Overlooked in the spate of political news is the settlement of a lawsuit involving Democrat candidate Josh McLaurin and the state Republican Party over campaign mailers sent by the party to residents in state House District 51 that includes parts of Sandy Springs, Roswell and Johns Creek.
McLaurin faces Republican attorney Alex Kaufman for an open seat to replace retiring Republican Rep. Wendell Willard.
On Oct. 16 McLaurin filed a lawsuit with Fulton County State Court after the GOP mailers included what he claimed were lies about him, tantamount to libel. The party, wishing to make the suit go away, settled by saying it wouldn’t print any more or say any more— which McLaurin touts as a “win.” But it suits Kaufman too. The Republican, confident of victory, explains:
“I’m not surprised my opponent dropped his meritless lawsuit … The suit is dismissed, no money was paid, and no guilt was admitted by the state party. All that has happened is McLaurin’s political stunt to grab a headline is over.
“Let me underscore that McLaurin is still the subject of two open investigations concerning his conduct and ethics. Everything my campaign has said and written is factually accurate. This settlement doesn’t affect my campaign as I continue to draw a contrast between me and my opponent and stress my core issues of education reform, economic advancement, and holding the line on any tax increases. As we have always stated, trust is the issue.”
Political observers think the race is tight, but Kaufman garnered key endorsements including Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and outgoing Representative Willard. The Sandy Springs native, an attorney at the firm of Kaufman & Forman, resides in Roswell’s Horseshoe Bend neighborhood. He is a graduate of The Westminster Schools, Hamilton College and Emory University Law School.
McLaurin, an attorney who moved into a Sandy Springs apartment just last year, originally wanted to run for Congress against GOP candidate (now U.S. Congresswoman) Karen Handel. But he declined in order to support fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff, who Handel ultimately defeated.