Georgia Primaries: Democrats Choose Abrams while GOPers Move to Runoff
May 23, 2018 · 1:05 AM EDT
Governor. Open; Nathan Deal (R) term-limited. Democrats believed that demographics were shifting Georgia into their column right up until Donald Trump won it 51-46 percent in 2016. Now Democrats are hoping a midterm backlash against the president will give them their first gubernatorial victory in 20 years. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams became the first black woman to be the gubernatorial candidate for a major party, defeating former state Rep. Stacey Evans in the Democratic primary. There wasn’t a lot of difference between the two candidates on issues but Abrams did a better job of cultivating a national following, with endorsements from EMILY’s List and Hillary Clinton.
On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will progress to the July 24 runoff. Cagle made national news by threatening Delta Airlines for severing ties to the National Rifle Association after the Parkland, Florida shootings. If he wins the nomination, Democrats will make the case that his views put the state’s business interests in jeopardy (including its ability to attract the new Amazon headquarters), similar to the successful case they made in North Carolina in 2016. Republicans will attack Abrams for raising taxes and growing government. Rating: Likely Republican.
6th District (Karen Handel, R, elected 2017 special election 52%). Trump 48.3%. Jon Ossoff declined to take a second shot at the seat. Lucy McBath ($69,000 COH on May 2), the national spokesman for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, came in first place, and will progress to the July runoff along with Kevin Abel, the founder of a technology consulting company. Former local CBS anchor Bobby Kaple, who was once expected to be the nominee, fell short of the runoff. Handel ($795,000) can’t take the race for granted, but the Democratic nominee won’t have the advantage of being the focus of national attention and money like Jon Ossoff enjoyed in last year’s special election. Rating: Likely Republican.
7th District (Rob Woodall, R, re-elected 60%). Trump 51%. While the 6th gets most of the attention, some Democrats believe this is the better opportunity. The congressman had $483,000 in the bank on May 2, while Democrats Carolyn Bourdeaux and David Kim will progress to the runoff. Rating: Likely Republican.