Qualifying for Republican and Democratic primaries has concluded for 2014 as of Noon today. Independent candidates will be able to qualify during the last week of June. You can view who has qualified for federal and state offices on the Secretary of State’s website. Local candidates, such as county commissioner or school board representatives should be listed at your county’s courthouse.
I have several observations about the field. First of all, the Democratic party was able to recruit candidates for almost all statewide offices. Beyond headline candidates Jason Carter for Governor and Michelle Nunn for Senate, Christopher Irvin, the grandson of former Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin is running to retake the seat his grandfather held for so long. Unless I missed something, the only statewide office that will not be contested in November is Doug Everett’s seat on the Public Service Commission, District 1. Everett doesn’t even have a primary challenger.
Only two of Georgia’s fourteen U.S. Representatives will not face either a primary or general election challenge this year. They would be John Lewis in District 5 and Austin Scott in District 8. Beyond the open seats in the 1st, 10th and 11th districts caused by the incumbent running for U.S. Senator, in District 2, Vivian Childs and Greg Duke will face off in a primary before the winner takes on Sanford Bishop. In the 3rd district, Lynn Westmoreland will face challenger Chip Flanegan in the GOP primary. Hank Johnson meets former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown in the 4th district.
6th District Rep. Tom Price will have a challenge in November from Democrat Robert Montigel. In the 7th district, Rob Woodall goes up against Thomas Wight in the general election. Freshman Congressman Doug Collins faces Primary and General Election races, with Bernie Fontaine in the primary and David Vogel in the general. John Barrow’s 12th district seat is a tempting target for the GOP again this year, with five candidates in the GOP primary, including Rick Allen, Delvis Dutton, John Stone, Diane Vann and Eugene Yu.
If you’ve listened to WSB radio recently, you know that 13th district Representative David Scott has been pandering to primary voters in a radio commercial, as he goes up against Michael Owens. And in the 14th, Tom Graves faces Kenneth Herron in the primary.
There are several State Senate races of note. In Valdosta’s 8th district, three Republicans quickly lined up to run following Tim Golden’s last minute announcement that he would retire. They are Ellis Black, John Pager and David Raines. The primary winner will meet Bikram Mohanity in the general. In the 9th District, State Senator Don Balfour faces GOP challengers Mike Beaudreau and P.K. Martin in the primary, and the winner takes on Timothy Swiney in the general.
Senate District 42, the Decatur home of Jason Carter, will see Democrats Elena Parent and Kyle Williams face off in a primary. In November, Republican Greg Williams takes on the winner. Williams is well known in the GOP for his involvement in the Young Republicans and for his online radio show Gregslistlive. Finally, the “Good Luck Mr. Phelps” award goes to Democrat Rick Underwood, who will take on Senate Speaker Pro-Tem David Shafer in the Gwinnett / North Fulton 48th District.
I’m not going to get into the state house races, where 17 people qualified to run today alone. If you see anything interesting in a house race, or one of the races I’ve highlighted here, tell us about it in the comments.