U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, has won his primary outright for the 2020 Democratic nomination in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District.

Election 2020: Scott avoids runoff, wins Democratic primary in Georgia’s 13th

This article has been updated to reflect the latest voting tallies.

U.S. Rep. David Scott has won his Democratic primary, narrowly avoiding a runoff as he seeks a 10th term in office, according to The Associated Press.

Initially, the AP said that Scott would face a runoff in August against former state Rep. Keisha Sean Waites. But, after three days of ballot-counting, the news organization declared that Scott had won the majority vote needed to advance directly to the November general election.

Waites has asked a Fulton County judge to take emergency action that prevents the county from certifying election results by the June 19 deadline. She and a co-plaintiff  said more time is needed to assure all votes are counted accurately in the race.

“Our goal is simply to ensure the integrity of the election by guaranteeing every voter's ballot is counted,” Waites and Linda Pritchett said about their lawsuit.

All the other congressional incumbents facing primaries in Georgia also won their races outright and were quickly declared their party’s nominee after polls closed Tuesday. 

They are U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican in the 1st District; U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat in the 4th District; U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat in the 5th District; and U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican in the 8th District.

David Scott, a Democrat who lives in Atlanta, had faced accusations that he is an absent leader and out of touch with his constituents in the 13th District. Earlier in the campaign he declined to participate in a debate with Waites and two other Democratic opponents.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott’s visibility increased as he connected residents with resources and held town halls. He also possessed a sharp fundraising advantage over his opponents: Scott had $240,801 in the bank as of the most recent report, compared with Waites’ $875.

Waites, who ran unsuccessfully for Fulton County Commission chair in 2018, said she was the best prepared of Scott’s three primary challengers to work across the aisle with Republicans in Congress. She cited as proof her five years in the General Assembly.

Initially, when it appeared she had forced Scott into a runoff, she posted on social media: “To God be all the glory.”

Former East Point Mayor Jannquell Peters and Michael Owens, a former chairman of the Cobb County Democratic Party, were the other candidates in the race.

All the incumbents, including Scott, are now heavily favored to win their general election races in November.

Lewis, who is recovering from pancreatic cancer, has been making national TV appearances all week to talk about protesting during the civil rights movement and how it compares with current protests over police brutality.

He easily won his Democratic primary over political newcomer Barrington Martin II. Lewis now faces Republican Angela Stanton-King, a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, in the general election. 

In a statement after winning his primary, Lewis thanked voters for their support but also lamented the election day problems that plagued the state. 

“Voters suffered through long lines and equipment malfunctions just to exercise their constitutional right to vote," he said. "Many stood outside for hours in the heat and rain to cast their ballot. This represents an unacceptable failing of Georgia’s entire electoral system that must be corrected before the November election."

Read more: A running list of results in Georgia federal races

Also: Election 2020: AJC Election results June 9, 2020

Photos: Georgia voters struggle with long lines, new equipment

Related: Voting machines and coronavirus force long lines on Georgia voters

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About the Author

Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell is the AJC’s Washington correspondent.
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