The May 24 Georgia Primary Election A to Z

Now that the votes have been counted and the ballot for either June runoffs or November elections have been set, it’s time for a quick rundown of the election, its results, and some of the stories from a hard-fought campaign season.


All Incumbents in Statewide Offices won: If you were an incumbent in a statewide office, Tuesday was a good night for you. From the governor’s race all the way down the republican primary ticket from Governor to State School Superintendent, the current office holders won their primaries. Not only did they win the primary, all of the incumbents holding these Constitutional offices won with enough votes to avoid a runoff.


Brian Kemp won in a landslide: Despite Donald Trump’s criticism of Kemp and Trump’s throwing his support behind David Perdue, despite the fact that Kemp had four candidates running against him, Brian Kemp captured a whopping 73% of the vote. Out of 1.1 million Georgians who voted in the Republican Primary for governor, 883,118 voted for Kemp. This is an even higher total than when Kemp won in the 2018 primary, where he captured 69% of the vote.


Carolyn Bourdeaux loses her seat: It is a story of politics and redistricting. In an attempt to prevent District 6 Congresswoman Lucy McBath from winning reelection, Republicans added heavily Republican Forsyth County to her district. McBath, not willing to go quietly into the night, decided to run in the 7th district because you don’t actually have to live in the Congressional district you serve in. This set up a primary challenge between McBath and the current District 6 Congresswoman, Carolyn Boudeaux. McBath was always favored to win, and Bourdeaux could not overcome McBath’s popularity and reputation. McBath won the primary with 63% of the vote, unseating Bourdeaux in the process.


Donald Trump’s Influence in Georgia is waning: Donald Trump endorsed several candidates in Georgia, but his recommendations got diminishing returns. Trump favorite Herschel Walker won the Republican senate race, but Walker’s celebrity could have won him the race anyway. Walker is UGA gold in this state. Trump pick Burt Jones won the primary for Lieutenant Governor, of course, there was no incumbent and his name was the first one on the ballot so it isn’t exactly a test of Trump’s political prowess either. In the big races, Trump’s picks were shot down by Georgia voters. David Perdue lost to Brian Kemp in the governor’s race. In a real test of Trump’s influence, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who ardently stood by Georgia’s 2020 election results, defeated Trump-endorsed challenger Jody Hice. Trump also backed Attorney General candidate John Gordon, who lost handily to incumbent Chris Carr.


Every Cobb Cityhood initiative on the ballot failed: Voters in Cobb County rejected cityhood across the board. East Cobb, Vinings and Lost Mountain voters all voted no to the question of whether or not they wanted their communities to become cities.


Five candidates ran for Secretary of State on the Democratic Ballot: The race for Secretary of State on the Democratic side of the ticket wasn’t as cut and dry as the Republican ticket. While Bee Nguyen held her position as front-runner throughout the race, she didn’t get enough votes against the four other candidates to avoid a runoff. It was unclear whether Nguyen would face Dee Hawkins-Haigler or Michael Owens in the runoff, but in the end Dawkins-Haigler squeaked by with 18.6% of the vote to Owens’ 16.4%. Owens, Floyd Giffin, and John Eaves are out of the race.


Georgia looks more red than purple: 1.1 million voters chose the Republican ballot. 719,457 chose the Democratic ballot. While some of those with Republican voters could have been crossover voters — Democrats voting against people they don’t want to see on the ballot in November — it appears Democrats will have an uphill battle to convince voters to vote blue in November. Despite the tight gubernatorial race in 2018 between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams, and despite going for Biden in the presidential race, Georgia is still very much a red state.


Harper will face Hemingway in November: In the Republican Primary for Commissioner of Agriculture, Tyler Harper ran unopposed and is the Republican nominee for Commissioner of Agriculture. He will face Democrat Nakita Hemingway, who won the Democratic primary with 56% of the vote, in November.


Incumbent who chaired redistricting committee lost on map she helped create: Republican state representative Bonnie Rich lost her primary to David Clark. The irony in this defeat is that Rich was the chair of the GOP redistricting committee.


Jeff Davis voters approve SPLOST measures: Voters in Jeff Davis County voted 66% in favor of two Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax initiatives. The first was a Transportation tax and the second was a General Obligation and Education tax.


King wins Commisioner of Insurance primary: Incumbent insurance commissioner John King won the republican primary for insurance commissioner with 70% of the vote. The Democratic side of the ticket will head to a runoff between Janice Laws Robinson and Raphael Baker.


