You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Watchdog: Georgia elections among least competitive in nation


Georgia is one of the least politically competitive states in the nation and money is a big part of it, according to the Institute on Money in State Politics.

“Georgia is always at the bottom,” said Pete Quist, chief researcher for the Montana-based institute, which produces regular reports ranking competitiveness among states.

According to their data, 81 percent of incumbents for the Georgia General Assembly ran unopposed in the general election. Moreover, even the handful of open seats didn’t attract competition, with 82 percent of those seats with only one name on the November ballot.

“Typically what you would like to see in a strong democracy is the ability for voters to choose,” Quist said.

One way incumbents tip the scales in their favor is with campaign contributions from special interest political action committees.

In the 2016 election cycle, lawmakers running for reelection received $14.6 million in donations from political action committees representing the most powerful special interests in the state. Challengers received just $387,938 statewide.

For more on the role campaign cash plays in state legislative races, read this week’s AJC Watchdog column here.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Politics

Georgia lawmaker uses power of the purse to influence colleges
Georgia lawmaker uses power of the purse to influence colleges

Some call him the 20th member of the Board of Regents. He regularly uses his political power to influence policies he doesn’t like at Georgia’s colleges and universities, whether they be public or private. Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech, Georgia Gwinnett and Emory have all felt his wrath. He is Earl Ehrhart, a veteran state House member whose...
Early voting in Georgia’s 6th District starts Tuesday
Early voting in Georgia’s 6th District starts Tuesday

Early in-person voting starts Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, kicking off the official countdown to the June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The nationally watched race to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Price covers a district that includes parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Only voters...
How Trump is already shaking up the Georgia governor’s race
How Trump is already shaking up the Georgia governor’s race

President Donald Trump is shaking up the emerging race for Georgia governor, forcing Republicans to gamble on how closely to tie themselves to his presidency – and speeding up plans for Democrats who think they have a tantalizing opportunity to exploit his setbacks. A fight is already under way on the GOP side of the ticket between candidates...
Redistricting gives GOP key to political power in Georgia
Redistricting gives GOP key to political power in Georgia

Once every decade, a peculiar spectacle occupies Georgia’s General Assembly. It’s a time when lawmakers pay little heed to lobbyists, much less constituents. Their focus instead becomes much more primal: protecting themselves, undermining their enemies, and maximizing the strength of their political parties. These internecine struggles...
Both sides see lessons for Georgia’s 6th District from Montana election
Both sides see lessons for Georgia’s 6th District from Montana election

Republicans in Atlanta’s northern suburbs can sleep just a little bit easier after GOP candidate Greg Gianforte avoided electoral disaster here Thursday evening. But the former technology executive’s single-digit victory in this vast state of only 1 million people - which backed Donald Trump for president by more than 20 percentage points...
More Stories