Meet Georgia’s 16 Democratic electors

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally event during his visit to Georgia at the amphitheatre at Lakewood on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
Caption
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally event during his visit to Georgia at the amphitheatre at Lakewood on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

They are party figures and powerbrokers, local legislators and activists, high-powered lawyers and civil rights veterans. And after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, they’ll be charged with casting the state’s 16 electoral votes for the Democrat on Dec. 14.

This group of electors has none of the drama that was attached to the Republican contingent from Georgia four years ago, who were under siege to withhold their vote from Donald Trump after his stunning victory. (None did, though one recused himself and was replaced.)

The 16 are avowed Biden supporters who have worked for years to flip Georgia, which last voted for a Democrat for president in 1992. They’ll cast their ballots for the former vice president on Monday, Dec. 14 to cement Biden’s roughly 12,000-vote victory over Trump.

ExploreUpdate: Georgia casts its 16 electoral votes for Joe Biden

Atop the list are two of the most familiar faces in state politics: Stacey Abrams and U.S. Rep.-elect Nikema Williams, the party’s chair.

There are other high-profile figures, including Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, state Rep. Pedro Marin, state Sen. Gloria Butler and the two outgoing Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, Steve Henson and Bob Trammell.

ExploreWhat happens when the Electoral College meets on Monday?

But the list is also dotted with Democrats better known for their work in the trenches.

Rome Commissioner Wendy Davis is among the party’s leading organizers, Bobby Fuse has won acclaim as a civil rights hero in Sumter County and Deborah Gonzalez was elected this month the next district attorney for Gov. Brian Kemp’s hometown.

Sachin Varghese is one of the party’s legal standouts and Cathy Woolard is a former Atlanta City Council president who helped mastermind the Beltline.

Then there’s state Rep. Calvin Smyre, the longest-serving member of the Legislature. He was an elector the last time a Georgia Democrat cast one of those heralded ballots – for Bill Clinton about 28 years ago – and said it’s “quite amazing” to have the chance to do so again.

“Time flies,” he added.

Here’s a full list:

Democratic Georgia Congressional candidate Nikema Williams participates in a campaign event in Jonesboro, Georgia, USA, 27 October 2020. ERIK LESSER / EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Caption
Democratic Georgia Congressional candidate Nikema Williams participates in a campaign event in Jonesboro, Georgia, USA, 27 October 2020. ERIK LESSER / EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Credit: EPA

Credit: EPA

State Sen. Nikema Williams: The party’s chairwoman and a state senator from Atlanta, Williams was elected to the U.S. House seat held by the late John Lewis in November. Read more

Stacey Abrams: The former gubernatorial candidate launched the Fair Fight voting rights group after her 2018 defeat, and she’s become a national figure and one of Georgia’s most prominent national political figures. Read more

House Minority Leader Bob Trammell: The top Democrat in the Georgia House, he is one of the only white Democrats representing a rural district in the Legislature. He was defeated in November after an intense GOP campaign. Read more

Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson: The DeKalb labor official was first elected to the Georgia Senate in 1990 and has been the top Democrat in the chamber for much of the decade. He didn’t seek reelection this year. Read more

Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), left, and Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) shake hands as they wait for a press conference after HB 426 passed the House on day 37 of the legislative session at Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. HB-426 passed. The bill would implement stiffer penalties if those guilty of crimes are found to have been motivated by hate. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), left, and Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) shake hands as they wait for a press conference after HB 426 passed the House on day 37 of the legislative session at Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. HB-426 passed. The bill would implement stiffer penalties if those guilty of crimes are found to have been motivated by hate. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

State Rep. Calvin Smyre: The Columbus retired banking executive is the longest-serving member of the Georgia Legislature and often serves as the liaison between Democratic factions in the House and the Republican majority.

ExploreCalvin Smyre's tribute to John Lewis at the State Capitol

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson: The former city alderman was elected in 2019 to Savannah’s top job, defeating an incumbent who was the first Republican to lead the city in decades.

Rome Commissioner Wendy Davis: The commissioner was behind the successful effort to bring minor league baseball to the northwest Georgia city and is a leading party organizer and a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Protestors are shown in the glasses of Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain, as she speaks during the War-on-Women's March on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol. Around 100 people showed up for this rally.
Caption
Protestors are shown in the glasses of Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain, as she speaks during the War-on-Women's March on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol. Around 100 people showed up for this rally.

Credit: Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

State Sen. Gloria Butler: The Stone Mountain legislator was first elected in 1998 and is a key member of party leadership. Read more

Deborah Gonzalez: The former state legislator from Athens is in a December runoff for district attorney with a pledge to shake up the criminal justice system.

Bobby Fuse: The longtime party activist is a retired school system administrator and civil rights leader in southwest Georgia.

Sachin Varghese: The former University of Georgia student body president is a partner at an influential firm who also serves as general counsel for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Fenika Miller: The former state House candidate is a veteran middle Georgia activist who chairs the Houston County Democratic Committee.

State Rep. Pedro Marin: The longest-serving state legislator from Gwinnett County, he was part of the first group of Hispanic lawmakers when he was first elected in 2002. Read more

Rachel Paule: The president of the Georgia Young Democrats and an emerging leader in the party.

11/29/17 - Atlanta - At a press conference in front of city hall, former mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard said she will vote for City Councilwoman Mary Norwood over City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms in the Dec. 5 runoff, giving Norwood a major shot in the arm for her campaign. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM
Caption
11/29/17 - Atlanta - At a press conference in front of city hall, former mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard said she will vote for City Councilwoman Mary Norwood over City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms in the Dec. 5 runoff, giving Norwood a major shot in the arm for her campaign. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Cathy Woolard: A former Atlanta city council president and mayoral candidate, she was also the first openly gay elected official in state history. Read more

Ben Myers: A veteran union leader and prominent activist in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which covers Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

ExploreWho were the Georgia delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention?

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