A pair of Democrats launch long-shot bids to replace Tom Price

One well-known Democrat - former state Sen. Ron Slotin - jumped in the race Wednesday promising to be a "progressive voice" for the district. And another lesser-known candidate, attorney Joshua McLaurin, announced Tuesday he would run for the seat.

Slotin, a business owner who once was publisher of Atlanta Jewish Life, represented a north Atlanta Senate district until 1996, when he lost a bid to oust Rep. Cynthia McKinney. It's not clear whether he has the widespread support of party officials.

But there was much lamenting in Democratic circles on Tuesday when McLaurin, a Yale-educated attorney from the north metro Atlanta congressional district, said he was in. He was at the center of a 2014 Georgia court ruling that allowed more parties to take video recordings of courtroom proceedings.

A quick scan of Democratic poobahs yielded plenty of concerns he would dilute the party's vote. McLaurin didn't consult with top party leaders before announcing his entry. A sampling of reactions:

"Who is this guy?" "Never heard of him." "He's not our candidate."

Here's McLaurin's announcement:

The district heavily favors Republicans, and before Price it was represented by Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson. And although Hillary Clinton came within a whisker of winning the district in November, Price still won a commanding victory with about 62 percent of the vote.

Among the other Democrats kicking the tires on a run are former state Rep. Sally Harrell, who served in the early 2000s, and state Rep. Taylor Bennett, a former Georgia Tech standout who was ousted last month by a Republican newcomer.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side of the aisle, the field consolidated somewhat on Tuesday with Jan Jones' decision not to run.  State Sen. Judson Hill has already announced a bid, and former Secretary of State Karen Handel, ex-state Sen. Dan Moody and state Rep. Chuck Martin are expected to run.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.