Georgia’s story is one of a deep-red Southern state that has recently turned purple, transforming it into a fierce battleground. Before 2020, Georgia was staunchly Republican. Georgia had elected only one Democrat, Bill Clinton, in the past 30 years, and he won by only 0.6% of the vote. But things began to turn around in 2020/2021, when Trump was defeated by Biden and both Republican Georgia Senate seats flipped. These successes have given Democrats momentum, which is being used to promote progressive values in Georgia. Not surprisingly, Republicans are fighting back with repressive, extremist policies, including abortion bans and tougher voting requirements.
Georgia is currently at a crossroads, and the midterm elections will critically determine the direction that Georgia will go. The most important midterm races are for Governor and Senate. Both races are currently rated toss-ups. Our grassroots efforts can make the most difference in such close races!
Governor’s race: Stacey Abrams (D) vs incumbent Governor Brian Kemp (R):
Who has never heard of Stacey Abrams, activist and champion for voting rights? She will play a key role in Georgia’s immediate and future direction. In 2018, she challenged incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor’s race. Kemp won by a narrow margin in the closest gubernatorial race in Georgia in over 50 years. But the deck was stacked against Abrams, who sued on the basis of allegations of voter suppression and election manipulation by state officials. Kemp did not resign from his position as state’s chief election officer until shortly after the election that he won, which was clearly unethical. Abrams’ lawsuit, which challenges Georgia’s entire election system as being biased and unconstitutional, began in April of this year. However, its conclusion is unlikely to come early enough to affect the midterm elections.
Stacy Abrams is a game-changer, best known now for her tireless activism with Fair Fight and her ability to mobilize voters. Following the 2018 election fiasco, Stacey put together one of the most effective grassroots machines ever. Fair Fight and its army of volunteers propelled Biden, Warnock, and Ossoff to victory in Georgia. Fair Fight also addresses voter suppression in other states, especially Texas. We owe Stacey Abrams a debt of gratitude for opening the door for change in Georgia. However, there is still a way to go to ensure fair voting practices and elections not only in Georgia but wherever voter suppression is rampant.
Abrams is now re-challenging Gov. Kemp in the 2022 midterm election. She has grown from a little-known figure in Georgia politics into a champion of voter empowerment, and is now a Democratic star with a national reputation. Stacey is a true progressive, a staunch defender of reproductive and human rights, voter empowerment, and gun safety laws. Gov. Kemp, on the other hand, backs an extreme “no excuses” abortion ban, voter suppression, and gun laws so relaxed that even law enforcement opposes them. The choice cannot be clearer – and it’s our job to help Stacey Abrams defeat Brian Kemp, on a hopefully more level playing field this time around.
Senate race: Rafael Warnock (D) vs. Herschel Walker (R)
In 2021, Rafael Warnock, an activist Baptist preacher, stunned Republicans by winning the Georgia Senate runoff to become the first Black Democratic Senator from the South. Because it was a special election, Warnock needs to run for re-election in 2022. Although he has had little time in the Senate, Warnock has already supported issues that have pleased his supporters but made him a target for his opponents. He has supported Covid stimulus checks, Medicaid expansion, and federal voting laws, all of which have been opposed by Republicans who have him in the cross-hairs for defeat in the midterms.
Warnock’s Senate opponent in the midterms is Trump-backed Herschel Walker. Walker was a top NFL football player who played for Georgia. He is supported by extremist Republicans who want to defeat Warnock and flip the Senate. Because of Walker’s name recognition and image as a Georgia hero, he also is supported by many casual voters who only see him as a celebrity. However, more recently, Walker’s suitability as a candidate has been questioned due to allegations of threatening violence against women, as well as fathering children out of wedlock while advocating against children growing up in fatherless homes.
Like the gubernatorial race, the Senate race between Warnock and Herschel is rated a toss-up. Warnock is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2022. We must change that to keep our Senate majority!
Other races: Marcus Flowers (D) vs. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R)
You may be receiving frequent emails from Marcus Flowers that rightfully attack Majorie Taylor Greene, the US Representative from GA-14. Remember her – the QAnon-friendly election denier from Georgia who said California wildfires were started from Jewish space lasers? Marcus Flowers, her opponent, is a Black Army vet and former defense contractor and government official. The drive of Democrats across the country to unseat Taylor Greene has brought Flowers more money than for any other congressional challenger in the country. Unfortunately, though Flowers would be a strong candidate in many other districts, he is considered very unlikely to win in deep-red GA-14. We hope to see more of Flowers in the future, perhaps running for a state office, but for 2022, it seems more strategic to work for the election of Abrams and Warnock in Georgia.