Runoffs will determine candidates for several Georgia congressional seats

Runoffs will be held Tuesday in three of Georgia's 14 congressional districts to finalize the November ballot. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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Runoffs will be held Tuesday in three of Georgia's 14 congressional districts to finalize the November ballot. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Tuesday’s runoff elections include two closely watched Republican congressional races where controversial front-runners are hoping voters put them over the finish line despite opposition from party leaders.

Various Republican elected officials and party insiders have said that state Rep. Matt Gurtler, a candidate in the 9th District, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, running in the 14th District, are the wrong people to represent Georgia in Washington. Both posed for pictures with and have the support of Chester Doles, a man with long-standing ties to white supremacy. While neither candidate has endorsed Doles’ nationalist views, they haven’t distanced themselves from him either.

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Greene, one of the two GOP finalists in the 14th District, has also spread QAnon conspiracy theories and posted videos on social media where she shared racist and anti-Muslim views.

Her opponent, neurosurgeon John Cowan, tried to capitalize off the controversy by presenting himself as an alternative to Greene who is just as conservative but not as problematic. The question is whether a majority of voters in the district, one of the nation’s most conservative, will agree.

The seat is open because incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Graves decided to retire and not seek another term.

In the 9th District, the seat became open after U.S. Rep. Doug Collins decided to run for the U.S. Senate instead.

Gurtler hasn’t faced the same level of criticism as Greene, but he still is not the establishment’s favored candidate. He earned some of that opposition during his tenure in the General Assembly, casting numerous votes against budgets and study commissions and angering Republican leaders in the process.

His opponent is Andrew Clyde, an Athens gun store owner who once filed a lawsuit after the Internal Revenue Service froze his bank account, then worked to get a law passed to prevent that from happening to other businesses. That law now bears his name.

There is also a Democratic runoff in the 9th District between veteran Devin Pandy and Brooke Siskin, who brought attention to the race with a recent stint in jail after refusing to comply with a judge’s order to surrender her guns.

Two Democrats also face a runoff in the 1st District: Joyce Marie Griggs and Lisa Ring. The winner will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter in November. Griggs agreed to be disbarred in 2001 after she was accused of mishandling cases.

ExploreLearn about local runoff elections Aug. 11 in metro Atlanta counties
ExploreRead more: Election 2020: Intraparty rancor drives interest in Georgia runoff races
ExploreAJC election results will exclude number of precincts counted. Learn why

Meet the candidates

District 1 Democratic runoff

Joyce Marie Griggs, a former attorney who lives in Savannah, griggsforcongress.com/

Lisa Ring, an educator and former corrections officer living in Savannah, www.lisaringforcongress.com/

More: Guide to the Democratic runoff in the 1st Congressional District

District 9 Republican runoff

Andrew Clyde, gun store owner in Athens, clyde4congress.com

Matt Gurtler, a state representative and general contractor who lives in Tiger, www.mattgurtler.com

More: Guide to the GOP runoff in the 9th Congressional District

District 9 Democratic runoff

Devin Pandy, an Army veteran who lives in Commerce, devinpandyforcongress.com

Brooke Siskin, a Gwinnett County resident who owns a small business, brookeforamerica.com

More: Guide to the Congressional District 9 Democratic runoff

District 14 Republican runoff

John Cowan, a Rome neurosurgeon and owner of a toy company, cowanforcongress.com

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a construction company executive who moved from Milton to Rome, greene2020.com

More: Guide to the GOP runoff in the 14th Congressional District

ExploreAlso on the ballot are runoffs for the Georgia Legislature. See the list
ExploreAtlanta and Georgia 2020 Election News from the AJC

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