Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan entered the race against Attorney General Chris Carr on Wednesday by framing the Republican incumbent as out of step with Georgia voters because of his support for anti-abortion laws and other conservative policies.
The Sandy Springs attorney launched her campaign with a video that opens by invoking her much-watched Senate speech in 2019 objecting to sweeping abortion restrictions before tracing her path from rural Dodge County to the University of Georgia’s law school to the Georgia Capitol.
And she took direct aim at Carr, who she said has “done just about everything he can do to deny Georgians their basic rights” by opposing Medicaid expansion, supporting abortion limits and leading a GOP group that urged Republicans to march to the U.S. Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“I’m running because it’s time that all of the people of Georgia had a voice — not just the powerful,” Jordan said. “Because our current attorney general just isn’t looking out for us.”
Her campaign is chaired by DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston, one of the state’s most prominent Black prosecutors and a top contender to be the next U.S. attorney in Atlanta.
Credit: Steve Schaefer
Credit: Steve Schaefer
Jordan is part of a wave of Democrats seeking statewide office following the party’s stunning victories in Georgia’s presidential election in November and the January U.S. Senate runoffs.
A growing number of candidates are competing to join a Democratic ticket that could be topped by U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is running for a full six-year term in November 2022, and Stacey Abrams, who is expected to mount a rematch against Gov. Brian Kemp after her narrow defeat in 2018.
But Jordan would first have to win a competitive Democratic primary. Charlie Bailey, a former anti-gang prosecutor, announced a second bid against Carr just days after the Jan. 5 runoffs. Bailey narrowly lost to Carr in 2018, finishing with about 48.7% of the vote, and he entered the 2022 campaign with the backing of former Gov. Roy Barnes and U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson and Lucy McBath.
Carr, meanwhile, is preparing for a reelection bid even as he weighs a potential challenge to Warnock. A former top aide to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Carr has enjoyed a burst of attention from the GOP base for his defense of the sweeping new election law that includes absentee ballot restrictions.
“Attorney General Carr is busy defending Georgia against the economic harm caused by Democratic misinformation, putting criminals behind bars and protecting the victims of human trafficking,” said Heath Garrett, Carr’s campaign strategist. “He’ll stay busy serving Georgians while the Democrats are fighting each other in a bitter primary to prove who’s most out of touch with Georgians.”
Jordan has long been viewed as a potential candidate for higher office. Even before she flipped a state Senate seat in a special election, she made waves with a lawsuit targeting Kemp, who was then secretary of state, after his office illegally disclosed the private information of more than 6 million voters.
She won a crowded 2017 race for a Senate seat vacated by Republican Hunter Hill and soon helped lead the Democratic opposition to GOP-backed legislation that sought one of the strictest abortion limits in the nation. Her deeply personal dissent to the law, which was blocked by a federal judge, went viral as she shared her painful story of loss.
Like Bailey, Jordan is eager to criticize Carr for his role as chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association. An arm of the group sent a robocall urging supporters to descend on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to demand that Congress block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Carr has said he “unequivocally had no knowledge or involvement” concerning the call and that the head of the subsidiary group, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, has resigned. Jordan said the Republican was “complicit in eﬀorts to destroy our democracy.”
Jordan also pushed for tighter limits on toxic gas emissions after a Smyrna-based plant was flagged for releasing chemicals linked to an elevated cancer risk. And she’s among a chorus of Democrats who pushed to expand Medicaid, backed gun control measures and opposed “religious liberty” legislation.
“I know what it’s like to be an underdog. To be counted out. Not to have a voice,” she said in her campaign video. “So I’ll be an attorney general that fights every day for Georgians that don’t have power. For those who just need a fair shot. I’ll be your voice. Always.”