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Stories about Georgia

Walker wins Republican Senate primary election in Georgia

Herschel Walker defeated five other candidates in Georgia’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate on May 24, 2022. Walker received 68% of the vote, and Gary Black was second with 13%. Before the election, Walker, Black, Kelvin King, and Latham Saddler led in fundraising and media attention. Josh Clark and Jonathan McColumn also ran.

Walker was a professional athlete and Olympian and worked for a number of food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump (R) appointed Walker as chair of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. Walker said his campaign was about “saving our country and the great state of Georgia from President Biden’s disastrous agenda which has led to higher prices, out-of-control crime, dangerous open borders, and ‘America Last’ foreign policy.” Trump endorsed Walker in September of 2021, and Walker also received endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), Fox News host Sean Hannity, and evangelist Franklin Graham.

At the time of the election, Black was Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture. Black worked as a cattle rancher and held positions in the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Agribusiness Council. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to take America back! We need our government to focus on its fundamental responsibility — not the change to the foundations of our country being pushed by Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden,” Black said. Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) endorsed Black.

Before the primary, NPR’s Domenico Montanaro said, “Walker, a former Heisman-winning University of Georgia Bulldog who has Trump’s endorsement, may have high name identification in the state, but he’s untested as a candidate. Walker has written about his battle with dissociative identity disorder and is facing allegations of domestic abuse from past relationships and that he exaggerated his post-football business success.”

Black challenged Walker’s electability based on past allegations of domestic abuse, saying, “Folks, he can’t win in November. The baggage is too heavy. It’ll never happen.”

Responding to critics of Walker’s electability, campaign representative Mallory Blount said, “Their only strategy to gain any sort of relevance is to obsess over Herschel. Herschel is solely focused on beating Raphael Warnock.”

At the time of the primary, the Cook Political Report rated the general election a Toss-up, meaning ratings indicate that neither party has an advantage. 



McBath wins Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th District

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath defeated U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Donna McLeod in the May 24 Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District near Atlanta. McBath received 63% of the vote, Bourdeaux was second with 31%, and McLeod was third with 6%.

Bourdeaux and McBath—who led in fundraising and media mentions—were members of the U.S. House of Representatives facing each other due to redistricting. As of May 2022, six U.S. House races had two incumbents running for the same congressional district in the 2022 elections.

Bourdeaux is the fourth member of the U.S. House, and first Democrat, to lose a primary this cycle.

Emily Wilkins wrote in Bloomberg Government that “The area’s influx of mostly non-White voters over the past decade helped Rep. Lucy McBath flip a Republican-held district in the northern suburbs in 2018 and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux do the same with a neighboring district to the east two years later…The Republican-controlled legislature redrew the two swing congressional districts, creating instead districts that are solidly red and blue, and ensuring Democrats will have one fewer seat in the delegation after the 2022 midterms.” Data compiled by Bloomberg Government determined that Bourdeaux represented 57% of the residents in the new 7th District and McBath represented 12%.

Wilkins wrote that “The congresswomen have near-identical voting records. In the 117th Congress, both have largely kept to the party line—96% for Bourdeaux and 97% for McBath, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.”

Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine that “While both candidates are thoroughgoing Democrats, McBath is further to the left than Bourdeaux, whose centrist stance has alienated some progressives.”

McBath defeated incumbent Karen Handel (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, 50.5% to 49.5%. She won the rematch against Handel in 2020, 55% to 45%. Rachel Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine, “Gun safety and reform has always been McBath’s key platform; her son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, and his death inspired her political career.”

At a recent debate, McBath said, “I’m running in this race because I simply believe that we should not allow Gov. Kemp, the Republican Party or the NRA gun lobby to dictate who represents our communities in Washington.”

Bourdeaux defeated Rich McCormick (R), 51% to 49%, to win an open-seat race in the 7th District in 2020 after she lost to then-incumbent Rob Woodall (R) in 2018 by 433 votes. That margin was the closest U.S. House election in 2018 by number of votes. Bourdeaux highlighted her work for the constituents of the district, saying on her website, “Since being sworn in January of 2021, Congresswoman Bourdeaux has been a leading advocate in Congress for health care, voting rights, racial and social justice, small business, infrastructure, and critical issues of broad importance to Gwinnett County and the 7th district community.”

