Marcus Flowers to challenge Rep. David Scott in Democratic primary

Marcus Flowers, who raised more than $16 million in 2022 when he ran against Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in northwest Georgia's 14th Congressional District, has shifted his sights. On Friday, he filed paperwork to run in May's Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District against U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta. Steve Schaefer/steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Marcus Flowers, who raised more than $16 million in 2022 when he ran against Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in northwest Georgia's 14th Congressional District, has shifted his sights. On Friday, he filed paperwork to run in May's Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District against U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta. Steve Schaefer/steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Democrat Marcus Flowers, who raised more than $16 million in a failed U.S. House bid in 2022, filed paperwork on Friday to challenge long-serving U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta in the party’s May primary.

Flowers confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he would run against Scott, a 78-year-old Democrat who made history after the 2020 election when he became the first Black lawmaker to lead the powerful House Agriculture Committee.

In a statement to the AJC, Flowers avoided mentioning Scott but said his campaign would center on “defending our democracy against those that seek to do it harm.”

“I’ve spent my entire life fighting for this country both in the military and in government, and I believe that I’m uniquely capable of bringing the good fight to D.C.,” Flowers said.

Scott has faced persistent questions about his health, including from fellow Democrats who have privately urged him to retire. He has dismissed the criticism and vowed he is prepared to run for a 12th term in office.

A military veteran, Flowers mounted a 2022 campaign against U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right Republican who at the time had just been stripped of her committee assignments for her embrace of hateful and dangerous conspiracy theories.

Flowers raised heaps of cash from out-of-state Democrats eager to unseat Greene thanks to aggressive fundraising tactics. But he was always a long shot in the deeply conservative northwest Georgia district. Greene carried the seat by two-thirds of the vote in one of the nation’s most expensive U.S. House races.

Flowers reported roughly $620,000 in campaign cash in the bank at the end of his campaign. Since his defeat, he helped launch a super PAC called Mission Democracy that aims to help Democrats compete in difficult congressional races.

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, is planning to seek a 12th term representing Georgia's 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House. The General Assembly reshaped the district during a special session last year, moving it from parts of southwest metro Atlanta to the city's eastern edges. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

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Credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC

Now Flowers is taking on a different challenge by seeking to unseat a Democratic incumbent in a metro Atlanta seat.

He and his aides see an opening after a Republican-led overhaul of political maps shifted Scott’s 13th Congressional District from a stretch of southwest metro Atlanta to a ring of territory on the city’s eastern edges.

Neither Flowers nor Scott lives in the solidly Democratic district, though a Flowers aide said the candidate plans to move there after “winning the election.” The boundaries now include all of Rockdale County and parts of Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Henry and Newton counties.

The district was redrawn last year after a federal judge ordered lawmakers to create a new majority-Black U.S. House seat. U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath quickly announced she would run for another district on Atlanta’s westside while Scott laid claim to the territory on the city’s eastern half.

Flowers is among several Democrats taking aim at the party’s incumbents.

Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas are both running against McBath in the 6th Congressional District. And at least three other Democrats have filed paperwork to compete against Scott.

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