Survey of TN Political Insiders Offers Glimpse Into Most Influential Policy Shapers

Ed. note: The following survey and analysis comes by way of Dentons 50 partner Adam Nickas of Capitol Resources

Dentons 50 partner firm Capitol Resources conducted an anonymous survey on the news source, policy and advocacy organization preferences and habits of Tennessee policy insiders. The purpose of this survey was to discover what sources are considered most valuable and trustworthy by policy makers and shapers.

Survey recipients included state legislators and their staff, elected and appointed executive branch leaders and their staff, education officials from colleges and universities from across the state, municipal and local government leaders and registered lobbyists and organizations. While not inclusive of all policy organizations, the survey asked about twenty-five (25) specific statewide organizations and associations. 223 individuals responded to the survey.

In regards to exposure, 67% of participants indicated they regularly or often see or hear of the Beacon Center of Tennessee mentioned in connection with state or local policy issues. 63% indicated the same for the Tennessee Medical Association and 58.6% for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce.

The Tennessee Medical Association (86%), Tennessee Chamber of Commerce (80%), Beacon Center of Tennessee (80%), and Tennessee Hospital Association (80%) were identified as being influential in the formulation and debate of public policy at either a high or moderate level.

Among those entities that are either regularly or often studied, cited, or utilized by policy insiders, Tennessee Medical Association (49.7%), Tennessee Hospital Association (37.58%), Tennessee Chamber of Commerce (36.95%), and Beacon Center of Tennessee (32.5%) came out on top.

“The economy, health care and public safety clearly dominate the policy conversation in Tennessee,” said Adam Nickas of Capitol Resources’ Tennessee office.

“These findings fall in lockstep with the priorities Governor Bill Lee has set forth.  His focus on criminal justice reform, decreasing health care costs, and increasing vocational training and workforce development will provide these organizations the opportunity of becoming more influential in shaping public policy moving forward.”

Capitol Resources, LLC is one of the most comprehensive and successful government relations firms in the country and offers the full spectrum of lobbying and public affairs services tailored to meet the needs of their diverse array of clients.  With offices in nine states and Washington, D.C., their clients include Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, mission-driven non-profits and key trade associations. Capitol Resources is part of the Dentons 50 Network. 

The survey was conducted from July to October of 2018.

FEC increases contribution limits for 2019-2020

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) updated the federal contribution limits for the 2019-2020 election. The new per election limits were effective January 1, 2019. Below is a chart that explains the new limits on each donor.

The chart above illustrates the new increased contribution limits to the respective donors. Individuals can now contribute $2,800 per election to a candidate, an increase of $100 from the 2018 cycle. This means that individuals may now give up to $5,600 per candidate per cycle (combined to include both the primary and general election limits). Due to changes in inflation, these limits are increased every odd-numbered year to balance out differences.

The contribution limit to national party committees can now contribute $35,500 per year, an increase of $1,600 from last year. The annual max contributions to the national party committee accounts have been increased to $106,500, an increase of $4,800.

Note that traditional PAC contributions are not indexed for inflation. This means that PAC contributions remain the same from 2018.

Newly elected state AGs outline enforcement priorities

Eighteen new state attorneys general will take office in 2019. There will be new AGs in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawai`i, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Politically speaking, the impact of the 2018 midterm elections on the AG landscape was decidedly mixed, with Democrats flipping four AG seats previously held by Republicans, and the GOP maintaining their strongholds in Florida and Ohio. Overall, the midterms shifted the balance of state AG seats nationwide to a Democratic majority. Democrats now occupy 27 AG seats (including in Washington, DC) and Republicans, 24.

