Election 2022: AG Carr launches re-election campaign

Republican Attorney General Chris Carr on Tuesday kicked off his campaign for a second full term as ambitious Dems line up to challenge him

On Tuesday, Republican Attorney General Chris Carr announced that he will seek a second full term as Georgia’s top law enforcement official with a pledge to build on his record of “Upholding Rule of Law, Defending the Constitution and Protecting Georgians’ Lives and Livelihoods.”

“I am running for re-election as Georgia’s Attorney General to build on our proven record of protecting Georgians’ lives and livelihoods so that Georgia can continue to be the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I am proud of our results in going after criminals who prey on our most vulnerable with human trafficking, gang activity, scams, and elder abuse. I took an oath to uphold our laws and that is exactly what I have done.”

Carr, a low-key attorney from Dunwoody, was appointed Attorney General by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016 after the incumbent, Sam Olens, resigned to become the President of Kennesaw State University. Prior to his appointment, Carr served as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

A former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Carr was widely speculated as an eventual U.S. Senate candidate. But he is the latest high-profile Republican opting against a challenge to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is facing re-election for a full six-year term next year.

Lately, Carr has been on the campaign trail with Gov. Brian Kemp after Major League Baseball announced that they would pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia in response to the state’s new election law. “Their knee-jerk reaction to what clearly was a made-up narrative from Stacey Abrams and her supporters, from President Biden, from our two United States senators and so many others about Georgia’s election reform bill leads to one thing: real harm,” Carr said of the MLB’s decision.

Carr has joined several other Republican state AGs in lawsuits that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. More recently, he signed onto a lawsuit that would reverse President Biden’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In his statement on Tuesday, Carr said that he would continue pushing back on what he calls “federal government overreach” if he is re-elected.

Carr raised eyebrows when he quietly stepped aside from the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), the outside group that is tasked with electing and supporting Republican state attorneys general. In his departure letter, Carr cited a “significant difference in opinion” in the group’s direction after it was revealed that nonprofit with ties to the RAGA helped fund a robocall encouraging Trump supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Dems running against Carr

Carr is kicking off his campaign for re-election as Democrats, who are riding high after a trio of statewide victories, set their sights on the 2022 statewide elections. Aside from another U.S. Senate race, all of Georgia’s constitutional offices will be on the ballot next year, including the Attorney General.

So far, two Democrats are vying for the chance to take on Carr next year. One of them is prosecutor Charlie Bailey, who Carr narrowly defeated in his 2018 victory for a full term. Bailey has hammered Carr for his ties to the RAGA after the robocall was uncovered, and believes that the Republican should be “disqualified” from office. His list of endorsements include U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta), Fulton DA Fani Willis, and former Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson.

The second candidate is State Sen. Jen Jordan, a lawyer from Atlanta who has been leading voice against some of the most controversial bills passed by the Republican-controlled legislature, such as abortion bans and election restrictions. Jordan has slammed Carr, saying that he has “done just about everything he can do to deny Georgians their basic rights.” She has endorsements from DeKalb DA Sherry Boston, State Sen. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek) as well as several of her colleagues in the Senate Democratic caucus.

Georgia is no stranger to razor-thin statewide races, and I’m afraid that 2022 will not be any different. Democrats are looking to replicate the strategy that helped propel Joe Biden to the White House and send Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate, while Republicans are aiming to prove that the state will revert back to its Republican leanings now that President Trump is out of power.