McBath was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. Bourdeaux received endorsements from former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young (D), former U.S. Sen Sam Nunn (D-Geo.) and four incumbent Georgia state representatives.

As of the primary, three race ratings outlets classified the November 8 general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.

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Raffensperger wins primary for Georgia secretary of state

Incumbent Brad Raffensperger defeated three other candidates in the Republican primary election for Georgia secretary of state on May 24, 2022. Based on unofficial returns, Raffensperger received 52.1% of the vote, and Jody Hice received 33.7%.

Raffensperger was elected secretary of state in 2018. Raffensperger disputed former President Donald Trump’s (R) claims about election fraud in the 2020 election and directly criticized Hice over those claims. During a January 2022 appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Raffensperger said, “Congressman Hice, he’s been in Congress for several years. He’s never done a single piece of election reform legislation. Then he certified his own race with those same machines, the same ballots, and yet for President Trump, he said you couldn’t trust that.” Raffensperger’s website highlighted a #1 ranking in election integrity from the Heritage Foundation as proof of his leadership and conservative values.

Former President Trump endorsed Hice on March 22, 2021. Trump said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!”

Joseph Ax of Reuters wrote that Raffensperger “has been one of Trump’s most frequent targets ever since he refused, emphatically and publicly, to capitulate to the demands of the former president, his fellow Republican, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote.”

Hice was elected to the U.S. House in 2014. Hice has supported Trump’s election fraud claims. At a May 2022 debate, Hice said, “The ‘big lie’ in all of this is that there were no problems with this past election. This past election was an absolute disaster under the leadership of Brad Raffensperger.” Hice objected to the counting of Georgia’s electoral votes during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Hice said he would “aggressively pursue voter fraud” and seek to make final election results available on election night.

If no candidate had received a majority of the vote, the top-two finishers would have advanced to a runoff election.

The secretary of state is responsible for a wide range of services and regulatory duties, in addition to being the keeper of the Great Seal of Georgia and the custodian of the state flag and other state symbols. The secretary of state also chairs the Claims Advisory Board, which receives, investigates, and hears civil claims against the state. Responsibilities of the secretary’s office include supervising and monitoring elections and providing campaign finance disclosure, managing and preserving public records, and licensing, monitoring, and registering professionals and businesses.



Incumbent Kemp defeats Perdue and three others in Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary

Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp defeated former U.S. Sen. David Perdue and three other candidates—Catherine Davis, Kandiss Taylor, and Tom Williams—in the Republican primary election for governor of Georgia on May 24, 2022. With 57% of precincts reporting, Kemp had 73% of the vote, followed by Perdue with 23%. No other candidate received more than 5% of the vote.

Former Vice President Mike Pence (R) endorsed Kemp. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Perdue.

Kemp was first elected governor in 2018 when he defeated Stacey Abrams (D) 50% to 48%. Kemp served as the Georgia secretary of state from 2010 to 2018 and in the Georgia State Senate from 2003 to 2007. In a debate, Kemp said, “Every day that I’ve been in office, I’ve been putting hardworking Georgians first, ahead of the status quo and the politically correct. And I’m going to continue to do that the rest of my tenure.”

The 2020 election results were a subject of debate in the primary. During an April 24 debate, Perdue said Kemp did not do enough to investigate election fraud claims, saying, “[Kemp] would not stop the consent decree that was signed, he would not give us a special session. And this past year he’s not investigated anything.”

Kemp responded, “The investigative authority per the laws and the constitution of this state in 2020 lies with the secretary of state’s office and the state elections board. Now, we have had things that have been given to our office that we’ve looked into and when we thought they had merit we referred them to the proper authorities to investigate.”

If no candidate had received a majority of the vote, the top-two finishers would have advanced to a runoff election.

Kemp will face Abrams once again in the November general election. As of May 2022, The Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-upInside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rated the race as Tilt Republican.



U.S. Reps. Bourdeaux, McBath among three Democrats running in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District May 24 primary

Carolyn Bourdeaux, Lucy McBath, and Donna McLeod are running in the Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District near Atlanta on May 24, 2022. Bourdeaux and McBath are current members of the U.S. House of Representatives facing each other due to redistricting. The primary is one of five U.S. House races with two incumbents running for the same congressional district this year.

