Reconfigured 6th attracts crowded GOP field
Nine Republicans compete for open 6th district
The race for Georgia’s 6th congressional district has attracted a crowded field of Republican candidates after the state legislature reconfigured the Democratic-trending suburban district into a conservative bastion.
Nine candidates are running in a free-for-all Republican primary that will almost certainly determine the next member of Congress from the 6th district.
The crowded primary means that it is quite unlikely that a candidate will emerge with more than 50% of the vote in next month’s primary election, which would send the race into overtime between the top two candidates in June.
Two-term Rep. Lucy McBath (D), who currently represents the 6th district, opted to run for re-election in another district after Republican state lawmakers significantly altered the boundaries of her northern Atlanta district.
Congressional boundaries are required to be redrawn once every decade to account for population changes. Oftentimes, however, the majority party will try to use the process to manipulate the boundaries to benefit their own candidates, a tactic commonly referred to as “gerrymandering.”
On Georgia’s new congressional map, which can be seen above to the right, the 6th district loses its share of heavily Democratic DeKalb County in exchange for exurban and rural North Georgia counties, transforming it from a double-digit Biden district to a double-digit Trump district. The new map essentially makes the 6th a guaranteed flip for the GOP in their path to the House majority.
Former President Donald Trump, who has weighed in on several of Georgia’s marquee races, has yet to make an endorsement in this contest. Nevertheless, the Republican primary is shaping up to be a race to the right.
Emergency room physician Rich McCormick is one of the top fundraisers in the race, being one of two candidates who have over $1 million in cash on hand. McCormick was the Republican nominee for the 7th district in 2020. He had initially planned to run for the 7th district again, but was encouraged to switch to the 6th after it became friendlier territory in redistricting.
McCormick’s campaign kick off was not a smooth sailing. After announcing that he was switching races, he rolled out an inaccurate list of endorsements from Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation — including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde.
“While they all supported him last year when he lost to Carolyn Bourdeaux in the 7th District, none of them endorsed McCormick in the 6th District primary. At most, they had phone calls with him and wished him well.”
Attorney Jake Evans, the former chair of the Georgia ethics commission, was one of the first candidates to enter the contest. His campaign launch video, which can be viewed above, featured a montage of him driving a jeep through the woods and splashing mud on cardboard cutouts of prominent Washington Democrats, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Evans has called voter fraud “one of the single biggest threats” to our republic. His campaign website says that he is “only Georgia lawyer” who took former President Trump’s election fraud claims to the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of his most prominent supporters: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented the 6th district for several decades. The 6th district has historically been a launching pad for a long line of prominent Georgia Republicans, including Gingrich, Johnny Isakson and Tom Price.
Former State Rep. Meagan Hanson is the only candidate in the race with elected experience, having served one term in the state legislature. The Sandy Springs attorney maintained an active presence in state politics after her term in the legislature, becoming a frequent guest on cable news and a lobbyist for a conservative legal group.
Hanson has been endorsed by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a member of House Republican leadership who has prioritized electing more Republican women to Congress in recent years.
“Conservative values aren’t just a talking point for Meagan Hanson,” Hanson’s campaign website says. “They’re how she lives her life.”
Another candidate, Suzi Voyles, is an anti-abortion activist who was fired as a Fulton County poll manager for raising concerns about the security of the 2020 election. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who had gained prominence for denouncing voter fraud claims, called for Voyles to be reinstated. “It is important that individuals can raise their voice when they believe they have seen wrongdoing,” Secretary Raffensperger said.
The other five Republican candidates running in the primary are Mallory Staples, Elfreda Desvignes, Blake Harbin, Paulette Smith and Eugene Yu.
Early voting for the May 24 primary election is set to begin next week.