ATLANTA — David Perdue and Jason Carter added their names Wednesday to the May 20 primary ballot for the Republican and Democratic parties, joining other announced Senate and gubernatorial candidates who qualified for the election earlier in the week.
Perdue jumps into a Senate contest with seven expected candidates. Although he has never held elective office, his $25 million net worth and a cousin who was the state’s first modern GOP governor make him a viable candidate in a race that the latest public poll showed to be evenly split five ways.
Also qualifying Wednesday was Art Gardner, a political newcomer who is struggling in both the polls and fundraising.
The other big-name, statewide candidate to plop down a check and sign the forms is Democrat Jason Carter. As the grandson of Georgia’s only president and a state senator himself, Carter is another viable candidate. Pollster Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage has said that Carter was polling ahead of Gov. Nathan Deal after the January snowstorm left many Atlantans stranded, although recent surveys show the Republican Deal has regained the lead.
People keep lining up for a chance to run for state superintendent of schools. Two more GOP candidates signed up, Gainesville attorney Ashley Bell and Peachtree City professor Mary Kay Bacallao, joining six already on the ballot.
One count suggests as many as 10 more are expected to come forward.
Few state legislative races come down to a choice between two parties because districts are drawn to tilt toward one or another. So it’s noteworthy that District 125 in Augusta will have a general-election showdown. Democrat Rep. Earnest Smith will face Republican insurance agent Pat Garrett, who was in the latest batch to qualify. Smith got on the ballot earlier in the week.
Most of the contests are during the party primaries. For example, Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald picked up a challenger in the GOP primary when attorney Douglas Kidd qualified. So far, no Democrat has.