Companies should be aware that the newly elected AGs are expected to be as aggressive, or more so, than their predecessors. In Connecticut, for example, AG William Tong is succeeding AG George Jepsen, who led some of the largest bipartisan multistate investigations, including into opioid manufacturing and distribution, alleged price fixing in the generic drug market, and data privacy issues. Tong has signaled his intention to continue with these efforts, recently declaring: “I’ve always been activist in the legislature and I’m going to be activist as an attorney general because that’s what you need right now.”[

Other new AGs have started identifying their enforcement priorities. Some newly elected Democratic AGs have announced plans to investigate President Trump’s various business organizations. Others are targeting the administration’s policies. Illinois AG Kwame Raoul is challenging a recent ruling by a federal judge in Texas striking down the Affordable Care Act[, while Nevada AG Aaron Ford has indicated that he will reverse the course set by his predecessor, Republican Adam Laxalt, a staunch opponent of the ACA.

In Colorado, AG Phil Weiser, a Democrat, has outlined his intention to join a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers for allegedly misleading users as to the drugs’ addictive qualities, defend against federal overreach Colorado’s right to decide how it legislates and manages marijuana use, and protect consumers against financial scams. Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, a former Democratic congressman from the state’s 5th District, has pledged to address drug-pricing issues and allegations of anti-competitive activity in the nation’s agricultural sector. “We want to stand with Minnesotans against the big entities in this world as you are trying to make a go in this economy,” he recently told his constituents. “The middle class, I believe, is hanging on barely, and I think the attorney general ought to stand up against the fraudsters, against the monopolies, against these folks who would make your life so much more difficult to afford.”

New elected Republican AGs, for their part, are expected to continue their party’s stalwart defense of the Trump administration through the filing of amicus briefs in high-profile lawsuits challenging his executive orders and final agency actions. But they will also ramp up state enforcement actions in certain areas. For example, Ohio Republican AG Ted Yost is expected to continue his scrutiny of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), an industry that he focused on during his time as Ohio State Auditor.

State attorneys general will continue to combine their resources in an ever-growing number of multistate and multi-defendant investigations and civil and criminal enforcement actions, raising the stakes for both individual companies and entire industries. In addition to the issues the AGs campaigned on in the midterm elections, there’s no telling what new issues they will involve themselves in, given the unpredictability of the Trump administration. More relevant to assessing and addressing a business’s regulatory risks is understanding the scope of a particular AG’s authority, its level of activity and the political dynamics framing its choices.

Everything you need to know about Colorado’s elections

After a long-awaited night, the results of the 2018 midterm elections are in and the determination of Colorado’s state-wide leadership has been decided. The Colorado Secretary of State’s (SOS) office is reporting as of the morning of November 7,2018, that votes have been counted and the following races have been called based on majority percentages.

As of November 7,108, total active registered voters were counted at 3,900,192. With 51% reporting, records indicate 1,973,369 ballots have been casted. Final numbers on active registered voters and actual votes cast by party affiliation will not be available until after this report. As of now, this report will reflect the most recent result reporting by the Colorado counties.

The story of the 2018 Colorado mid-term elections is the independent voter under the age of 45. This voter leaned Democratic but rejected ballot issues typically supported by Democrats. What we saw versus numbers in the 2014 mid-term elections was significant growth in Independent voters.

In 2014 the voter numbers were:
41% – R 32% – D 27% – U

In 2018 the voter registration looks much different:
34% – R 34% – D 32% – U

Republicans also entered the 2018 election with a serious deficit in voter registration compared to Democrats, who had been busy growing their voter registration by 50,000 + voters.

The growth in Independent voters under the age of 45 has increased dramatically – and this group typically votes late and not necessarily along party lines – though the growth in Independent voters leans Democratic. This group is determining future elections in Colorado – unless Republicans can figure out how to register more voters and moderate their message and communication in the future.

A look inside the state elected offices, the state legislature, and the 2018 amendments and propositions can be found in this report as results continue to roll in.

