2020: Democratic field for Georgia's US Senate seat grows

(Jomar Thomas / Unsplash)

The young Democratic mayor of an Atlanta-area city known for embracing progressive and immigrant-friendly policies announced a challenge of Republican Sen. David Perdue on Wednesday.

Ted Terry is the 36-year-old mayor of Clarkston, Georgia, which bills itself as "the most ethnically diverse square mile in America."

Perdue, a former business executive, has staked out hardline positions on immigration since his election in 2014, emerging as a close ally of President Donald Trump.

Terry joins fellow Democrat Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, Georgia, who announced her candidacy in May.

Tomlinson's announcement came just one day after former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a fundraising powerhouse who had been heavily recruited by Senate Democratic leaders, said she would not enter the race.

Terry's campaign website pledges that he would "bring courage back to Washington."

"Division is the tool of cowards, and we should reject the politicians who play on our worst fears and turn us against one another," it says. "Let's have the courage to bring people together, and to unite for our common purpose."

As mayor since 2013, Terry has promoted a $15 per hour minimum wage for city employees, decriminalization of marijuana possession and clean energy goals.

But he's perhaps best known outside town for getting a makeover in a 2018 appearance on Netflix's "Queer Eye" show. The episode was titled "Make Ted Great Again" - a swipe at Trump's campaign tag line.

Nathan Brand, a National Republican Senate Committee spokesman, said Terry's candidacy pulls the field to the left.

"The Democrat primary field continues to grow as each candidate tries to outflank each other from the left, further away from mainstream Georgia values," Brand's statement said.