Monday was the first day of qualifying for the May primary and the November general election. At the Capitol, long lines formed as the Republican and Democratic parties helped candidates for federal and state officeholders. You can view the entire list of people who qualified here, but here are some highlights:
Johnny Isakson qualified early this morning, but if there is a big gun lined up to challenge him on the Democratic side, that person has yet to step forward. In addition to Derrick “TMOT” Grayson in the primary, Isakson faces James Knox in the general. And yes, Grayson used TMOT as his official name on the ballot.
Republican Bobby Scott of Columbus qualified to challenge longtime Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in the 2nd congressional district.
Drew Ferguson and Mike Crane qualified for the open seat in the 3rd district currently held by Lynn Westmoreland.
Democrat Rashid Makik qualified to run against Republican Rob Woodall in the 7th congressional district.
8th District Congressman Austin Scott has a Democratic challenger in James Harris of Gray.
Roger Fitzpatrick of Cleveland qualified in the 9th district against Doug Collins. No sign of Paul Broun or other challengers. We heard Collins could have five people running against him.
11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk qualified for re-election. he will be primaried by Hayden Collins, and, we hear, another high powered candidate.
Eugene Yu qualified in the 12th congressional district, running against Rick Allen in the primary. The winner will face Democrat Tricia CarpenterMcCracken in November.
Tommie Williams’s District 19 seat has two people vying to replace the longtime senator, Delvis Dutton and Blake Tillery. Williams was escorting Tillery around the capitol today.
The District 24 Senate seat, occupied by the retiring GOPer Bill Jackson has two Republicans running, Gregory Grzybowski of Evans and Lee Anderson of Grovetown. Anderson has been around the block, challenging former Rep. John Barrow in 2012. Meanwhile Democrate Brenda Jordan of Hartwell awaits in November.
Republican JaNice Van Ness won a special election unexpectedly in a district favoring Democrats. She will be challenged by Democrats Dee Dawkins Haigler of Lithonia, who currently serves as the State Rep. in HD 91, Toney Collins of Conyers and Tonya Anderson of Lithonia.
Senator Charlie Bethel of Dalton will be challenged by Conda Goodson in the Republican primary. This does not appear to be a significant challenge … I even spoke to one Democrat who said he would endorse Goodson if that would help Bethel.
Democrat Gloria Butler of Stone Mountain has Republican opposition in Annette Jackson. We extend best wishes to Jackson in this heavily Democratic district.
Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge is again being challenged by Sam Snider of Ellijay. Without bothering to check to see if Debbie Dooley will campaign for the wrestling coach, we predict the same result we saw in 2014.
Looks like anti-incumbent fever is alive and well in Dallas, where Howard Maxwell will be challenged by Kerstin Liberty in the 17th district, and Paulette Rakestraw will be challenged by Dallasite Matt Lowe in the 19th district. All are Republicans.
D. Stuart Jones qualified for the seat currently held by Mike Dudgeon, who will not run again.
The seat held by Carl Rogers of Gainesville, who is retiring has drawn Republican Matt Dubnik.
Marietta’s Bert Reeves has drawn a challenger in Christopher Lowe of Kennesaw. We hear the winner of the Republican primary between the two may face a Democratic challenger in November, although no one has qualified yet.
Longtime GOP Rep. John Yates of Griffin has drawn a Democratic challenger in Rahim Talley of Hampton.
As expected, Republicans Catherine Bernard and Meagan Hanson have qualified to take on Democrat Taylor Bennett, who won in a special election following the appointment of Mike Jacobs to the judicial bench in DeKalb County.
Republicans Jay Lowe and Scott Hilton have qualified for the open 95th House district held by Tom Rice of Peachtree Corners.
Three Republicans have qualified for the seat currently held by the retiring Barbara Sims of Augusta. Lori Greenhill, Mark Newton, and Wright McLeod will run for the seat. If McLeod sounds familiar, he ran in 2012 in the 12th district congressional race.
House Majority Leader Jon Burns of Newington faces a primary challenge form Daniel Almond of Clyo.
While that’s not every contested race it’s a good summary. Below the fold, some pictures from the first day of qualifying. Click on an image to start the slide show.