Colorado State Elected Offices

Colorado Governor & Lieutenant Governor
Jared Polis & Dianne Primavera (D) 
Colorado Secretary of State
Jena Griswold (D) 
Colorado State Treasurer
Dave Young (D) 
Colorado Attorney General
Phil Weiser (D) 

US Congressional Offices

United States Congress – District 1
Diana DeGette (D) 
United States Congress – District 2
Joe Neguse (D) 
United States Congress – District 3
Scott Tipton (R) 
United States Congress – District 4
Ken Buck (R) 
United States Congress – District 5
Doug Lamborn (R) 
United States Congress – District 6
Jason Crow (D) 
United States Congress – District 7
Ed Perlmutter (D) 

State Legislature – Colorado House of Representatives

If there is one thing that can be certain, the 2018 primary election was highly contested in both parties, with 15 primaries faced off to compete for the Colorado House of Representatives. Nine Democratic and Six Republican primaries were held this summer with 4 seated Republicans challenged. Two of the four incumbent primary races were lost by the sitting state representatives (HD 47- Otero County & HD 57 Adams County). All 65 House Districts were up for grabs on election night as 45 incumbents faced re-election. Before election night, it was seen that we would only see 20 new faces in the House due to termed-out legislators, primary loss, or the vacating of a seat. In 2018 after the Democrats losing a seat mid-session (HD 35 – Thornton), they held the majority by 7 seats.

As of 10:00 am on 11/7/2018, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is reporting that the Democrats picked up 2 House seats and regained their lost HD 35-Thornton seat. Here is where it gets interesting. As of the most recent reporting, Democrats lost HD 50 held by Democrat Representative Dave Young (Greeley), but picked up 2 seats HD 25 (Rep. Tim Leonard -Evergreen CO) and HD 37 (Cole Wist – Arapahoe County) This now increases the Democrat majority by 11 seats.

State Legislature – Colorado Senate

This election cycle, nearly half of the Senate (17 Seats) were up for re-election, giving the Democrats a chance at picking up seats in districts where unaffiliated voters are considered strong. In order GOP to have maintained control, they would have needed to Senate District 24 (Northern Adams County) red and with any luck, flip another highly competitive seat such as Senate District 20 (Western Jefferson County) or Senate District 16 (Northern Jefferson County).

On Election night, we saw a major shakeup. For months all eyes were on THREE Senate District seats t

hat most predicted that would have major impact and would determine the fate of the majority and who would control the Senate in 2019. It is safe to say that that all was left on the field this election. It has been said that Senate District 24 (Northern Adams County) was the mostly watched and most expensive Senate race with the Senate Districts 16 (Northern Jefferson County) and 20 (Western Jefferson County) to follow. The surprise of the evening was to see incumbent Senator Tim Neville of Jefferson County lose his seat to Democrat Tammy Story by a little less than ten-thousand votes.

Amendments and Propositions

Passed

Amendment A (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment A will remove language from the state constitution that allows slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for the conviction of a crime. Proponents, including Abolish Slavery Colorado, argue that the constitution should be updated because it represents a time much different than today.

Amendment W (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment W will change the ballot format for judicial retention elections. This essentially condenses repetitive information and will display an easier format when voted for judge or justice retention.

Amendments Y&Z (Constitutional)
Description: Amendments Y&Z will allow independent commissions to draw electoral districts for state legislators and members of congress. Proponents argue that this measure will take politics and partisanship out of the redistricting, increase transparency and give unaffiliated voters a seat at the table. Under both Amendments, newly created 12-member commissions that would approve new districts. They would be equally divided between unaffiliated voters and the state’s largest political parties–currently Democratic and Republican.

Proposition 111 “Limits on Payday Lenders” (Statutory)
Description: Proposition would reduce and cap the annual percentage rate (APR) a payday lender could charge and expand what constitutes unfair or deceptive trade practices. Proponents argue residents are paying too much for small loans, and can end up borrowing money to pay off existing loans. Opponents worry about the elimination of payday lenders all together should consumers go more for traditional types of credit.

Defeated

Amendment 73 (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment 73 would have increased funding for public schools in Colorado by changing the state’s tax system. The Measure would/will raise the individual income tax rate for those with a taxable income of $150,00 or more, increase corporate income tax, and change property tax rates. Amendment 73 would/will generate $1.6 billion of new revenue in 2019-20 school year.

Amendment 74 (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment 74 would have required state or local government in Colorado to compensate a property owner if a new law or regulation reduced the fair market value of his or her property. Proponents included the Colorado Farm Bureau and the oil and gas industry. Opponents include the Colorado Municipal League.

