2012 elections review: Georgia voters send incumbents packing

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 17:49, 18 October 2012 by Gpallay (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

August 1, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continued yesterday with elections in Georgia. Voters made their presence known in legislative primaries, knocking off 11 incumbents -- the most of any state that has held primaries so far. That brings this year's running total to 91 legislative incumbents who have lost a primary.

Here's a recap of how many incumbents were defeated, and which districts will head to runoff elections for Congress, State Senate and State House.

Department of Justice sues over voting deadlines

On June 29, 2012 the Department of Justice filed a suit in federal court against the state of Georgia, alleging that service members, their family members and overseas civilian voters won’t have time to vote by absentee ballot in run-off elections, if they are required.[1] According to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), states must transmit all validly requested ballots to UOCAVA voters at least 45 days before an election, unless a hardship exemption is obtained, for which Georgia failed to file.[1] However, this conflicts with the timeline for runoff elections, in which the primary runoff, by law, must be held 21 days after the regular or special primary election, and if a run-off is required after the Nov. 6 general election, it will be held 28 days later, on Dec. 4, which also wouldn’t provide the required 45 days.[1]

As part of the lawsuit, the Department of Justice is asking Georgia to "extend the ballot receipt deadline to Aug. 31 for these voters, to send ballots by express delivery as soon as possible before the Aug. 21 run-off election, and inform UOCAVA voters no later than July 7 of their right to request a state write-in absentee ballot or their official absentee ballot for any run-off election by downloading it from the Internet, by email, or by fax."[1]

Contested Primaries in Georgia -- July 31, 2012
U.S. House
(14 seats)
State Legislature
(236 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 4 (28.57%) 33 (13.98%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 8 (57.14%) 45 (19.08%)

Congress

United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia, 2012

Georgia had a total of 14 seats on the ballot in 2012. A total of 43 candidates filed to run, made up of 11 Democratic challengers, 20 Republican challengers, and 12 incumbents. A total of 308 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 56.66% of possible primaries have been contested. Georgia's contested figure of 42.86% (12 out of 28 possible party primaries) is less competitive than the national average.

Three runoff elections will take place on August 21, 2012.[2] The 2nd district, 9th district and 12th district will all hold runoff elections after no candidate secured more than 50% of the vote.[3]

In the 9th district candidates Doug Collins and Martha Zoller will face off in the runoff election. In 12th district candidate Lee Anderson will advance to the runoff, and in Georgia's 2nd district candidates Rick Allen and John House were the top two vote getters and will advance to the runoff election.

Georgia's 12th district will hold a recount of the votes prior to the runoff to secure the second top vote getter in the election after the race was too close to call.[4]

In Georgia's 6th district, a recount will take place in the Democratic primary between Jeff Kazanow and Robert Montigel after the race was too close to call.[3]

No incumbents were defeated in the primary.

Members of the U.S. House from Georgia -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 5 5
     Republican Party 8 9
Total 13 14

State legislature

Georgia State Senate elections, 2012 and Georgia House of Representatives elections, 2012

Heading into the election, the Republican Party held a the majority in both the Georgia State Senate and the Georgia House of Representatives.

There were 236 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 56 Senate seats and 180 House seats.

There were 33 (13.98%) contested Democratic primaries and 45 (19.07%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 78 (16.53%) races with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 16.53% figure of total contested primaries in Georgia is lower than the current national contested average of 19.38% for states that have had filing deadlines.

Eleven incumbents were defeated in the Georgia state legislature yesterday, adding up to a combined 73 years in office.

The 11 incumbents defeated were:

Senate

Other races of note in the Senate:

