Democratic Senate race headlines ballots for Georgia voters
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Democrats will choose between seven contenders in a U.S. Senate race to challenge incumbent Republican David Perdue on Tuesday. Ballots also include 16 contested U.S. House primaries, dozens of state House and state Senate races, and two nonpartisan general elections for the state Supreme Court.
Jon Ossoff, Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico headline the Senate race. If no one wins a majority, the top two contenders will return in an Aug. 11 runoff. Democrats hope to be competitive in both the Perdue race, as well as a November special election to fill the last two years of the term of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a race in which Kelly Loeffler currently holds the seat by appointment.
Ossoff, having lost an expensive House special election to Karen Handel in 2017, has used name recognition and money to lead the contest, moving to the left since the 2017 race. He argues that a focus on fighting corruption distinguishes him from other Democrats and has focused his fire on Perdue. Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, argues that she’s a more experienced politician who can attract voters statewide. Amico, her party’s 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor, focuses on business experience and appeals to union members.
Here’s a look at other races:
Republican Karen Handel is running against four other Republicans, arguing she should get a rematch with first-term Democratic incumbent Lucy McBath. Her opponents, including Mykel Lynn Barthelemy, Blake Harbin, Joe Profit and Paulette Smith, argue the former Georgia secretary of state isn’t the right candidate to face McBath after losing to her in 2018. McBath has no opponents for the Democratic nomination in the 6th District, which includes northern Fulton and DeKalb counties and eastern Cobb County.
Both Republicans and Democrats have competitive primaries in the 7th District, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall isn’t seeking another term. Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wants her party to give her another shot at the seat in parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties after she lost to Woodall by fewer than 500 votes in 2018. Other Democrats state Sen. Zahra Karinshak, state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, former Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves, progressive activist Nabilah Islam and 2016 Democratic nominee Rashid Malik. On the Republican side, state Sen. Renee Unterman and physician Rich McCormick are seen as front-runners. Like McCormick, businessman Mark Gonsalves and former Home Depot executive Lynne Homrich are pitching themselves as outsiders. Other Republicans include Lisa Babbage, Zachary Kennemore and Eugene Yu.
With U.S. Rep. Doug Collins running for Senate, nine Republicans seek one of the nation’s most reliably GOP seats. They include former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, state Sen. John Wilkinson, state Reps. Matt Gurtler and Kevin Tanner, lawyer Ethan Underwood and gun dealer Andrew Clyde. Also running are Michael Boggus, Maria Strickland and Kellie Weeks. The Republican nominee will face the winner of a three-way Democratic contest among Devin Pandy, Brooke Siskin and the Rev. Dan Wilson. The district covers all or part of 20 counties in northeast Georgia.
Nine Republicans want to succeed U.S. Rep Tom Graves in northwest Georgia’s 14th congressional district, after Graves announced he would step down. Neurosurgeon John Cowan and businessperson Marjorie Taylor Greene have led fundraising. Others include former state schools Superintendent John Barge, state Rep. Kevin Cooke and former state Rep. Bill Hembree. Also running are car dealer Matt Laughridge, Republican Party official Andy Gunther, former assistant district attorney Clayton Fuller, and business owner Ben Bullock. The Republican nominee will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal. The district covers all or part of 12 counties in northwest Georgia.
OTHER CONGRESSIONAL RACES
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter faces challengers Danny Merritt and Ken Yasger in the Republican primary in the coastal 1st District, while Democrats will choose among Lisa Ring, Joyce Marie Griggs and Barbara Seidman.
In southwest Georgia’s 2nd District, GOP activists Don Cole and Vivian Childs are competing to face longtime incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop.
Incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson has two primary challengers — contractor William Haston and attorney Elaine Amankwah Nietmann — in suburban Atlanta’s 4th District.
Civil rights leader and 17-term representative John Lewis faces Barrington Martin II in the Democratic primary in Atlanta’s 5th District.
In middle and south Georgia’s 8th District, incumbent Republican Austin Scott faces Army veteran Daniel Ellyson and business owner Robert Vance Dean in a GOP primary.
In eastern Georgia’s 10th District, screenwriter Andrew Ferguson and 2018 nominee Tabitha Johnson-Green are contesting the Democratic primary to face incumbent Republican Jody Hice.
Liz Johnson, 2018′s Democratic nominee for state insurance commissioner, is facing retired attorney Dan Steiner in the Democratic primary in eastern Georgia’s 12th District. Incumbent Republican Rick Allen awaits the winner.
Metro Atlanta’s 13th District has Democratic and Republican primaries. Incumbent Democrat David Scott is challenged by former state Rep. Keisha Sean Waites, lawyer Jannquell Peters and Marine Corps veteran and 2014 candidate Michael Owens. Republicans will choose engineer Caesar Gonzales or business consultant Becky Hites.
STATE SUPREME COURT
Lawyer and former state Rep. Beth Beskin is challenging incumbent Justice Charlie Bethel, while Dougherty County prosecutor and former local judge Hal Moroz competes against incumbent Sarah Warren.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Environmental advocate Daniel Blackman and energy efficiency consultant John Noel seek the Democratic nomination for the state Public Service Commission. Although the two must live in District 4, which covers northern and eastern parts of Georgia, the race is on the ballot statewide. Blackman lost to incumbent Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald in 2014, while Noel lost a Democratic primary for the utility regulatory commission in a different district in 2018.