Emily Wilkins wrote in Bloomberg Government that “The area’s influx of mostly non-White voters over the past decade helped Rep. Lucy McBath flip a Republican-held district in the northern suburbs in 2018 and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux do the same with a neighboring district to the east two years later…The Republican-controlled legislature redrew the two swing congressional districts, creating instead districts that are solidly red and blue, and ensuring Democrats will have one fewer seat in the delegation after the 2022 midterms.” Bloomberg Government reported that Bourdeaux represents 57% of the residents in the new 7th District and McBath represents 12%.

Bourdeaux defeated Rich McCormick (R), 51% to 49%, to win an open-seat race in the 7th District in 2020 after she lost to then-incumbent Rob Woodall (R) in 2018 by 433 votes. That margin was the closest U.S. House election in 2018 by the number of votes. Bourdeaux has highlighted her work for the constituents of the district, saying on her website, “Since being sworn in January of 2021, Congresswoman Bourdeaux has been a leading advocate in Congress for health care, voting rights, racial and social justice, small business, infrastructure, and critical issues of broad importance to Gwinnett County and the 7th district community.”

McBath defeated incumbent Karen Handel (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, 50.5% to 49.5%. She won a rematch against Handel in 2020, 55% to 45%. As Rachel Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine, “Gun safety and reform has always been McBath’s key platform; her son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, and his death inspired her political career.” At a recent debate, McBath said, “I’m running in this race because I simply believe that we should not allow Gov. Kemp, the Republican Party or the NRA gun lobby to dictate who represents our communities in Washington.”

Wilkins wrote that “The congresswomen have near-identical voting records. In the 117th Congress, both have largely kept to the party line—96% for Bourdeaux and 97% for McBath, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.” Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine that “While both candidates are thoroughgoing Democrats, McBath is further to the left than Bourdeaux, whose centrist stance has alienated some progressives.”

Bourdeaux has received endorsements from former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young (D), former U.S. Sen Sam Nunn (D-Geo.), and four incumbent Georgia state representatives. McBath was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will meet in a runoff election on June 21. As of May 17, three race ratings outlets classify the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.

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Rate of state legislative incumbents facing contested primaries in Georgia at its highest since 2014

Image of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sixty-three of the 188 Georgia state legislators running for re-election this year—27 Democrats and 36 Republicans—face contested primaries. That equals 34% of incumbents seeking re-election, the highest rate since 2014. The remaining 66% of incumbents are not facing primary challengers.

A contested primary is one where more candidates are running than there are nominations available. After redistricting, it is common to see primaries where two incumbents run against one another. This can happen if a district’s lines are redrawn to place two incumbents in the same district.

This year, there are three incumbent versus incumbent primaries in Georgia. In these races, since only one candidate can win the nomination, one incumbent is guaranteed to lose:

  • House District 100: Reps. David Clark (R) and Bonnie Rich (R), from House Districts 98 and 97, respectively, filed to run against one another.
  • House District 106: Rep. Shelly Hutchinson (D), from House District 107, filed to run against Rep. Rebecca Mitchell (D).
  • House District 149: Rep. Danny Mathis (R), from House District 144, filed to run against Rep. Robert Pruitt (R).

The total number of contested primaries—including those without incumbents—also reached its highest point since 2014. With 236 districts, there are 472 possible primaries every election cycle.

This year, there are 104 contested primaries—51 Democratic primaries and 53 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is up from 49 in 2020, a 4% increase. For Republicans, that number increased 71%, from 31 in 2020 to 53 in 2022.

This is also the state’s first cycle since 2016 with more Republican primaries than those for Democrats.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state legislative office in Georgia this year was March 11. Candidates filed to run for all of the state’s 56 Senate districts and 180 House districts.

Fifty-one of those districts were left open, meaning no incumbents filed to run, the most since 2014.

Overall, 495 major party candidates filed to run this year: 238 Democrats and 257 Republicans. That equals 2.1 candidates per district, up from 2.0 in 2020 and 1.9 in 2018.

Georgia has been a Republican trifecta Republicans won control of the state House in 2004. Republicans currently hold a 34-22 majority in the Senate and a 103-76 majority in the House.

Georgia’s primaries are scheduled for May 24, the fifth statewide primary date of the 2022 state legislative election cycle.

