Crowded Fields in 7th Highlight Congressional Primaries

Crowded Fields in 7th Highlight Congressional Primaries

Attention also will be paid to the 6th District, where Republicans hope to regain a seat lost to Democrats in 2018.

Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Lucy McBath
Lucy McBath

The most contested congressional races in the June 9 primary are in the 7th District, where Republican Rep. Rob Woodall’s decision not to seek re-election set off a scramble among Democrats and Republicans. Because of the size of the fields, Aug. 11 runoffs are possible on both sides of aisle.

The 7th covers much of Gwinnett County and the southern half of Forsyth County.
On the Democratic side, Carolyn Bourdeaux returns, having come within a whisker of defeating Woodall in 2018, losing by 433 votes out of more than 280,000 cast. The Georgia State University professor faces a field that includes former Fulton County Commissioner John Eaves (who is Jewish), state Sen. Zahra Karinshak, state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, and political activist Nabilah Islam.

Carolyn Bourdeaux

As of March 31, the most recent deadline for campaign finance reports, Bourdeaux had nearly $1.06 million cash on hand; Karinshak, $504,025; Islam, $81,582; Eaves, $56,367, and Romero, $37,545.

On the Republican side, the field includes state Sen. Renee Unterman; emergency room physician Dr. Rich McCormick; Lynne Homrich, former vice president for human resources at The Home Depot: businessman Mark Gonsalves; and educator Lisa Babbage.

As of March 31, Unterman reported having $726,326 on hand; McCormick, $542,147; Homrich, $273,150, Gonsalves, $154,030, and Babbage, $2,440.

Zahra Karinshak

Unterman was raised Catholic and converted to Judaism before marrying Mark Unterman, whom she later divorced. In November 2019, Unterman’s campaign manager, Brendan Jaspers, sent the AJT a statement that said, “Her son and daughter attended Hebrew school, and each had a bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah, respectively. She was one of the first congregants helping establish Temple Beth David in Snellville, and was a member for an estimated 25 years before moving to Buford. Over the years as an elected official, she has been invited to and attended church services as a guest, but she identifies as Jewish.”

John Eaves

In Georgia’s 6th District, former Rep. Karen Handel is seeking a rematch against Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath, who defeated her in 2018.

The 6th is carved from eastern Cobb County, northern DeKalb County and northern Fulton County. Based on data compiled in 2013, the Berman Jewish DataBank reported that Jews accounted for 8.38 percent of the district’s residents, the highest percentage in any of the state’s 14 congressional districts.

Karen Handel

Challenging Handel for the Republican nomination are former Atlanta Falcons football player Joe Profit; businesswoman Mykel Lynn Barthelemy; entrepreneur Blake Harbin; and businesswoman and singer Paulette Smith.
As of March 31, McBath reported $2.61 million in cash on hand. Among Republicans, Handel reported $966,366, far in excess of her rivals.

In the 11th district, former WGST radio host Dana Barrett, who is Jewish, is seeking the Democratic nod to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk, who is seeking a fourth term. The 11th takes in Cherokee and Bartow counties, and part of Cobb County in the northwest metro area.

Dana Barrett

Despite receiving treatment for stage IV pancreatic cancer, Democratic Congressman John Lewis is seeking an 18th term from the 5th District. The 80-year-old civil rights movement icon faces a primary challenge from 32-year-old former paralegal Barrington Martin II, who has expressed great admiration for Lewis. The 5th takes in central Fulton County, including the city of Atlanta, as well as pieces of DeKalb and Clayton Counties.

Renee Unterman

Democrat Hank Johnson, seeking an eighth term from the 4th District, faces a primary challenge from William Haston and Elaine Amankwah Nietmann. The 4th is made up of Rockdale County and parts of DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Newton counties.

In the 13th District, where Democrat David Scott is seeking a 10th term, the incumbent is being challenged by Michael Owens, Jannquell Peters, and Keisha Sean Waites. The 13th takes in all of Douglas County and portions of Clayton, Cobb, Fayette, Fulton and Henry counties.

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