Labor commissioner: Current Labor Commissioner Mark Butler decided not to run for a fourth term in the office. This left a wide open primary on both sides of the political aisle. Republicans decisively voted for Bruce Thompson, who walked away with 68% of the vote. Democrats were not as decisive. William Boddie Jr., who got 27% of the vote will head to a runoff next month with Lester G. Jackson III who got 26% of the vote. Regardless of who faces Thompson in November, Georgia will have a new labor commissioner.


Marjorie Taylor Greene overcomes challengers: Being an incumbent with five challengers in your own party would indicate a lack of popularity in the district. Not so for Georgia’s firebrand Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Despite having five challengers, Greene won the Republican Primary for District 14 with 69% of the vote. Her nearest competition was from Jennifer Strahan, who only captured 16% of the vote. Greene will go on to face Democrat Marcus Flowers in November, but if vote totals in the primary are any indication, Greene will win another term in Congress. Out of 103,677 votes cast in the Republican Primary for the seat, Greene captured 72,098 votes. Only 26,827 voters chose the Democratic ballot in the district. Of those, Marcus Flowers got 20,042 votes.


November 8 is the big day: While there will be runoffs on June, November 8 is the day when the primary races will come to fruition. November 8 is the date of the midterm elections when seats in Congress will be decided as well as all of the offices Georgians just voted for in the primaries.


October 11 is the last day to register for the November election: It is unlikely that you are not registered to vote if you are reading this and have come this far, but in case you aren’t registered and would like to vote in the November 8 election, you have until October 11 to register.


Patty Durand got the most votes in the Democratic primary, despite being disqualified: Patty Durand is a Democrat running for Public Service Commission District 2. Her house was in Gwinnett, and District 2 was redrawn to exclude Gwinnett County. So, Durand moved to Rockdale to continue her campaign. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ruled earlier this month that Durand was not qualified to run in District 2, but Durand was still on the ballot and won with 60% of the vote. Stay tuned for the outcome of this after the dust (and lawsuits) are settled.


Quitman County approves Transportation Investment Act: Voters in Quitman County voted 62% in favor of the Transportation Investment Act SPLOST. In other county wide races, Quitman voters reelected Incumbent County Commissioners and School Board members, all of whom were running unopposed.


Raphael Warnock will face Herschel Walker in November: The Georgia Senate race was decided fairly early election night. On the Democratic ballot, Raphael Warnock defeated Tamara Johnson-Shealey with 96% of the vote. On the Republican ballot, Hershcel Walker beat five challengers with 68% of the vote. In a similar story to other races from the primaries, there were more Republican ballots cast than Democrats. Walker got 800,418 votes and Warnock got 696,120 votes. The total number of Democratic votes cast was 724,850, which is less than Walker received in the Republican Primary.


State Senate District 2 will have a new state senator: State Senate District 2 Senator Lester Jackson ran unsuccessfully for Labor Commissioner, leaving his Coastal Georgia Senate seat open to contenders. After their primary victories, Republican candidate Clinton Young will face Democrat Derek Mallow in November.


Tift County incumbent heads to runoff: Tift County Commissioner Donnie Hester was the frontrunner int he primary for his seat, but didn’t get more than 50% of the vote. Hester got 49%. Hester will face James Edward Burroughs Jr. in a runoff.


U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson faces a Republican challenger: For decades, The Fourth Congressional District has been a Democratic stronghold. If you aren’t familiar, this is the district formerly occupied by Cynthia McKinney and currently occupied by Hank Johnson. Johnson ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, but will face Republican Johnathan Chavez in November. Chavez had a strong showing, with 78% of the vote, but not a strong turnout. In the heavily Democratic district, 83,756 voters chose the Democratic ballot and 27,592 chose the Republican ballot.


Voter turnout in early voting set records: All previous early voting records in the state were shattered this year. Turnout started high and continued that way through election day. Nearly 1.9 million Georgians voted in this election.


Woods wins big: State School Superintendent Richard Woods fended off a challenge from former superintendent John Barge. Wood won decisively with 72% of the vote and will face Alisha Thomas Searcy in November.


Turnout will be the X factor in November: In 2018, Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams had a close governor’s race. In 2020, Georgians voted for Joe Biden. As the Primary results indicate, more Republican ballots were cast than Democratic ballots. However, more people vote in general elections than primaries and the November election is a Congressional midterm election. Who votes and who stays home will determine the winners.


You can see all the election results: All the results from the primary are posted on the Secretary of State’s website. You can view them here.


Zach Procter faces Incumbent Gregg Kennard in November: Zach Proctor, a Republican and Gregg Kennard, a Democrat ran unopposed int he primary for State House District 101. The two will face each other in November. Kennard is the incumbent, but interestingly, got 3,255 votes in the primary. Procter got 4,013. This is a quirk of redistricting. Kennard is the incumbent for District 102, but is now running in District 101.

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