Report: Dem State Senator mulling run for LG

State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) is considering a run for Georgia's second-highest office

When Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) announced that he would not run for a second term, he immediately triggered a wide-open contest for the state’s second-highest office. And we are now learning that a prominent State Senator could soon join the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) is said to be considering a run for Lieutenant Governor. If she ends up running, she would likely become the most well-known candidate in a race that has yet to attract a clear frontrunner. She would also seek to become the first female Lieutenant Governor in Georgia history.

The Democratic field so far includes three candidates. Two of them are State Representatives: Erick Allen of Smyrna and Derrick Jackson of Tyrone. Recent fundraising figures from both candidates have led some Georgia political observers to suggest that there could be an opening for a high-profile candidate. A third candidate, Bryan Miller, kicked off his campaign last week. Miller is the grandson of the late Zell Miller, a former Lieutenant Governor himself.

The Republican field is not set in stone either. Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller (no relation to Zell Miller) entered the race earlier this year, and he has amassed an impressive financial warchest. But far-right State Sen. Burt Jones seems likely to enter the race with the support of Donald Trump. In fact, the former President has made it abundantly clear that he will not be endorsing Miller in the primary.

Parent, an attorney and a former State Representative, represents Senate District 42 in DeKalb County. She was elected to the Georgia House in 2010 and was the only Georgia Democrat to defeat a Republican incumbent that year. However, her home was then drawn into the same district as another Democratic lawmaker during the subsequent redistricting process, forcing her to step down from the House after just one term.

In 2014, then-State Sen. Jason Carter decided to run for Governor, creating a vacancy in his DeKalb-based Senate district. Parent easily won the Democratic primary for the seat and faced minimal opposition in the general election.

In the Georgia Senate, Parent has ascended to several leadership positions, including Caucus Chair, Vice Chair of Fundraising and Vice Chair of the DeKalb County state legislative delegation.

More recently, she was the receiving end of conspiracy theories and death threats in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. She went viral on social media for questioning attorneys of former President Trump, who at the time were attempting to prove widespread fraud in Georgia’s elections. Her home address was shared online and police officers had to patrol her neighborhood for several days.

Details on a possible Parent candidacy have been limited, though sources have said that we should not expect an announcement any time soon. Over the next few months, she is expected to help her caucus prepare for the redistricting process. And as Vice Chair of Fundraising, she will surely be helping the caucus raise money off of Republican-crafted maps.

Over the last few decades, the powers of the Lieutenant Governor have been significantly reduced. But it still maintains several important duties, such as stepping into the governorship if the Governor is incapacitated, casting tiebreaking votes and bringing legislation to the floor in the Senate. But make no mistake — a Republican-led Senate is not going to make life easy for a Democratic Lieutenant Governor.

It’s also worth mentioning that the LG office is frequently used as a stepping stone for higher office. Several former LGs — Casey Cagle, Mark Taylor and Zell Miller, just to name a few — have run for Governor after serving as LG.