July Fourth will find candidates on the march
by Joe Kirby, Otis A. Brumby III and Lee B. Garrett, - Around Town Columnists
July 01, 2014 04:00 AM | 5151 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE HARSH recent tones of Cobb’s political season will take a back seat for Uncle Sam and the Red, White and Blue later this week — well, for a few hours, anyway.

Candidates will have on their best faces for the City of Marietta’s annual Fourth of July Parade, which draws tens of thousands of spectators to downtown Marietta each year — and nearly as many candidates.

Actually, candidate turnout for the parade will be down a bit this year, even though it’s an election year. That’s because this year’s primaries, which thin the candidate herd substantially, were held in late May, rather than late July.

But those at the parade can still expect to see an onslaught of candidates for offices ranging from U.S. Senate down the proverbial dogcatcher on hand. Among those expected to be marching or riding are U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Attorney General Sam Olens and numerous others.


ONCE THE PARADE is over and the participants have rehydrated, many of them will converge at one or the other of the two big political party events.

The Cobb Republican Barbecue will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road. Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q will provide the food, and music will be provided by Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture/singer Gary Black; The Bill Atkins Band, featuring Radio Hall of Famer and Country Music DJ Hall of Famer Rhubarb Jones on drums; and state Rep.-elect Bert Reeves and his band.

Speakers will include U.S. Senate candidates Jack Kingston and Perdue, Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, 11th District congressional candidates Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk, Cobb Commission candidates Bill Byrne and Bob Weatherford and probably others as well.

Cost is $15 at the door for those 12 and up, $5 for ages 5 through 11 and free for those 4 and under.

Meanwhile, Cobb Democrats will retire after the parade to the International Association of Machinists Local 709 Union Hall at 1032 South Marietta Parkway for their annual Herb Butler Picnic.


ROSWELL STREET BAPTIST is inviting the public to watch the July Fourth fireworks from its parking lot.

“We will provide parking in the main campus parking lot at 774 Roswell Street and space to set up lawn chairs for fireworks viewing in the Office Lot at 900 Roswell Street,” church administrator Perry Sapp tells AT. Parking lots will open at 7:00 p.m.


THE DUST will barely be settled on the July Fourth events before Cobb’s other landmark political event rolls back around: Sheriff Neil Warren’s annual “Corn Boilin’.” This will be the 25th annual edition of the bipartisan event, which was launched by Warren’s predecessor, Sheriff Bill Hutson.

The Boilin’, as usual, will be at Jim Miller Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 14. Cost is $25 a head for a meal of corn, pinto beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, Cole slaw, cornbread, fatback, sliced onions, Mayfield ice cream, tea and Coca-Cola. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Cobb County Youth Museum.

For more information, email neilwarren@bellsouth.net.


LOOKING BACK: Loudermilk and Barr recently dropped by the MDJ offices to meet (separately) with our editorial board. AT took the opportunity ask each which Georgia political figure or figures they most admire and would try to model themselves after if they were to be elected. We got some surprising answers.


LOUDERMILK, after some thought, said he’d recently enjoyed being compared to the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Atlanta) and to late Congressman Larry McDonald (D-Cobb).

“Paul Coverdell was a highly respected statesman that could bring parties together. Highly revered. … And Larry McDonald was a very principled, idealistic man who had a vision of the Founding Fathers and the fortitude to stand on what he believes. And that’s a Reagan-type mixture right there.”

Coverdell died unexpectedly in 2000 following a stroke. The pro-life, pro-gun-rights McDonald, though a Democrat, was considered the most conservative member of Congress during his 1975-83 tenure. He served as president of the ultra-right John Birch Society and was known for his outspoken anti-Soviet rhetoric, and ironically died after the Korean Air Lines passenger jet on which he was a passenger was deliberately shot down by a Soviet fighter jet after it had strayed into Siberia while en route to Japan from Alaska. Buddy Darden (D-Marietta), was chosen in a special election to succeed McDonald in Congress.


BARR’S choice as model? Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“I’m not comparing myself to him in terms of intellect, but what really fascinated me were his boundless energy and the fact he always was able to temper his intellect with a practical side of ‘How do you take these concepts and translate them into something that’s workable in government, in community or business?’ And that’s what’s lacking in Barry Loudermilk,” Barr said. “It’s not going to help us in Cobb if we have a self-described ‘constitutional expert’ up in Washington. What is important, and what Barry lacks, is real-life experience in Congress, in national government, to take those constitutional principles and make them work for real families in the district, real businesses in the district, real government in the district. Newt had a tremendous ability to do that. You need both that intellectual understanding and how to translate it into the real world.”


FORMER District 1 Northwest Cobb Commissioner candidate Angela Barner is taking issue with runoff candidate Bob Weatherford’s version in Sunday’s MDJ of how she wound up endorsing his runoff opponent, Bill Byrne.

Weatherford told reporters his campaign chairman, John Loud, had been assured by Barner’s husband and campaign treasurer that she would not endorse Byrne “because all their campaign strategy was ‘anybody but Bill,’” he said. However, she did endorse Byrne, prompting Weatherford to tell us, “So you read between the lines. Somebody offered them something I wouldn’t. I mean, I’m not saying they did and I’m not saying they didn’t. I’m just saying I don’t do deals. And all of a sudden, it just went that way.”

Not so, Barner told AT on Monday.

“I’ve never had a conversation with Bob Weatherford, or Bill Byrne for that matter, concerning an endorsement. My endorsement of Bill Byrne was not solicited by Mr. Byrne. My endorsement of Mr. Byrne came after comparing the two candidates remaining in the runoff and the realization that based many issues, mine and Mr. Byrne’s platforms were most similar. The statements in the MDJ article quoting Bob Weatherford on this subject are simply false.”


MORE POLITICS: Incumbent District 1 Commissioner Helen Goreham will host a lunchtime fundraiser for Weatherford from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. July 18 at the Marietta Museum of History. Also on the host list are Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins and Powder Springs Mayor Patricia Vaughn, former Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway, former Cobb Commission Chairman Earl Smith and retired Sheriff Hutson.


MORE POLITICS: Former Gov. Roy Barnes and his wife, Marie, and former Rep. Darden of Marietta will headline a fundraising reception for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Brawner Hall, 3180 Atlanta Road in Smyrna. Other hosts will include Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid and Drs. Beth and N.R. Farokhi.


MDJ reporter Haisten Willis appeared on Nancy Grace’s HLN show Monday evening to talk about the latest developments in the Justin Ross Harris case. Harris is charged with felony murder after allegedly leaving his 22-month-old son in a hot car for seven hours. His next court appearance is Thursday. Willis was asked questions about the case and the community reaction as more information has come forward.  

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