Republicans sweep Georgia state offices, hold Legislature

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 1:46 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 11:40 AM EST
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ATLANTA - Republicans swept to victories in all the statewide offices on Tuesday’s ballot except U.S. senator, keeping Democrats shut out for the fourth straight four-year cycle on the state level, despite Democrats’ breakthrough on the federal level in 2020.

Republicans also maintained their majorities in Georgia’s Legislature on a day when all 180 House seats and all 56 Senate seats were up for election. Republicans won 33 Senate seats, while in the House, they won 98 seats and were leading in three other races that The Associated Press had not yet called Wednesday.

After a 19-month battle, Democrat Jen Jordan conceded in the attorney general election against incumbent Republican Chris Carr.

“It has been my greatest honor to be Georgia’s Democratic nominee for attorney general. Although this chapter has come to an end, the fight for a safer, more equitable Georgia continues,” Jordan said in a statement.

As of Wednesday morning, Jordan had earned 1,815,849 votes, 47%, compared to Carr’s 2,015,910 votes, 52%, and Libertarian Martin Cowen’s 59,571 votes, 2%.

“I’m incredibly grateful and uplifted by the support of more than 2 million of my fellow Georgians in this election,” said Carr. “Working with Gov. Brian Kemp and the General Assembly, we have accomplished so much in recent years, from keeping businesses and schools open to prosecuting criminal gangs and human traffickers.”

He said he ran for re-election because there was still a lot to get done, “and I’ll never tire in my efforts to keep Georgians safe, uphold the rule of law and create a climate where our citizens who work hard are able to prosper.”

Republican incumbents defended three other statewide offices:

  • Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger beat Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen and Libertarian Ted Metz.
  • State School Superintendent Richard Woods defeated Democrat Alisha Thomas Searcy.
  • Insurance Commissioner John King beat Democrat Janice Laws Robinson.

Three Republican state senators won the other downballot statewide offices. Burt Jones will preside over the state Senate as the next lieutenant governor after overcoming Democrat Charlie Bailey and Libertarian Ryan Graham. Tyler Harper was elected agriculture commissioner against Democrat Nakita Hemingway and Libertarian David Raudabaugh. Bruce Thornton will be the next labor commissioner after defeating Democratic state Rep. William Boddie and Libertarian Emily Anderson.

Democrats recruited their strongest statewide field in a decade, with nominees that drew national notice, including state Nguyen, who sought to leverage her party’s outrage over Georgia’s restrictive voting law to raise money nationwide, and Jordan, who ran for attorney general after a raising her profile as a defender of abortion rights.

Heading into Tuesday’s election, Republicans had a 103-76 majority in the House after Democrat Henry “Wayne” Howard of Augusta died in October. In the Senate, Republicans held a 34-22 majority. However, Republicans redrew district lines to create more Democratic-leaning seats and bolster their incumbents, so some losses were expected.

Republicans won the majority in the state Senate when several Democrats switched parties after the 2002 elections and won the majority in the House in 2004.

Democrats were hoping to gain in the General Assembly after redistricting. Fair Districts Georgia, a group that opposes gerrymandering, projected that Republicans had the advantage in 98 of the new state House districts drawn by a Republican majority last year, while Democrats had the advantage in 82 districts.

Republicans, though, held or took over several districts drawn to favor Democrats.

Here’s a look at key results:

Statewide offices

  • Attorney general: Chris Carr (R) 2,015,910, 52%; Jen Jordan (D) 1,815,849, 47%, and Martin Cowen (L) 59,571, or 2%.
  • Lieutenant governor: Burt Jones (R) 1,998,082, 51%; Charlie Bailey (D) 1,806,256, 46%; Ryan Graham (L), 84,662, 2%
  • Secretary of state: Brad Raffensperger (R) 2,074,316, 53%; Bee Nguyen (D) 1,712,311, 44%; Ted Metz (L) 108,433, 3%
  • Agriculture commissioner: Tyler Harper (R) 2,052,076, 54%; Nakita Hemingway (D) 1,741,208, 45%; David Raudabaugh (L) 84,866, 2%
  • Insurance commissioner: John King (R) 2,093,182, 54%; Janice Laws Robinson (D) 1,777,614, 46%
  • Schools superintendent: Richard Woods (R) 2,108,838, 54%; Alisha Thomas Searcy (D) 1,780,644, 46%

State questions

  • Referendum B - family farm tax exemption: Yes, 2,878,375, 76%; No, 885,411, 24%
  • Constitutional Amendment 1 - suspend pay for indictment: Yes, 3,368,039, 88%; No, 438,759, 12%
  • Constitutional Amendment 2 - damaged property tax relief: Yes, 3,514,436, 92%; No, 311,609, 8%
  • Referendum A - timber tax exemption: Yes, 2,209,044, 59%; No, 1,535,071, 41%

State Legislature, local races

  • State Senate District 22: Harold Jones (D) 40,614, 70%; Andrew Danielson (R) 17,073, 30%
  • State House District 126: Gloria Frazier (D) 12,508, 59%; William Harris (R) 8,605, 41%
  • State House District 130: Lynn Gladney (D) 11,635, 67%; Dan Swenson (R) 5,660, 33%