m taking my message directly to the people. Our Congress has been dysfunctional the past 20 years under both Democrat and Republican rule,” said Gonsalves. “The result is a ballooning national debt burden, a broken immigration system, skyrocketing health insurance rates, an opioid epidemic and a brutal Chinese Superpower that’s emerged while Congress slept.”

The infomercial received its first airings at 5 a.m. on CBS 46 and 5:30 a.m. Saturday on FOX 5 Atlanta.

Additional airings on FOX 5 are expected to occur at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 and 28. It will air on CBS 46 again at 2:13 a.m. on Dec. 5 and 12: 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 21; 1 p.m. on Dec. 22; and 5 a.m. on Dec. 28.

It will also air on 11Alive at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 and 15; noon on Dec. 15; and 6 a.m. on Dec. 22.

Gonsalves’ campaign also said the ad will air on Peachtree TV at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 19 and 26.

The ad can also be viewed online at bit.ly/33F2rgs.

Kirk running for Schrader’s judicial seat

Suwanee attorney Christa Kirk announced this past week that she will run for the Gwinnett Superior Court seat currently held by Judge Kathryn Schrader who is currently barred by a state committee from presiding over cases after she and three other people were indicted earlier this year on computer trespassing charges.

Schrader’s seat is up for election next year and Kirk, who founded the Kirk Law Firm P.C. is the only person who has announced plans to run for it so far. Schrader has been under fire since it was revealed that she had hired private investigator T.J. Ward, who in turn brought in a man named Frank Karic and DragonCon founder Ed Kramer, because she believed Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter was hacking her computer.

In October, the Georgia Judicial Qualifying Commission suspended Schrader in light of the indictment. The case has generated headline, not only because a judge has been indicted, but also because Kramer took an Alford Plea in 2013 on child molestation charges.

Kirk graduated from the University of Georgia with her bachelor’s degree in 2001 and then received her law degree from Georgia State University in 2004. She has been named a Top 40 Under 40 and “Super Lawyer,” and is a member of Glance Gwinnett, 12 Stone Church and the Gwinnett Chamber.

Schmidt running for House District 103 seat

Donald Schmidt is running as a Republican for the House District 103 seat, which includes parts of northern Gwinnett.

Schmidt has worked for Govs. Nathan Deal and Brian Kemp. State Rep. Timothy Barr, R-Lawrenceville, currently holds the House District 103 seat.

“During my time with these two governors, I learned greatly about the ins and outs of politics,” Schmidt said on his campaign Facebook page. “I quickly became tired of seeing our elected officials neglect the challenges we face.

“Georgia is 39th in healthcare, 30th in education, 27th in crime, and 21st in economic opportunity, and having seen how politicians have no regard to fixing our broken systems, I understood the need to run.”

Schmit’s campaign website can be found at www.donaldforgeorgia.com.

Merritt calls on Georgia lawmakers to pass strict hate crime law

Democrat and state Senate District 9 candidate Nikki Merritt told supporters in an email this past week that the time has come for the General Assembly to adopt a hate crime bill that is designed to protect Georgians regardless of their race, sexual orientation and nation of birth.

Merritt’s email comes on the heels of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus members’ call on their colleagues to pass a hate crime bill in light of news that a white 16-year-old girl in Hall County had been planning to attack Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“Now more then ever, we must enact a strict hate crimes law in Georgia to impose harsh prosecution on those who threaten the life and liberty of others,” Merritt said in an email to supporters. “With the history we have in our state around this issue, it’s unacceptable that law enforcement and prosecutors lack all the tools they need to protect the public and ensure justice for those most likely to be victims such as people of color, immigrants, and our LGBTQ population.”

Political Notebook appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc