Georgia primary: A look at who’s running in the big races
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Early voting is underway in Georgia and the primary election will take place May 24 in the state.
Here’s a look at the big races and who’s running:
- Gov. Brian Kemp – Kemp is running for re-election. Kemp is a conservative Republican and recently signed bills banning “divisive concepts” such as Critical Race Theory being taught in schools and a ban against transgender athletes.
- Catherine Davis – Life, Liberty and Leadership are the three words at the top of Davis’ website. She grew up in a home where Biblical conservative principles were the norm. She is described as a seasoned human resources professional and skilled program manager.
- Kandiss Taylor – Taylor’s website says she is the candidate for “We The People” and is promoting morality over money. Her slogan is “Jesus, Guns and Babies.”
- Former Sen. David Perdue – Perdue is backed by former President Donald Trump. He describes himself as the “original outsider” because he was the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress when he was elected in 2014. Perdue says he will secure the election process, eliminate state income tax, empower parents in classrooms, enact term limits and more.
- Tom Williams – Williams describes himself as a “true political outsider” and is running on the platform that he will protect election integrity, uphold the law, fight against radical Democrats and their enablers, defend working people and children and defend Georgia women and girls.
- Stacey Abrams – Abrams has held multiple leadership positions in the small business, nonprofit and government sectors. She ran in 2018 for governor but did not succeed. Her website has a long list of things she has done to help people, including helping to raise funds to provide $1,000 checks to 100,000 families in need in Georgia.
- Gary Black – Black is the current Georgia agriculture commissioner. He says he has championed innovation, solutions and growth in Georgia’s largest industry for 40 years.
- Josh Clark – Clark is a Christian conservative activist and former Georgia state representative. Clark says he is fighting for family values.
- Kelvin King – King says that Biden is wrecking our economy and creating a crisis at the border. King is the owner of a construction company and a veteran of the United States Air Force.
- Jonathan McColum – McColum is an Army veteran with 35 years in the service and ordained minister. McColum wants to help unite Georgia citizens under the theme: God - Country - Family.
- Latham Saddler – Saddler is a former Navy SEAL officer and director of intelligence in the Trump White House.
- Herschel Walker – The UGA football legend is backed by former President Trump and is a cultural conservative. Although he is leading in the polls and is expected to win the primary, he faces stiff competition from incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock.
- Tamara Johnson-Shealey – Shealey is a business owner and an advocate for the business industry. She has lived in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties for 26 years. Her journey in politics began when she became concerned about federal tax policies imposed on her business.
- Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock – Warnock is the incumbent and a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Warnock has been an advocate to expand health care coverage and ensuring hardworking Georgians can earn a living wage.
- Sen. Burt Jones – Jones has been a state senator since 2013 and a former UGA football player. He is a pro-Trump conservative and is endorsed by the former president.
- Mack McGregor – McGregor is a former U.S. Marine who believes it’s time to bring back our “God-given rights that are being stripped away from us daily.”
- Sen. Butch Miller – Miller is the president pro tempore of the Georgia Senate. He describes himself as a “true conservative” and small businessman who is not afraid to fight for Georgia values.
- Jeanne Seaver – Seaver is a conservative activist, a child advocate, a nonprofit founder and a businesswoman. She was an early Trump supporter and worked for his campaign.
- Rep. Erick Allen – Allen has been a member since 2019. Allen believes in healthcare justice, economic justice, voting justice, education justice and environmental justice.
- Charlie Bailey – Bailey is an attorney who was the nominee for the attorney general in 2018. Bailey wants to build One Georgia where every person can expect to leave a better life with more opportunities for their kids than they had.
- Tyrone Brooks Jr. – Brooks is the son of former Georgia Rep. Tyrone Brooks Sr. He says he will be committed to facilitating the discussion between the private sector, public schools, technical colleges, local chambers of commerce and municipalities.
- Tony Brown – Brown is a former candidate for sheriff in Henry County. He is also a veteran and a Full Gospel minister.
- Former Rep. Kwanza Hall – Hall served briefly as John Lewis’ temporary success in the U.S. House. Hall has been a member of the Atlanta City Council and Atlanta Board of Education.
- Jason Hayes – Hayes is a former state House candidate and a practicing physician. His priorities are education, voter protection, healthcare and economic growth.
- Rep. Derrick Jackson – Jackson has been a member of the Georgia House since 2017. He is a 22-year Navy veteran, adjunct professor, entrepreneur, and nonprofit board member.
- Dr. Rashid Malik – Malik immigrated from Bangladesh in 1979. He has lived in Atlanta since 1995. He lists healthcare, housing, education, environment and safety as his priorities.
- Rep. Renitta Shannon – Shannon has been a member since 2017. She describes herself as a progressive activist and is endorsed by the Working Families Party and several other progressive groups.
SECRETARY OF STATE
- Rep. Jody Hice – Hice is a current U.S. congressman who is pro-Trump and questioned the 2020 election. He says he wants to stand in the gap against the national takeover of elections and aggressively pursue voter fraud.
- T.J. Hudson – Hudson is a former probate and magistrate judge as well as county manager for Treutlen County. He says he’s the only candidate with hands-on experience supporting local elections staff and boards.
