Primary Election Recap
Tuesday, May 24 was Primary Election Day in Georgia. As of this morning on May 25, roughly 98% of precincts statewide had completed their reporting; current vote tallies may not include absentee or provisional ballots. Here are highlights from yesterday’s contests.
Shortly after 8:30pm, less than two hours after polls closed, media outlets called the Republican Governor’s race for incumbent Brian Kemp. His win over former US Senator David Perdue was stronger than recent polling suggested, with Kemp amassing 74% of the vote. Stacey Abrams secured her spot as the Democratic Party’s nominee without an intraparty contest, setting up a rematch of Georgia’s 2018 General Election.
A mind-boggling 14 candidates qualified for the state’s second-in-command after Geoff Duncan announced he would not seek a second term. Trump-backed state Senator Burt Jones narrowly avoided a runoff against former Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller. On the Democratic side, former Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall and lawyer Charlie Bailey will face off in a June 21 runoff, after neither secured more than half of the votes cast yesterday.
Secretary of State
Incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger bested three challengers yesterday, including Trump-endorsed Congressman Jody Hice. Current House member Bee Nguyen and former House member Dee Dawkins-Haigler will go head-to-head in a Democratic Primary Runoff to determine who will face Raffensperger in November.
Incumbent Republican Chris Carr survived a challenge and will face Democrat Jen Jordan in the General Election.
Insurance Commissioner John King faced voters for the first time yesterday since being appointed to his post by Governor Kemp in 2019. He won with 70% of the vote. The top two Democratic candidates are headed for a runoff; notably, House member Matthew Wilson received the fewest votes and will not complete in the runoff.
In the state Senate, sixteen incumbents faced a challenger. None were drawn into a runoff or outright defeated yesterday. The real action was in the ten open seats, which featured six current or former House members making a run for the upper chamber, including Democrat Derek Mallow in Savannah and Republicans Ed Setzler and Shelly Echols in Acworth and Gainesville, respectively. Republicans Mike Hodges and Jeff Jones will compete in a Runoff to represent the Brunswick area. 27 seats are contested in November’s General Election.
Six incumbent legislators were drawn into the same district following reapportionment in 2021, guaranteeing at least three incumbents would lose. The highest-profile loss is Republican Bonnie Rich, who serves as Majority Caucus Chair and was Chair of the House’s reapportionment committee in 2021. Rich lost to David Clark. Other victorious paired incumbents include Shelly Hutchinson in Snellville and Danny Mathis in Cochran. Incumbents Sheri Gilligan (R-Cumming) and Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) were both drawn into a June 21 Runoff. Tim Fleming, former Chief of Staff to Governor Kemp, and Doug Stoner, former state Senate member and PSC candidate, were both successful in yesterday’s primary and will go on to compete in the General Election.
Public Service Commission
Incumbent Republican Commissioners Fitz Johnson (District 3) and Tim Echols (District 2) both avoided challengers in yesterday’s primary race. Johnson will face Shelia Edwards in November. A last-minute ruling by a Fulton County Superior Court Judge caused some confusion in the District 2 Democratic race, although it appears Patty Durand is headed to the General Election to face Echols.
Federal: US Senate
Democrat US Senator Raphael Warnock was victorious in a January 2021 runoff to complete the remainder of former Senator Johnny Isakson’s term. Warnock stands for reelection again this cycle for a new six-year term. Trump-endorsed UGA football legend Herschel Walker routed the competition and will go head-to-head with Warnock in the General Election, in what is sure to be one of the most-watched (and expensive) US Senate races in the country.
Federal: US House
Incumbent Democrat Lucy McBath was drawn into incumbent Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux’s congressional seat during reapportionment. McBath challenged her colleague and won by a wide margin in District 7. Two open Congressional seats are headed for a runoff. Republicans Jake Evans and Rich McCormick will compete for the nomination in District 7. In District 10, both parties require a runoff; the Republican runoff will include Trump-endorsed Vernon Jones.
EVP, Chief of Staff, Government & Regulatory Relations