It’s Georgia’s latest volley in a competition to land an earlier slot on the presidential nominating calendar, which would give the state greater influence in picking the nominee — and focus more attention on the state’s most pressing issues.
The Democratic National Committee is allowing states to bid for earlier dates after Iowa’s disastrous caucus in 2020 led to sharp questions about whether the majority-white, rural state best represents the party’s diverse electorate.
Georgia is among 17 states and territories vying for the early slots as DNC officials prepare a final recommendation in August. A final DNC vote on the early-voting schedule is expected in September.
Leaders in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina are trying to preserve their places at the head of the line, while Georgia is competing either to usurp South Carolina or, potentially, win a spot if a fifth state is added to the early-voting schedule.
Also still in the running are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas and Washington.
The plan would need to be approved by Republican officials, who would have to sign off on a calendar change. Aides to Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have yet to comment on the proposal.
State Democratic officials, who recently presented the proposal in Washington, say an earlier date will be an economic boon for Georgia, drawing millions of dollars in spending from the campaigns, media outlets and others. It would also bring new focus to the state’s battleground status.
Separately, Atlanta is also competing to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
The new attention would contrast with past presidential primary campaign cycles. Presidential candidates have only sparingly visited Georgia during recent primary contests, devoting much of their attention to generating a sense of momentum earlier.
Georgia set its 2020 primary for March 24 — weeks after Iowa’s vote — but it was pushed back twice as the coronavirus pandemic worsened. Joe Biden trounced Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to win the state’s June 9 vote.
“With our great diversity, political competitiveness and proven model for battleground states everywhere, Georgia is the ideal state for any candidate to build a strong, inclusive campaign,” Williams said.
The ad closed with the party’s tag line for the pitch: “Georgia. The true north of the Democratic Party is in the deep South.”