Who will represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate?
ATLANTA — Voters headed to the polls in Georgia on Election Day will choose from a crowded field of candidates in a special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat.
The race to fill the seat formerly held by Johnny Isakson, who stepped down at the end of 2019 for health reasons, pits Republican Kelly Loeffler, who Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed to fill the seat, against a wide range of 19 other candidates, including Republican Doug Collins, Democrat Rafael Warnock, and Democrat Matt Lieberman.
Georgia is the only state with two U.S. Senate seats on the November 3 ballot. The U.S. Presidential race also being decided between current President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Libertarian Jo Jorgenson. Democrats hope to win control of the U.S. Senate while maintaining control of the U.S. House.
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Who is Kelly Loeffler?
Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill Johnny Isakson’s seat until the November special election.
Loeffler is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned an MBA from DePaul University.
Loeffler moved to Georgia in 2002 and worked as chief communications and marketing officer and head of investor relations at Intercontinental Exchange.
While at Intercontinental Exchange, Loeffler met her husband, the company’s CEO Jeff Sprecher.
In 2010, Loeffler obtained interest in the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream team.
In 2013, Intercontinental Exchange acquired the New York Stock Exchange.
Loeffler and her husband Sprecher are reportedly worth more than $500 million, making her the richest member of the Senate.
Who is Doug Collins?
Doug Collins is the current U.S. Representative for the 9th district in Georgia.
Collins grew up in Gainesville, Georgia. Collins graduated from North Hall High School and earned a degree in political science and criminal justice from the University of North Georgia, according to his website bio. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
He began his career as a Baptist church pastor before becoming a Chaplain for the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008-09 and remains active in the Air Force Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.
In 2006, Collins was elected representative of Georgia’s 27th State House District. While serving in the Georgia House, Collins graduated from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and established his own legal practice, his bio states.
He served in the Georgia House from 2007 to 2012, and in 2013 was elected to the U.S. House as a representative from Georgia’s 9th district.
Collins and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Jordan, and two sons, Copelan and Cameron.
Who is Raphael Warnock?
Raphael Warnock is the reverend of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church once pastored by Martin Luther King, Sr. and co-pastored by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Warnock grew up in Savannah, Georgia with 11 siblings.
Warnock graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in psychology in 1991 and went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City
He became the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2005.
Warnock has never held public office, and his run for U.S. Senate is his first campaign.
He has two children, a daughter, Chloé, and a son, Caleb.
Who are all the candidates in the special election for U.S. Senate?
The special election for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat is a crowded field. The following candidates are all on the ballot (listed in alphabetical order):
Al Bartell (Independent)
Allen Buckley (Independent)
Doug Collins (Republican)
John Fortuin (Green)
Derrick E. Grayson (Republican)
Michael Todd Greene (Independent)
Annette Davis Jackson (Republican)
Deborah Jackson (Democrat0
Jamesia James (Democrat)
A. Wayne Johnson (Republican)
Tamara Johnson-Shealey (Democrat)
Matt Lieberman (Democrat)
Kelly Loeffler (Republican)
Joy Felicia Slade (Democrat)
Brian Slowinski (Libertarian)
Valencia Stovall (Independent)
Ed Tarver (Democrat)
Kandiss Taylor (Republican)
Raphael Warnock (Democrat)
Richard Dien Winfield (Democrat)
What are the rules of the special election for U.S. Senate?
Whoever wins gets to serve out the remaining two years of Isakson’s six-year term, which he won back in 2016. But it doesn’t necessarily end with a newly-elected Georgia senator on Election Day.
If no candidate clears a 50 percent majority on November 3, a runoff between the top two will be held a few weeks later on January 5 to determine who wins once and for all.
That’s where the term “jungle primary” comes from – it’s not an actual primary, but because there are so many candidates making it difficult for anyone to win outright on Election Day, it sort of winds up serving as a primary.
When is the runoff for the U.S. Senate seat?
If no candidate clears a 50 percent majority in the special election, the top two will face off shortly after New Year’s Day 2021.
Who is Donald Trump endorsing in the Georgia’s special election for the U.S. Senate seat?
While Donald Trump reportedly advocated that Kemp appoint Collins to the seat instead of Loeffler, he has not officially endorsed either candidate.