Many Georgia primary contestants heading to July runoff

Georgia Tax Litigation AttorneyA few of Georgia’s top Republican primary contests are still undecided after last week’s primaries and will head to a runoff on July 24, as reported by the Associated Press and published in the Athens Banner-Herald.

No GOP candidate for governor, lieutenant governor or secretary of state was able to get more than 50 percent of the vote, triggering runoffs between the top two in each race.

The Democratic contest to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel for her Atlanta-area seat in Georgia’s 6th District is also going to a runoff. Last June, Handel won the seat in a close special election runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff in what became the costliest U.S. House race in history.

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Some of the major primary races in Georgia that will be decided by runoff include:

For Governor – Democrat Stacey Abrams made history after becoming the first female candidate nominated by either major party for Georgia governor. All the while Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are rallying conservative voters to their campaigns.

Cagle, who received nearly 39 percent of Republican votes Tuesday, and Kemp, who received about 26 percent, beat three GOP rivals in a race campaigning for strong support for gun rights and immigration.

Cagle gained national attention in February when he killed a tax break benefiting Delta Air Lines, one of Georgia’s largest employers, for getting rid of a discount program for National Rifle Association members.

Kemp garnered strong criticism and national headlines with campaign ads including one where he says he has a big truck, “Just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ’em home myself.”

Cagle, who has served as lieutenant governor since 2007 and in the state Senate since 1995, has positioned himself as a business-friendly tactician who can continue current Gov. Nathan Deal’s legacy of economic growth.

Kemp, who has served as Secretary of State since 2010 and before that in the state Senate starting in 2003, has said he is a “politically incorrect” outsider challenging the establishment.


Sarah Riggs Amico secured the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, an open position vacated by Cagle, while David Shafer of Duluth and Geoff Duncan of Cumming will head to a runoff for Republicans.

Shafer received under 49 percent of GOP votes while Duncan got nearly 27 percent, beating out former state Sen. Rick Jeffares in the three-way contest.

Shafer has served in the state Senate since 2002 and prior to that served as the executive director of the Georgia Republican Party.

Duncan, a former Georgia Tech star pitcher who played minor league baseball with the Florida Marlins for six seasons, served in the state House between 2013 and 2017.

The lieutenant governor serves as president of the state Senate, overseeing debate and legislative maneuvers in the chamber.


John Barrow beat out two opponents for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, an open position Kemp left.

For Republicans, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek and former Alpharetta mayor David Belle Isle head to a runoff after coming out on top in the four-way race. Raffensperger got about 35 percent of GOP votes, while Belle Isle received almost 29 percent.

The office oversees elections in Georgia as well as corporate filings and professional licensing.


Handel ran unopposed among Republicans in the primary for her U.S. House seat in Georgia’s 6th District, while Ossoff announced he would not join the race again among Democrats.

Lucy McBath, who got 36 percent of votes, and Kevin Abel, who brought in just under 31 percent, head to a runoff for the Democratic nomination after beating out two others.

McBath of Marietta is a gun control activist whose teenage son was fatally shot in Florida in 2012.

Abel, who emigrated to the U.S. from South Africa as a teen, is a businessman from Sandy Springs.