Opinion: Erick Allen for LG
Why I am supporting Erick Allen for Lieutenant Governor
I have a confession to make: It took me a week to finally go and cast my ballot during early voting. Not because I haven’t had time to go vote, but because many of these races are so crowded that I honestly didn’t know who to support. I had to spend a lot of time researching each race and each candidate.
The Democratic primary for lieutenant governor was one of those races. A total of nine candidates are competing for Georgia’s second-highest office, and they each bring a wide range of backgrounds and qualifications to the field.
I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about any of the candidates in this race. Heck, if I could support each of them, I absolutely would.
But at the end of the day, I could only vote for one candidate. I cast my vote for State Rep. Erick Allen in the race for Lieutenant Governor.
Erick is a testament to the political shifts we have witnessed in our state, as he has quite literally been on the frontlines as they have unfolded. He twice unsuccessfully competed for a Cobb County legislative seat in 2014 and 2016, respectively. At that time, the seat was a Republican stronghold that Democrats had not seriously contested in several years.
But Erick didn’t care about the odds. He was determined to show voters that Cobb County, and the state of Georgia, is at the center of the political universe. He significantly narrowed the margins in each of his races, so much that the Republican incumbent decided not to seek re-election in 2018.
Following two unsuccessful campaigns, Erick easily won the open seat that year and was easily re-elected in 2020. Now, after two terms in the House, he has his sights set on an even bigger role.
Over the course of his two-terms in the House, Erick has learned how to navigate the politics of a Republican-dominated legislature. This experience can be put to great use in the State Senate, with the chamber all but certain to remain in Republican hands — regardless of what happens in statewide elections.
We need a Lieutenant Governor who can find common ground, be a voice of reason and aggressively speak out against controversial legislation. Erick is that candidate.
Politics aside, Erick is also a really great friend of mine. He has watched me transform from an inquisitive high schooler with so many questions about politics to a young man who has developed a large following that includes politicians and journalists. He was also there for me during some of the worst times of my life. His friendship and guidance have been greatly appreciated and I couldn’t be prouder to support his campaign.
Again, this endorsement is not a critique of anyone else in this race. I think each candidate is extremely qualified in their own ways and all of them would be strong general election candidates. But as I said, I can only support one candidate in the primary. I don’t want my endorsement of Erick to be seen as opposing any of the other candidates, because that is not the case at all.
I’ll be honest: I don’t know who is going to win this primary. We know for a fact that there is going to be a runoff election in June, but the race is so crowded that literally any candidate could win. Quite frankly, no result in this race will be surprising to me. It’s just that crowded.
But while I am enthusiastically supporting Erick, I fully intend to campaign and vote for the Democratic nominee this fall, in the event that it is not Erick.
Lastly, I want to commend each of the candidates running in this race. It’s not every day that Georgia Democrats are presented with such a diverse slate of candidates to choose from, especially for an office like Lieutenant Governor. Thank you all for your service and commitment to our party and this state. Races like this are only cementing my belief that our future in this state is bright, no matter what happens in November.
In my opinion, crowded races like this give voters an opportunity to discuss the importance of these down-ballot elections. And I, for one, think our country could greatly benefit from an electorate that understands the importance of every single election, no matter how big or how small.