Amendment 75 (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment 75 would have relaxed some state campaign contribution restrictions if a candidate in a given race gave $1 million or more to his or her campaign or third-party committee. Proponents say it would help level the playing field between wealthy candidates and others. Opponents worry that the measure would further complicate the state’s campaign finance system.

Amendment V (Constitutional)
Description: Amendment V would have lowered the age requirement to serve in the state legislature from 25 years of age to 21 years of age.

Proposition 109 “Fix Our Damn Roads” (Statutory)
Description: Proposition 109 would have directed the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to issue $3.5 billion in bonds for more than 60 road work projects across the state. The measure differs from Proposition 110 in that it would NOT raise taxes or fees, and does not include any money for public transit. It also forces the legislature to spend more on highway projects at the expense of other state programs. Opponents say the measure fails to address ongoing maintenance costs and spends too much on debt servicing (the state would end paying $5.2 billion for the $3.5 billion it would borrow).

Proposition 110 “Let’s Go Colorado” (Statutory)
Description: Proposition 110 would have increased Colorado’s sale tax from 2.9 % to 3.52% and allow the state to borrow up to $6 billion. The $767 million generated annually would go toward a variety of road, transit, pedestrian, and bike projects that Proposition 109 does not address. The measure differs from 109 in that it raises taxes, allows state and local governments to choose which projects to pursue, and includes money for multimodal transportation projects. Opponents say that the state should cut other programs to spend more on transportation. They also say it spends too much on multimodal transportation and relies on a sales tax, which they say disproportionately affects low-income residents.

Proposition 112 “ Increase setbacks for Oil and Gas Operations”
Descriptions: Proposition 112 would have required any new oil and gas development not on federal land to be set back at least 2,500 fee from homes and “vulnerable areas” like playgrounds, lakes and rivers. Proponents say this is a safety measure and gives property owners greater certainty about new locations. Opponents argue would eliminate new oil and gas activity on most-federal land in the state and would cost the state jobs. State and local governments would also receive less in tax revenue should it pass the opponents believe.

Conclusion

As a bipartisan team dedicated to solutions oriented answers for our clients, we see great opportunity in the days ahead. Our relationships are consistently bipartisan and we always see opportunities to work together.

What does a blue tsunami mean for Colorado in the days and months ahead and moving towards the 2020 elections? We believe there are a few important factors to consider:

  • Since the Great Depression, midterm elections are typically swing elections and this one is no different. In 2010 and 2014 Republicans had huge gains in response to President Obama’s Agenda even though Obama overwhelmingly won his second presidential election in 2012. Colorado went for Hillary Clinton by 5% in 2016 even though President Trump stunned with a winning election. Nationally and in Colorado that swing toward Democratic control was to be expected however, in Colorado’s elections the Democratic Party ran good campaigns and largely spoke to independent voters to gain an overwhelming lead in Colorado.
  • Republicans have to realize that voter registration and reaching independent voters with a message that resonates with their concerns is paramount, if Republicans are to remain competitive in the future.
  • Historically, when Democrats have controlled all branches of Government, they have over played their hand legislatively which has created a backlash from voters and recall elections. Stakeholder inclusiveness, and a bipartisan approach to Colorado’s challenges is of the upmost importance moving forward in 2019.
  • Rural Colorado legislators will continue to be very important in in any legislative process in the future. Their challenges do not go away no matter which party is in control.
  • Colorado has enjoyed tremendous growth and a booming economy in the past 8 years. Colorado’s transportation needs in the legislature must be front and center if Colorado is to remain a vibrant state.
  • All issues are local. Local control, home rule, local growth play an ever-increasing role in Colorado’s future. We see great opportunities in the days and months ahead for innovation and great ideas coming together to prosper Colorado.

We look forward to working with you as a new year approaches. Do not hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns we are here at your service.

Everything you need to know Georgia’s elections

Dentons’ Georgia public policy team delves into the data to give you an exhaustive look at how the 2018 midterms played out across the Peach State.

