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.
Other recent AJC stories on the legislative races: