May 24, 2022 - Politics

The 2022 Georgia primary is finally here

Pence and Kemp

Mike Pence joins Brian Kemp for a final rally Monday night. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Driving the news: Nearly 860,000 Georgians have already cast their ballots in this primary. Everyone else has the chance today when polls open from 7am to 7pm.

What we’re watching: A lot. Here are some themes:

The Trump endorsement

The former president has endorsed 13 candidates on Georgia’s ballot, from Senate all the way to insurance commissioner. But these primaries run the gamut, from crowded open seats to challenges to incumbents.

  • Will there be any clear throughline on how his preferred candidates fared?
  • Will Gov. Brian Kemp avoid a runoff with former Sen. David Perdue? A recent Fox News poll showed Kemp up by 30 points, which Perdue has insisted isn’t true.
  • Will Trump-backed Senate candidate and former football star Herschel Walker walk away with the Republican nomination, as he’s widely expected to? One of his opponents, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told the AJC he won’t support Walker if he does.
  • In the other statewide races, several Republican incumbents are fighting to fend off Trump-endorsed challengers, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Attorney General Chris Carr, and Insurance Commissioner John King.
  • Many national eyes will turn to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s primary, where she’s been confident she will easily defeat her opponents. Those opponents argue people in the 14th District are fed up with Greene.
  • We’re also tracking the GOP primaries in two open races in Republican-leaning Congressional districts, the 6th and the 10th, where former President Trump has made endorsements in crowded fields.
  • The open race for lieutenant governor has messy primaries on both sides of the aisle: On the GOP side, Trump has endorsed state Sen. Burt Jones, who’s competing against fellow state Sen. Butch Miller, among others.
Democratic battles:
  • In Atlanta area Democratic Congressional contests, we’ve got our eyes on the 7th District intra-party battle between Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux.
  • We’re also watching southwest Atlanta Rep. David Scott’s crowded primary. He was almost forced into a 2020 runoff, and his challengers are hoping to make more gains this year.
  • As we reported yesterday, Stacey Abrams-founded Fair Fight has made a major play in General Assembly Democratic primaries. How will their candidates fare?
  • The Democratic field in the lieutenant governor’s race is crowded with nine candidates, including former attorney general candidate Charlie Bailey and three sitting state representatives.
Elsewhere around Georgia …

The 2nd District in southwest Georgia is likely to be the only competitive race in November. That’s the seat held by Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop.

  • The crowded Republican primary features two leading candidates: Jeremy Hunt, a West Point graduate with major endorsements and outside money, and Chris West, a 2nd District native and businessman with Georgia Air National Guard experience.

Yes, but: In terms of something that may most tangibly affect your lives, at the very bottom of your ballot is… TSPLOST!

  • Atlanta voters will decide whether the city should renew a sales tax and take on debt to raise $750 million to fix roads and sidewalks, renovate fire stations and repair bridges.

Of note: Three of the four Cobb cityhood questions are on the ballot today: Vinings, Lost Mountain and East Cobb. We’ll be watching what Cobb voters decide.

What's next: Runoffs are scheduled for June 21.

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