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Georgia has the most candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Georgia this year was March 11, 2022. Eighty-two candidates are running for Georgia’s 14 U.S. House districts, including 31 Democrats and 51 Republicans. That’s 5.86 candidates per district, more than the 5.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.42 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Georgia was apportioned 14 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  2. The 82 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Georgia’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 44 candidates ran.
  1. Two seats — the 6th and the 10th — are open, meaning no incumbents are running. That’s one less than in 2020 when three seats were open. There were no open seats in 2018, one in 2016, and three in 2014.
  2. Rep. Jody Hice (R), who represents the 10th district, is running for Georgia Secretary of State. Thirteen candidates — five Democrats and eight Republicans — are running to replace him, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  3. Rep. Lucy McBath (D), who represents the 6th district, is running in the 7th district this year. She is the only incumbent running in a different district than the one she currently represents. 
  4. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), the incumbent in the 7th district, is running for re-election. That makes the 7th district the only district featuring two incumbents running against each other.
  5. There are eight contested Democratic primaries this year, the same number as in 2020 and 2018. 

There are nine contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020 and the highest number since at least 2012. 

  1. There are eight incumbents in contested primaries this year, the most since at least 2012. 
  1. Five incumbents are not facing any primary challengers. 
  2. Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all 14 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. The last year in which a party was guaranteed a seat because no candidate from the other party filed was 2018, when then-incumbent Rep. John Lewis (D) ran unopposed in the general election for the 5th district. 

Georgia and two other states — Alabama and Arkansas — are holding primary elections on May 24. A candidate must receive a majority of votes in order to win a primary election in Georgia. If no candidate wins an outright majority of votes cast, a runoff primary between the top two vote-getters will be held on June 21.

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Georgia voters to decide timber equipment tax exemption on Nov. 8

Georgia voters will decide whether to exempt timber equipment from property taxes on Nov. 8

The measure would exempt any equipment owned by a timber business and used in the production or harvest of timber from ad valorem property taxes. The House approved House Bill 997, which proposed the measure, on March 15 by a vote of 171-0. The Senate approved it on March 30 by a vote of 50-1. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed House Bill 997 on May 10, sending the measure to the ballot for voter approval.

The Georgia Constitution requires legislation exempting property from taxes to be approved by a two-thirds vote in each chamber of the legislature, signed by the governor, and approved by a majority of voters at a statewide election.

In addition to HB 997, Kemp signed multiple bills on May 10 concerning conservation, natural resources, hunting, and fishing. Kemp said, “The bills I signed into law will help us treat the forestry industry the same way that we do agriculture as well as protect hunting, fishing, and conservation land, and more.” Agriculture equipment is currently exempt from property taxes.

This measure was the fourth statewide measure certified for the Nov. 8 ballot. Voters will decide another legislatively referred state statute to expand the existing agriculture equipment tax exemption to include merged family farms and to extend the exemption to dairy products and eggs. Voters will also decide two constitutional amendments:

  • an amendment to suspend pay for certain public officials if they are suspended from office for being indicted for a felony and
  • an amendment to allow local governments to grant temporary tax relief to certain properties that are damaged or destroyed due to a disaster.

Georgia voters decided 84 statewide measures from 1996 through 2020, averaging seven per election and ranging from two to 12. Voters approved 71 (84.5%) and defeated 13 (15.5%).

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2020 presidential election at the center of Republican primary for Georgia Secretary of State

Image of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for Georgia Secretary of State on May 24, 2022. Incumbent Brad Raffensperger and Jody Hice have performed best in polling. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will compete in a runoff election.

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Hice on March 22, 2021. In his endorsement, Trump said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!” Joseph Ax of Reuters wrote that Raffensperger “has been one of Trump’s most frequent targets ever since he refused, emphatically and publicly, to capitulate to the demands of the former president, his fellow Republican, to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote.”

Raffensperger was elected as Secretary of State in 2018. Raffensperger has disputed Trump’s claims about election fraud in 2020 and directly criticized Hice over those claims. During a January 2022 appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Raffensperger said, “Congressman Hice, he’s been in Congress for several years. He’s never done a single piece of election reform legislation. Then he certified his own race with those same machines, the same ballots, and yet for President Trump, he said you couldn’t trust that.” Raffensperger’s website highlighted a #1 ranking in election integrity from the Heritage Foundation as an example of his leadership and conservative values.

