Democratic Cobb lawmaker to seek Georgia’s 6th District seat in Congress



Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson will run for a suburban U.S. House seat that could be redrawn to favor Democrats if a federal judge rules that Republican lawmakers illegally diluted the voting power of Black Georgians.

The Democrat filed federal paperwork and launched a campaign website this week to roll out her plan to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick in the 6th District next year. She plans a formal announcement next week.

“Jerica’s success lies in recognizing that what connects us is far greater than what separates us,” her website states. “Solving problems through collaboration and empowering others is a way of life for Jerica and she wants to put that to work for the citizens of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.”

On the surface, Richardson’s bid seems a head-scratching move. McCormick, a military veteran and physician, notched a 24-point victory in November over Democrat Bob Christian in a district that was drawn by Republicans to assure a GOP victory.

The district, spanning from Atlanta’s northern suburbs to Dawson County, was so heavily tilted toward Republicans that incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath jumped to a neighboring district and defeated a fellow Democrat to keep a seat in Congress.

Credit: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times

Credit: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times

But a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that paves the way for a second majority-Black House district in Alabama could wind up helping efforts by Georgia Democrats to reconfigure the 6th District to include more voters of color -- a bloc of voters who overwhelmingly back Democrats.

A two-week federal trial is now underway in Atlanta over a lawsuit filed by civil rights organizations who accuse Republicans of illegally shutting out Black voters. A ruling in favor of the challengers could give Democrats new hope of flipping control of a U.S. House seat and several state legislative districts.

Richardson isn’t the only Democrat with designs on the seat. Christian has already filed paperwork to run again. State Sen. Josh McLaurin is said to be in the mix, too, particularly if a redrawn district centers on north Fulton County. And McBath’s allies say she hasn’t ruled out switching districts, depending on how the maps align.

Richardson’s name was first floated months ago, and her allies filed paperwork in August to set up a federal fundraising committee with an email domain name that laid out her ambitions in blunt terms:

First elected in 2020 to the County Commission to represent an east Cobb district, Richardson quickly became a target of Republican lawmakers who changed the political boundaries to preserve the two GOP seats on the board and draw Richardson out.

The Democratic-controlled commission responded by attempting to overrule the Legislature by amending its own map to protect Richardson. State officials challenged the new commission boundaries, and the legal case is still pending.

McCormick, meanwhile, is bracing for potential challengers from both sides of the aisle. He defeated Jake Evans, a Donald Trump-backed candidate, to win the GOP nod last year.

He has since endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, becoming one of the few top Georgia Republicans to pick a side in the race for the White House.