The national pushback from 14th District Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s inflammatory and conspiracy-laden social media activity appears to have energized potential candidates to begin campaigning for her seat.
Only just over a month in office, several potential candidates have said they’ll seek her post in Congress next year.
In contrast, former Northwest Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Graves didn’t field any strong opposition during his decade in office. It wasn’t until Graves announced he would retire that a bevy of Republicans signed on as candidates, including some from outside the district, like Greene.
At that point, there wasn’t much push from the Democratic side to field a candidate. One showed up, and then later dropped out due to family-related issues. That left the Democratic Party without a candidate just past the cutoff date.
So far, this time around, there already have been at least two Democrats, and potentially more, seeking to run.
Brittany Trambauer-Smith from Dallas, Ga., has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission. Another Democrat, Marcus Flowers from Bremen, Ga., told 11 Alive News that he also has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to explore a campaign for the seat.
There also have been rumblings from the Republican side. Her former runoff opponent, Rome neurosurgeon Dr. John Cowan, has been active politically and in the media.
He’s given a number of interviews to national and international media organizations regarding the district recently, but would only say he was “undecided” when asked on Monday, Feb. 8, if he would run again.
Greene was removed from her posts on the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee on Feb. 4 for spreading inflammatory and conspiracy-laden social media posts. She remained defiant during a Friday, Feb. 5, press conference and has continued to be vocal on her social media accounts.
“The Media Mob, the Silicon Valley Cartel, the Dangerous Democrats, & the RINO Never Trumpers are ALL pushing the Republican Party to move on and away from President Trump,” she said in a tweet posted Monday, Feb. 8. “Mark my words. We will NEVER leave him. All elected Republicans that are against him seal their own fate.”
A big factor concerning the seat is up in the air — what the 14th District will look like after redistricting takes place later this year.
The U.S. Census Bureau is set to release state figures soon and they’re estimating the population in Georgia has grown by around a million people since the 2010 Census. Once released, the Republican-dominated state legislature will then draw up the district maps for the next decade.
Georgia currently has 14 of the House’s 435 seats and may not get more, despite population growth. That means district borders will be shifted to divvy up the population equally among the existing districts.
Up and down ballot challenges galore
The buildup to what’s expected to be a political free-for-all in 2022 isn’t limited to the 14th District. Top Republicans in the state are likely to face challenges from within their party as well as from the outside — and let’s not forget there will be a U.S. Senate seat in contention again.
Former president Donald Trump has continued to target fellow Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. He encouraged former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to take on Kemp and repeatedly bashed the governor on Twitter, prior to being banned from the social media platform.
Kemp’s challenge could potentially come from “state Sen. Burt Jones, a wealthy Republican aligned with Trump,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
That’s not to speak for others in Georgia’s GOP who are likely to face challenges from inside their own party — like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Raffensperger and his staff adamantly defended the results of the presidential election in Georgia, which Trump lost by a slim margin, as well as the integrity of the state’s voting system.
Trump repeatedly aired false claims that there was widespread voter fraud and was recorded in a phone call, which Raffensperger released to the Washington Post, telling the elections chief to find votes to overturn the election.
Regardless, the main event appears to be a rematch between Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, who Kemp very narrowly defeated in 2018.
Abrams, who organized voter turnout campaigns that benefited the Democratic Party in the November election and January Senate runoff, has not yet announced an intention to run for governor.
However, if she does, she’ll be running alongside newly elected Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Warnock, a Democrat from Atlanta, beat out Kemp’s GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler for the post.
But he’s serving the balance of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, which expires in January 2023.
While U.S. senators have six-year terms, every two years the members of one class, about one-third of the Senate, face election or reelection.
Warnock’s most likely opponent at this point is Collins, who has said he is considering another run for the seat. Collins ran for the seat in the free-for-all primary, vying against both Loeffler and Warnock and then conceding defeat.