Election season is barely started, with primaries on May 20 to be followed by the run-off elections on July 22 and election day on November 4. Following are a series of updates on developments of interest around the state and beyond (thanks to King & Spalding colleague Jason Shepherd, a veteran of more than forty political campaigns over the past two decades, for assisting in the following reports):
What's in a Name? Or perhaps we should call this piece, "All in the Family". In either case, it appears that the Clintons and the Bushes aren't the only two family dynasties in the political realm, as we bring you news from the recent Georgia primary elections!
Jason Carter, the grandson of former President and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, was unopposed in the Democratic Primary as was Agriculture Commissioner candidate Chris Irvin, the grandson of long time Georgia Agriculture Commission Tommy Irvin, while other candidates looking to start political legacies either won their primaries outright or are headed into the July 22 runoff.
Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Georgia Senator and King & Spalding partner Sam Nunn, dispatched three other opponents in the Democratic Primary taking nearly 75 percent of the vote.
On the Republican side, it was former Dollar General CEO David Perdue, the cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue, who placed first in the primary and is now headed to the runoff with Congressman Jack Kingston.
Mike Collins, the Republican businessman and son of former Republican Congressman and former candidate for U.S. Senate, Mac Collins, wasn't lucky enough to make it without a runoff in the open 10th Congressional District. Collins will face minister and radio host Jody Hice in the runoff for the district, which includes many of the counties his father represented more than a decade ago.
In Georgia's 11th Congressional District, former Congressman Bob Barr, who represented Georgia's 7th Congressional District until 2003 (when changing district lines put him in a position of challenging fellow Republican Congressman John Linder) is now making a comeback of his own. Barr, who touts his experience as an Impeachment Manager in the Senate trial of President Bill Clinton (our only famous name connection on this race), will face former State Senator Barry Loudermilk in the runoff.
The Carter name seemed to help, or at least not hurt, candidates of both parties as State Senator E. L. "Buddy" Carter made the runoff in the Republican Primary against Savannah physician Bob Johnson in the 1st Congressional District (though fellow candidate Darwin Carter did not fare as well in the race). Doreen Carter easily dispatched her Democrat Primary opponent to secure the nomination to take on Brian Kemp, the Republican incumbent, for Secretary of State.
In Georgia's 18th Senate District, another candidate with a famous name, John F. Kennedy, beat Spencer Price in a primary that, with no opposition in the fall, means that Georgia will have its own Senator Kennedy in the senate this January. Unlike his more famous namesake, this JFK is a Republican.
In the ultimate irony, there is a possibility that Senator Kennedy could find Senator Nixon across the aisle by the time the election season is over -- although the first name will be "James" rather than "Richard." James Nixon ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary for State Senate, and will face incumbent Republican Senator Mike Dugan in Georgia's 30th Senate District. Given the strong Republican numbers in his district, Nixon is not expected to pose a strong challenge for the district, so the Kennedy-Nixon flip-flop will have to wait for another day.