Governor

As of this writing neither candidates for governor of Georgia has officially been declared victorious but Republican Brian Kemp holds a narrow lead. Republican Brian Kemp has received 1,972,951 votes (50.33 percent) and Democrat Stacey Abrams has received 1,909,726 votes (48.72 percent). The third party Libertarian candidate Ted Metz received 37,081 votes (0.95%).

While Kemp has claimed victory, Abrams has yet to provide any indication that she will concede at this point in the voting counting process. In a statement provided to CNN, her campaign cited several specific reasons, including that three of the state’s largest counties “have reported only a portion of the votes that were submitted by early mail” and four other large counties “have reported exactly 0 votes by mail.” Together, the seven counties “are expected to return a minimum of 77,000 ballots,” according to the campaign.

For Abrams to push this race to a runoff she would have to pick up approximately 50,000 of the remaining 77,000 outstanding ballots she claims exist. According to the Abrams campaign the majority of outstanding mail-in ballots are in three metro Atlanta counties—Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett, all areas of strong Democratic support. Therefore, reaching a runoff would require a significant post-election day boost but given the political lean of the outstanding counties, while it remains statistically unlikely, an extended campaign season is not completely outside the realm of possibility.

Regardless of whether this race ends with a Kemp victory or continues on to a December 4th runoff, the historic turnout highlights the effectiveness of both sides’ base-directed campaign strategies. Turnout is reaching presidential levels, with 3.9 million votes counted in the races thus far—only 100,000 votes short of the 2016 presidential election total of 4 million votes. Abrams has already received more votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016 by approximately 20,000 but Kemp remains in the lead.

Governor Nathan Deal won by 8 percent in 2014 and Trump won by 5 percent in 2016. Kemp, however, is only leading by 1.8 percent in what is widely seen as a solidly Republican state. Demographic changes, polarization and strong leadership have all contributed to returning Democrats to relevance in statewide Georgia politics.

Although, at the present moment, Abrams appears to have come up short there are three main factors worthy of analysis which led to her surge and Kemp’s equally significant counterattack. First, Gwinnett and Cobb Counties both continued their leftward trends witnessed in recent elections. Second, historic turnout in Fulton County. And third, overwhelming rural dominance by Kemp and the activation of the Trump coalition.

The maps above, from right to left, show results from the current (2018) election for governor, the 2016 presidential election and the 2014 midterm election for governor. In 2014, Democrat Jason Carter faced off against Republican Governor Deal. In 2016 Clinton ran against Trump and, of course, this year Abrams and Kemp are vying to become Georgia’s next executive.

Abrams, from the beginning, was intent on boosting turnout and riding diversifying demographics and a ballooning urban population in and around the City of Atlanta—and she succeeded in achieving that goal. Fulton County, long a Democratic stronghold that voted 63 percent in favor of Carter and 69 percent for Clinton came in at 72 percent for Abrams. In percentage terms alone the continuing liberalization of the county is clear. In four years, from 2014 to 2018, statewide Democratic candidates increased their vote share by 9 percent.

However, increasing the Democratic vote percentage was not alone going to make this a competitive race. Abrams not only received a higher percentage of votes but she also increased the number of votes themselves. In Fulton County, she received 6,503 more votes than Hillary Clinton received in Fulton in a presidential year, which historically have a higher turnout. Moreover, Abrams added to Carter’s total Fulton County vote count by 137,464 votes, a 183 percent increase.

The same trend holds in suburban Atlanta. Four years ago Governor Deal won both Gwinnett and Cobb Counties, netting 54 and 56 percent of the vote, respectively. Two years later Clinton carried Gwinnett with 51 percent of the vote and won a plurality of votes in Cobb with 48.9 percent. Yesterday, Abrams expanded Democratic leads in both counties, winning 56 percent of the vote in Gwinnett and 54 percent of the vote in Cobb.

