Bourdeaux lost the nation’s tightest U.S. House race in 2018 to U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, who is retiring after that close call, and she boasts a long list of high-profile supporters in her 2020 bid. But Karinshak’s campaign hopes Cleland’s defection is a sign the party establishment is having second thoughts.
A first-term lawmaker who flipped a Republican-held district last year, Karinshak launched her campaign with plans to emphasize her military background. She attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as an intelligence officer during the Gulf War, before graduating from Emory Law School.
Bourdeaux, a public policy professor, and Karinshak are among five top Democrats racing to represent a district that has transformed from a safely-Republican seat to a competitive free-for-all. State Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, party organizer Nabilah Islam and ex-Fulton Commission chair John Eaves are also in the race.
The Republican race to replace Woodall is just as jumbled. The GOP candidates include state Sen. Renee Unterman, former Home Depot executive Lynn Homrich, military veteran Ben Bullock, businessman Mark Gonsalves and emergency room doctor Richard McCormick.