Trump-backed down-ballot statewide candidates fare poorly in primary



While former President Donald Trump’s endorsement didn’t have much sway in the governor’s race, his influence may have helped pull votes in one statewide down-ballot race.

Trump’s pick for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Burt Jones, a Jackson Republican, might be able to avoid a runoff, pulling in far more votes than the other three candidates in the race as the ballots were being counted Tuesday. If he isn’t able to remain above the 50% mark, Jones will face Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville in a runoff election next month.

In the nine-way Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, former Atlanta city councilman and briefly U.S. Rep. Kwanza Hall and Charlie Bailey, an attorney who ran for attorney general four years ago, appeared likely to head to a runoff.

State law requires candidates to receive more than 50% of the votes cast in order to win an election. In primary races where no candidate reaches that threshold, a runoff is required.

Trump-backed candidates for state insurance commissioner and attorney general were badly beaten in the GOP primary.

Attorney John Gordon was easily defeated by Republican Attorney General Chris Carr, who came out on top in the GOP primary.

Carr will face Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan, who defeated attorney Christian Wise Smith in the Democratic primary for attorney general.

State Insurance Commissioner John King won the Republican nomination for his post, trouncing a Trump candidate.

Trump didn’t weigh in on all of Georgia’s down-ballot races.

State Sen. Bruce Thompson held a substantial lead late Tuesday in the Republican primary to lead the state Department of Labor, while a trio of Democrats were battling it out for the top two spots in what appears to be a likely runoff.

On the Democratic side, none of the candidates had secured even one-third of the votes counted. State Rep. William Boddie was leading. but Nicole Horn, a small business owner, and Lester Jackson, a Savannah state senator, were not far behind.

In the state school superintendent’s race, incumbent Richard Woods won his Republican primary over former state Superintendent John Barge.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic primary for the post, Alisha Thomas Searcy, a former state representative from Austell, appeared to avoid a runoff.

Nakita Hemingway appeared set to win the Democratic nomination for Georgia agriculture commissioner.

Hemingway, a Dacula cut-flower farmer and real estate agent, held a substantial lead over state Rep. Winfred Dukes and Fred Swann. Republican state Sen. Tyler Harper ran unopposed in his primary.

In the race for the District 2 seat on Georgia’s Public Service Commission, Patty Durand beat Russell Edwards in the Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Tim Echols ran unopposed in his primary.

Staff writers Michael Kanell, Drew Kann, Shannon McCaffrey, Ty Tagami and David Wickert contributed to this article.