FILE - Georgia Rep. Vance Smith Jr.

Georgia Rep. Vance Smith Jr., R-Pine Mountain

Kelley appoints Vance Smith as House Deputy Whip

House Majority Whip Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, appointed Rep. Vance Smith of Pine Mountain to serve as Deputy Whip through the end of the 2019-2020 legislative session.

“Throughout his time in the House, Rep. Smith has shown himself to be a leader and one of the most trusted members of our caucus,” Kelley said in a statement. “I am confident that he will continue to play a pivotal role in moving our caucus, the House and our state forward.”

Smith, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, is vice chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. He is a member of the Economic Development and Tourism, Transportation and Ways and Means committees.

18 candidates will be on Georgia’s 2020 Democratic Presidential Preference Primary ballot

The Georgia Democratic Party announced their 2020 Democratic Presidential Preference Primary ballot before candidate Kamala Harris said she was not seeking the party’s nomination.

The 17 candidates on the ballot are Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams called Georgia a “battleground state” and said, “The road to the White House runs through Georgia.”

The Georgia Presidential Primary is scheduled for March 24.

Company will bring 455 jobs to Telfair County

A company that makes ornamental stones will build a new manufacturing facility in Telfair County, bringing 455 jobs and a $96 million investment.

The Guidoni Group is expected to open its facility in the third quarter of 2020, according to the company’s CEO, Rafael Dalmaso Guidoni. This will be the company’s first facility in the U.S.

“With access to Georgia’s world-class ports system, logistics infrastructure, and top-ranked workforce, I am confident that Guidoni will find success as they create great opportunities for hardworking Georgians in Telfair County,” said Gov. Brian Kemp.