Four days after qualifying for the May 22 primary election began with a plethora of candidates, March 8 and 9 were slow days regarding hopefuls filing their paperwork for the federal, state and county seats up for grabs. Only eight candidates qualified on the final two days.
Qualifying ran March 5 through 9. Those qualifying include both incumbents and other familiar faces.
In the gubernatorial race to replace Nathan Deal, who is term limited, Republicans Michael Williams (the District 27 Georgia senator), Eddie Hayes (a restaurant owner) and Marc Alan Urbach (an author) each qualified on the final day. No gubernatorial candidates qualified on Day 4.
Republicans Brian Kemp (the secretary of state) and Clay Tippins (a technology business executive) were the only candidates to qualify on Day 3. Republican Casey Cagle (the lieutenant governor) and former District 89 State Rep. Stacey Abrams. D-Atlanta, each qualified on Day 2. They joined former District 6 State Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna, and former District 42 State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, who qualified March 5.
In the Public Service Commission’s District 3 election, Democrats Johnny White and John Noel qualified on the third and fourth days, respectively. Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller each qualified on Day 2.
Also on Day 2, incumbent Republican Tricia Pridemore, of Marietta, qualified to run again for the commission’s District 5 seat. Former District 6 State Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, and Democrat Dawn Randolph, of Stockbridge, each qualified on Day 1 and John Hitchens III qualified on the final day.
None of the candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent and commissioner of labor qualifying this week are local ones.
In the local federal races, incumbent District 5 U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, qualified to run for reelection on the first day and is unopposed.
In the District 6 race, Democrat Lucy McBath, of Marietta, qualified on Day 4, joining Democrats Kevin Abel, of Atlanta, and Stephen Knight Griffin, who qualified on Day 3. Incumbent Karen Handel, R-Roswell, who defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special runoff election in June to replace Tom Price, qualified on the first day. So did Democrat Bobby Kaple, a Milton resident and former CBS 46 news anchor. Ossoff has already announced he is not running again this year.
Also, incumbent District 11 U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, qualified on Day 1, as did Democrat Flynn Broady, an attorney and Marietta resident. They won’t do battle until the general election.
In the local state lawmaker races, two familiar faces from November’s District 6 Senate special election to replace Hill after he resigned in August to run for governor have qualified. Incumbent Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, qualified on Day 3. Buckhead attorney Leah Aldridge, a Republican who finished third in the eight-person special election, qualified on the first day. Jordan, a Buckhead lawyer, defeated fellow Democrat Jaha Howard in a runoff in December. Also, Republicans John Gordon and Jamie Parrish qualified on Day 5.
In the District 32 Senate campaign, it will be a repeat of last year’s special election runoff to replace incumbent Judson Hill, R-Marietta, who resigned to run for the District 6 U.S. House seat. Incumbent Republican Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick, who won the May runoff after eight candidates ran in the general runoff the previous month, qualified on Day 1 along with her runoff opponent, Democrat Christine Triebsch, a lawyer and east Cobb resident. They won’t face off in the primary but will in the general election in November.
In the District 38 election, incumbent Horacena Tate, D-Atlanta, qualified to run again on the first day. Republican Travis Klavohn, of Mableton, qualified on Day 3, and Democrat Gabriel Lavine, of East Point, qualified on the following day.
In the District 56 campaign, Woodstock resident Patrick Thompson, a Democrat who lost to incumbent Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, in 2016, qualified on Day 2. Albers and two Democrats and fellow Roswell residents–Ellyn Jeager and Jim Guess Jr.–qualified on the first day.
In the Georgia House races, five candidates, including some familiar ones, have filed their paperwork in the campaign to replace incumbent District 40 Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, who is not seeking reelection. Republicans Matt Bentley and Taryn Bowman, both of Buckhead, qualified March 5, and Democrats Erick Allen, Sandra Bullock (not the actress) and Justin Patrick Gorman all of Smyrna, filed their documents March 5, 8 and 6, respectively.
Allen lost to Golick in the 2016 election for the same seat, Bowman was defeated by Nancy Meister in the 2013 Atlanta Board of Education election, and Bentley finished fifth in the eight-person District 6 Georgia Senate special election in November.
Also, two lawyers living in Sandy Springs–Republican Alex Kaufman and Democrat Josh McLaurin–qualified on Day 1 to replace incumbent District 51 Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, who is retiring.
In the District 52 election, incumbent Rep. Deb Silcox, R-Sandy Springs, qualified on the first day along with Republican Gavi Shapiro, of Sandy Springs, and Democrat Shea Roberts.
Incumbent District 53 Rep. Sheila Jones, D-Atlanta, qualified on Day 1 to run again and is unopposed.
In the District 54 race, Democrat Dan Berschinski, of Buckhead, qualified on Day 3. Incumbent Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, qualified on Day 1 along with two fellow Buckhead residents: Democrats Bob Gibeling and Betsy Holland. Gibeling lost to Beskin in the 2016 election.
In the District 80 election, Democrat Matthew Wilson, a lawyer, qualified on Day 1 and incumbent Meagan Hanson, R-Brookhaven, did so on the second day.
In the Fulton County Board of Commissioners campaign, no candidates qualified on the third day, and incumbent District 1 representative Liz Hausmann qualified on Day 2. Chair (District 7 at-large) Robb Pitts, a Democrat, qualified on the first day to run for reelection after winning a special runoff election in December. Democrat Keisha Waites, who he defeated in the runoff, also qualified. District 3 member Lee Morris also qualified on the first day.
Board members Bob Ellis (District 2), Natalie Hall (District 4) and Emma Darnell (District 6) are not up for reelection until 2020.
In the nonpartisan Fulton Board of Education election, no one qualified on Day 2, and Thomas Pemble qualified for the District 2 seat on the third day. But on Day 1, incumbent members Katie Reeves (District 2), Linda McCain (District 5) and Julia Bernath (District 7) each qualified, with all but Reeves unopposed. Incumbent District 6 rep Kimberly Dove, who was appointed to the post last year after Catherine Maddox resigned for health reasons, also qualified on the first day along with LaTonya Rogers.
Board members Katha Stuart (District 1), Gail Dean (District 3) and Linda Bryant (District 4) are not up for reelection until 2020.
In the nonpartisan Fulton County Superior Court judge races, no candidates qualified on Days 2, 4 and 5, and only one, incumbent Robert McBurney, did so on the third day, and he is unopposed. But on the first day, Bobby Wolf, Fani Willis and Kevin Farmer qualified to run to replace incumbent Tom Campbell, who is not seeking reelection. Incumbents Jane Barwick, Christopher Brasher, Kelly Lee Ellerbe, Craig Schwall and Paige Reese Whitaker also qualified on Day 1 to run again and have no opposition.
In the other Fulton judicial elections, incumbent State Court Judge Eric Richardson qualified on Day 3. Incumbent State Court Judge Jay Roth qualified on Day 2, and incumbent Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk and incumbent State Court Judge Fred Eady each qualified on the first day. Kirk will face Louis Levenson, who qualified on Day 5, but the rest of the judges are unopposed.
Walter Rekuc Jr., the incumbent Fulton district supervisor of soil and water conservation, qualified on Day 3. He will face Chattahoochee Riverkeeper leader Jason Ulseth, of Alpharetta, who qualified on the last day.
The runoff for the May 22 primary election, if needed, is set for July 24. The general election will be Nov. 6, with that runoff, if needed, scheduled for Dec. 4 for non-federal races and Jan. 8 for federal ones.