A Look Back at the Primary Elections
By: Leopoldo Vargas, GALEO Intern
June 4th, 2018
The state of Georgia held its statewide primary elections on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018. All eyes were on both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primary races as two Democrats and five Republicans faced-off to represent their respective positions in this November’s general election. The race for the Democratic candidacy was coined “the Battle of the Staceys” as both candidates are named “Stacey”: Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans. The Republican candidate list was slightly more extensive. The candidates vying for the GOP nomination were the following: Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp, Hunter Hill, Clay Tippins, and Michael Williams.
The race for the Democratic nomination was very straightforward: since there were only two candidates running, one would almost surely win over 50% of the vote. In this case, Stacey Abrams won the nomination by a landslide. Abrams earned 76.5% of the vote with 422,509 total votes, while Evans only earned 23.5% of the vote with a total of 130,127 votes.
Abrams will have to wait to see who she will be facing in November, however. Since there were a total of five candidates running for the GOP’s nomination, it would prove to be difficult for one candidate to earn over 50% of the vote. In
this case, Casey Cagle earned the majority of the votes by earning 39% of the vote (with a total of 236,486 votes), Brian Kemp came in second with 25.6% (with a total of 155,037), followed by Hunter Hill, Clay Tippins, and Michael Williams, with 18.3%, 12.2%, and 4.9% of the votes earned, respectively.
So what does this mean? It means that the GOP will have a run-off election later in the summer to decide who will represent the party in the governor’s race. This is the case since no candidate earned over 50% of the vote. The top two candidates will compete in the run-off: Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. The run-off election is set to take place on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018.
What are the remaining candidates’ stances on immigration? According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams has shown pro-immigrant stances in the past. According the news report, Abrams “opposed Georgia House Bill 87, a crackdown on illegal immigration that lawmakers approved in 2011, saying it has ‘harmed our immigrant and refugee communities.’” (AJC.com).
The Republican candidates have a different stand on this issue. According to the same source, Cagle has “backed an unsuccessful measure in the state Legislature this year that would have required state judges and local sheriff’s deputies to help with federal immigration enforcement. He also filed a complaint against Decatur over the city’s enforcement of immigration law.” Kemp also shows a similar temperament towards immigration. This GOP candidate “has proposed creating a database for tracking unauthorized immigrants with criminal convictions and for speeding up their deportations.” (ajc.com).
As mentioned earlier, the run-off election for the GOP will take place on July 24th, with the general election scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. It is imperative that all voters inform themselves of all candidates in order to elect a governor that will closely represent Georgian interests.
politics.myajc.com. “Georgia 2018: Where the Candidates for Governor Stand on the Issues.” Politics.myajc, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 23 May 2018, politics.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politi
Prokop, Andrew. “Georgia Primary Election 2018 Results: Governor and Congressional Races.” Vox, Vox, 22 May 2018, www.vox.com/policy-and- politics/2018/5/22/17380144/georgia-primary-election-2018-results-governor-stacey- house.
NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.