Earlier this year Clark lashed out at GOP legislative leaders after he was denied access to the Georgia House floor following a positive coronavirus test. Clark said at the time that he had several negative tests.
He was booted from the chamber by a state trooper in January 2021 after refusing to comply with the House’s twice-weekly testing requirements. At the time, he called Ralston a “dictator” and vented at the health precautions.
He has a long history of defiance of leadership since he was elected in 2015. He has called for Ralston’s resignation and waged a failed bid for speaker.
Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, a member of the House since 2003, failed to win a majority and faces a runoff against Rashaun Kemp, according to an unofficial count by the secretary of state’s office.
Rep. Sheri Gilligan, R-Cumming, a frequent opponent of legislation in her chamber, also appeared to narrowly miss a majority and to be headed for a runoff against Carter Barrett, according to the secretary of state’s count.
State Rep. Shelly Hutchinson of Snellville defeated state Rep. Rebecca Mitchell of Snellville in the Democratic primary in which two lawmakers were drawn into the same district. Hutchinson now faces Republican Preston Wren, who ran unopposed in his primary, in the general election.
Also in Gwinnett County, Democratic activist Nabilah Islam held a 78-vote lead (out of more than 11,000 votes cast) over state Rep. Beth Moore, D-Peachtree Corners, in the race for the open Senate District 7. Islam has embraced the label “Georgia’s AOC” after she won the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House in 2020.
In the Republican primary for District 7, Josh McKay defeated Bill Sandman to advance to the November general election.
In Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams’ old Atlanta House district, Saira Draper, a former Democratic Party of Georgia staffer, won a spot in the runoff with psychologist, Michelle Schreiner, according to the secretary of state’s count. The candidate endorsed by Abrams’ voting rights group Fair Fight — Bentley Hudgins — came in third in the five-candidate race.
The winner of the Democratic runoff will face Republican Jodi Diodati in the overwhelmingly Democratic district this fall.
Kemp’s former chief of staff Tim Fleming, an ex-Newton County commissioner, easily won his GOP primary for a House seat. In November, Fleming will face Democratic nominee Malcolm Adams, who ran unopposed Tuesday.
Two Republican House members, Reps. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth and Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville, also won primaries for state Senate seats.
Two former state senators, Rick Jeffares and Ed Perry, who was once a South Georgia Democratic lawmaker, both lost comeback GOP primaries.