Jun 10, 2024 - Election

Early voting 101 for Georgia's primary runoff

Animated illustration of the state of Georgia rotating to reveal a checkmark over a divided red and blue background with elements of ballots.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Early voting for the June 18 primary runoff begins Monday, so we're highlighting Georgia's statewide races, as well as some key races in metro Atlanta.

Why it matters: A runoff is held a few weeks after a primary election if a candidate fails to get a majority of the votes (50% plus one).

  • Runoffs have the two top candidates to ensure only one gets the most votes.

How it works: As an "open primary" state, Georgians can choose to vote on either a Democratic, Republican, or nonpartisan ballot ahead of the Nov. 5 general election. The party choice can be different each time the Georgian votes in a primary election.

  • Nonpartisan ballots do not include any of the party races. It only has races that are not determined by party, such as judges.
  • You can participate in the runoff only of the party you choose during a primary, but you're not restricted by party during November's general election.
  • Primaries also decide the winner of the race in situations where there are no other candidates in the opposing political party.

Congressional candidates

3rd Congressional District: Former Trump aide Brian Jack and former state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) are competing for the GOP nomination.

  • They want to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-The Rock).
  • The winner will face Democratic nominee Maura Keller in November.

14th Congressional District: Consultant Clarence Blalock faces retired Army general Shawn Harris for the Democratic nomination.

  • The winner will face U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in November.

Statehouse candidates

House District 96: Arlene Beckles and Sonia Lopez are running for the seat held by retiring state Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth).

House District 180: Incumbent Rep. Steven Sainz (R-Woodbine) faces retired Naval officer and airline pilot Glenn Cook.

Senate District 7: J. Gregory Howard is going against fellow Republican Fred Clayton.

  • The winner faces incumbent Nabilah Islam Parkes (D-Duluth) in November.

Senate District 34: Former state Rep. Valencia Stovall and Kenya Wicks are contending to replace retiring state Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale).

Senate District 38: Democrats RaShaun Kemp and former state Rep. Ralph Long III are vying to replace retiring incumbent Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta).

Senate District 55: Former state Rep. Randal Mangham and Iris Knight-Hamilton face off to replace retiring incumbent Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain).

Local candidates

Clayton County: Incumbent Sheriff Levon Allen faces fellow Democrat and challenger Jeff Turner.

  • Allen became the sheriff in a narrow 2023 runoff. He was sworn in as Clayton's interim sheriff in December 2022.
  • Turner has been the Clayton County commission chair for more than a decade. He previously served as the county's first Black police chief.

DeKalb County: Democrats Lorraine Cochran-Johnson and Larry Johnson are vying for the chief executive officer seat held by outgoing incumbent Michael Thurmond.

Fulton County: Democrat Natalie Hall, the incumbent, will face Mo Ivory for the District 4 commissioner seat.

  • Hall was elected in 2020 and won a special election for the seat in 2017.
  • Ivory is a Georgia State University law professor and entertainment lawyer.

What's next: Friday is the last day for early voting.


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