It was an exciting runoff night in Georgia, as several incumbents were knocked off and establishment and outside candidates locked horns in a pair of congressional races that will more than likely decide who will go to Washington D.C. in 2021.
U.S. House District 14 Republican
- North Georgia voters are notorious for their independent streak, and that was borne out in the GOP runoff as the controversial Marjorie Greene defeated Rome neurosurgeon John Cowan by a comfortable 60/40 margin. Her win will surely draw the attention of media nationwide, as many of her (likely) future House colleagues lined up to support Cowan after it was revealed she had promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory and made other incendiary statements on social media. Indeed the Georgia Democratic Party released a statement condemning Greene before 10:00pm on Tuesday night, calling her a “stain on their party.”
U.S. House District 9 Republican
- On the flip side, anti-establishment candidate state Rep. Matt Gurtler failed to capitalize on his primary momentum, falling to Athens gun store owner Andrew Clyde in Tuesday’s primary. Clyde will be heavily favored in his November race against Democrat Devin Pandy, who won his party’s runoff Tuesday as well.
State Senate District 31 Republican
- At the time of this writing former Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin trailed Paulding County School Board Member Jason Anavitarte by just 200 votes – observers note that Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s PAC contributed heavily for Anavitarte in the race.
- A pair of House incumbents were upset in runoffs Tuesday. In Stone Mountain’s HD 86, incumbent Democrat Michele Henson lost to challenger Zulma Lopez, while in HD 65 in Atlanta, incumbent Democratic Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague was knocked off by Mandisha Thomas.
Fulton County District Attorney
- Following incumbent DA Paul Howard’s recent string of scandals, it was no secret who the Atlanta legal community was backing in his runoff with challenger Fani Willis, and the race quickly turned into a blowout with Willis taking more than 70% of the vote.
Elections were reported to have gone relatively smoothly Tuesday, a good sign for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, although runoff elections of course have notoriously low turnout. The results also, thankfully, came in relatively early and without any major delays. Now the real test begins as the state moves towards the November general election, where new voting machines and election systems, not to mention coronavirus protocol, will be put to the test.
IAG will follow up on some of the other runoff results later in the week.