Election 2022: Georgia’s down-ballot races take shape

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger became the most famous election official in America after he fended off overtures by former President Donald J. Trump in his attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 Presidential Election. In Trump’s quest to find 11,780 votes (the amount needed to beat President Joe Biden), Raffensperger stood his ground while facing death threats. During Tuesday night’s primary election, the incumbent Raffensperger decisively beat Trump-backed U.S. Rep Jody Hice.

On the Democratic side, Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen is leading Dee Dawkins-Haigler by more than a 2-to-1 margin. However, Nguyen has not crossed the 50% plus one threshold to avoid a runoff. 

Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen attends a fundraiser in her honor at Establishment in Midtown Atlanta on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Nguyen is running for Georgia’s Secretary of State. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“Georgians deserve a Secretary of State who will fight for the right of every eligible voter to make their voices heard at the ballot box, regardless of their party affiliation, zip code, or the color of their skin. I’m running to be Secretary of State because our basic civil liberties begin at the ballot box,” Nguyen said. “For too long in Georgia, we have seen Georgia Republicans make it harder for Black and brown Georgians, working people, people with disabilities, young voters, and those who disagree with them to cast a ballot, just so they can stay in power at all costs. As Secretary of State, I will protect the freedom to vote for all eligible Georgians.”

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams wins 5th District Primary

Incumbent Nikema Williams easily won the U.S. 5th District Primary by carrying 86% of the vote. After 18 months on the job, Williams will once again represent the City of Atlanta in the United States Congress. 

“I’m ready to face the voters in November so that we can continue to do the work of the people,” Williams told The Atlanta Voice. “I’m in Washington to represent the good people of Georgia’s Fifth District. And with 88% of the vote so far going my way, I think the people of the fifth district are ready to see me back in action, delivering for them.”

U.S. Army Veteran Marcus Flowers, left, takes a photo with Devin Pandy at the Democratic Party of Georgia state dinner on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Atlanta. (Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Marcus Flowers will faceoff in Georgia’s 14th District

U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene raised $9 million and spent $6.6 million to fend off five challengers in her Republican Primary in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. In the end, Greene won the primary by carrying 69.5% of the vote. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Veteran Marcus Flowers has raised nearly $7 million in his primary. He won his primary election by carrying 74% of the vote, setting up a showdown with Greene. While the 14th District went overwhelmingly for former President Donald J. Trump in 2020, this district is overwhelmingly blue-collar, traits that Flowers has tapped into during his primary campaign. The 14th District contains portions of Western Cobb County and stretches to the northwest to the Tennessee border. 

Georgia Lieutenant Governor: Burt Jones vs TBD

Republican frontrunner, State Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, has served in the Georgia Legislature for ten years. As he seeks to hold the gavel, he is currently leading Senate Pro Tempore, Butch Miller, 50.1% to 31.1%. Jones is running on his ambition to repeal Georgia’s state income tax. At the time of publication, it appears Jones will have enough margin to escape a runoff. 

Meanwhile, former U.S. Congressman Kwanza Hall is leading the Democratic primary. However, Hall is only carrying 30.1% of the vote and is destined for a runoff election. Atlanta attorney Charlie Bailey currently is carrying 17% of the vote and in third place is State Representative Renitta Shannon with more than 14% of the vote. 

Photo of Georgia State Senator Jen Jordan (Photo courtesy: Jen Jordan)

Georgia Attorney General: Chris Carr vs Jen Jordan

Republican incumbent Chris Carr ran ads touting his ability to stand up to President Biden and Stacey Abrams. Also, Carr said he prosecuting human trafficking, a major talking point for Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp, while securing a $636 million opioid settlement, and defending the 2021 Georgia voting law. Carr coasted to victory during his primary, beating the Trump-backed John Gordon by nearly fifty points. Gordon ran because he believed Carr did not do enough to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.

In the Democratic primary, the popular Georgia State Senator Jen Jordan (pronounced Jer-Dun), is originally from South Georgia, but moved to Atlanta to practice law. In the Legislature, Jordan championed voting rights and criminal justice reform. Jordan easily defeated her opponent, Christian Wise Smith, by fifty-five points. 

In this image from video, Dr. Alisha Thomas Searcy, a Cobb County Democrat, sits for an interview at The Atlanta Voice Studios on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Photo: Trarell Torrence/The Atlanta Voice)

Richard Woods and Alisha Thomas Searcy will likely face off for Georgia State Superintendent

Incumbent Richard Woods won the Republican Primary in the Georgia State Superintendent race by carrying 72.61% of the vote. Woods beat opponent John Barge, who came out of retirement to challenge Woods. Woods has been the State Superintendent since 2015. Woods said he was the first statewide candidate to come out against critical race theory and divisive language in the schools, and supports parents’ rights in education.

Meanwhile, Searcy is a former Democratic state representative from Austell, has run a small charter school network and is now an educational consultant. Searcy is carrying 57% of the vote and appears close to securing victory. 

Georgia Labor Commissioner: Bruce Thompson vs TBD

Republican Bruce Thompson was a State Senator from White, Georgia and beat an intense bout with COVID-19 in March 2020. Famously, after he declared on Facebook he had a clean bill of health, Thompson drove to St. George to celebrate his self diagnosis. Presently, Thompson is beating challenger Mike Coan by a 2-to-1 margin.

On the Democratic side, State Representative William K. Boddie, Jr. is leading the group of five candidates in the primary. However, with 27% of the vote, Boddie is likely headed to a runoff. Nicole Horn is trailing Boddie by two points or by nearly 16,5000 votes.

Georgia’s partisan primary elections are designed to narrow down a field of candidates from each party to one nominee from each party. The nominees from each party will then face off in the November 8th general election for a given office. In Georgia, if a candidate does not meet the 50% plus one threshold after all of the votes are counted, a runoff election will take place June 21st. 

The post Election 2022: Georgia’s down-ballot races take shape appeared first on The Atlanta Voice.

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