As expected, Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter, Nathan Deal won their races with ease.
But here's a few tidbits:
For State School Superintendent, Democrats Alisha Morgan & Valarie Wilson will meet in the runoff. Wilson has the backing of the democratic establishment, while Morgan has support from both charter and public school supporters. The person to watch here is Denise Freeman who performed much better than expected & Tarnisha Dent. Whoever they support could go a long way in deciding who will win the nomination. I still expect Morgan to advance to November. In addition her stance in support of charter schools will win her crossover support and that is crucial for a democrat in a midterm election. One thing Morgan MUST do is reinterate her support for Public Schools, especially in areas where public schools are not suffering.
Richard Woods and Mike Buck will meet in the runoff on the GOP side for State School Superintendent. This race is hard to predict, given Buck ties to John Barge, that alone may cost in the runoff. Woods who is from south Georgia is the better choice for the GOP, he has the ability to appeal to rural school teachers and with Kingston in the runoff, expect Kingston folks to also vote for Woods, but it will come down to the Metro Atlanta area and how well Woods do in those neck of the woods.
Secretary of State: Democratic primary voters elected perhaps the weakest candidate to ever represent the Democratic Party in a General Election in years. Doreen Carter bested Gerald Beckum in a bid to face Brian Kemp (R) current Secretary of State. This is a case, I believe of democratic voters not knowing anything about the two candidates and voting for the first name on the ballot. Beckum who left the U.S. Senate race to run for Secretary of State, to his credit travel much of this state, making his case to voters. He also was endorsed by some of democratic legislators. He was clearly the stronger of the two candidates, but in a low turnout primary, all bets were off and Carter who qualified minutes before qualifying closed has no support outside of her home county and is this year's version of Alvin Greene (the guy who ran for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina a few years ago). This win by Carter frees up Brian Kemp to stump for other republican candidates for office.
Insurance Commissioner: Liz Johnson (D) defeated Keith Heard (D) to take on Ralph Hudgens for State Insurance Commissioner. Heard had the backing of the democratic establishment, but it wasn't enough to overcome Johnson who campaigned as a outsider and made numerous visits to middle and South Georgia in the process.
Note: State Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) narrowly defeated Lee Burton 50% to 49. Burton had the support of Republican Grassroots activist Pat Tippett. Expect Burton to seek this seat again in 2016.
Teresa Tomlinson (D) defeated Colin Martin (R) for another term as Mayor of Columbus. Tomlinson who will enter her final term as mayor will be mentioned as a possible statewide candidate in 2018 or a viable candidate for the 2nd Congressional District when Sanford Bishop decides to call it quits.
Longtime State Sen. Steve Thompson (D) loses his re-election bid to Michael Rhett (D) a Airforce Veteran.
Renita Hamilton (D) beat back a challenge from novice liberal candidate Tim Hur (D) to face Joyce Chandler (R) for HD 105. Hur by some accounts was the preferred favorite of democrats. Hamilton, a Evangelical Christian Democrat is consider a strong candidate from those on the other side of the political spectrum.
Down in Ga 1st CD, Amy Tavio and Brian Reese will meet in the democratic runoff. Whoever wins Chatham & Glynn County & pickup Clinch and Bacon County will likely be the nominee
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- Endorsement: Amy Tavio for GA-1 CD
- Endorsement: Gerald Beckum for Secretary of State
- 8 Endorsements for Key State House Seats
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