Georgia special elections may get primaries, but not this year

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ATLANTA – A proposed change to Georgia election law to require party primaries before certain special elections has been amended so it wouldn’t take effect until 2021, assuring a special U.S. Senate election this year won’t be affected if it passes.

That’s good news for recently appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is running to defend her seat in a free-for-all special election on Nov. 3.

House Bill 757 was approved by the state House Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday. It could soon go to the full House for a vote.

Under current law, Loeffler’s race won’t be filtered by party primaries and all candidates will share the ballot in November. A previous version of the bill would have applied to the race, requiring party primaries in May. That setup could have helped Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who is challenging Loeffler for the seat, by shortening the time Loeffler has to build a record to run on.