However, as the graphics above reveal, as in Fulton County, the Abrams victory isn’t defined by a 13 percentage point increase since 2014 but rather a massive Democratic turnout. Abrams received more votes in both Gwinnett and Cobb than Hillary Clinton. Moreover, she expanded Carter’s vote tally by about 200 percent in Gwinnett and 190 percent in Cobb, adding 85,938 votes and 79,437 votes to his totals in the respective counties.

The substantial increase in new Democratic voters from 2014 to 2016 is exactly what the Abrams camp sought and the onslaught of Democratic voters could only be answered by an equal, presidential-level turnout in rural, Republican Georgia, which the Kemp campaign delivered. Kemp was so effective in building a rural ground campaign and tying himself to President Trump that he witnessed only a slight turnout drop-off from Trump’s 2016 victory.

In many rural parts of Georgia, Kemp vastly outperformed Deal in terms of vote count. In fact, he nearly kept pace with Trump in terms of votes per county, surely benefiting greatly from two visits from Vice President Pence and an appearance by Trump himself at a get-out-the vote rally. Just as Abrams added massively to Carter’s turnout, Kemp did the same in comparison to Deal’s, increasing the term-limited incumbent’s vote total in Walker County, for instance, by more than 200 percent and by approximately 150 percent in each of the other five counties we examined.

Moreover, Kemp improved on President Trump’s performance and won four key counties—Burke, Washington, Baker and Early—the first two of which narrowly voted for Hillary in 2014.

In sum, both candidates turned out their base at presidential-election levels and consolidated support in key partisan areas. Should his lead hold up, Kemp will have withstood a formidable metropolitan blue wave thanks to the unwavering support of Trump country.

Down-Ballot

Lieutenant Governor
Geoff Duncan defeated Sarah Riggs Amico with 52 percent of the vote. Amico suffered a substantial drop-off from the top of the ticket, while Duncan remained neck-and-neck with Kemp throughout the night. Amico, as of this writing, received 94,430 fewer votes than Abrams while Duncan only lagged 27,073 votes behind Kemp.

Secretary of State
After neither candidate broke 50 percent of the vote, the race for secretary of state is expected to go to a runoff. Republican Brad Raffensperger received 49 percent, John Barrow received 48 percent and Smythe Duval received 2 percent. Duval netted 48,491 more votes than his libertarian counterpart in the governor’s race. Also of note, Barrow received 62,514 more votes than Sarah Riggs Amico, despite showing up lower on the ballot.

Attorney General
Republican Chris Carr defeated Democrat Charlie Bailey with 52 percent of the vote. Carr received 1,965,061 votes—more than the total cast for Brian Kemp.

Georgia Public Service Commission
Incumbent Republican Tricia Pridemore has seemingly defeated Democrat Dawn Randolph for the PSC seat in District 5, however the race has yet to be formally called. Republican Chuck Eaton appears destined for a runoff with Democrat Lindy Miller. That race currently stands at 49.89 percent for Eaton to Miller’s 47.45 percent. The two are separated by just 93,436 votes.

Top vote-getter
Republican State School Superintendent Richard Woods beat Democrat Otha Thornton with 2,034,151 votes, or 53 percent of total votes cast. Woods received the most votes out of any candidate on Tuesday’s ballot. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, GOP incumbent, was close behind with 2,026,207 votes, or 53 percent, in his race against Democrat Fred Swann.

Fifty-three percent is the high-water mark for statewide Republicans in this election. In 2014, Republican Doug Everett, a Republican incumbent on the PSC, raked in 68 percent of the statewide vote.

US Congress

Both of the competitive US House of Representative races are in the suburban Atlanta counties that came out strongly for Abrams. As such, both the race in Georgia’s 6th and 7th congressional districts remain extremely close. At the moment incumbent Republican Rob Woodall leads Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, 50.59 to 49.41 percent, with a vote difference of 3,184. Bordeaux has not conceded the race.

In the 6th congressional district, Democrat Lucy McBath leads incumbent Republican Karen Handel 50.45 percent to 49.55 percent. Only 2,872 votes separate the two women. Handel, like Abrams and Bordeaux, has not conceded the race. In order to demand a recount the trailing candidate must be within 1 percentage point. At the present, Handel is within that window.

