Her embrace of single-payer health care is a novel one in Atlanta’s competitive northern suburbs, where Democrats steered clear last year. Republican political groups have pounced on Democrats for embracing similar proposals in other districts, and they’re sure to do so in the 7th should Islam’s candidacy gain traction.
Islam said she was inspired to run by the U.S. House’s new freshman class, which includes a number of young, progressive women such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
“We had the most diverse Congress ever get elected, and for me it was inspiring because it showed me that my identity wasn’t a handicap, that I should be empowered to run for office and reflect the folks in our community,” Islam said.
She is the third Democrat to jump into the 7th District race, which is expected to draw even an even bigger crowd in the months ahead.
GSU professor Carolyn Bourdeaux, who was narrowly defeated by incumbent Rob Woodall in November, announced her plans to run again shortly after the Lawrenceville Republican said he wouldn't seek another term. She's raised more than $250,000 since the election and secured the endorsements of several senior officials, including U.S. Rep. John Lewis and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.
Snellville attorney Marqus Cole has declared his candidacy, and several rising Democratic stars in the Legislature are also eyeing the seat, which has been in GOP hands for 25 years.
More than a half-dozen Republicans are also mulling a run, including former state senator and lieutenant governor candidate David Shafer.