2 Georgia House members lose primaries, others face runoffs

At least two incumbent members of the Georgia state House of Representatives have lost their seats in primaries, while at least two House members and a state senator have been forced to Aug. 11 runoffs against primary opponents.

All 56 senators and 180 House members are on the ballot this year, but many face no opposition. Democrats are hoping to make further gains, especially in the state House, while Republicans hope to counterattack after losses in 2018.

With six races still uncalled Wednesday as counting continued, a total of 17 runoffs were set.

Pastor and bank manager Sharon Henderson beat five-term Conyers Democrat Pam Dickerson on Tuesday in House District 113 after losing to her two years ago. Three-term Republican Jeff Jones of Brunswick lost to former House member Buddy DeLoach in House District 167. Jones had been one of a group of Republicans who had been critics of GOP House Speaker David Ralston.

Neither of the victorious challengers face opposition in November, meaning they have effectively won two-year terms.

Rep. El-Mahdi Holly, a first-term Stockbridge Democrat, had run behind real estate agent Tarji Dunn in early results but pulled back ahead as absentees were tabulated Wednesday in Henry County.

State Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague a Red Oak Democrat first elected in 1992, was pushed into a runoff with Democratic party activist and business owner Mandisha Thomas in House District 65, which includes parts of Fulton and Douglas counties. In DeKalb County, Stone Mountain Democrat Michele Henson, first elected in 1990, will compete in a runoff against Zulma Lopez in House District 86. Demographic changes in the DeKalb County district encouraged minority candidates to run.

In Senate races that don’t involve incumbents, there will be at least six other runoffs, four among Republicans and two among Democrats. In House primaries that don’t involve incumbents, there will be at least nine other runoffs, seven among Republicans and two for Democrats.

In other notable races:

— House Democratic minority leader Bob Trammell survived a scare from challenger Frederick Manley in House District 132 southeast of Atlanta. Trammell is likely to face a tough race in November as well.

— State Sen. Horacena Tate, an Atlanta Democrat, avoided a runoff after initially recording less than 50% of the vote in four-way primary in a Senate District 38 in parts of Fulton and Cobb counties.

— Former U.S. Rep Max Burns won a three-way Republican primary in District 23 in areas south and west of Augusta where incumbent Jesse Stone isn’t seeking another term.

— Republican state Sen. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta won a primary Senate District 21 that turned in part on allegations that Beach had been irresponsible in returning to the Senate while awaiting results of a coronavirus test that turned out positive.

— Republican state Sen. Jeff Mullis survived a primary in northwest Georgia’s Senate District 53, where challengers included state Rep. Colton Moore, a Ralston critic.

— Another Republican Ralston critic, Rep. Philip Singleton, again beat Democrat Marcy Westmoreland Sakrison after beating her in an earlier special election in House District 71 in Coweta and Fayette counties.

— Democratic incumbent Teri Anulewicz defeated challenger Asher Nuckolls in Cobb County’s House District 42.