Chamber forecast: Fair weather for Weatherford; Cold shoulder for Byrne
by Joe Kirby, Otis A. Brumby III and Lee B. Garrett, - Around Town Columnists
March 25, 2014 12:00 AM | 8041 views | 6 6 comments | 86 86 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IF THERE WAS ANY MYSTERY about who Cobb Chamber of Commerce bigwigs are supporting in the crowded race to succeed retiring Helen Goreham as District 1 Cobb Commissioner in the May 20 primary, it was cleared up when an invitation for an April 7 fundraising reception arrived. And the beneficiary will not be former Commission Chairman Bill Byrne.

Rather, the recipient is candidate Bob Weatherford, a former Acworth alderman. The 5 to 6:30 p.m. event at The Georgian Club is being hosted by what amounts to a “Who’s Who” of Chamber leaders and allies, including Chamber CEO David Connell, Chamber Chairman Ben Mathis, and former Chamber Chairmen Tony Britton, Rob Garcia, Sam Kelly and Greg Morgan. Others include Chamber EDGE co-chair Dan Styf and Chamber Board members Chet Austin, Bobby Baker, David Bottoms, Gary Bottoms, Bob Kiser, John Loud, Bob Prillaman and Bob Walsh.

Suggested contribution for hosts at the event is $2,500.

Aside from the furor ignited by his support of an anti-gay/pro-family values resolution in 1993, Byrne enjoyed a mostly beneficial relationship with the Chamber during his 1992-01 tenure, but recently has been outspokenly critical of Chamber-backed issues like the TSPLOST referendum.

Also vying for the District 1 nomination are Angela Barner, Glenn Melson and Scott Tucker.

Will the Chamber sponsor similar fundraisers for one of those three candidates as part of an “anybody but Byrne” effort?

Stay tuned.

PRIMARY DAY is less than two months away, and not only has the pace of fundraising increased, now comes word of a string of high-profile candidate forums courtesy of the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club.

The first debate will be April 8 and feature candidates for the 11th Congressional District and candidates for governor, said CCRWC spokeswoman Rose Wing.

Up next, two days later on April 10, will be candidates for state school superintendent and Cobb County School Board Posts 2, 4 and 6.

Candidates for U.S. Senate will be featured at a forum April 15.

April 17 will be devoted to candidates for state House Districts 24 and 44, candidates for Cobb Superior Court judge and candidates for Cobb solicitor general.

Then, on April 29, candidates for Cobb Commission Districts 1 and 3 will be featured, as well as candidates for state Public Service Commission.

The 7 to 9 p.m. forums will take place in the Cobb County Commission Meeting Room in the main County Administration Building off Marietta Square and will be televised live on the county’s Channel 23.

For more, email Tonya Boga at


11th DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL RACE ROUNDUP: 11th District congressional candidate Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead), who’s retiring from the Georgia Legislature, took to the well of the House on Friday to deliver some “farewell” remarks on the final day of this year’s session.

“There is always someone smarter in the room than us, and if we do not know who, we are not paying attention,” he said. “Standing up to our enemies may take guts, but standing up to our friends on occasion takes real courage.

“A warm embracing sense of humor goes farther than a sharp divisive wit; and lastly, timing is everything — especially in recognizing when to step off the stage.”

CANDIDATE Bob Barr of Smyrna will be guest speaker at Saturday’s breakfast meeting of The Madison Forum at the Rib Ranch Restaurant on Canton Road. Barr’s topics will be “Constitutional Amendments,” “A Rogue President” and “The Power of the Purse.” The program starts at 8:30 a.m.


A FUNDRAISER for 11th District congressional candidate Tricia Pridemore of Marietta is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Georgian Club.


A GOLF TOURNEY in support of 11th District congressional candidate Barry Loudermilk of Cassville is planned for April 24 at the Dogwood Golf Club in Austell. For info, call (706) 518-2116.


THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY has been much in the news in the past year. Now it turns out its new director, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, has Cobb connections. His younger brother, Mark, was formerly a student of Walton High School teacher Dempsey Kirk. He now is a Social Studies teacher in Cobb, Kirk reports.

Michael Rogers was the commander of the Tenth Fleet before being nominated by President Obama in January to succeed Gen. Keith Alexander in the dual roles of director of the NSA and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.


THE COBB BAR ASSOCIATION swore in new officers at its Thursday meeting. They are Laura Murphree, president; Dawn Levine, president-elect; Darrell Sutton, treasurer; and Kimberly Childs, secretary.


