Despite losses elsewhere in the country, the Democratic Party gained a net total of more than 40 seats in the local and municipal elections held in Georgia on November 2, including mayorships in Cairo, Stone Mountain, Hampton, and McDonough and crucial city council seats in Lawrenceville, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Kennesaw, and Powder Springs. While local elections are often immune to partisan trends and are of lower turnout, the results of the election in Georgia are a relatively good sign for the statewide Demcoratic Party in one of the nation’s key battleground states.
In the cities of McDonough and Warner Robins, voters elected the first African American mayors in those cities’ history, and the first women as well. McDonough City Council member Sandra Vincent told GPB News she is hoping to retain the city’s “small-town feel” while ensuring rapid growth in the surrounding area doesn’t leave residents behind. LaRhonda Patrick defeated incumbent Warner Robins mayor Randy Toms in a runoff election as well.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said in a statement that the results leave the party well-positioned to continue making gains in 2022. “From Middle Georgia to the coast and everywhere in between, Georgians came out in full force this election cycle to make their voices heard and demand change,” she said. “Democrats’ strong showing in this year’s municipal elections is a testament to the unprecedented grassroots enthusiasm our party has been building across the state for years — and our momentum is only growing.”
Beyond seats changing hands, runoff elections in the metro Atlanta area also signaled an end to many longtime incumbents’ terms and a new direction for Atlanta’s government. South Fulton Councilman Khalid Kamau ousted incumbent mayor Bill Edwards in the city’s mayoral race, while newcomers Jason Dozier and Antonio Lewis defeated Cleta Winslow and Joyce Shepherd, respectively, for Atlanta City Council seats. With City Councilmember Andre Dickens handily winning Atlanta’s mayoral runoff, Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore continued the streak of council presidents failing to move up into the city’s highest office.
Throughout the municipal election season, the Democratic Party of Georgia made nearly 91,000 calls and sent nearly 185,000 texts to voters across the state to get out the vote in dozens of targeted races. Candidates in DPG-targeted races flipped 41 seats in 21 counties across Georgia, while Republican candidates picked up just 6. The counties that saw Democratic flips include Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Chatham, Clarke, Cobb, Cook, DeKalb, Fulton, Grady, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lanier, Meriwether, Mitchell, Oconee, Troup, and Walton.