Democrats face test in Georgia legislative races on Tuesday’s ballot

The Georgia Capitol. BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Democrats face a key test Tuesday in a sweep of conservative-leaning districts, some for the first time since the lines were redrawn, as they try to claw into the huge Republican advantage in the General Assembly.

All nine seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s state legislative special elections feature a Democratic contender — no small feat for a party that often doesn’t mount even token opposition in GOP strongholds. Party leaders hope the challengers, despite the long odds, are a taste of what’s to come next year.

Democrats are in the running to represent districts covering parts of Athens, Cumming, Dalton and Watkinsville that haven’t seen a Democratic challenger since the maps were redrawn in 2012. And they’re mounting a furious campaign to wrest away an Atlanta-based district that a political newcomer almost won last year.

The fallout is already evident. The mayor of Athens was ousted from the local Democratic Party after she endorsed the GOP candidate in the race. Republican activists in Forsyth County sent a blaring warning to voters that Democrats have staked a 2-to-1 edge in early voting. More than $1 million has been raised by candidates from both parties.

Keep reading: Georgia Democrats aim to cut into GOP’s legislative power

Other recent AJC stories on the legislative races:

Democrats hope to take back seat Hunter Hill flipped in 2012

Five seek to replace Vincent Fort in state Senate

Diverse candidate field vies to fill Stacey Abrams’ vacant House seat


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