Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) had already drawn a 2020 primary challenger, former Cobb County Democratic Party chairman and 2014 congressional candidate Michael Owens, but now former East Point Mayor Jannquell Peters has also joined the primary campaign. Ms. Peters weekend entry changes the campaign situation.
Instead of Owens going for an unlikely head-to-head win against Rep. Scott in the May 19th primary, the strategy now suggests the pair attempt to force him into a run-off and and then ultimately deny him re-nomination after the qualifier gains the initial momentum from holding the incumbent under 50%. Congressman Scott is still a heavy favorite to win outright in the May primary, but the additional candidate may change the race dynamics.
Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who appears to be the leading Democratic candidate to face first-term Sen. David Perdue (R), has drawn opposition from her ideological left. Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry (D), who campaigns as an unabashed liberal, announced that he, too, will run for the Senate next year. Clarkston is a city of only 7,900 people and lies just outside the eastern 285 loop that stretches around Atlanta.
Sarah Briggs Amico, who was the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor last November and lost 48-52%, is indicating that she will soon enter the 2020 Senate primary. In that contest she will face former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, and likely several others. The eventual party nominee faces an uphill campaign against first-term Sen. David Perdue (R). In late April, 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said that she would not run for Senate.
State Rep. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), lead sponsor of the Georgia’s heart beat pro-life legislation, announced that she will enter the open Republican primary in the 7th Congressional District. Sen. Unterman is the eighth Republican to announce, but the first elected official. She is vying to replace retiring Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville).
The 2018 race ended in only a 419-vote victory for Rep. Woodall, as he defeated former state Senate Budget Committee staff director Carolyn Bourdeaux (D). She is running again but has already drawn four Democratic primary opponents including state Rep. Brenda Lopez (D-Gwinnett) and former Fulton County Commission chairman John Eaves.
Former Rep. Karen Handel continues to draw Republican opposition. State Sen. Brandon Beach (R) was in the race before Handel, two Navy veterans, Ken Brown and Nicole Rodden, have previously declared, and now construction company owner Marjorie Taylor Greene said yesterday that she, too, will become a congressional candidate.
The eventual winner will face freshman Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta), who unseated Ms. Handel in November. At this point it appears that the former Congresswoman is favored for the nomination, but her competition is formidable and the outcome, at this point, could be in doubt.
Seeing Handel forced into a run-off, and then denied re-nomination in the secondary election is certainly within the realm of possibility. The Georgia state primary is May 19th, with a run-off, if no candidate receives majority support, scheduled for July 21st.
The idea that ex-US Rep. Karen Handel (R), a former Secretary of State and Georgia gubernatorial candidate, would get a free ride for a re-match nomination against Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) is now an official pipe dream. After state Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) declared his candidacy even before Ms. Handel decided to run, we now see a Navy and Merchant Marine veteran coming forth. Yesterday, Nicole Rodden, who will be a first-time candidate, made public her intention to run.
Ms. McBath unseated then-Rep. Handel, by one percentage point, or 3,264 votes from more than 317,000 ballots cast. We can now expect a competitive Republican primary to ensue as well as a tough general election contest.
We remember Democrat Jon Ossoff who raised a record amount of money for his 2017 special election in Georgia’s 6th District, a race he lost to Republican Karen Handel. Though winning the special election and overcoming his $31.6 million treasury, Ms. Handel could not hold the seat in the regular election, losing a one-percentage point result to current Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta).
Now Mr. Ossoff is toying with another candidacy, but this time it’s for the US Senate. Ossoff confirmed he is considering challenging Sen. David Perdue (R) now that 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) has decided not to run for the Senate. Already in the Democratic primary is Columbus former Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and several minor candidates.
Former Cobb County Democratic Party chairman Michael Owens announced that he will again challenge Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta) for re-nomination next year. Accusing Mr. Scott of straying from the party on too many key issues and supporting Republican candidates for certain races, Mr. Owens said he is again ready to forge a challenge to the nine-term Congressman.
The first time the two faced each other occurred in a 2014 primary election. Then, Rep. Scott thrashed Owens 82-18%, so the Congressman obviously begins this new campaign as a prohibitive favorite.
While still not ruling out that she will join the 2020 presidential field, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D) said she will not run for the US Senate next year. She had been publicly considering a challenge race against first-term Sen. David Perdue (R) and promised a decision by the end of April. Consistent with her stated schedule, Ms. Abrams announced yesterday that she will not be a candidate.
For the short term she will continue working with minority group Get-Out-The-Vote organizations and confirms that she is also considering gearing up to seek a re-match with Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in 2022. She lost the 2018 race by just under 55,000 votes statewide.
Now attention turns to former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (D), who said she would run for the Senate if Ms. Abrams did not. We can expect a formal candidacy declaration from her very shortly.
Over the weekend, state Rep. Brenda Lopez (D-Norcross), who originally indicated she wouldn’t run for Congress, has changed her mind and announced her candidacy. She becomes the sixth Democrat to enter the open seat race. The field includes 2018 nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux who lost the general election by a scant 419 votes, the closest raw vote election in the country.
Aside from Ms. Bourdeaux, former Fulton County Commission chairman John Eaves and now Rep. Lopez look to comprise the Democratic primary’s top tier. Chain business owner David Kim, who lost a close primary to Ms. Bourdeaux two years ago, is also returning to run again.
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville) is retiring. A large Republican field is also expected, but so far only one person, businesswoman Lynne Homrich, has announced.
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