The general primary election is Tuesday in Georgia and for some of the high profile African American local races you are not likely to see any television ads vying for votes. Races like incumbent US Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) from Georgia’s fourth District who is facing former DeKalb Sheriff Tom Brown; Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves race against long term elected official Fulton County Commissioner Rob Pitts as Democratic candidates. Former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones is running for DeKalb Sheriff against a crowded field.
South Fulton County will be carefully watched as candidates in three districts seek election. District 4 has current District 6 Commissioner Joan Garner against frequent candidate Eddie Lee Brewster; the crowded District 5 contest has former Atlanta Board of Education chairperson Brenda J. Muhammad, Johnnie Gordon, Dell Byrd of Atlanta, Kwame Thompson, and Marvin Arrington Jr., son of Atlanta political legend Marvin Arrington, Sr.; and redistricting has current Commissioners Emma Darnell and Bill Edwards in a face-off.
While it has been reported that Governor Nathan Deal will spend over $1 million in his primary and the US Senate candidates and political action committees will spend over $10 million on television, local candidates are heavily relying on direct mail and telephone calls to persuade voters. This probably means that the most successful campaigns next Tuesday are the ones that have built and can activate a grassroots campaign. The candidates who can connect with their supporters last and most frequently in the final days of the campaign are most likely to be successful.
It is predicted that once again, voter turnout will be low, which could mean that underdogs who can rally voters in the last few days have the best chance to pull off upsets. We’ve seen some internal poll numbers on several of the races mentioned in this post and can tell you that nothing has been decided. Sure there are favorites, but each of these races will come down to who shows up to the polls on Tuesday.
Note: Early voting offers convenience for voters to cast their ballot at any of the 19 locations within Fulton County. Friday, May 16 is the last day of Early Voting.