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What to watch for in Georgia's June primary runoffs
Donald Trump and Stacey Abrams won't be on the ballot Tuesday, but the impact of their endorsements will be as voters decide a number of key primary runoffs to select party nominees for Georgia's midterm elections.
The biggest races for Democrats will be statewide contests for lieutenant governor, labor commissioner, insurance commissioner and secretary of state to join Sen. Raphael Warnock, gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and others seeking to flip control of the state after winning elections in 2020 and 2021. For Republicans, a trio of Congressional runoffs will dominate discussions, including two races that will effectively decide who will win in November.
Trump-backed candidates faced crushing defeats in the May 24 primary election, with high profile losses by former Sen. David Perdue in the governor's race, Rep. Jody Hice in the secretary of state's race and a pair of lesser-known challengers losing against Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King. His U.S. Senate pick, Herschel Walker easily won the primary, and several sitting House members coasted to victory, too, but two candidates in Tuesday's runoff face uphill battles in their races.
Attorney Jake Evans came into the 6th District GOP runoff as the second place candidate behind emergency room doctor Rich McCormick, and former Democratic lawmaker Vernon Jones was the second place vote-getter in Georgia's 10th district, trailing trucking executive Mike Collins.
Abrams has endorsed a slate of runoff candidates, including state Rep. Bee Nguyen for secretary of state against former Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Charlie Bailey for lieutenant governor against Kwanza Hall and Rep. William Boddie over Nicole Horn in the labor commissioner's race.
Nguyen and Boddie received the most votes during last month's primary, while Bailey trailed Hall. Abrams did not issue an endorsement for either Janice Laws Robinson or Raphael Baker in the insurance commissioner runoff, for Joyce Griggs or Wade Herring in Georgia's 1st Congressional District runoff or in Georgia's 10th Congressional District runoff between Tabitha Johnson-Green and Jessica Fore.
So far, about 167,000 people have voted statewide in the runoffs from both parties, after a new voting law reduced the runoff period to just four weeks after the general election instead of nine.