Overview of PSC, US House, and Statewide Judicial Races 2012

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(APN) ATLANTA — Qualifying for the upcoming July 31, 2012, Primary and Nonpartisan Elections began on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, and ended on Friday, May 25.

Among the races appearing on July 31 ballots will be statewide races for the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), the Court of Appeals of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of Georgia, as well as races for Georgia’s fourteen US Congressional Districts.  This article will review those races.  A previous article reviewed Metro-area State House and State Senate races.  Stay tuned for an upcoming overview of additional races, including various Fulton County and Metro-area county races.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

There are two seats on the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) up for election this year.  Both seats are at-large, meaning that voters statewide will vote on both seats, although the candidates who run are required to live in their respective districts.

Incumbent Chuck Eaton (District 3 – Metro Atlanta) will face opposition from Matt Reid, a Republican, in the Republican Primary for PSC District 3.

The winner of the Republican Primary will face Steve Oppenheimer, a Democrat, and Brad Ploeger, a Libertarian, in November.

Incumbent Stan Wise (District 5 – Western) will face opposition from Pam Davidson, a Republican, in the Republican Primary for PSC District 5.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 2

While not in Metro Atlanta, the 2nd Congressional District race is of interest because incumbent US Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) of Columbus faced a difficult reelection in 2010.  US Rep. Bishop will face a Republican nominee in November.  Three Republicans–Rick Allen, Ken DeLoach, and John House–are competing for their party’s nomination this July.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 4

US Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) of Lithonia faces a competitive Primary and General Election this year.  District 4 has shifted to the east to include more of DeKalb County as well Newton County.

Courtney Dillard and Lincoln Nunnally will challenge Johnson for the Democratic nomination this July.

In addition, two Republicans, Greg Pallen and J. Chris Vaughn, are seeking the Republican nomination this July.  J. Chris Vaughn is not the same person as Chris Vaughn who sought the City Council of Atlanta Post 1-at-large seat in 2009.

As first reported by Atlanta Progressive News, former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is currently gathering signatures to get on the ballot as a nominee of the Green Party.  If McKinney is successful, she will face the Democratic and Republican nominees in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 5

US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) of Atlanta also faces a competitive Primary and General Election this year.

Former Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson will challenge US Rep. Lewis in the Democratic Primary in July.  APN has already published a full-length interview with Johnson.  Lewis declined through spokesperson Beverly Isom to participate in an interview, citing lack of time; however, Isom promised that Lewis would respond to a questionnaire provided by APN.

The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Howard Stopeck, a Republican, in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 6

Incumbent US Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) of Roswell will face a Democratic challenger in the General Election in November.  Jeff Kazanow and Robert Montigel, both Democrats, will compete for the Democratic nomination in the Primary Election in July.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 7

Incumbent US Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) of Suwanee faces David Hancock, a Republican, in the Primary Election in July.  The Republican nominee will face Steve Reilly, a Democrat, in the General Election in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 9

District 9 is the new, fourteenth US Congressional District that Georgia has gained as a result of reapportionment, meaning there is no incumbent in the District.  State Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), Roger Fitzpatrick, and Martha Zoller, a radio personality and Tea Party favorite, are facing off in a contentious Republican Primary Election this July.  The Republican nominee will face Jody Cooley, a Democrat, in the General Election in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 10

US Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) of Marietta faces William Llop and Michael Opitz, both Republicans, in the Primary Election in July.  The Republican nominee will face Patrick Thompson, a Democrat, in the General Election in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 12

While not in Metro Atlanta, the District 12 race is of interest because US Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) is the last White Democrat in the US South, and he has been redistricted into an even more Republican district.  Four Republicans–Rick Allen, Lee Anderson, Wright McLeod, and Maria Sheffield–are competing for their party’s nomination in the Primary Election this July.  The Republican nominee will face US Rep. Barrow in November.

US CONGRESS – DISTRICT 13

US Rep. David Scott (D-GA) faces S. Malik, a Republican, in the General Election in November.

SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA AND COURT OF APPEALS OF GEORGIA

All incumbent judges and justices up for reelection for seats on the Court of Appeals of Georgia and the Supreme Court, respectively, will face no challengers this year.

Supreme Court Justices Carol Hunstein, Harold Melton, and Hugh Thompson, will all be reelected with no challenger.

The same for Appeals Court Judges Keith Blackwell, Michael Boggs, Stephen Dillard, John Ellington, M. Yvette Miller, and Herbert Phipps.

Due to the retirement of Justice George Carley from the Supreme Court of Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal will have the opportunity to appoint a replacement.  Numerous individuals have applied for the appointment, including Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan, according to the website of the Fulton County Daily Report newspaper.

(END/2012)

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