After setting a record of 850,000 early votes, turnout at the polls was light for Georgia’s primary and special elections, which saw incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp handily beat Republican challenger David Perdue and Atlanta residents extend a local option sales tax and approve bond referendums for infrastructure projects.
Despite the former senator’s ballyhooed endorsement from Donald Trump, Perdue’s campaign of debunked voter fraud conspiracies failed to gain traction with a Republican party apparently ready to move on from 2020.
During his concession speech, Perdue surprised supporters after announcing that he had called Kemp to congratulate him and offered his support.
“I am fully supporting Brian Kemp,” Perdue said. “Tomorrow morning you are going to hear me going to work to go to work to make damn sure Stacey Abrams is not the next governor of Georgia.”
Kemp will face off against Abrams, who clenched her nomination shortly after the polls closed as the only Democrat on the ballot, in the Nov. 8 general election.
As expected, Herschel Walker won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and will square off against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock in the fall.
Atlanta voters overwhelmingly approved $750 million in infrastructure improvements, including a $350 million transportation special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) and a $400 million in infrastructure bonds.
The TSPLOST extends the 4/10 of a penny sales tax approved in 2016. All of the money raised over the next five years will go toward repairing sidewalks, bridges, and roads. The money from the infrastructure bonds will fund public safety facilities, recreation centers, parks and bicycle, and transit lanes.
In other closely watched races, incumbent Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger avoided a runoff with his closest challenger, Jody Hice. On the Democratic side, Bee Nguyen will face Dee Dawkins-Haigler in a runoff on June 21.
Former Atlanta City Councilman and Congressman Kwanza Hall will meet Charlie Bailey in the runoff to decide the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, who will then face Republican winner Burt Jones.
In U.S. House Dist. 7, Democratic incumbent Lucy McBath sailed to victory, but her Republican challenger must be decided in a runoff between Michael Corbin and Mark Gonsalves.
Many candidates reacted to the horrific mass shooting of 18 elementary school children in Uvalde, Texas earlier in the day, including McBath: “We are better than this. We have to be better than this. We cannot be the only nation on earth where our children are torn apart on Tuesday and their deaths are gone from the news cycle on Wednesday. We cannot be the one nation where one party sits on their hands as children are forced to cover their faces in fear. We are exhausted.”
In the contentious U.S. House Dist. 14, Republican incumbent Majorie Taylor Greene will face Democrat Marcus Flowers in November.
And in a question posited only on the Republican primary ballot, voters were asked whether Buckhead should be allowed to become its own city. Not surprisingly, the majority of Republican voters said yes.
To see all the election results, visit our media partner GPB at this link.