Election 2022: Dem State Senator to run for Attorney General

State Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) announced on Wednesday that she will challenge GOP Attorney General Chris Carr

After winning Georgia’s electoral votes for the first time since 1992 and sweeping two U.S. Senate contests, ambitious Georgia Democrats are now looking ahead to 2022, when several statewide offices plus another U.S. Senate race will be on the ballot. One of those races just drew a high-profile candidate.

Democratic State Sen. Jen Jordan announced on Wednesday morning that she will enter the race to be Georgia’s top law enforcement official. A lawyer from Atlanta, Jordan has been serving in the Georgia Senate since 2017. If elected, she would be the first woman to ever serve as Georgia’s Attorney General.

Jordan has been seen as a statewide candidate for quite some time. She was speculated as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2020, but decided not to run.

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston, who has been mentioned as a possible contender to lead the Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s office, will serve as chair of Jordan’s campaign committee, according to a press release from the campaign.

In her announcement video, Jordan says she’s running for Attorney General because “it’s time that it’s time that all of the people of Georgia had a voice -- not just the powerful.” She also said the opportunities that she relied on growing up “are being taken away.” You can watch the 2-minute announcement video below.

Jordan as a State Senator

As a State Senator, Jordan has been a leading voice against some of the most controversial bills passed by the Republican-controlled legislature. In 2019, she gave a speech in the well of the Senate opposing a “heartbeat” abortion ban, sharing stories about her own unsuccessful pregnancies. The bill was passed and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, but was ultimately struck down in court. Jordan references this speech in her announcement video.

And over the last year, she fought against election conspiracy theories perpetuated by the Trump campaign and helped lead the charge against a series of election restrictions. S.B. 202, which was passed and signed by Gov. Kemp, limits access to drop-boxes and allows the state to take over county election offices, among other things. Jordan said that the bill, which is now tied up in legal challenges, was a “Christmas tree of goodies in terms of voter suppression.”

She has also battled with a sterilization company. In 2019, she filed a lawsuit against a company that operates a medical sterilization plant in Cobb County, accusing the plant of emitting cancer-causing gases.

The race for AG

Jordan is now aiming to unseat incumbent Attorney General Chris Carr (R). A former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Carr served as the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development before he was appointed AG by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016. He was narrowly elected to a full four-year term in 2018. Seen as a possible U.S. Senate candidate, he has not yet said whether he will seek a second full term.

As Attorney General, Carr has signed onto several Republican-led lawsuits to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “ObamaCare”). He also recently joined a lawsuit that would reverse President Joe Biden’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, arguing that the President is unconstitutionally using executive powers to overturn a construction permit that was granted by Congress.

But before Jordan can take on Carr (assuming that he opts to run for re-election), she must first make it through the Democratic primary. 2018 Democratic nominee Charlie Bailey, a former Assistant District Attorney in Fulton County, announced in January that he would mount a rematch against Carr. He entered the race with endorsements from U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) and former Gov. Roy Barnes. Interestingly, both Bailey and Jordan are alumni of Barnes’ law firm.

It’s also worth pointing out that all three of these candidates obtained their law degrees from the same school: the University of Georgia School of Law.

Who could run for SD06

Jordan’s decision to run for AG creates an open race for Senate District 6, which includes a swath of Atlanta’s northern suburbs. While no one knows what the district will even look like between now and redistricting, there are several Democrats who could compete for Jordan’s seat. Former State Sen. Doug Stoner could mount a political comeback. Cobb County School Board member Jaha Howard, a pediatric dentist and Jordan’s opponent in a 2017 special election, could also run for the seat again. State Rep. Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), who defeated one of the last metro Atlanta Republican lawmakers in 2020, may also consider running. It’s safe to say that a lot will depend on how the district is redrawn, but given that Joe Biden won SD06 with over 60% of the vote last year, I’m not anticipating that Republicans mapmakers will spend a lot of time altering this district to their benefit.