With a presidential election year now looking us in the face, Georgia will be one of the more intriguing states to watch.

Democrats in Georgia believe this will be the year the state returns to its blue shade after being solidly Republican red for some time. It won’t be easy but it is also not beyond the realm of possibility. That’s the nature of politics, both local and nationally.

President Trump remains very popular with about half of our state. It’s really true for the president around the country. It boils down to you either love him or hate him. There really is no middle ground when it comes to President Trump.

In terms of the race for the White House, there have been so many Democrats in the running that it has been tough for even the most dedicated campaign follower to keep track. It should be noted that Julian Castro was the latest to leave the race and Marianne Williamson’s campaign is on life support.

The Democrats have a chance to swing Georgia into their camp this fall but it certainly will not be easy. Nominating the right candidate for president will be key, and ironically Georgia will have little to say about that when all is said and done due to the late date of our primary.

In addition to the presidential election, there will be two U.S. Senate seats before the voters in November. Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing his first re-election battle. Several Democrats are campaigning for their party’s nomination.

In addition, there will be a special election for Johnny Isakson’s seat, which is now being filled by Kelly Loeffler after she was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp. Loeffler was not the person President Trump wanted in the Senate as he pushed for Congressman Doug Collins.

Loeffler will go before the voters in November in a special election where all candidates will be listed on the ballot. There will not be a primary for this race. Collins is reportedly considering a run and the list of candidates will likely be a long one by the time everyone is finished signing up for the race. Special elections of this nature allow third-party candidates and independents to be on the ballot as well since there is simply a qualifying fee to run.

Matt Lieberman, the son of former U.S. senator and vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, is running for the seat Loeffler currently occupies. It should be noted that candidates will simply be listed by their name in this special election and will not have their party affiliation spelled out.

Democrats have been inching closer and closer to breaking the Republican stronghold on the state, but until one actually wins a statewide race then Georgia remains firmly in the red and that’s where the safe money will be.

BALLOT ACCESS

A U.S. district court was scheduled to hear arguments in the De La Fuente vs. Raffensperger case earlier this week. The lawsuit is aimed at stopping the state Republican Party from eliminating candidates from the presidential primary ballot.

Rocky De La Fuente, along with Bill Weld and Joe Walsh, wanted to be on the ballot for Georgia’s Republican presidential primary but the state party only allowed President Trump’s name.

De La Fuente will be on the Republican primary ballot in several other states including California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont as will Weld and Walsh.

The lawsuit is against Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is a Republican.

As stated in this space before, all Georgians, whether they support President Trump or not, should be furious that the state Republican Party has decided no other candidates can be on its primary ballot. It goes against the very nature of open elections in our country. This is a tactic seen in a country run by a dictator where only one name is permitted to be before the voters.

That is not an open election. The 2020 GOP presidential primary in Georgia will not be either.

Winder resident Chris Bridges is a former editor of the Barrow News-Journal. He welcomes feedback from readers at pchrisbridges@gmail.com.

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