Democrats Stacey Abrams, left, and Stacey Evans clashed Tuesday night in a gubernatorial debate put on by the Atlanta Press Club in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting. A key subject of the debate was the state’s HOPE scholarship. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Understanding Georgia’s race for governor 

A closer look at the people, trends and policies that shape Tuesday’s primary

The race for Georgia governor reaches a climax Tuesday when voters decide contests between two Democratic women striving to redefine their party’s philosophy and five GOP rivals dueling each other over their conservative chops. 

Here is our guide to the people, events and trends that have helped shape the race for governor. 

Big changes in Georgia politics at stake in Tuesday’s vote 

Republicans are trying to outdo each other with aggressive promises on a blend of tried-and-true conservative issues, such as cutting taxes, cracking down on illegal immigration and expanding gun rights. And the Democratic contenders, for the first time in decades, are following a similar tack with a tack to the party’s base. ­­­­– Greg Bluestein, May 20

In Georgia, Democratic primary hinges on appeal to black voters 

The Democratic race for governor has highlighted a tense scramble to win over black voters, who make up the biggest bloc of the party’s electorate. – Greg Bluestein, May 16

Georgia Democrats turn left ahead of primaries. Can it work in a GOP-led state?

The gulf between the top Democrats and Republicans in Georgia is as wide as it has been in decades. – Greg Bluestein, May 13

Abrams banks on debt as advantage in final stretch of gov race 

Rather than downplaying the fraught topic of her roughly $200,000 in debt, Stacey Abrams has been anything but quiet about her finances lately. – Greg Bluestein, May 10

Locked and loaded: Republicans race to right on guns 

A few months after a mass shooting at a Florida high school reignited a nationwide debate over gun control, Georgia Republicans have aggressively moved in the opposite direction. – Greg Bluestein and James Salzer, May 7

Deal looms large over race to replace him as Georgia’s governor 

The most liked figure in Georgia politics right now is not Donald Trump, Mike Pence, David Perdue or Barack Obama. It’s Gov. Nathan Deal. And his popularity is shaping the crowded race to succeed him. – Greg Bluestein, May 4

After Delta flap, some execs pony up to Georgia Democrats 

In the days after Georgia Republicans exacted political revenge on Delta Air Lines, several high-profile business leaders and airline executives quietly threw their support behind one of the two Democrats running for governor. – Greg Bluestein, April 10

In Georgia, Democrats chart new course on gun control 

Not so long ago, most leading Georgia Democrats cozied up to pro-gun groups. Not anymore. Now Georgia Democrats are embracing proposed firearms restrictions and openly warring with the gun lobby, a remarkably quick shift that upends the party’s decades-old political approach to the debate. – Greg Bluestein, March 22

Georgia GOP counting on tax overhaul to help during elections 

Georgia Republicans plan to lean heavily on the recently passed tax overhaul as they hit the campaign trail this year to counter a surge of civic activism on the left and the headwinds that face a party in power in a tough political environment. – Tamar Hallerman and Greg Bluestein, March 18

Election-year politics threaten Georgia’s bid for Amazon

Georgia has pledged to roll out the welcome mat to Amazon in hopes of securing its second headquarters. The Legislature may not have received the message. – Greg Bluestein, March 2

2018 election will weigh heavily on Georgia Legislature

Every Georgia legislative session is influenced by political machinations and maneuvering. But not every session features a bumper crop of open statewide races and a slew of newly competitive legislative seats up for grabs in an uncertain, combustible political environment. – Greg Bluestein, Dec. 28, 2017

A divide over the two Staceys has Georgia Democrats worried

Though the protest was but one moment in a brewing campaign, it instantly underscored racial tensions within the Democratic coalition, a tenuous alliance of a growing bloc of black voters and a dwindling number of whites. – Greg Bluestein, Aug. 25, 2017

How Trump is shaking up the governor's race

President Donald Trump is shaking up the emerging race for Georgia governor, forcing Republicans to gamble on how closely to tie themselves to his presidency – and speeding up plans for Democrats who think they have a tantalizing opportunity to exploit his setbacks. – Greg Bluestein, May 29, 2017

Democrats Stacey Abrams, left, and Stacey Evans clashed Tuesday night in a gubernatorial debate put on by the Atlanta Press Club in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting. A key subject of the debate was the state’s HOPE scholarship. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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