(The Center Square) – Seven Democratic candidates will be on the primary ballot in Georgia on Tuesday, seeking a chance to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in November’s general election.
Perdue is running for his second six-year term. No other Republican challenged him in the primary. His opponent for the November election depends on who wins the Democratic primary.
Two recent polls have indicated Jon Ossoff, an investigative journalist and media executive, is the front-runner among the Democrats.
A Channel 2 Action News poll, published Wednesday and conducted by Landmark Communications, showed 42 percent of 400 likely Democratic voters supported Ossoff.
In a Civiqs survey conducted in May, 47 percent of 1,339 registered voters in Georgia said they would select Ossoff over Perdue in a possible November matchup.
Ossoff has received endorsements from U.S. Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson, Georgia State Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman and state Rep. Karen Bennett, and dozens of other leaders from around Georgia, according to his campaign website.
The Senate race is Ossoff’s second attempt at winning office. In 2017, Democratic voters selected him as the nominee in a special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, but Republican Congressman Tom Price held on to the seat.
Ossoff is running his campaign based on exposing political corruption.
“Lobbying and political contributions should not buy bailout money, unfair subsidies, or impunity for labor and environmental abuses,” he said. “But as long as money buys political influence, our government’s policies will favor the most powerful special interests, distorting the market to benefit the best-connected people and businesses.”
In the Landmark Communication poll, 28 percent of the voters were undecided and 14 percent supported Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus.
Tomlinson said she plans to bring “progressive leadership” to the U.S. Senate.
“Washington is filled with dysfunction. These days, the U.S. Senate looks more like the World Wrestling Federation than the world’s most deliberative legislative body,” a message on Tomlinson’s website said. “If we keep electing the same people, that will not change.”
Also on the ballot are businesswoman Sarah Riggs Amico, journalist Tricia Carpenter McCracken, retired veteran James Knox, civil and human rights attorney Maya Dillard-Smith and Marckeith DeJesus, who works in health care administration.
Amico was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018. She has boasted that she’s the only candidate who has been saving and creating jobs for the past 16 years.
Dillard-Smith said she successfully has championed the expansion of Medicaid, reformed justice systems, prevented gun-violence, designed community policing and protected voting rights.
Knox’s focus is on the issues of veterans’ health and services, quality and affordable health care, and educational opportunities for all.
The issues DeJesus said he is passionate about include common-sense gun safety, slowing climate change, transitioning from a minimum wage to a livable wage, and Medicaid expansion.
McCracken ran for the U.S. House in 2016.
One of the Democrats would need to secure at least 50 percent of the vote Tuesday to avoid a runoff in August.
Perdue’s platform includes term-limit reforms and conservative spending. He also is a close ally of President Donald Trump.
Other primaries in Georgia on Tuesday include races for president, U.S. House, state Senate and state House.
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