We’re picking up word that House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta will face a challenge to her leadership role at the party’s caucus meeting on Tuesday.
State Rep. Winfred Dukes of Albany, is said to be weighing a challenge to Abrams. It would be the first significant challenge to her spot as the House’s top Democrat since her election to the role in 2010.
Abrams is a rising star in national Democratic circles and a potential contender for Georgia’s open governor’s seat in 2018. But some fellow Democrats grouse over her leadership style and willingness to make deals with Republicans.
Abrams is likely to point to the $1 million she’s raised for the party’s House efforts and the six Democratic seats drawn for Republicans the caucus has netted since she took the job. This cycle, Democrats flipped two GOP-held seats but lost one held by a Democrat and another held by an independent.
Dukes, we’re told, will make a case that a half-dozen or so target districts were left on the table, including one belonging to Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, who had a tougher-than-expected primary after his arrest on a DUI charge. He will also try to tap into Democratic angst over deal-making with Republicans.
If Dukes runs, it could be close. One observer gives Abrams three-to-two odds of hanging on to her seat.
State House Republicans had their internal elections on Monday with only one contested spot: Sam Teasley of Marietta held off a challenge from Mandi Ballinger of Canton for vice-chair of the majority caucus by a mere five votes, we’re told. (The margins were not made public.)
Teasley, a Marietta real estate agent, promised openness and transparency if he elected to serve another two-year term. “The theme I kept hearing throughout the meeting today was unity and being committed to serving each other,” he said. “And we are united.”
House Republicans also named Christian Coomer of Cartersville as the new majority whip, replacing Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City, who did not seek re-election.
Others re-elected to their posts: Jon Burns of Newington as majority leader; Matt Hatchett of Dublin as caucus chairman; Bruce Williamson of Monroe as caucus secretary and treasurer.
For you close observers, yes, that is an all-male cast, offset only by Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Johns Creek, who is expected to have an easy re-election when the entire House gathers in January.
Insider’s note: This item was ripped from the Morning Jolt.