Since the first polls closed on the East Coast yesterday, all eyes—and we mean all eyes—have been on President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden’s race to 270 electoral votes. And here in Georgia, that’s where most eyes still are, as the state works to count absentee ballots in Fulton and DeKalb that could be the key to whether or not the state turns blue for the first time since 1992.
But what happened to everyone else who was on the ballot? Here’s a (very) brief look at some of the other notable races you may have missed. This story was last updated on 11/5/20 at 3:19 p.m.
The “jungle primary” for the U.S. Senate
Incumbent Republican senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock will face each other in a January 5 runoff. While votes are still being counted, Loeffler and Warnock have remained neck-and-neck in the 20-person race, and just after 10:30 p.m. last night, Republican Doug Collins, who has the third-most votes, appeared to concede, tweeting, “I just called [Loeffler] and congratulated her on making the runoff. She has my support and endorsement.”
David Perdue’s Senate seat
The race between incumbent Republican David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is extremely close and has not yet been called. Perdue is currently leading with 50 percent of the vote, but if he drops below 50 percent, he and Ossoff will face each other again in the January 5 runoff.
U.S. House Races
Nikema Williams will succeed the late John Lewis in representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, easily winning over Republican challenger Angela Stanton-King with 85 percent of the vote.
In the 6th District, which includes parts of Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb, Democrat incumbent Lucy McBath defeated Republican challenger Karen Handel for the second election in a row, winning with 54 percent of the vote.
In the 7th District, which includes Gwinnett and south Forsyth County, Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux declared victory this morning over Republican challenger Rich McCormick, but the race is still too close to call. Only about 8,300 votes separate the two candidates.
Rounding out the last of metro Atlanta, Democrat David Scott won in the 13th District (includes parts of Fulton, Clayton, and Cobb Counties and all of Douglas County); Democrat Hank Johnson won in the 4th District (includes parts of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties and all of Rockdale county); and Republican Barry Loudermilk won in the 11th District (includes parts of Cobb and Fulton Counties and all of Cherokee and Bartow Counties).
A major state house flip
Incumbent Democrat Bob Trammell, the Georgia House minority leader, lost his seat of six years in Georgia’s 132nd District to Republican David Jenkins by just 675 votes. The race was the most expensive state house race this year.
New county commissioners
While the races have not yet been called, three Black women are projected to flip county commission seats in three counties: In Cobb, Lisa Cupid is ahead of incumbent Republican Mike Boyce with 53 percent of the vote. In Gwinnett, Democrat Nicole Love Hendrickson leads incumbent Republican David Post with 58 percent of the vote. And in Henry County, Democrat Carlotta Harrell leads incumbent Republican June Barnes Wood with 59 percent of the vote.
Blue wins in Gwinnett County
Democrats had a strong showing in Gwinnett and are projected to win most of the partisan races on the ballot, including flipping the school board. In the District Attorney’s race, Democrat Patsy Austin-Gatson appears to have beaten incumbent Republican Danny Porter with 56 percent of the vote. Porter has held the seat for nearly 30 years. Austin-Gatson will be the county’s first Black DA. (By the way, the Gwinnett transit referendum is effectively tied.)
New sheriffs in town
Gwinnett will likely have its first Black sheriff in Democrat Keybo Taylor, who leads Republican Luis Solis Jr. with 57 percent of the vote. This could mean the end of Gwinnett’s participation in the 287(g) program. “Under the program,” the Gwinnett Daily Post says, “the sheriff’s office places immigration holds on undocumented residents who are arrested for crimes and booked into the county jail. Those inmates are then turned over to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, through a partnership between ICE and the sheriff’s office.” Opponents have said the program unfairly targets Latinos and leads people to under-report crimes due to fear of deportation. Taylor has said he would not participate in the program.
Cobb will also likely have its first Black sheriff in Democrat Craig Owens, who has 55 percent of the vote ahead of incumbent Republican Neil Warren. Owens too says he will pull Cobb from the 287(g) program. Warren, who had held the position since 2003, faced several controversies that likely hurt his re-election, including several inmate deaths at the county jail and a recent $10,000 campaign finance violation.
Henry County, too, will likely see its first Black sheriff in Democrat Reginald Scandrett, who leads Republican Jack Redlinger with 60 percent of the vote.
What about the ballot questions?
All three ballot questions—the two state constitutional amendments and the referendum—passed. Constitutional amendment 1 says that money generated for special purposes—like the fees you pay when you buy a new tire and which are supposed to clean up tire dumps—must be used for those purposes. (Previously, that money just went into a general fund the General Assembly would pull from.) Constitutional amendment 2 essentially does away with sovereign immunity, making it easier for people to sue the government. The third measure exempts property taxes on property owned by 501(c)(3) nonprofits as long as the property is for building or repairing single-family homes and the nonprofit sells it with a no-interest loan. (Think of nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity.)
The City of Atlanta homestead exemption—which would make affordable housing known as community land trusts even more affordable for the people calling it home—also passed overwhelmingly.