Republican Party District 7: Tyler Harper defeated State Representative Mark Hatfield and Rodney Vickers for the seat being vacated by Greg Goggans (R). Harper will now face off against Democratic candidate Gene Mitchell in the general election.[5]
Democratic PartyDistrict 15: Incumbent Ed Harbison, who first assumed office in 1992, rebuffed a challenge in the Democratic primary from Reginald Pugh. This election marks the third time Harbison defeated Pugh in a Democratic primary for the seat; this match-up also occurred in 2006 and 2008.[6] Harbison will advance to the general election to take on David Brown.
Republican PartyDistrict 18: Incumbent Cecil Staton is locked in a close race with Spencer Price in the Republican primary. Only about 200 votes separated the candidates, with the advantage going to Staton, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.[7] Late in the campaign, Price filed an ethics complaint against Staton, alleging that Staton participated in, and benefited from, a conspiracy to divert funds from the Georgia Republican Senatorial Trust to his campaign.[8]
Republican PartyDistrict 25: Incumbent Johnny Grant, who first joined the Senate in 2005, was defeated by challenger Burt Jones. Jones will face Democratic candidate Darrell Black in the general election.
Democratic PartyDistrict 26: Incumbent Miriam Paris, who first assumed office in 2011, was forced into a runoff by challenger David E. Lucas, Sr. in the Democratic primary. A third candidate in the primary, Irvin Martinez, fell well short of advancing to the runoff. The Democratic nominee will face Republican Bobby Gale.
Republican PartyDistrict 27: Incumbent Jack Murphy, who first assumed office in 2007, barely survived a primary challenge from Steve Voshall, defeating him by only about 120 votes in the first count.[7] Barring a recount or changes in the results, Murphy will face no opposition in the fall and keep his seat.
Republican PartyDistrict 31: Incumbent Bill Heath, who first assumed office in 2005, was forced into a runoff by challenger Bill Carruth, with fellow contender J.K. Rogers finishing a distant third. No Democratic candidate is running for this seat.
Democratic PartyDistrict 35: Incumbent Donzella James, who first assumed office in 1993, fended off challenges from Detrius Hill Jones and Cory J. Lynch, and will now face Republican Benjamin Brooks in the general election.
Democratic PartyDistrict 38: Incumbent Horacena Tate, who first assumed office in 1998, defeated Reginald Crossley in the Democratic primary and now faces no opposition in the general election.
Democratic PartyDistrict 44: Incumbent Gail Davenport, who first assumed office in 2011, could be forced into a primary runoff with Gail Buckner. Marcus E. Davis trails in the three way race, which will likely decide who holds the seat for the next two years.[7]
Democratic PartyDistrict 55: Incumbent Gloria Butler, who first assumed office in 1998, defeated Mark Williams in the Democratic primary and does not face major party opposition in the general election.

House

Other races of note in the House:

Republican PartyDistrict 1: The open seat drew attention from three candidates, John Deffenbaugh, Mike Nowlin, and Alan Painter, who battled for the nomination in the Republican primary. No candidate managed to obtain more than 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the nomination, resulting in a runoff election between the top two vote getters, John Deffenbaugh and Alan Painter. The winner of the runoff primary on August 21st will take on Democratic candidate Thomas McMahan in the general election.
Republican PartyDistrict 4: Three Republican candidates battled for the open seat. Bruce Broadrick defeated Dennis Mock, and David W. Renz in the primary. No Democratic candidates filed to run in either the primary or general, so Broadrick is almost guaranteed the District 4 seat.
Republican PartyDistrict 9: Republican candidate Kevin K. Tanner defeated Clint Smith to win the open seat.
Republican PartyDistrict 28: Republican candidates and top vote getters Dan Gasaway and Jon Heffer will face off in a runoff election to decide the seat.
Democratic PartyDistrict 41: Diana Eckles and Michael Smith will face off in a runoff election to decide the Democratic candidate who will advance to the general election to take on Republican candidate Phil Daniell.
Democratic PartyDistrict 62: Marvin Arrington and Ladawn Blackett Jones will advance to the runoff election to decide the district seat.
Republican PartyDistrict 66: Bob Snelling and Michael Miller will advance to the runoff election to decide the winner of the Republican nomination. The winner will face Kimberly Alexander (D) in the general election.
Democratic PartyDistrict 92: Tonya P. Anderson and Doreen Williams will advance to the runoff election to decide the district seat.
Democratic PartyDistrict 113: Sharon Sawyer and incumbent Pam Dickerson will advance to a runoff election and will decide the district seat. Dickerson has served in this office since 2011.
Democratic PartyDistrict 139: Patty Bentley and Thomas Coogle will face off in the runoff election to decide the winner of the district seat.
Republican PartyDistrict 167: Jeff Chapman defeated John Tuten, and will replace Roger Lane (R) in the District 167 seat. Lane vacated the seat for a Superior Court judgeship in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.[9] Chapman previously represented the 3rd district of the Georgia State Senate from 2005-2011.[9]

Runoff elections on August 21, 2012[10] will take place for eight districts where no candidate managed to get more than 50 percent of the vote necessary to win in the primary election.[11] The eight districts are District 1, District 28, District 41, District 62, District 66, District 92, District 113, and District 139.


Georgia State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 20 18
     Republican Party 36 38
Total 56 56


Georgia House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 63 60
     Republican Party 114 119
     Independent 1 1
     Vacancy 2 0
Total 180 180


See also

Ballotpedia News

External links

References