RUNOFF RUNDOWN: Fulton County Edition

Get excited, Georgia! Today is the day when we vote on the races a majority of us could not agree on last time. So what’s on the docket? LOTS.

A selection of runoffs of Fulton County below.

State House

In House District 59 (Inman Park down to East Point), David Dreyer faces Janine Brown in what many are calling the most expensive state house race this cycle. It got controversial this week when Brown’s three pieces of negative attack mail were found to be over the top and false. It provoked an apology from Brown on facebook, but that doesn’t remove the 12,000 pieces of mail in voters’ mailboxes. If she wins, it’ll be because of the mailer. But it may end up costing her. This will be a close race.

Valerie V. Vie, whose name I love, faces William Boddie in HD62. 3V is up on TV. That’s a bold move but it’s tough to target TV in Georgia, so we will see if that overlay works.

Fulton County Judge

Regardless of which side of the issue you fall in the debate over America’s criminal justice reform movement, it is important that we consider who is more experience and more qualified on criminal issues.  While criminal issues are not the only thing that Superior Court judges rule, they are frequently the most controversial and divisive for a community.

In the race to replace outgoing Judge Wendy Shoob, we see perhaps the largest experience divide in any runoff election race.  Fulton County Native and Morehouse grad Eric Dunaway has spent the better part of the last two decades inside our criminal justice system (He has been a DA in City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Paulding County, and DeKalb County).  Dunaway has received dozens of endorsements from community leaders, elected officials, and both sides of the prosecutorial table.

Gary Alembik is similarly a Fulton Native and George Washington University and Mercer Law Graduate.  Alembik has spent his career at the law firm started by his parents and as a part time Magistrate judge.  Alembik has focused his campaign on legal experience, but he has zero criminal experience.   Alembik has been endorsed by Georgia Equality and Rep. Beth Beskin. And his dog. I think Dunaway pulls this one out.

Sterling Eaves faces Belinda Evans in the other Fulton Judge’s race.. When you’ve got support ranging from John’s Creek in the North to Nan Orrock in the South, it generally bodes well. But runoffs, unlike general elections, are often more about passion than sheer numbers, because frequently people don’t come back out to vote. It is possible that Belinda Evans’s supporters can walk it out here and defeat Eaves’s mail campaign and institutional support, but I wouldn’t bet on it.


More to come on other races this afternoon!


Oh! Full disclosure: I have consulted to David Dreyer in the 59 race.

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That Superior court race is interesting. Probably a good choice either way. Shirley Franklin and John Lewis for Belinda Edwards, and Nan Orrock and Margaret Kaiser for Eaves.