Fulton GOP Phonebanking for Lee, Superior Court Judge Candidate

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(APN] ATLANTA — The Fulton County GOP has been using its offices and resources to do phone-banking for Kelly Amanda Lee, a candidate for Fulton County Superior Court Judge, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Lee is facing Shelitha Robertson in a Run-off Election scheduled for this Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

In a Facebook post by Steve Broadbent, former Republican candidate for Fulton County Chairman,  Broadbent said he had been phonebanking for Lee at Fulton GOP headquarters.

Broadbent also referred to her as a “Conservative candidate” for Fulton County Superior Court Judge in the same Facebook post.

It is not clear where Broadbent gets the idea that she is a Conservative candidate for Judge.  APN was not able to immediately reach Broadbent for comment.

Judicial elections are nonpartisan under Georgia code.  In addition, the expectation of judges is that they will apply the law fairly without regard to a political agenda.

Indeed, when Lee appeared with three other judge candidates at APN’s Town Hall Meeting and Fulton County Candidates’ Forum in October 2010, Lee insisted she could not give any indication of how she might rule.

Lee told APN “I can’t control what labels people attribute to me… I can’t comment on why some people use certain labels and other people use other labels.”

Lee insisted that she would be a non-partisan judge.

Lee said she knew the Fulton GOP was doing phonebanking for her.  She also said the Fulton County Democratic Party approached her about supporting her as well and that she had referred them to her campaign manager to determine what type of support they could provide.

APN was not able to reach Fulton County Democratic Party Chair Sam Westmoreland, nor 1st Vice Chair Nikema Williams for comment; however, other individuals familiar with the matter were skeptical that the FCDP would have supported Lee.

This is not the first time a political party in the State of Georgia intervened in a non-political race, however. 

The Democratic Party of Georgia sent out mailers criticizing Mary Norwood, an Independent candidate for Mayor of Atlanta, in 2009.  Municipal races are also supposed to be nonpartisan.

Lee is widely believed to have pulled strong North Fulton support in the General Election.  Lee appeared in a photograph with then-Gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal on her Facebook page during the General Election campaign.  

For some reason, the Fulton County GOP seems to be convinced that Lee would be a Conservative judge.

Robertson will likely pick up support of Black voters, including those who supported Karlise Yvette Grier and Clarence Johnson in the General.

However, Robertson has a wide base of support throughout Atlanta, where she ran city-wide in 2009 and almost unseated Councilman Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large].

Robertson took the lead in the hours following the arrest of eight staff members and dancers at the Atlanta Eagle in September 2009, calling the judge to insist upon their release.  Her leadership on behalf of the GLBT community could prove important, considering the Run-off Election could be won or lost in swing areas like Midtown and Grant Park.

Lee, as previously reported by APN, has had two charges of Driving Under the Influence as well as two speeding tickets.  Robertson’s campaign sent out a mailer last week criticizing Lee for the DUI’s.

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