In Georgia, fierce race for state Supreme Court and highest Republican congressional primary results

Tuesday’s elections in Georgia include a race for the state Supreme Court that was unusually heated by the sleepy standards of nonpartisan state judicial elections, as well as a five-way Republican Party primary for an open seat in the heavily Republican 3rd Congressional District, south and west of Atlanta. .

Two Democratic incumbents in Congress — U.S. Reps. David Scott and Lucy McBath — face their primary challengers in metro Atlanta districts that were redrawn by Republicans after redistricting lawsuits.

Parties also choose their candidates for other congressional and state legislative seats and for local offices, including sheriffs, district attorneys and county commissioners.


The runoff will take place on June 18 in races where candidates do not obtain a majority.

Here’s a look at the key races:


The May 21 ballot is the general election of judicial candidates, who are running without party label.

Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson poses on April 17, 2024, in Atlanta. Voters will decide the race between Pinson and former Democratic Congressman John Barrow in a nonpartisan general election on May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, file)

Incumbent Justice Andrew Pinson, who was appointed to the nine-member court by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022, is trying to win a six-year term. He is opposed by John Barrow, a former Democratic congressman.

Barrow says he believes Georgians have the right to abortion under the state constitution, while Pinson says it’s inappropriate for him to talk about issues and that it’s important not to make the race partisan.

Kemp and other conservatives stepped in to help Pinson. Barrow unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that a state judicial agency violated his free speech rights when the agency warned Barrow that his discussion of abortion might violate the judicial ethics.

Justices Michael Boggs, John Ellington and Nels Peterson are unopposed. Six judges on the Georgia Court of Appeals are also unopposed, while Jeff Davis and Tabitha Ponder are vying for an open seat on the court.


Five Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination to succeed U.S. Republican Drew Ferguson, who is resigning after four terms.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed his former aide Brian Jack for the seat. Jack, who later worked for Kevin McCarthy, then Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, exploited the support of Trump and his Washington contacts to raise money during his first election campaign.

Former state senators Mike Crane and Mike Dugan, former state Rep. Philip Singleton and party activist Jim Bennett are also seeking the nomination. Dugan highlighted his successes as Senate majority leader, while Crane highlighted his religious beliefs and opposition to abortion. Singleton promised not to compromise conservative principles.

The Republican candidate will be the favorite in a heavily Republican district that runs along the Alabama border from Carrollton to Columbus and extends east into the Atlanta suburbs around Peachtree City and Fayetteville.

On the Democratic side, Val Almonord and Maura Keller are seeking their party’s nomination.


Scott faces six Democratic challengers in the 13th District in Atlanta’s south and east suburbs as he seeks a 12th term. Challengers include former East Point City Council member Karen Rene, former South Fulton City Council member Mark Baker and attorney Brian Johnson. On the Republican side, Jonathan Chavez is running against Johsie Cruz Fletcher.


The 13th District has been significantly reconfigured on a new map, moving north and east into Rockdale County and parts of Newton and Gwinnett counties. Challengers say Scott, 78, is too old and out of touch. Scott said in March he was seeking another term to improve funding for historically black colleges such as Fort Valley State University and to provide more aid to struggling homeowners.


McBath is running in his second new district in two years. In 2022, she jumped into a district that included parts of Gwinnett and Fulton counties, defeating fellow Democratic incumbent Carolyn Bourdeaux in a primary. Republicans again heavily reconfigured the McBath district in a second round of redistricting last year after a court ordered new maps to address discrimination against black voters. She then moved to the new Democratic-leaning 6th District, west of Atlanta, which has no incumbent.

McBath, whose son was shot, has made gun control and reducing gun violence his primary goal. She also says she wants to work on reducing health care disparities in another term. She faces primary opposition from Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas, Democrats who say they could better represent the new 6th District. The Democratic winner will face Republican Jeff Criswell in November.


Two years ago, Republicans hoped they had a chance to defeat Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop Jr., who served 16 terms in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District. But Bishop won that election easily. Now, four more Republicans are lining up to take a chance against a bishop, who is unopposed in the Democratic ballot.

Wayne Johnson of Macon, who was a U.S. Department of Education official under Trump, finished third in the Republican primary two years ago and is seeking the nomination again. Other candidates include Chuck Hand, a Taylor County Republican Party official and construction manager who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for illegally protesting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. He was sentenced to 20 days in federal prison and six months probation. Also running are Michael Nixon of Thomasville, a hospital purchasing executive and Air Force veteran, and Regina “Reggie” Liparoto of Columbus, a longtime conservative activist.


Four Democrats in northwest Georgia’s 14th District are vying for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has no opposition from the Republican Party.

The Democrats are consultant Clarence Blalock, of Hiram; retired Army Gen. Shawn Harris, of Cedartown; sales manager Deric Houston, of Dallas; and business manager Joseph Leigh, of Rossville. Harris has raised by far the most money of the four.


For most candidates, the main issue is their distaste for Greene, a top Trump ally who recently failed in her bid to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson. The winner will have a tough fight in a heavily Republican district. Two years ago, Democrat Marcus Flowers raised more than $16 million to challenge Greene, but he still lost heavily.


Republican U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk is the only other incumbent facing a major challenge. Lori Marie Pesta, a retired banker and longtime Republican activist, and Mike Pons, a retired airline pilot, are running against Loudermilk in the 11th Congressional District, northwest of Atlanta. Antonio Daza and Kate Stamper are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Democrats are also choosing candidates to challenge incumbent Republicans in the 8th District in south-central Georgia, the 10th District in northeast Georgia and the 12th District around Augusta.