Gun control activist Lucy McBath (D) has decided “against a run for a lower-profile seat” in the statehouse, after raising more than $100,000 for a competitive race, “because she’s outraged over gridlock in Congress after the latest mass shooting in Florida.” Instead, she plans to challenge Rep. Karen Handel (R) for the seat Handel won in a highly watched special election last summer.
McBath: “This is the time we need to capitalize on this. Whether I win or lose, it still helps to push the needle on this. We have the eyes and the ears of the nation on Georgia right now, and if we can mobilize here, there will be a domino effect.”
“McBath became a nationally-known advocate for tougher gun restrictions after her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed while sitting in a car with friends in November 2012. The gunman, Michael Dunn, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for opening fire following a dispute with the teens over the volume of their music. Soon after his death, she became an early member of the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots group that sprung up after 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.” McBath spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and has testified before Congress on the dangers of “stand your ground” laws.
“She also will be a major voice in another debate. She worked as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines for 30 years, and has slammed the state GOP’s decision to punish the Atlanta-based airline after it severed business ties with the National Rifle Association.”
Businessman Kevin Abel (D) and former TV morning host Bobby Kaple (D) are also running for their party’s nomination. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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"White House chief of staff John Kelly has tapped Chris Liddell, a senior White House aide and former executive at Microsoft and General Motors, as his deputy." Prior to his appointment, Kelly had just one deputy: "Joe Hagin, who focuses on the day-to-day operations" in the White House. "Up until now, the White House had not named a deputy chief of staff for policy, though several aides, including [DHS Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen, had informally played that role."
The Supreme Court on Monday "rejected a plea to undertake a historic reassessment of the constitutionality of the death penalty nationwide. The court denied certiorari in Hidalgo v. Arizona, which challenged the constitutionality of that state’s death penalty statute but also attacked capital punishment generally 'in light of contemporary standards of decency.'" The Court did not act on another case, Evans v. Mississippi, which would have prompted a broader review of the death penalty. "Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan issued a separate statement agreeing that the Hidalgo case should be denied because the record in the case was not fully developed, but hoping a future case would be a better platform for reviewing capital punishment."
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman begins his two-week visit to the U.S. this week, meeting with "political and business leaders in Washington, New York, Silicon Valley and elsewhere" in an effort to shore up financial support for his government and rehabilitate its image abroad. "The crown prince employed a similar public relations strategy on a three-day visit to the UK," where he met with "an array of British business and defense leaders." Bin Salman has been widely criticized for his alleged political chicanery in the Gulf, and for Saudi Arabia's devastating air campaign in neighboring Yemen.
A fourth package bomb injured two people in Austin on Sunday evening, "which the police chief says was caused by a tripwire and showed 'a different level of skill' than the package bombs used in the three prior attacks." The police are still searching for the perpetrator, and have warned residents to not pick up or approach suspicious packages. Previous explosions, which the police believe are connected, have killed two and wounded several others.
White House Lawyer Ty Cobb said that President Trump not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. Speculation swirled after Trump attacked the investigation on Twitter, and called out Mueller directly for the first time. “In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration," Cobb said, "...the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller." Several members of Congress, "including some top Republicans, warned Trump to not even think about terminating Mueller."