Atlanta incumbents, familiar foes qualify for federal, state, county seats on first day

On the first day they could do so, several local candidates have qualified for the federal, state and county seats up for grabs in the May 22 primary election.

Qualifying runs March 5 through 9. Those qualifying included both incumbents and other familiar faces.

In the gubernatorial race to replace Nathan Deal, who is term limited, former District 6 State Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna, who represented Vinings and parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs when in office, was the only Republican to qualify. He was joined by former District 42 State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, the only Democrat to qualify.

Former District 6 State Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, who represented the same area Hill did when in office, qualified to run for the District 5 seat on the Public Service Commission. Democrat Dawn Randolph, of Stockbridge, also qualified.

None of the candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent and commissioner of labor qualifying on the first day are local ones.

In the local federal races, incumbent District 5 U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, qualified to run for reelection. In the District 6 race, incumbent Karen Handel, R-Roswell, who defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special runoff election in June to replace Tom Price, qualified. So did Democrat Bobby Kaple, a Milton resident and former CBS 46 news anchor. Ossoff has already announced he is not running again this year.

Also, incumbent District 11 U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, qualified, as did Democrat Flynn Broady, an attorney and Marietta resident.

In the local state lawmaker races, a familiar face from November’s District 6 Senate special election to replace Hill after he resigned in August to run for governor has qualified. Buckhead attorney Leah Aldridge, who finished third in the eight-person special election, is back in the hunt. She was the only candidate to qualify on the first day. She is battling for the seat held by fellow Buckhead lawyer Jen Jordan, a Democrat who defeated fellow Democrat Jaha Howard in a runoff in December.

In the District 32 Senate campaign, it could be a repeat of last year’s special election runoff to replace incumbent Judson Hill, R-Marietta, who resigned to run for the District 6 U.S. House seat. Incumbent Republican Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick, who won the May runoff after eight candidates ran in the general runoff the previous month, qualified along with her runoff opponent, Democrat Christine Triebsch, a lawyer and east Cobb resident. They won’t face off in the primary but could in the general election in November.

In the District 38 election, incumbent Horacena Tate, D-Atlanta, qualified to run again. Incumbent District 56 Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, qualified along with two Democrats and fellow Roswell residents: Ellyn Jeager and Jim Guess Jr.

In the Georgia House races, two lawyers living in Sandy Springs–Republican Alex Kaufman and Democrat Josh McLaurin–qualified to replace incumbent District 51 Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, who is retiring.

In the District 52 election, incumbent Rep. Deb Silcox, R-Sandy Springs, qualified along with Republican Gavi Shapiro, of Sandy Springs, and Democrat Shea Roberts. Incumbent District 53 Rep. Sheila Jones, D-Atlanta, qualified to run again.

In the District 54 race, incumbent Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, qualified along with two fellow Buckhead residents: Democrats Bob Gibeling and Betsy Holland. Gibeling lost to Beskin in the last District 54 election in 2016.

In the District 80 election, Democrat Matthew Wilson, a lawyer, qualified for incumbent Republican Meagan Hanson’s seat.

In the Fulton County Board of Commissioners campaign, chair (District 7 at-large) Robb Pitts, a Democrat, qualified to run for reelection after winning a special runoff election in December. Democrat Keisha Waites, who he defeated in the runoff, also qualified. District 3 member Lee Morris also qualified on the first day.

Board members Bob Ellis (District 2), Natalie Hall (District 4) and Emma Darnell (District 6) are not up for reelection until 2020.

In the nonpartisan Fulton Board of Education election, incumbent members Katie Reeves (District 2), Linda McCain (District 5) and Julia Bernath (District 7) each qualified and have no opposition so far. Incumbent District 6 rep Kimberly Dove, who was appointed to the post last year after Catherine Maddox resigned because for health reasons, qualified along with LaTonya Rogers.

Board members Katha Stuart (District 1), Gail Dean (District 3) and Linda Bryant (District 4) are not up for reelection until 2020.

In the nonpartisan Fulton County Superior Court judge races, Bobby Wolf, Fani Willis and Kevin Farmer qualified to run for incumbent Tom Campbell’s post. Incumbents Jane Barwick, Christopher Brasher, Kelly Lee Ellerbe, Craig Schwall and Paige Reese Whitaker each qualified to run again.

In the other Fulton judicial elections, incumbent Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk and incumbent State Court Judge Fred Eady each qualified.

The runoff for the May 22 primary election, if needed, is set for July 24. The general election will be Nov. 6, with that runoff, if needed, scheduled for Dec. 4 for non-federal races and Jan. 8 for federal ones.

Check back with the Neighbor will provide updates on each day of qualifying.

+3 At Buckhead luncheon, Bottoms pledges to work for all of Atlanta
Fewer Atlanta candidates qualify for federal, state, county seats on Day 2

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