Political hopefuls show up at state capitol to qualify for 2022 election

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Monday marked the first day of qualifying week at the State Capitol. Hundreds of candidates and their supporters and families filed into long lines ready to file official documents and make payments to qualify to be on the ballot for the May 24th primary.

Political hopefuls and veteran politicians merged into two separate rooms, democrats in a room directly across from republican candidates.

On day one, in the U.S. Senate race sitting Senator Raphael Warnock qualified along with Republican candidates Gary Black, Josh Clark, and former football athlete Herschel Walker.

Warnock flew in from Washington, D.C. to file qualifying documents. He was stopped often by supporters and admirers in the qualifying area for Democrats.

“It is the honor of my life to represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate,” Warnock told reporters.

Warnock is facing competition from football great Herschel Walker on the GOP ticket, who is hoping to break into politics by unseating the famed Atlanta pastor.Sen. Raphael Warnock

Warnock facing competition from football great Herschel Walker on the GOP ticket, hoping to break into politics by unseating the famed Atlanta pastor.

“Right now we need to get down to serious stuff,” Walker told reporters. “That’s getting this country back together and getting Georgia back together and I’m thinking about debating Raphael Warnock because that’s who I need to be debating right now,” Warnock added, focusing on issues like fuel and medical care needs.

“Something I’m working on right now is trying to lower gas prices and hold corporations accountable. I can’t wait to get back to work,” Warnock explained. “I am concerned about the ways in which rising costs are impacting the people of Georgia.”

Georgia’s Democratic Party Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams qualified for the ballot with her young son by her side. Williams speaking about newly redrawn district maps said Democrats are working to mobilize across Georgia despite maps they view as unfavorable. “We running on the maps that we’ve been dealt,” Williams told reporters. “It’s unfortunate that we have to organize our way out of gerrymandering and voter suppression, but this is the hand that we’ve been dealt and as Georgia Democrats. We’re going to be all over this state. We are not giving up,” she went on. Williams faces opposition from Republican Christian Zimm who also qualified on day one.

Also in from Washington, Congresswoman Lucy McBath spoke with CBS46 about the 7th District Congressional Race touting her unwavering record as a supporter of the Biden Administration’s legislative agenda. McBath will go head to head against fellow democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Bordeaux, who touts her commitment to Gwinnett County.

In the packed Lt. Governor race, Democrats Rep. Erick Allen, Rep. Derrick Jackson, and U.S. Congressman Kwanza Hall all qualified on day 1, along with Jason Hayes, Malik, and Republican opponent Mack McGregor.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr joined the GOP qualifying line along with other hopefuls. He noted his work with the Kemp administration “protecting lives and livelihoods and keeping Georgians safe” is part of his campaign goal for re-election. Democratic State Senator Jen Jordan plans to qualify for the race in an effort to unseat Carr.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also greeted fellow Republicans as he joined the line to qualify. Republicans Congressman Jody Hice and former Alpharetta Mayor David Isle also qualified for the race Monday. Democratic opponents Floyd Griffin and John Eaves qualified for the ballot, while State Rep. Bee Nguyen is expected to qualify this week for the top election position in the state.

Statewide, longtime State Rep. Winifred Dukes is looking to become the first Black Agriculture commissioner. “With so many areas in our state that suffer from food desserts it is an excellent opportunity for the citizens of metro Atlanta to begin these small urban gardens that is something we are going to really push,” Dukes told CBS46. Two other Democrats qualified to run Dukes: Fred Swan and Nakita Hemingway.

Gubernatorial candidates Governor Brian Kemp, Stacey Abrams, and David Perdue did not qualify Monday. Each candidate is expected to file paperwork throughout the week.