WHATEVER ELSE Mayor Steve Tumlin wants to accomplish during his tenure at City Hall, it appears one priority is teaching the public the meaning of the word “eleemosynary,” which he used in his “State of the City” talk last week, and which he has worked into his comments at previous meetings.

After asking elected officials to stand up and be recognized at the outset of his speech on Wednesday, Tumlin asked that representatives of the city’s “eleemosynary” organizations to do the same. Good thing they knew he was talking about.

In case you’re wondering, “eleemosynary” is defined by Webster as “of, relating to or supported by charity.’”


THE ATLANTA LYRIC THEATRE will be welcoming The Atlanta Braves to Cobb next spring with a grand slam lineup that includes the Tony Award-winning classic “Damn Yankees!” artistic director/GM Brandt Blocker told Around Town on Monday. That show will run April 10 to 26, 2015, right in time for next season’s Opening Day.

Meanwhile, the 2014-15 season at the Lyric, now celebrating its 35th year, will open April 4 with “Annie” at The Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in the Cobb Civic Center.

Other shows announced by Blocker on Monday for next season include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats”; Bob Fosse’s “Chicago”; “Catch Me If You Can,” based on the movie starring Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks; and Cy Coleman’s “Barnum,” which originally starred Glenn Close.

For more information, visit


MORE POLITICS: A fundraising reception for Solicitor Barry Morgan is set for 5 to 7 p.m. today at the law offices of Pugh, Barrett, Canale & Leslie, 288 Lawrence St., Marietta. … Northeast Cobb Commission candidate Joseph Pond will host a fundraiser at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Rib Ranch on Canton Road in east Marietta. ... The Cobb County Republican Women’s Club will host Georgia GOP Chairman John Padgett as guest speaker at its 11:30 a.m. luncheon Friday at the Hilton/Marietta Conference Center, reports Barbara Hickey.

For info go to


IF YOU SHOULD HEAR LOUD VOICES in the Marietta/Smyrna area late this afternoon, it’s not a sign you’re headed off the deep end. Rather, it will be the Lockheed Martin Security and Emergency Services department conducting training and testing on a new outdoor public address system. The tests will start at 5 p.m. and include announcements for a variety of inclement weather conditions — tornadoes, lightning, high winds, etc., followed by “All Clear” messages. The system will serve as the primary weather warning notification method for personnel traveling outdoors on the Lockheed Martin campus, according to LM communications manager Rob Fuller.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 26, 2014
Once again the Chamber thinks it runs the County, you select few don't get to pick who wins this race, go waste your money Chamber guys, your candidate is a no win puppet.
March 25, 2014
I know Mr. Bob Weatherford is running around telling everyone who will listen that he is a big supporter of public safety.

As an Acworth Police officer, if that is true, why do we have the lowest level of pay when compared to CCPD, KPD, PSPD and MPD?
March 25, 2014
Quit whining, officer. You have a choice you can make if you are unhappy. Go find another job.

What? You say finding jobs these days is tough?

Well then, how about saying thank you for NOT firing my whiny butt when hard items hit the private sector.

March 25, 2014
It makes perfect sense that the Chamber (and Tim Lee) would back a candidate who believes in higher taxes and forcing their will down the public. Bob Weatherford is quoted in many different sources of strongly supporting the failed TSPLOST. His record on taxes is very clear - RINO

It is even more bizzare that Bob Weatherford was unwilling to accept the defeat of the failed TSPOLST after the voters killed it at the polls. How can the Chamber, Tim Lee, Weatherford be that deaf to the public will?

Chamber money spent to put Bob Weatherford is akin to throwing it in the road. West Cobb voters are more concerned about putting food on the table and sending their kids to college, than grand transportation plans on the other side of the county. A pocket vote for Lee is the last thing that West Cobb will support.
March 25, 2014
Yeah. When I heard Weatherford was the chambers choice, I knew he would not be getting my vote.

Tired of establishment rino cronies.
Just Sayin'....
March 25, 2014
I am laughing out loud at the endorsement of the Cobb Chamber in the district race to replace Helen Goreham. These guys are SOOOO out of touch with the people in this district. A chamber endorsement of anyone almost insures extra votes for their opponent. The Chamber has done little to nothing to encourage business or development in this part of the county, instead focusing on the "Platinum Triangle", East Cobb or sometimes the City of Marietta. Kennesaw, Acworth and West Cobb have traditionally been ignored by the nice folks at the Chamber, and for that, they may just have to put up with Byrne.
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