GA Voice

Get Ready to Vote: An Overview of the May 24 Primaries

- Katie Burkholder

May 24’s primary election will set the tone for the Governor’s race in November — a race that has already begun to garner national attention.

Stacey Abrams is the only candidate on the ballot for the Democratic nomination, but incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp has significan­t competitio­n for the Republican nomination. His most notable opponent is former Sen. David Perdue, who has received an endorsemen­t from former President Donald Trump. While Trump has explicitly spoken out against Gov. Kemp after he lost the Presidenti­al election in Georgia, calling him a “complete and total disaster,” Kemp has received an endorsemen­t from former Vice President Mike Pence.

Other Republican­s vying for Governor include Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor, and Tom Williams.

Because he was elected in a special election to fill out the term of the late Sen. Johnny Isakson, Raphael Warnock will be on the Democratic ballot against Tamara JohnsonShe­aley for the nomination for U.S. Senate. Those running for the Republican nomination are Gary Black, Josh Clark, Kelvin King, Jonathan McColumn, Latham Saddler, and Herschel Junior Walker.

The primaries will also determine the nominees for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Commission­er of Agricultur­e, Commission­er of Insurance, State School Superinten­dent, Commission­er of Labor, and several local positions. Judicial positions will be on the ballot in some counties, as well.

“Recent developmen­ts from SCOTUS show how important it is to have judges at every level of government that understand the lives of LGBTQ people — that’s one reason why we endorse in judicial races in addition to partisan and local ones,” Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, said in a press release. “It is imperative that LGBTQ Georgians and our allies support and elect officials who are guided by a fundamenta­l belief in equality.”

Ahead of the primaries, Georgia Equality endorsed several candidates, including LGBTQ candidates Angela Duncan for Gwinnett County Superior Court; Renitta Shannon for Lieutenant Governor; Matthew Wilson for Insurance Commission­er; Park Cannon, Josh Noblitt, Karla Drenner, Imani Barnes and Bentley Hudgins for the State House of Representa­tives; Allen Jones for AthensClar­ke County Commission­er District 7; and Gwinnett County Commission­er District 2: Ben Ku for Gwinnett County

Commission­er District 2.

Georgia Equality’s other endorsemen­ts are as follows: Cobb County Superior Court Judge: Judge Sonja N. Brown

Gwinnett State Court Judge: Erica Dove

Senate District 2: Derek Mallow

Athens County Commission­er District 5: Matt Pulver

DeKalb County Commission­er District 3: Larry Johnson

Fulton County Commission­er District 5: Marvin Arrington, Jr.

Georgia Supreme Court: Justice Verda Colvin

Fulton County Superior Court: Judge Paige Whitaker

Fulton County Superior Court: Judge Shalanda Miller

Gwinnett County Superior Court: Judge Tracie Cason

Governor: Stacey Abrams

Secretary of State: Bee Nguyen

Attorney General: Jen Jordan

Labor Commission­er: William Boddie (D), Kartik Bhatt (R)

State School Superinten­dent: Alisha Searcy

Senate District 6: Jason Esteves

Senate District 7: Beth Moore

Senate District 33: Michael Rhett

Senate District 36: Nan Orrock

Senate District 37: Titus Nichols

Senate District 38: Horacena Tate

Senate District 55: Gloria Butler

House District 40: Doug Stoner

House District 43: Solomon Adesanya

House District 50: Michelle Au

House District 51: Ester Panitch

House District 74: William Harris

House District 97: Ruwa Romman

House District 163: Anne Westbrook

Fulton County Board of Commission­ers, Chairman: Robb Pitts

Fulton County Commission­er District 1: Maggie Goldman

Dekalb County Board of Education District 2: Candice McKinley

Fulton County Board of Education District 6: LaTonya Rogers

Fulton County Board of Education District 7: Dr. Michelle Morancie

An LGBTQ issue has also found its way onto the Republican ballot. One of the Republican Party advisory questions regards trans inclusion in school sports, but includes transphobi­c language. Instead of being asked if transgende­r students should be included on gender-affirming sports teams, Republican voters will be asked if Georgia schools should “allow biological males to compete in female sports.”

Election Day is on May 24, but early voting is going on now. You can find polling locations and hours, as well as sample ballots, online at My Voter Page.

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