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- Top Georgia offices including governor and attorney general matchups set for the November 8 general election.
- Runoffs are ahead for several statewide offices including lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
- Republican incumbent wins marked a defeat for candidates backed by former President Donald Trump.
Georgia heads to the 2022 general election in November with key matchups set for governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate following the results of Tuesday’s primary contests.
Runoffs are ahead in June for several key offices including secretary of state, lieutenant governor and the commissioners of the labor and insurance departments after top candidates failed to gain enough votes to win their primaries outright.
Georgia voters turned out in record-breaking numbers to cast ballots in this year’s primaries, roughly doubling the votes cast in the 2018 statewide primaries. Turnout in the three-week early voting phase was nearly triple that of four years ago.
The marquee race was for Georgia governor, a seat held by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. He will face his 2018 Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams on November 8 after trouncing his primary Republican challenger, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, by more than 600,000 votes.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams rallies with supporters in Atlanta on May 24, 2022. (Credit: Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon for State Affairs)
Also closely watched was the race for secretary of state, which oversees Georgia’s elections. Incumbent Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger secured the 50% margin needed to avoid a runoff with Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Greensboro).
Wins for Kemp and Raffensperger marked a resounding defeat for candidates backed by former President Donald Trump, who has warred against Georgia’s governor and secretary of state for refusing to use their offices to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Less clear in Tuesday’s primary is the outcome of the race to replace Republican Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan. State Sen. Burt Jones eyed an outright win in the Republican primary over Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller – but it was too close to call early Wednesday.
Primary runoff elections in Georgia are set to be held on June 21.
(Note: 95% of precincts have reported their vote counts as of Wednesday morning.)
Top Georgia offices including governor, secretary of state and attorney general have candidate matchups set for the November 8 general election. (Credit: Brittney Phan for State Affairs)
Runoffs are ahead for several statewide offices including lieutenant governor and secretary of state. (Credit: Brittney Phan for State Affairs)
Other Winners & Runoffs
Several candidates for lower statewide offices won their primaries outright on Tuesday.
Republican incumbent State School Superintendent Richard Woods will face Democratic nominee Alisha Thomas Searcey. State Sen. Tyler Harper, the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner, will face Democratic nominee Nakita Hemingway.
Democratic primary runoffs will be held for labor and insurance commissioners.
Georgia House Minority Whip William Boddie Jr. and candidate Nicole Horn, both Democrats, will compete for the Democratic nomination for labor commissioner, facing Republican nominee state Sen. Bruce Thompson in June.
Democratic insurance commissioner candidates Janice Laws Robinson and Raphael Baker head to a runoff to decide who will compete against Republican incumbent Insurance Commissioner John King.
Georgia’s primary runoffs will be held on June 21, with early voting scheduled to start no later than June 13. Voters must already be registered to vote as of May 23.
If there's a runoff, you're required to vote with the same party’s ballot during the runoff as you voted in the primary. (If you voted non-partisan or didn't vote in the primary, you can still vote in the runoff.)
The general election will be held on November 8. Early voting starts on October 17. The last day to register to vote is October 11.
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A study committee of Georgia senators took a decisive step Tuesday toward ending a longstanding and contentious law that regulates how and where new medical facilities are located in the state.
The committee’s decision centers on the 44-year-old Certificate of Need law. It was created to control health care costs and cut down on duplication of services and unnecessary expansions. It determines when, where and if hospitals need to be built. Opponents have said the law prevents competition and enables big hospitals to have a monopoly, often shutting out small and private medical outlets.
On Tuesday, the Senate Study Committee on Certificate of Need Reform effectively said the law needs to be repealed. The committee approved, in a 6-2 vote, nine recommendations.
“Based upon the testimony, research presented, and information received, the Study Committee on Certificate of Need Reform has found that the problem Georgia’s CON law was intended to combat no longer exists,” the report said.
However, the head of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals said Tuesday that repealing the law would be a bad idea.
“It would have a devastating financial impact on hospitals and the quality and access to health care,” Monty Veazey, the alliance’s chief executive, told State Affairs.
Veazey said he has not seen the recommendations yet but his organization has sent its own set of recommendations to the senate and house study committees.
“We believe that the certificate of need really does need some modernization and we look forward to working with the committee to work through those recommendations and see if we can reach a compromise position during the upcoming legislative session,” Veazey said. “We still want to see what the House committee recommends before moving forward.”
Here’s what the senate study committee recommends, according to a draft:
- Repeal CON requirements for obstetrics services, neonatal intensive care, birth centers and all services related to maternal and neonatal care across Georgia.
- End requirements for hospital-based CON on Jan. 1, 2025.
- Reform CON laws to eliminate CON review for new and expanded inpatient psychiatric services and beds that serve Medicaid patients and the uninsured.
- Repeal all cost expenditure triggers for CON.
- All medical and surgery specialties should be considered a single specialty, including cardiology and general surgery.
- Multi-specialty centers should be allowed, particularly in rural areas.
- Remove CON for hospital bed expansion.
- Revise freestanding emergency department requirements such that they must be within 35 miles of an affiliated hospital.
- Remove CON for research centers.
The committee will present its recommendations to the Georgia General Assembly when it reconvenes in January.
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ATLANTA — The first step in the 2023 electoral redistricting process occurred Monday when Sen. Shelly Echols, R-Gainesville, chair of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee, released a draft proposal of new Senate district maps.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ordered Georgia to redraw its state House, Senate and congressional district maps, adopted in 2021 by a majority-Republican-led Legislature, after finding they violated the Votings Rights Act by diluting the power of Black voters. The Georgia General Assembly is charged with submitting new maps to comply with Jones’ order by Dec. 8, and will be meeting in an eight-day special legislative session to do so, starting on Wednesday.
The proposed Senate maps would create two Black-majority voting districts while eliminating two white majority districts in metro Atlanta now represented by Democrats. The districts of state Sen. Elena Parent, chair of the Senate Democratic caucus, and Democratic Sen. Jason Esteves, a freshman, would become majority-Black if the redrawn maps make it through the redistricting process, a change that could invite considerably more primary challenges.
The proposed maps do not significantly alter the district lines for Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale, and Sen. Marty Harbin, R-Tyrone, whose districts Jones ruled did not comply with the Voting Rights Act. It will be up to Jones to decide if the new maps pass muster.
As it stands, the proposed Senate map will leave Republicans with a 33-23 advantage in the Senate.
On Wednesday legislators will plunge into their redistricting work during a special session at the Capitol. In addition to the state Senate maps, lawmakers must also redraw electoral maps to create Black majorities in one additional congressional district in west-metro Atlanta, and in five additional state House districts in Atlanta and the Macon-Bibb County area.
The proposed Senate maps (and all proposed maps to be submitted by legislators) are available on the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office’s website. Written comments can be submitted (and viewed) by the public through the portal available on the Georgia General Assembly website. Most of the reapportionment and redistricting committee’s hearings are open to the public; the daily legislative schedule is available here.
“The committee encourages public participation and values the input of the community in this vital democratic process,” Echols said in a statement released on Monday.
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Veteran government and political aide Lauren Curry has been named Gov. Brian Kemp’s chief of staff, becoming the first woman in Georgia’s 235-year history to hold that title. Curry, currently the deputy chief of staff, assumes her new role on Jan. 15. She succeeds Trey Kilpatrick who has accepted a job with Georgia Power as …
ATLANTA — An invitation-only tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter will be held at 1 p.m. today on the campus of Emory University at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. Former President Jimmy Carter, who has been receiving hospice care at home in Plains since February, is expected to attend, along with other Carter …