Inside the 18-candidate race to replace Tom Price

Karen Handel (center), with her husband, Steve Handel (left), and Terry Nall, Dunwoody City Councilman and Mike Kenn, former Fulton County Commissioner, as she waits to qualify for the Sixth District Congressional seat. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Karen Handel (center), with her husband, Steve Handel (left), and Terry Nall, Dunwoody City Councilman and Mike Kenn, former Fulton County Commissioner, as she waits to qualify for the Sixth District Congressional seat. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

The race to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Price is more than an early test of President Donald Trump’s popularity. It’s also a bitter battle between powerful Republican factions and a proving ground for Democrats who hope Trump helps them win conservative areas.

Eighteen candidates qualified to run this week for the April 18 special election to succeed Price. And the fight over the suburban Atlanta district, which spans from east Cobb County to north DeKalb County, could fast become a template for the 2018 election.

 


 

For Republicans, the biggest debate might be how aggressively to embrace Trump in a district that he carried by just 1 point in November. Candidates range from Trump loyalists to establishment-friendly politicians who hardly mention his name and play up their independence from his White House.

Democrats see a tantalizing opportunity to swipe a district that Price, who was confirmed last week as Trump’s health secretary, won with 62 percent of the vote. And some party leaders are banking on an untested newcomer with impressive fundraising chops to pull off the upset.

With so many candidates in the race — more than a dozen paid the $5,520 fee before qualifying ended Wednesday — the race is wide open. Adding to the unpredictability, all the candidates will be on the same ballot regardless of their party. A June 20 runoff between the top two vote-getters seems a guarantee.

More: 18 running to fill Price’s U.S. House seat, but Trump could drive vote

More: Who is in the race to replace Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District

Reader Comments 0

6 comments
Donald Bentley
Donald Bentley

AM14.3/HO, IR No person shall hold office if he rebels against or violates the U.S. Constitution. ... According to law none of you qualify! No one in office today qualifies! In fact by law none of you in office today even represents the government which means you are impostors. ... ” An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government”. Brookfield Const. Co. v. Stewart, 284 F. Supp.94. ... All one has to do is look at voting records and it won't be too hard to figure it out. .. Well that is if you have ever read the constitution.

Vance Croft
Vance Croft

I live in N DeKalb and will definitely vote Democrat.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

And here comes the clown bus again. All of the unqualified uninformed unprepared people who want the seat.

Mike Dougherty
Mike Dougherty

Whomever Jay Bookman hates the most, gets my vote! He's doing conservatives an invaluable service!!!!