Georgia State Legislature

While democratic enthusiasm may not have materialized statewide to loosen the Republican grip on statewide offices, the Democratic enthusiasm in suburban Metro Atlanta created a significant blue undertow, leading to a net gain of eleven seats in the Georgia House and two seats in the Georgia Senate. This is a substantial result for Georgia Democrats, who knocked off several entrenched Republicans and, in some cases, convincingly defended seats many thought were in play. All of the races that flipped from Republican to Democrat, shown below, were in the suburbs of Atlanta. Democrats now hold 21 out of 56 seats in the state Senate and 75 out of 180 seats in the state House.

Races of note:

  • Jen Jordan, an incumbent Democrat in Senate District 6, which includes parts of Smyrna and Sandy Springs, handily beat back a well-funded challenge from Leah Aldridge.
  • Incumbent Republican Fran Millar, representative for Senate District 40, which is mostly in North DeKalb County, lost by ten percentage points to Democrat Sally Harrell
  • Sam Teasly a Republican incumbent in House District 37, central Cobb County, is currently losing by 145 votes to Democratic challenger Mary Williams.
  • In one of the more surprising upsets, Betty Price the Republican incumbent from House District 48 in North Fulton county, is currently losing to Democratic challenger Mary Robichaux by 121 votes.
  • Democrat Matthew Wilson defeated Republican incumbent Meagan Hanson to return House District 80 to Democratic control.
  • Gwinnett County witnessed the greatest partisan turnover of any state house delegation. Five former republican House seats (HD 95, HD 105, HD 105, HD 107, HD 108) and one Senate seat (SD 48), previously held by former State Sen. David Shafer, are now in Democratic hands.
  • Democratic incumbents Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace were defeated in House Districts 117 and 119 in Clarke and Oconee Counties

Across the board the suburbs played an instrumental role in increasing Democratic influence under the Gold Dome, however, Republicans remain firmly in power.

Ballot Initiatives

Amendment 1: Creates the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund: Approved
Amendment 2: Creates a statewide business court: Approved
Amendment 3: Redefines, reclassifies Forest Land Conservation and Timberland: Approved
Amendment 4: Adds rights for crime victims to state constitution: Approved
Amendment 5: Changes rules for calling a county education sales tax referendum: Approved
Statewide Referendum A, homestead exemption for certain cities: Approved
Statewide Referendum B, tax exemption for certain homes for mentally ill: Approved

Meet the (likely) freshman class of the 116th Congress

Dentons’ public policy team probes the polls to give you a first look at the newest (anticipated) members of Congress in this special report.

Connecticut guv race’s GOP stunner

The following comes by way of Dentons 50 partner firm the Connecticut Group.

Tuesday’s primary results yielded one big surprise: Republican Bob Stefanowski upset the party’s endorsed candidate, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, and won the GOP nomination for governor.

Stefanowski, a former GE and UBS executive who self-financed his campaign, took to the airwaves and ran ads months before his opponents – a strategy that paid off. He cruised to victory tonight, defying expectations, and teeing up an unlikely matchup for November.

Stefanowski will face Democrat Ned Lamont in the governor’s race. Lamont won the Democratic primary for governor by a large margin over Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

A complete list of the primary results for the state’s constitutional offices is below.

Party-endorsed candidates indicated by *
Republican Primary Democratic Primary
Governor
*Mark Boughton
Tim Herbst
Steve Obsitnik
Bob Stefanowski✓
David Stemerman
Governor
Joe Ganim
*Ned Lamont✓
Lt. Governor
*Joe Markley✓
Jayme Stevenson
Erin Stewart
Lt. Governor
Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman
*Susan Bysiewicz✓
Treasurer
*Thad Grey✓
Art Linares
Treasurer
Dita Bhargava
*Sean Wooden✓
Attorney General
*Susan Hatfield✓
John Shaban
Attorney General
Paul Doyle
Chris Mattei
*William Tong✓
Comptroller
Mark Greenberg
*Kurt Miller✓