2014 Election Qualifying Wrap-Up Part 1: Statewide, Congressional (UPDATE 1)
With additional reporting by Matthew Charles Cardinale
(APN) ATLANTA — Candidate qualifying for Primary Elections and Nonpartisan Elections [such as judicial races] was held on March 03 through March 07, 2014. Many candidates qualified for a variety of seats.
In addition, the first of two periods of candidate qualifying was held for independent and political body [minor political party] candidates during the same period. Five independent candidates qualified, including incumbent State Rep. Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville), and four others for State House seats.
This article will be the first in a two-part series providing a broad overview of the races. This part will look at Statewide and Congressional races.
Incumbent, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal will face Republican challenger John D. Barge, and David Pennington, in the Primary Election on May 20, 2014. Barge is from Rome and is currently the State School Superintendent.
Among other things, Deal has attracted negative attention due to his refusal to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility in Georgia; his recent proposal to refuse emergency room services to low-income Georgians; and the numerous ethical investigations involving him and his office.
Barge has positioned himself as a moderate alternative to the extreme right-wing policies of Gov. Deal, including Barge’s opposition to a constitutional amendment to create a charter school commission to override state and local school board decisions.
Democratic State Sen. Jason J. Carter, grandson of former Governor and U.S. President Jimmy Carter, has qualified to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor against the Republican candidate in the General Election on November 4, 2014. Senator Carter represents Atlanta and is an attorney.
Republican, incumbent L.S. “Casey” Cagle from Atlanta will face Democratic challenger Connie J. Stokes from Atlanta. Stokes previously served on the DeKalb County Commission. In 2010, Stokes ran for the US House seat currently held by US Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA).
SECRETARY OF STATE
Democratic candidates Doreen Carter from Lithonia and Gerald B. Beckum from Oglethorpe will face off in the Primary Election.
Republican, incumbent Brian P. Kemp will face the Democratic winner of the primary election in the General Election.
Incumbent, Republican Samuel S. Olens from Marietta will face Democratic challenger Gregory K. “Greg” Hecht from Stockbridge in the General Election.
Hecht previously served in the State Senate and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 2006.
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
Republican, Incumbent Gary W. Black from Commerce will face Democratic challenger Christopher James Irvin from Toccoa in the General Election.
Irvin is the grandson of Tommy Irvin, who served as Commissioner of Agriculture for some forty years.
COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE
Democrats Elizabeth N. “Liz” Johnson from Statesboro and Keith G. Heard from Fayetteville are seeking the nomination in the Primary Election.
The Democratic winner in the Primary race will face Republican, incumbent Ralph T. Hudgens in the General Election on November 4, 2014.
COMMISSIONER OF LABOR
Incumbent, Republican J. Mark Butler from Carrollton will face Democratic challenger Robbin K. Shipp from Atlanta in the General Election.
Shipp served in the State House and later served as a Senior Assistant District Attorney for Fulton County.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION – DISTRICT 1 (SOUTHERN)
Republican incumbent Herman D. “Doug” Everett faces no opposition.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION – DISTRICT 4 (NORTHERN)
Republican incumbent Lauren W. “Bubba” McDonald will face Republican challengers Charles C. “Craig” Lutz and Douglas T. Kidd in the Primary Election.
The winner of the Republican Primary will face Democratic challenger Daniel A. Blackman from
Atlanta in the General Election.
PSC members are elected statewide, although they must live in their respective districts.
U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, GEORGIA’S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Democratic incumbent, US Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) will face Democratic challenger Thomas E. “Tom” Brown from Stone Mountain in the Primary. There is no Republican challenger for District 4 in the General Election.
Brown currently serves as DeKalb County Sheriff.
U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, GEORGIA’S FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Democratic incumbent, US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has no challengers in the Primary or General Elections.
U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, GEORGIA’S SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Republican incumbent, US Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) from Roswell will face Democratic challenger Robert G. Montigel from Alpharetta in the General Election.
U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, GEORGIA’S ELEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Six Republicans are competing in the Primary Election for this seat in U.S. Congress, which is currently held by US Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Gingrey is running for U.S. Senate.
They are former US Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), who was the Libertarian nominee for President in 2008; former State Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville); State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta); Larry Mrozinski from Woodstock; S. Allan Levene from Kennesaw; and Tricia R. Pridemore from Marietta. The winner of the Primary does not have a Democratic challenger in the General Election.
U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, GEORGIA’S THIRTEENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Democratic incumbent, US Rep. David Scott (R-GA) from Riverdale will face Democratic challenger Michael C. Owens from Mableton in the Primary. The winner of the Primary has no Republican challengers in the General Election.
U.S. SENATOR TO REPLACE RETIRING US SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS
This is a crowded race for both Democrats and Republicans. U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) announced his plans to retire last year, citing the difficulties in being a moderate in the current U.S. Congress.
Four Democrats are seeking the Democratic nomination, including former State Sen. Steen Miles (D-Decatur); Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (R-GA); Branko “Rad” Radulovacki from Atlanta; and Todd Anthony Robinson from Columbus.
While the Democratic Party machinery appears to be coalescing around Nunn’s candidacy, her policy platform reveals that she is a centrist or quasi-Republican on several issues, and her background reveals several Republican ties.
Seven Republicans candidates running in the Primary for Chambliss’s seat, including US Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), and Jack Kingston (R-GA); former Secretary of State and Fulton County Chairwoman Karen Handel; David Perdue, a cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue; Arthur A. “Art” Gardner, Atlanta; and Derrick E. Grayson, Redan. Broun, Gingrey, and Kingston represent two right-wing extreme possibilities for the nomination.
The winner of Democratic and Republican Primaries will face off in the General Election.