Rep. David Scott holds off challengers in 13th District Democratic primary

U.S. Rep. David Scott is pictured here during a visit to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in 2013. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

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U.S. Rep. David Scott is pictured here during a visit to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in 2013. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The Democratic primary in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District served as a referendum on U.S. Rep. David Scott, who is seeking an 11th term in office. Scott came out victorious.

Three challengers said new blood and a fresh voice were needed in the south metro Atlanta district. But the voters said otherwise, advancing Scott to the general election with a decisive vote.

While former South Fulton City Councilman Mark Baker and former state Sen. Vincent Fort campaigned on a message of bringing better service with a more liberal agenda, Scott focused on his accomplishments as a veteran lawmaker.

He is the first Black U.S. House member to chair the Agriculture Committee, where he oversees programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Scott also said he was proud to back funding for programs to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and increase resources flowing to historically Black colleges and universities.

He also dwarfed his opponents in fundraising and spent the money on campaign ads and signs that touted his record in Washington and the popular job and health fairs he routinely hosts in the district.

Jonesboro resident Thedy Kent said she heard about the criticism against Scott but voted for him anyway.

“I know the work that he’s doing to move people forward,” Kent said. “He’s been a good representative for Black people.”

The 13th District includes south Fulton County, most of Clayton County and parts of Cobb, Douglas, Fayette and Henry counties. Its boundaries shifted slightly in the new maps approved by the General Assembly, but the district remains a Democratic stronghold.

Scott will face one of three Republican candidates in the general election but is not expected to have much to worry about since his seat is solidly Democratic.