Roll Call: Democratic Women Continue Winning Streak in Georgia Runoffs

Democratic women continued their winning streak in a pair of Georgia runoffs Tuesday night. 

Gun control activist Lucy McBath secured the party nod in the 6th District and will face Republican incumbent Karen Handel in November. 

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, McBath led businessman Kevin Abel 54 percent to 46 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile in the 7th District, professor Carolyn Bourdeaux won the Democratic nomination to take on GOP Rep. Rob Woodall in the fall. 

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Bourdeaux led businessman David Kim 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the AP.

Both women finished first in their respective May 22 primaries in the suburban Atlanta districts. And both had the endorsement of EMILY’s List, which bundled money to their campaigns, though the pro-abortions rights group did not make any independent expenditures for either candidate. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates both races Likely Republican. President Donald Trump carried the 6th by less than 2 points in 2016, and the 7th by 6 points.

In the 6th District, McBath was the only woman and only African-American in the four-way May primary. The national spokesperson for the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, she’d garnered nationwide attention for telling her story as a mother who lost her son to gun violence.

She’s on unpaid leave from Everytown but benefited from $1 million in spending from the group’s affiliated action fund. She was also backed by Giffords PAC, the organization co-founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, End Citizens United, the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and BlackPAC. 

Democrats hope to tie Handel to GOP efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law and see McBath, a two-time breast cancer survivor, as an effective messenger.

Handel, who is running for her first full term after winning the 6th District in a high-profile special election last year, starts the race with a significant cash advantage. She ended the second quarter with $1 million in the bank. McBath had $151,000 by July 4, the end of the pre-runoff period.

In the 7th District, Bourdeaux, a Georgia State University professor, hit Kim, the founder of a tutoring business, in debates for not voting in the 2016 election. Kim poured $736,000 of his own money into the campaign. He accused Bourdeaux in a recent ad of helping craft GOP budgets that cut public education and health care funding. 

Besides EMILY’s List, Bourdeaux was backed by End Citizens United, as well as Georgia Democratic luminaries such as Rep. Hank Johnson, former Sen. Max Cleland and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, who also represented the Peach State in the House.  

Bourdeaux had $98,000 in the bank at July 4. Woodall ended the second quarter ended June 30 with $529,000. Democrats are hoping the four-term congressman could be a ripe target if a wave develops this fall, especially since he’s never faced a real race before

Jake Best