In effort to flip a congressional seat, Hunt and West head to runoff

May 25, 2022 Atlanta: Voters at Park Tavern located at 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta. Voters encountered short lines and limited problems as election day got underway in Georgia on Monday, May 25, 2022 making their voices heard in one of the politically competitive states in the nation. But there were initial hiccups in a few voting locations. Some voters arrived at the polls to find their precincts had been moved to different locations. Others had short waits during the initial morning rush. Several voting locations had problems starting voting machines. In Fulton County, voting was running smoothly at almost all of the county's 250 polling sites, in part thanks to the 91,000 voters who cast their ballots during three weeks of early voting, said Interim Elections Director Nadine Williams. Two polling places, Hopewell Middle in Milton and Creel Park in South Fulton, opened 20 to 30 minutes late. Williams didn't provide a reason for the delays, but she said the county is asking a judge to allow the sites to close later so everyone can vote. She said some poll workers were 'no-shows' but they had staff in reserve. Williams encouraged folks to vote during lunch hours. The New Georgia Project, a voting rights group which monitors election issues, reported the polling place at Bethesda Elementary School in Gwinnett County opened about 30 minutes late. At North Decatur Presbyterian Church, two voting touchscreens weren't working because of a problem with their batteries, but poll workers said they had enough functioning touchscreens to avoid delays. About 70 voters cast ballots in the first hour of voting. Another voter, Marcia King, said she needed help from a poll worker to figure out how to print her ballot from the touchscreen. "This was very easy with no problems at all, and people were there to help," King said. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

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May 25, 2022 Atlanta: Voters at Park Tavern located at 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta. Voters encountered short lines and limited problems as election day got underway in Georgia on Monday, May 25, 2022 making their voices heard in one of the politically competitive states in the nation. But there were initial hiccups in a few voting locations. Some voters arrived at the polls to find their precincts had been moved to different locations. Others had short waits during the initial morning rush. Several voting locations had problems starting voting machines. In Fulton County, voting was running smoothly at almost all of the county's 250 polling sites, in part thanks to the 91,000 voters who cast their ballots during three weeks of early voting, said Interim Elections Director Nadine Williams. Two polling places, Hopewell Middle in Milton and Creel Park in South Fulton, opened 20 to 30 minutes late. Williams didn't provide a reason for the delays, but she said the county is asking a judge to allow the sites to close later so everyone can vote. She said some poll workers were 'no-shows' but they had staff in reserve. Williams encouraged folks to vote during lunch hours. The New Georgia Project, a voting rights group which monitors election issues, reported the polling place at Bethesda Elementary School in Gwinnett County opened about 30 minutes late. At North Decatur Presbyterian Church, two voting touchscreens weren't working because of a problem with their batteries, but poll workers said they had enough functioning touchscreens to avoid delays. About 70 voters cast ballots in the first hour of voting. Another voter, Marcia King, said she needed help from a poll worker to figure out how to print her ballot from the touchscreen. "This was very easy with no problems at all, and people were there to help," King said. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Real estate developer Chris West and political commentator Jeremy Hunt advanced to the Republican runoff in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District.

Hunt has demonstrated an ability to raise money and attract high-profile endorsements like former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Ambassador Nikki Haley. But the West Point graduate has faced criticism for having few ties to the southwest Georgia district, moving to the area shortly after he announced his candidacy.

West, a Thomasville native, touts his deep ties to the district and was considered the front-runner before Hunt arrived on the scene.

Former President Donald Trump did not endorse any of the six Republicans in the primary, making it the only competitive congressional race in Georgia where he did not weigh in.

Although Bishop had an opponent in the Democratic primary, it was not much of a contest and he won easily against Joe O’Hara.

The 2nd District includes all or parts of 30 mostly rural counties in southwest Georgia. It still leans slightly Democratic under the new map and has a majority Black electorate.

But that majority is slip and Republicans are hopeful that their nominee can ride a wave of opposition to President Joe Biden and Democratic policies to a victory in November.