- David Belle Isle – Isle is a former mayor of Alpharetta. He attended law school at Georgia State University. He opened his own practice in Alpharetta in 2005. He served on city council before being elected as mayor in 2012.
- Sec. Brad Raffensperger – Raffensperger is the current secretary of state who defended the legitimacy of the 2020 election votes and backed the state’s new voter law. He is a structural engineer and lifelong conservative who moved to Georgia in 1982.
- John Eaves – Eaves is a former Fulton County Commissioner and a professor. He created a jail reentry program, established “My Brother’s Keeper, and secured funding for Grady Hospital.
- Floyd Griffin – Griffin is a former mayor of Milledgeville, state senator, U.S. Army colonel and a member of several community organizations.
- Dee Hawkins-Haigler – Hawkins-Haigler is an ordained minister, college educator, community activist and political strategist. She served as a state representative from June 2008 to January 2017.
- Michael Owens – Owens is a Marine veteran, cybersecurity expert and former chairman of the Cobb County Democratic Party. He says he will protect every citizen’s right to vote, increase voter registration, bolster the state’s cybersecurity and fix the election system.
- Rep. Bee Nguyen – Nguyen is the leading state Democrat and represents the 89th District. She previously worked in public schools. She made history when she was elected as the first Asian American Democratic woman to the Georgia General Assembly.
- Chris Carr – Carr is the current attorney general. Carr claims he has protected Georgians’ lives, livelihoods and liberties and has led the fight against the liberal Stacey Abrams-Joe Biden agenda.
- John Gordon – Gordon is a former Bibb County prosecutor who says he is running to restore election integrity.
- Sen. Jen Jordan – Jordan, who is the current state senator for the 6th district, says she’ll fight to give people who need a far shot to get ahead a voice. She will also defend voting rights.
- Christian Wise Smith – Smith is a former prosecutor for Fulton County and he believes that God created all people equal and that justice and opportunity should exist for all.
- Sen. Tyler Harper – Harper is a state senator for the 7th district. He is running unopposed to succeed Gary Black.
- Rep. Winfred Dukes – Dukes has been a member of the house since 1997 and represents the 154th district. Dukes wants to create good-paying jobs with benefits in agriculture and profitable farms throughout the states.
- Nakita Hemingway – Hemingway is an entrepreneur, realtor and cut-flower farmer. She is also an active member in the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Federation of Democratic Women and the Georgia Farm Bureau.
- Fred Swann – Swann is a small business owner who grew up outside Macon where he learned how agriculture can transform families and communities.
- Ben Cowart – Cowart does not have a campaign website.
- John King – King is the current Georgian Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner. He was Doraville’s police chief for 17 years.
- Patrick Witt – Witt was a member of Donald Trump’s legal team in Georgia during the 2020 election. Under Trump, he served as deputy chief of staff and acting chief of staff of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management where he helped advance Trump’s America First agenda.
- Raphael Baker – Baker says he witnessed the failures of the healthcare system in Georgia during his business partner and best friend’s battle against kidney failure. Baker is a business owner, philanthropist, author, mentor and family man and has been in the insurance industry for 20 years.
- Janice Law Robinson – Robinson is an insurance industry veteran. She is also a published author and devoted mother.
- Rep. Matthew Wilson – Wilson has been a member of the Georgia House since 2019. He is an attorney and consumer rights advocate.
STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
- John Barge – Barge was the school superintendent from 2011-2015. Barge says he wants to restore the foundation, rebuild the Department of Education, and renew trust in the school systems.
- Richard Woods – Woods is the current school superintendent. Woods says he has raised teachers’ pay, protected the rights of parents, ensured kids’ learning materials are age-appropriate and promoted unity over divisiveness.
- Currey Hitchens – Hitchens says she will focus on the well-being of students and teachers and make schools welcoming anti-racist safe places for all students.
- Dr. Jana Howard – Howard is a pediatric dentist who has a track record of advocacy for children and families as a dentist, business owner, community leader and elected official.
- James Morrow Jr. – Morrow has been a teacher for 25 years and is a coach. He is also the regional director for the Association of Professional Educators.
- Alisha Thomas Searcy – Searcy is a former state representative and served on the Education, Appropriations and Health & Human Services committees.
- Kartik Bhatt – Bhatt is a former animal control officer in Cobb County. Bhatt immigrated from India and lives in Acworth.
- Mike Coan – Coan is the former deputy commissioner in the Department of Labor and a former Georgia House representative. He is pro-life and pro 2nd Amendment.
- Sen. Bruce Thompson – Thompson represents the 14th district. He says his greatest accomplishment is raising his two children. He has been extensively involved in nonprofits and currently owns several businesses.
- Rep. William “Will” Bodie Jr. – Bodie represents the 62nd district and was the Democratic Party’s House Minority Whip from 2019-21. He says he decided to run when he saw the slow response from the Georgia Department of Labor during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Thomas Dean - Dean does not appear to have a website.
- Nicole Horn – Horn is a former Waffle House waitress and television reporter. She has owned her own business and served as a corporate executive. She says her experience has given her the ability to understand what people need.
- Sen. Lester G. Jackson II – Jackson represents the 2nd district. He is a former marine and the founder nationally-recognized Jackson Dental Center. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1998.
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