Runoffs set in 5 Georgia congressional primaries

ATLANTA (AP) — Jon Ossoff was leading six other Democratic contenders Tuesday in Georgia voting for a position challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Republican David Perdue.

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Georgia will see runoffs in at least five congressional primaries, including battles for open seats in suburban Atlanta, northeast Georgia and northwest Georgia. Incumbent Democrat David Scott was also forced into a runoff for his party’s nomination in his suburban Atlanta district. Four other U.S. House incumbents won their primaries, including U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was nominated for an 18th term in Congress representing Atlanta.

Voters also got their say in long-delayed presidential primaries, even though President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have wrapped up their parties' respective nominations. Biden won Georgia's primary, appearing alongside 11 other Democrats on ballots finalized months ago. Trump was the only choice on the Republican ballot.

Ossoff, Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico headlined the Senate race. Ossoff held a sizable lead early Wednesday morning, but it was too early to call whether he had earned a majority. If no one wins a majority, the top two contenders will return in an Aug. 11 runoff.

Democrats hope to be competitive in both the Perdue race, as well as a November special election to fill the last two years of the term of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a race in which Kelly Loeffler currently holds the seat by appointment.

Other races include:


Republican Karen Handel will get her rematch with Democrat Lucy McBath. Handel won a majority of votes and the GOP nomination Tuesday over four other Republicans including Mykel Lynn Barthelemy, Blake Harbin, Joe Profit and Paulette Smith. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, won a bloody special election over Democrat Jon Ossoff in 2017, only to lose narrowly to McBath in 2018. The 6th District includes northern Fulton and DeKalb counties and eastern Cobb County. McBath faced no opponents for the Democratic nomination.


Both Republicans and Democrats had competitive primaries in the 7th District, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall isn't seeking another term.

On the Republican side, McCormick beat state Sen. Renee Unterman and five other candidates to win the GOP nomination. McCormick is backed by the free-trade, anti-regulation Club for Growth. Unterman emphasized her experience.

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux was the top vote-getter for her party, but fell short of a majority. She'll face state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero in a runoff. If Bourdeaux wins, she'll get another shot at the seat in parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties after she lost to Woodall by fewer than 500 votes in 2018.


State Rep. Matt Gurtler and Athens gun dealer Andrew Clyde advanced to a runoff in northeast Georgia’s 9th Congressional District from a nine-candidate field.

Gurtler has been an irritant to his party’s leaders, frequently voting against measures that almost all other lawmakers approved in the state House. He's backed by the free-trade, low-tax Club for Growth, but criticized for speaking to American Patriots USA, which includes members with a history of white supremacy. Clyde won a court challenge and helped win congressional restrictions on asset forfeiture after he had $940,00 seized in 2013 by the IRS.

Democrats Brooke Siskin and Devin Pandy advanced to a runoff for their party in what has been one of the nation’s most reliably Republican districts.

The seat is open after U.S. Rep Doug Collins chose to run for U.S. Senate.


Metro Atlanta’s 13th District had Democratic and Republican primaries. Nine-term incumbent Democrat David Scott was forced into a runoff by former state Rep. Keisha Sean Waites, who touted her credentials as an emergency manager and her bipartisan approach. Republicans chose business consultant Becky Hites over engineer Caesar Gonzales.


Businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and neurosurgeon John Cowan, both Republicans, moved ahead to a runoff in northwest Georgia's 14th District from a nine-person field. Greene had sought the GOP nomination in the 6th District, entering the race after U.S. Rep. Tom Graves announced he was stepping down. Greene spent much of her own money on the campaign, proclaiming herself an unfair victim when Facebook took down an ad that included Greene brandishing a gun. Cowan was one of the field’s top money-raisers. He pushed his healthcare expertise. Cowan was criticized for a toy company he owns importing toys from China. The Republican nominee will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal.


Incumbent U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter rolled over challengers Danny Merritt and Ken Yasger in the Republican primary in the coastal 1st District, while Democrats were choosing among Lisa Ring, Joyce Marie Griggs and Barbara Seidman.

In southwest Georgia's 2nd District, GOP activists Don Cole and Vivian Childs competed to face longtime incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop.

Incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson beat two primary challengers — contractor William Haston and attorney Elaine Amankwah Nietmann — in suburban Atlanta's 4th District.

Civil rights leader and 17-term representative John Lewis routed Barrington Martin II in the Democratic primary in Atlanta's 5th District.

In middle and south Georgia's 8th District, incumbent Republican Austin Scott easily beat Army veteran Daniel Ellyson and business owner Robert Vance Dean in a GOP primary.

In eastern Georgia's 10th District, Democrats chose 2018 nominee Tabitha Johnson-Green over Andrew Ferguson to face incumbent Republican Jody Hice.

Liz Johnson, 2018's Democratic nominee for state insurance commissioner, beat retired attorney Dan Steiner in the Democratic primary in eastern Georgia's 12th District. Incumbent Republican Rick Allen awaits the winner.


Incumbent Sarah Warren beat Dougherty County prosecutor and former local judge Hal Moroz, while former state Rep. Beth Beskin was trailing incumbent Justice Charlie Bethel.


Environmental advocate Daniel Blackman beat energy efficiency consultant John Noel in the race for the Democratic nomination for the state Public Service Commission. Although the two must live in District 4, which covers northern and eastern parts of Georgia, the race was on the ballot statewide. Blackman lost to incumbent Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald in 2014, while Noel lost a Democratic primary for the utility regulatory commission in a different district in 2018.