Georgia's GOP governor primary: 2 officials face runoff
ATLANTA — In Georgia's gubernatorial primary, Democrats elected the state's first woman nominee from either party, but no Republican candidate could gather more than 50 percent of the vote — so the top two face a July runoff.
If Stacey Abrams wins in November, she'll become the first black woman governor in the U.S. She will face either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Their runoff is scheduled for July 24.
Wait, Georgia just voted for a black woman to be a candidate for Governor?— Michael Royce Hill (@MichaelRoyceHi2) May 23, 2018
Abrams beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans. The one-time legislative colleagues tussled over ethics accusations and their records on education. Both are Atlanta-area attorneys. Abrams got a last-minute boost with an endorsement -- in the form of a 60-second robo-call -- from Hillary Clinton.
Congratulations to Stacey Abrams on her victory win on becoming the First Female African American Governor in the great state of Georgia congrats Abrams #Congratulations #Abrams #Georgia #congrats #VoteBlueGeorgia pic.twitter.com/q9KmHKNKAp— Nick Delgadillo (@myboynick98) May 23, 2018
In the Republican race, Cagle and Kemp beat three GOP rivals in a race characterized by strong support for gun rights and tough talk on immigration. The field was all white men - former legislators, officeholders and businessmen, some with decades of political experience and others positioning themselves as outsiders challenging the establishment.
#ElectionResults : Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle & Secretary of State Brian Kemp headed to a July 24 runoff in the race to become GOP nominee for Georgia governor, while Stacey Abrams made history in the Democratic primary. #11Alive https://t.co/konIMimlvp— Cheryl Preheim (@CherylPreheim) May 23, 2018
In the ballroom of a downtown Atlanta hotel, Abrams supporters trickled in to a soundtrack of R&B and hip-hop songs. Two young women — one black and one white and both wearing shirts reading "Elect Black Women" — huddled over a table as Rihanna's "Diamonds" played in the background.
At Cagle's gathering in Gainesville, he walked through a crowd of supporters shaking hands, offering hugs and taking selfies while country singer Tyler Hammond performed on stage.
Election night in Georgia with Candidate for Governor Casey Cagle@donaltrump#teamcagle pic.twitter.com/fS6zzo04FY— Super Fab Magazine (@super_fabulous2) May 23, 2018
In Athens, supporters of Kemp streamed into the upstairs ballroom of the Holiday Inn to await returns.
The candidates are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who has held the office since 2011.
Our family continues to be humbled by the support all across Georgia. What an amazing evening for #TeamCagle ! I look forward to moving on to the runoff and continuing to spread our bold, conservative message for Georgia! #CagleLead #gapol pic.twitter.com/64LD0H3hbS— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) May 23, 2018
All of Georgia's statewide constitutional offices are up for grabs this election cycle, including those vacated by Cagle and Kemp, as well as the position of insurance commissioner vacated by Ralph Hudgens, who isn't seeking re-election.
Georgia's 180 state House and 56 state Senate seats are also up for a vote.
Five of Georgia's U.S. House members face primary challengers.