By JEFF AMY, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Karen Handel will get her rematch with Democrat Lucy McBath. Handel won a majority of votes and the GOP nomination Tuesday over four other Republicans including Mykel Lynn Barthelemy, Blake Harbin, Joe Profit and Paulette Smith. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, won a bloody special election over Democrat Jon Ossoff in 2017, only to lose narrowly to McBath in 2018. Other candidates argued Handel wasn’t the right candidate to face McBath, but she overwhelmed them with superior fundraising and name recognition. The 6th District includes northern Fulton and DeKalb counties and easter Cobb County. McBath faced no opponents for the Democratic nomination.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story is below.
Jon Ossoff was leading six other Democratic contenders Tuesday in Georgia voting for a position challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Republican David Perdue.
Several U.S. House incumbents easily won primaries, while a Republican and Democrat both advanced to runoffs in northeast Georgia’s 9th District. Also on ballots were dozens of state House and state Senate seats, and two state Supreme Court positions.
Voters also got their say in long-delayed presidential primaries, even though President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have wrapped up their parties’ respective nominations. Biden won Georgia’s primary, appearing alongside 11 other Democrats on ballots finalized months ago. Trump was the only choice on the Republican ballot.
Ossoff, Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico headlined the Senate race. Ossoff held a sizable lead early Wednesday morning, but it was too early to call whether he had earned a majority. If no one wins a majority, the top two contenders will return in an Aug. 11 runoff.
Democrats hope to be competitive in both the Perdue race, as well as a November special election to fill the last two years of the term of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a race in which Kelly Loeffler currently holds the seat by appointment.
Ossoff, having lost an expensive House special election to Karen Handel in 2017, used name recognition and money to lead the contest, and has moved to the left since the 2017 race. He focused the campaign on fighting corruption, which he says distinguishes him from the other Democratic candidates.
Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, argued that she is a more experienced politician who can attract voters statewide. Amico, who was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018, highlighted her business experience and union support.
Republican Karen Handel was leading four other Republicans, saying she should get a rematch with first-term Democratic incumbent Lucy McBath. Her opponents, including Mykel Lynn Barthelemy, Blake Harbin, Joe Profit and Paulette Smith, said the former Georgia secretary of state isn’t the right candidate to face McBath after losing to her in 2018. McBath had no opponents for the Democratic nomination in the 6th District, which includes northern Fulton and DeKalb counties and eastern Cobb County.
Both Republicans and Democrats had competitive primaries in the 7th District, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall isn’t seeking another term. Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux was leading as she asked her party to give her another shot at the seat in parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties after she lost to Woodall by fewer than 500 votes in 2018.
Other Democratic candidates for the seat included state Sen. Zahra Karinshak, state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, former Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves, progressive activist Nabilah Islam and 2016 Democratic nominee Rashid Malik.
On the Republican side, physician Rich McCormick was leading over state Sen. Renee Unterman. Like McCormick, businessman Mark Gonsalves and former Home Depot executive Lynne Homrich are pitched themselves as outsiders. Other Republicans include Lisa Babbage, Zachary Kennemore and Eugene Yu.
A Republican state representative who has been an irritant to his party’s leaders advancing to a runoff in northeast Georgia’s 9th Congressional District. Rep. Matt Gurtler was leading a nine-candidate Republican field Tuesday, sending him to an Aug. 11 runoff to settle the party nomination. Trailing in incomplete results were gun dealer Andrew Clyde, former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, state Sen. John Wilkinson, state Rep. Kevin Tanner and lawyer Ethan Underwood.
Also running were Michael Boggus, Maria Strickland and Kellie Weeks. Democrat Brooke Siskin will face either Devin Pandy or the Rev. Dan Wilson in a runoff in one of the country’s most Republican districts. The district covers all or part of 20 counties in northeast Georgia.
Nine Republicans sought to succeed U.S. Rep Tom Graves in northwest Georgia’s 14th congressional district, after Graves announced he would step down. Businessperson Marjorie Taylor Greene and neurosurgeon John Cowan were leading in incomplete results. Others included former state schools Superintendent John Barge, state Rep. Kevin Cooke and former state Rep. Bill Hembree. Also running were car dealer Matt Laughridge, Republican Party official Andy Gunther, former assistant district attorney Clayton Fuller, and business owner Ben Bullock. The Republican nominee will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal. The district covers all or part of 12 counties in northwest Georgia.
OTHER CONGRESSIONAL RACES
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter rolled over challengers Danny Merritt and Ken Yasger in the Republican primary in the coastal 1st District, while Democrats were choosing among Lisa Ring, Joyce Marie Griggs and Barbara Seidman.
In southwest Georgia’s 2nd District, GOP activists Don Cole and Vivian Childs competed to face longtime incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop.
Incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson had two primary challengers — contractor William Haston and attorney Elaine Amankwah Nietmann — in suburban Atlanta’s 4th District.
Civil rights leader and 17-term representative John Lewis routed Barrington Martin II in the Democratic primary in Atlanta’s 5th District.
In middle and south Georgia’s 8th District, incumbent Republican Austin Scott easily beat Army veteran Daniel Ellyson and business owner Robert Vance Dean in a GOP primary.
In eastern Georgia’s 10th District, Democrats chose 2018 nominee Tabitha Johnson-Green over Andrew Ferguson to face incumbent Republican Jody Hice.
Liz Johnson, 2018’s D
emocratic nominee for state insurance commissioner, beat retired attorney Dan Steiner in the Democratic primary in eastern Georgia’s 12th District. Incumbent Republican Rick Allen awaits the winner.
Metro Atlanta’s 13th District had Democratic and Republican primaries. Incumbent Democrat David Scott was challenged by former state Rep. Keisha Sean Waites, lawyer Jannquell Peters and Marine Corps veteran and 2014 candidate Michael Owens. Republicans chose business consultant Becky Hites over engineer Caesar Gonzales.
Incumbent Sarah Warren beat Dougherty County prosecutor and former local judge Hal Moroz, while former state Rep. Beth Beskin was trailing incumbent Justice Charlie Bethel.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Environmental advocate Daniel Blackman was leading energy efficiency consultant John Noel in the race for the Democratic nomination for the state Public Service Commission. Although the two must live in District 4, which covers northern and eastern parts of Georgia, the race is on the ballot statewide. Blackman lost to incumbent Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald in 2014, while Noel lost a Democratic primary for the utility regulatory commission in a different district in 2018.
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