Progressives in Georgia will have an unprecedented opportunity for huge gains in 2018, riding on the wave of transformation that has gripped the state over the past year. Up for grabs are eight statewide offices, all fourteen seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the 180 seats in the state House of Representatives and the 56 seats in the state Senate.
If you care about leaders in Georgia protecting funding for public schools, increasing the use of greener energy sources within the state, expanding access to healthcare, defending voters’ rights, or supporting our immigrant and refugee neighbors, then 2018 is the time to get involved.
With so many seats up for grabs, voters will have plenty of opportunities to send a clear message about who and what they support during the primary and general elections next year. Mark your calendars now for the May 22 primary elections, selecting the candidates that will represent the Republican or Democratic party in all the races, including governor. November 6 is when the final showdown will happen during the 2018 general election.
Over the past year, progressives have scored some major victories in Georgia, and 2018 only promises more progressive wins.
This year, progressives have seen a groundswell of support. Jon Ossoff’s unexpected campaign against Republican Karen Handel activated progressives across both the state and the country. Voters across Georgia flipped three state legislative seats from Republican to Democrat, ending the Republican supermajority in the state Senate. They also elected new, progressive leadership into city halls across the state. And Georgia only reflects a larger trend across the nation: progressives and progressive policies are winning.
In 2018, there will be a chance to push for even more change in the state of Georgia.
There will be elections for a slew of statewide positions, including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and state school superintendent. These are the leaders that set the priorities for the state when it comes to allocating the state’s $25 billion budget. These are also the leaders that will set the priorities for what are the highest priority crimes to prosecute, which programs schools prioritize across the state, and how elections are conducted.
Also up for election in 2018 will be Commissioners for Insurance, Agriculture and Labor. If you care about the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion; if you care about the backbone of this state’s economy; if you care about worker’s rights, then these are candidates to pay attention to.
Lastly, less-known bodies, like the Georgia Public Service Commission (which regulates utilities, and is part of approving the controversial Plant Vogtle expansion), will have two seats up for grabs as well.
The past year has seen progressive communities turn out like never before, and begin to transform the state. With a lot of heart and just a little elbow grease, progressives can carry these wins into 2018.