Fulton County DA Fani Willis claims victory in her reelection attempt

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the prosecutor in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump, won the Democratic primary, defeating challenger Christian Wise Smith, in her bid for reelection. She will now face Republican challenger Courtney Kramer in the general election in November.

Willis and Smith both worked in the Fulton County district attorney's office under then-District Attorney Paul Howard. They both challenged their former boss in the Democratic primary in 2020. Willis and Howard advanced to a runoff that she won, and she ran unopposed in the November general election that year.  

With her high name recognition, the advantages of incumbency and a hefty fundraising haul, Willis' victory in the primary was not terribly surprising. As she moves on to the general election, the odds would seem to be in Willis' favor as well. Fulton County includes most of the city of Atlanta and is heavily Democratic, about 73% of its voters having cast ballots for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. 


Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney, at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Friday, March 1, 2024. Photographer: Alex Slitz/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis 

Willis' tenure has not been without its controversies. A notable scandal involves the appointment of Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor brought in to assist with significant cases. Questions about Wade's appointment surfaced due to his personal connections with Willis, sparking allegations of favoritism and ethical concerns. Despite the criticisms, Willis has defended Wade's qualifications and the necessity of his role in handling complex legal matters. Wade was among those gathered at an event space in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood Tuesday evening to celebrate Willis' win.  

Nathan Wade, former special prosecutor in the Trump Georgia election interference RICO case, attended a primary election watch party for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis at a Buckhead venue on May 21, 2024.

Nathan Wade, former special prosecutor in the Trump Georgia election interference RICO case, attended a primary election watch party for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis at a Buckhead venue on May 21, 2024. (FOX 5)

Willis obtained an indictment in August against Trump and 18 others, accusing them of participating in an alleged illegal scheme to overturn Trump's narrow loss in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Four people have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump and the 14 others who remain have pleaded not guilty. 

LIVE RESULTS: Georgia 2024 primary election

The case has been particularly challenging, given the political pressures and security threats associated with prosecuting a former president. Nonetheless, Willis remains steadfast in her commitment to the principle that no one is above the law. 

Another significant case under Willis' purview is the prosecution of rapper Young Thug and his associates under the RICO Act. The trial involves allegations of gang-related activities and violent crimes, drawing substantial media and public attention. While Willis' tough stance on gang-related crime has been praised, it has also faced scrutiny for potentially overreaching legal boundaries. 

Who is Courtney Kramer?

With her primary win behind her, Willis now turns her attention to the general election, where she will compete against Courtney Kramer. Kramer, an experienced attorney with a strong conservative background, presents a formidable challenge. Her campaign is expected to focus on law and order, potentially leveraging any missteps in Willis' handling of her high-profile cases to rally support. 

Kramer, who has ties to some of Trump's most prominent allies in Georgia and has drawn campaign contributions from both the county and state Republican parties, told reporters when she qualified to run that the Trump indictment prompted her to challenge Willis. In a post on the social platform X earlier this month, she wrote, "The future of Fulton and safety in our community should not be controlled by self-interested politicians who use their office for political law fare. It's time for a change." 

Kramer ran unopposed in the Republican primary Tuesday and has already been focusing her attention on attacking Willis. A lawyer who interned in the Trump White House, she has ties to some of the former president's prominent allies in Georgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report