Trump picks a side in Georgia’s 6th District race

Republican House candidate Jake Evans speaks at a campaign event on Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Cumming. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

Republican House candidate Jake Evans speaks at a campaign event on Thursday, March 31, 2022, in Cumming. (Elijah Nouvelage/Special to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Former President Donald Trump intensified his effort to remake the Georgia GOP by intervening in yet another down ticket contest.

Trump endorsed Republican Jake Evans in the crowded 6th District race, picking the former state ethics commission chair over rivals including Dr. Rich McCormick and former state Rep. Meagan Hanson.

Evans had an inside track on the nomination thanks to his father, the well-connected attorney Randy Evans, who was a prominent Trump donor and served as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg in his administration.

Trump called Evans a “young man rapidly on the rise” and descibed his dad as a “highly respected legal warrior.”

It was a blow to McCormick, the runner-up in the 2020 race for the neighboring 7th District who had been working furiously to convince Trump to stay neutral ahead of the May 24 primary.

While the power of Trump’s endorsement in Georgia races remains an open question, his support could hold outsized sway in contests for open House seats in deeply Republican areas.

That describes Georgia’s 6th District, once a suburban stretch across north Atlanta’s close-in communities that was one of the most competitive U.S. House seats in the nation.

After Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath carried the district twice, Republicans used the once-in-a-decade redistricting process to turn the seat into a solid GOP stronghold. It now stretches to rural Dawson County.

Rather than run in a longshot race, McBath challenged fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in the Gwinnett-based 7th District, which was redrawn to become an easy Democratic victory.

That left a wide-open GOP race in her former district featuring candidates who jockey intensely over their loyalty to Trump and the depth of their conservative beliefs.

Aside from Evans and McCormick – the two perceived frontrunners – candidates include Hanson, Byron Gatewood, Blake Harbin, Paulette Smith, Mallory Staples, Suzi Voyles and Eugene Yu.

It was Trump’s tenth endorsement in Georgia. He has also backed former U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp and Herschel Walker’s U.S. Senate campaign.

He’s also given his blessing to John Gordon for attorney general, Jody Hice for secretary of state, Burt Jones for lieutenant governor and Patrick Witt for insurance commissioner.

And he’s endorsed three other U.S. House contenders: Incumbents Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Greene; and former Democrat Vernon Jones, who is now running for Georgia’s 10th District.

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