Ex-Tech football player, a former lawmaker, eyes bid for Georgia's No. 2 job

Former Democratic state Rep. Ronnie Mabra is edging toward a run for lieutenant governor.

The Fayetteville attorney is "seriously contemplating" a 2018 bid for Georgia's No. 2 job, according to a campaign adviser.

Mabra was a defensive back on Georgia Tech's football team and later graduated from the University of Georgia's law school. A personal injury attorney, he was first elected in 2012 but decided against standing for a third term in 2016 to help his wife Dawn pursue her goals of becoming a doctor.

Donald Trump's election and a wide-open race for lieutenant governor might have changed his calculus. He's also an adept fundraiser: He took in more than $200,000 in his 2012 bid, a hefty sum for a down-ticket race.

No Democrats are yet in the race, though former state Sen. Doug Stoner is also said to be considering a run.

Whoever emerges will face a tough road. Republicans have controlled the office since Casey Cagle's 2006 victory and at least two GOP lawmakers have already announced: State Sen. David Shafer and state Rep. Geoff Duncan.

One aside: Mabra is a close ally of state Rep. Stacey Evans, who announced on Thursday she was running for governor.


The Democrats in Georgia's governor race have their work cut out for them.

A memo outlining a survey of 500 likely Democratic voters that was conducted by the Washington-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group showed about 30 percent backed House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, about 10 percent supported state Rep. Stacey Evans - and the rest were undecided. That's more than 60 percent.

Of course, that's not surprising either. Evans just jumped in the race on Thursday and Abrams has yet to formally announce. The primary vote is about a full year away.

It found that Abrams starts with some advantages: She was recognized by about three-fifths of the Democratic electorate, while Evans is recognized by about 40 percent. And it suggested voters responded better to her biography than Evans, though Evans supporters are likely to quibble with the phrasing of the questions. And it found Abrams leads Evans among white and black voters at this early stage.

It concluded that Abrams starts with a "solid foundation and an initial lead" - another contention that isn't likely to be shocking.

Evans supporters were quick to question the integrity of the document and the methodology of the survey.

There's a long road ahead, and Evans made clear in her announcement interview she's not dropping down to another race. The above item - about her ally Ronnie Mabra likely running for lieutenant governor - likely cements that notion.

Pore through the internal poll for yourself.


We won't know until next month how much money Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised since his unprecedented $8.3 million fundraising was reported in early April. But a Politico report gives us a pretty good idea.

The Democratic online fundraising platform ActBlue filed records this week that show Ossoff raised over $6.9 million online in the month of April. Politico reports that's more than the DCCC, DSCC and DNC - combined.

Read the story here.


Democrat Jon Ossoff might have foreshadowed a coming healthcare pivot in a tweet last night:



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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.