Hice was elected to the U.S. House in 2014. Hice has supported Trump’s claims about election fraud in 2020. At a May 2022 debate, he said, “The ‘big lie’ in all of this is that there were no problems with this past election. This past election was an absolute disaster under the leadership of Brad Raffensperger.” Hice objected to the counting of Georgia’s electoral votes during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. Hice said he would “aggressively pursue voter fraud” and would seek to make final election results available on election night.

The Secretary of State is responsible for a wide range of services and regulatory duties, in addition to being the keeper of the Great Seal of Georgia and the custodian of the state flag and other state symbols. The secretary of state also chairs the Claims Advisory Board, which receives, investigates, and hears civil claims against the state. Responsibilities of the secretary’s office include supervising and monitoring elections and providing campaign finance disclosure, managing and preserving public records, and licensing, monitoring, and registering professionals and businesses.

Also running in the primary are Torri M. Hudson and David Belle Isle.

Additional reading:



Six candidates running in U.S. Senate Republican primary election in Georgia

Six candidates are running in the Republican Party primary election for U.S. Senator from Georgia on May 24, 2022. Gary Black, Kelvin King, Latham Saddler, and Herschel Walker have led in fundraising and media attention. Josh Clark and Jonathan McColumn are also running.

NPR‘s Domenico Montanaro said, “Walker, a former Heisman-winning University of Georgia Bulldog who has Trump’s endorsement, may have high name identification in the state, but he’s untested as a candidate. Walker has written about his battle with dissociative identity disorder and is facing allegations of domestic abuse from past relationships and that he exaggerated his post-football business success.” Politifact‘s Louis Jacobson wrote, “Walker’s primary opponents aren’t hitting him on policy. Rather, they are focusing on past allegations of domestic violence made between 2001 and 2008.”

Black was elected Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011 and occupied the office at the time of the election. Black worked as a cattle rancher and held positions in the Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Agribusiness Council. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to take America back! We need our government to focus on its fundamental responsibility — not the change to the foundations of our country being pushed by Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden,” Black said. Black challenged Walker’s electability based on past allegations of domestic abuse, saying, “Folks, he can’t win in November. The baggage is too heavy. It’ll never happen.” Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) endorsed Black.

King served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and worked in procurement, business development, and construction. King founded Osprey Management, a construction firm. “I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Senator Warnock’s divisive far-left representation,” King said. King’s campaign released an ad focused on allegations of domestic violence against Walker: “After the violence, the abuse, the stalking, the death threats, Herschel Walker still has not been forthright with the people of Georgia, not about his violent behavior or the threats he has made against women and police.” The Georgia Republican Assembly endorsed King.

Saddler served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and was Director of Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council. Saddler also worked as a White House Fellow from 2018 to 2019. Saddler said his platform is based on the “three foundational pillars” of security, liberty, and prosperity, and his campaign website said, “Latham Saddler has fought for our nation abroad and at home to ensure just that — an America that is strong, secure and free. For you, your children and many generations to come. As your United States Senator, Latham will be relentless in this pursuit.” Saddler criticized Walker’s absence at debates and GOP events, saying, “If Herschel Walker can’t even debate Republicans, how is he going to hold Raphael Warnock accountable in a general election?” The Republican Jewish Coalition of Georgia endorsed Saddler.

Walker was a professional athlete and Olympian and worked for a number of food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump (R) appointed Walker as chairman of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. Walker said his campaign was about “saving our country and the great state of Georgia from President Biden’s disastrous agenda which has led to higher prices, out-of-control crime, dangerous open borders, and ‘America Last’ foreign policy.” Responding to criticism of Walker’s electability, campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount said, “The other Republicans in this race are at less than 15% combined. Their only strategy to gain any sort of relevance is to obsess over Herschel. Herschel is solely focused on beating Raphael Warnock.” Trump endorsed Walker in September of 2021, and Walker also received endorsements from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and evangelist Franklin Graham.

The Cook Political Report rated the general election a Tossup, meaning neither party has an advantage. In the last regular general election for the seat, incumbent Johnny Isakson (R), who assumed office in 2005, defeated Jim Barksdale (D) with 55% of the vote to Barksdale’s 41%. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to the Senate seat after Isakson resigned in December 2019 for health reasons. Raphael Warnock (D) defeated Loeffler in the special general runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021, with 51% of the vote to Loeffler’s 49%.