As if you didn’t already know, today is election day across the state of Georgia. While the Atlanta mayoral race takes center stage, nine special elections for seats in the state house and senate are up for grabs as well – see below for a primer on the races and check back in tomorrow for the results.
House District 4: Democrat Peter Pociask joins Republicans Beau Patton, Eddie Caldwell, and Kasey Carpenter in the race to replace Bruce Broadrick, who resigned from office in September for health reasons. Pociask will hope to make it to a runoff as the Republicans split their vote, but the Dalton-based district is heavily red and should remain in the GOP’s hands.
House District 26: Republican Geoff Duncan resigned from this Cumming/Lake Lanier centered district to run for lt. governor. Another Republican lock, Republicans Marc Morris and Tina Trent will duke it out while Democrat Steve Smith attempts to sneak into a runoff.
House District 42: Democrats are guaranteed to take this left-leaning Cobb district, left vacant when Stacey Evans resigned to run for governor. Democrat Teri Anulewicz is the only candidate who filed to run for the seat.
House District 60: Even bluer than HD 42, Democrats De’Andre S. Pickett, Kim Schofield, and Sparkle Adams will fight it out to represent this South Atlanta district. The special election was called for when Keisha Waites resigned to run for chair of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
House District 89: Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams ran unopposed in this DeKalb district since first winning it in 2006. Now she’s out of the legislature and running for governor, but the Dems still won’t need to sweat this one. All four candidates running, Bee Nguyen, David Abbott, Monique Keane, and Sachin Varghese, are Democrats.
House District 117: Republican Regina Quick left the historically-red, Athens-based seat in August when she was appointed a superior court judge. Now Democrat Deborah Gonzalez and Republican Houston Gaines will duke it out in what has become a relatively contested district – Donald Trump carried it by just 5 points last year.
House District 119: Chuck Williams, another Republican, resigned from the seat upon being appointed director of the Georgia Forestry Commission in August. The neighboring district to HD 117 is a bit more red than its counterpart, as Republicans Lawton Lord, Marcus Wiedower, and Steven Strickland square off while Democrat Jonathan Wallace will hope to slide into a runoff in the midst of the carnage.
Senate District 6: Easily the most compelling of the races on the docket, SD 6 was vacated by Republican Hunter Hill, currently running for Governor. The district, spreading from South Cobb across Buckhead and into Sandy Springs, is one of the wealthiest in the state and has seen its demographics change drastically in recent years. While Mitt Romney carried the district 52%-47% in 2012, Hillary Clinton flipped the script in 2016, taking it by a shocking margin of 55% to 40%. The popular Hill managed to keep the seat by a three point margin, however, pointing to the fact that many moderate Atlanta Republicans didn’t particularly care for Donald Trump.
Sources tell IAG that early voting numbers have been low, particularly in Cobb, the more Democratic half of the district. That’s not surprising news considering there isn’t much else on the Cobb side of the ballot compared to Fulton, but it will be interesting to see which Republican candidate the solidly red Buckhead and Sandy Springs portions of the district get behind.
Senate District 39: Decidedly less interesting than SD-6, this south Atlanta race to replace mayoral candidate Vincent Fort features Republican Nick Carlson in a hopeless contest against Democrats Elijah Tutt, Linda Pritchett, Marckeith DeJesus, and Nikema Williams for the dark blue seat.