State Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat and attorney who represents part of Cobb County, announced Wednesday she is running for state attorney general against the Republican incumbent, Chris Carr.
Jordan enters the race with fellow Democrat Charlie Bailey, also an Atlanta attorney and former prosecutor, who lost to Carr in 2018 by about 100,000 votes.
Competition looks to be stiff between the Democratic nominee and Carr, who previously served as then-U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s chief of staff and as commissioner of the state Department of Economic Development.
Georgia Democrats have narrowed the playing field since 2018 amid changing suburban demographics and strong grassroots efforts that saw the party win the state’s presidential election and both U.S. Senate seats in the 2020 cycle.
Candidates are already mustering 2022 campaigns to compete for key statewide offices currently held by Republicans including governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state — though Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s office recently signaled he may not run for a second term.
Jordan’s announcement Wednesday came as a video highlighting her background of being raised by a single mother in rural Dodge County and her work in the state Senate, where she gained influence for loudly denouncing Georgia’s anti-abortion law, which was blocked in 2019 by a federal judge.
Carr, a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, looks to patch rifts among Republicans after avoiding attacks from Trump, who bashed Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not moving to intervene in the 2020 general election that Trump claimed was fraudulent.
Beyond federal issues, Carr has focused on bolstering Georgia’s efforts to crack down on gang crimes and human trafficking, as well as implementing protections for trafficking victims that state lawmakers passed in recent years.
His office was also tasked with appointing a new prosecutor to handle the high-profile shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick last year after it was revealed coastal Georgia district attorneys faced troubling conflicts of interest in the case.
More recent controversies are poised to follow Carr in his upcoming reelection campaign including ties to the Republican Attorneys General Association’s fundraising arm, which was accused of sending robocalls urging protests that led to Trump allies storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Carr, who chairs the association, denied any knowledge of or involvement in the robocalls.
With Trump’s support intact, Carr could avoid drawing the kind of serious primary challengers that Kemp and Raffensperger now face.
Raffensperger will have to fend off Republicans U.S. Rep. Jody Hice of Greensboro, who attacked his handling of the 2020 elections, and former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.
Kemp so far has drawn a Republican opponent in Appling County educator Kandiss Taylor and could face a slew of other primary challengers including former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Vernon Jones, a former Democratic state representative and DeKalb County CEO who switched parties last year.
Kemp would then face a likely rematch against Democrat Stacey Abrams, his 2018 gubernatorial opponent who narrowly lost election and has since devoted her time to voter registration and election-integrity issues.
The upcoming primary elections are set for May 24, 2022, and the general elections are set for Nov. 8, 2022.