Republicans seek to keep control of Georgia state offices
ATLANTA (AP) — Republicans are seeking to hold their majorities in Georgia’s legislature and maintain their lock on statewide offices as voting concludes Tuesday, even as Democrats compete heavily for governor and U.S. senator at the top of the ballot.
Republicans won the majority in the Senate when several Democrats switched parties after the 2002 elections and won the majority in the House in 2004. Heading into Tuesday’s election, Republicans have a 103-76 majority in the House after Democrat Henry “Wayne” Howard of Augusta died in October. In the Senate, Republicans hold a 34-22 majority.
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All 180 House seats and 56 Senate seats are up for election. In the Senate, 15 Republicans and 14 Democrats are unopposed. In the House, 49 Republicans and 42 Democrats are unopposed.
Republicans also hold all seven of the other statewide offices besides governor and U.S. senator that are on the ballot Tuesday.
Democrats recruited their strongest statewide field in a decade, with nominees that drew national notice, including state Rep. Bee Nguyen, a candidate for secretary of state who sought to leverage her party’s outrage over Georgia’s restrictive voting law to raise money nationwide, and state Sen. Jen Jordan, who ran for attorney general after a raising her profile as a defender of abortion rights.
But Republicans have incumbents defending four statewide offices. Attorney General Chris Carr is running against Jordan and Libertarian Martin Cowan. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is opposed by Nguyen and Libertarian Ted Metz. State School Superintendent Richard Woods faces Democrat Alisha Thomas Searcy. Insurance Commissioner John King is running against Democrat Janice Laws Robinson.
And Republicans nominated state senators for the three other statewide positions. Burt Jones is running for lieutenant governor against Democrat Charlie Bailey and Libertarian Ryan Graham. Tyler Harper is running for agriculture commissioner against Democrat Nakita Hemingway and Libertarian David Raudabaugh. Bruce Thornton is running for labor commissioner against Democratic state Rep. William Boddie and Libertarian Emily Anderson.
Democrats were hoping to gain in the General Assembly after redistricting. Fair Districts Georgia, a group that opposes gerrymandering, projected that Republicans have the advantage in 98 of the new state House districts drawn by a Republican majority last year, while Democrats have the advantage in 82 districts.
In the Senate, Fair District Georgia predicted that Democrats might be able to trim the Republican majority by a seat, to 33-23.
Republicans, though, are trying to maintain their majority by holding or taking over several districts that favor Democrats.
Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. And follow the AP’s election coverage of the 2022 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.
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