Georgia Vote 2022: What’s on your ballot?

Several races beyond high-profile governor, senate races

File photo (Brynn Anderson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Even if you don’t follow politics, there’s no avoiding knowing something about Brian Kemp, David Perdue, Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. That last name you probably knew long before he decided to run for U.S. Senate.

And while you may not have known who was Georgia’s secretary of state before December 2020, thanks to former President Donald Trump, you’ve likely now heard of Brad Raffensperger and that he’s running for re-election.

There are statewide offices and U.S. House and state legislative seats on the ballot in most areas of the state, along with two constitutional amendments and two referendums. In most counties, voters will also see local races and ballot proposals. Scroll down to read more about who is running in each race and the issues you are asked to vote on.

Voting by absentee ballot is already underway in Georgia and in-person early voting begins Oct. 17. All precincts will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8. We’ll provide much more information about where and when you can vote as those dates get closer.


U.S. Senate

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Herschel Walker attended the University of Georgia where he was an All-American in both football and track-and-field, leaving college after winning 1982 Heisman Trophy to play in the USFL and NFL. Since leaving sports, he has worked for a number of food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump appointed Walker as chair of the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. (Campaign bio)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Raphael Warnock is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate seat he won in January 2021 special election when he defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. He has served as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005. He also chaired the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group founded by Stacey Abrams from 2017 to 2020. Warnock earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in 1991 and a master’s degree in divinity, a master’s degree in philosophy, and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary. (Campaign bio)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Chase Oliver was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His professional experience includes working on the import shipping business for a multinational liner service. He is affiliated with the Libertarian Party of Atlanta and Outright Libertarians. (Campaign website)

Note: Under Georgia election law, candidates must earn more than 50% of the vote to win, so this race could go to a Dec. 6 runoff.


Georgia governor

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Brian Kemp is running for re-election as governor of Georgia. Kemp defeated former state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) in the 2018 election by just over 1 percentage point, succeeding term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Kemp first won elected office in 2012, when he unseated state Sen. Doug Haines (D). In 2006, Kemp ran for agriculture commissioner but was defeated in the Republican primary. Four years later, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) appointed Kemp to the Georgia Secretary of State office vacated by Karen Handel (R), who had resigned to run for governor. He was re-elected to that post twice. Before entering elected office, Kemp was a small business owner, managing Athens-based Kemp Properties. (Campaign bio)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Stacey Abrams graduated from Avondale High School and has earned degrees from Spelman College, the University of Texas, and Yale University Law School. Shas owned a business and worked as a partner in Insomnia LLC; the CEO of Sage Works LLC; was deputy city attorney for the city of Atlanta; special counsel to Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan; and a teacher at Spelman College and Yale University. She was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, District 89 in 2006 and served as House minority leader from 2011 to 2017. Abrams resigned her state House seat in August 2017 to run for governor in 2018, losing to Republican Brian Kemp but just over 1 percentage point. She founded and continues to lead the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group. (Campaign bio)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Shane Hazel was born in Alma, Michigan. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 2001 to 2009. Hazel earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 2006. Hazel’s career experience includes working in business development.

Two write-in candidates also qualified to run for governor: David Byrne and Milton Lofton.

Note: Under Georgia election law, candidates must earn more than 50% of the vote to win, so this race could go to a Dec. 6 runoff.


Lieutenant Governor

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Burt Jones is completing his 10th year representing District 25 in thwe Georgia Senate. He is a small business owner in Jackson, Ga. He earned a B.S. in history from the University of Georgia. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Charlie Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 2005 and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2010. His career experience includes working as an attorney with Cook & Connelly LLC. (Campaign website)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Ryan Graham was born in Athens. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia State University in 2010. Graham’s career experience includes working as an IT project manager. (Campagin website)

Note: Under Georgia election law, candidates must earn more than 50% of the vote to win, so this race could go to a Dec. 6 runoff.


Secretary of State

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s incumbent secretary of state, received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Western University and his M.B.A. from Georgia State University. His professional experience includes owning and working as CEO of Tendon Systems LLC, a contracting and engineering design firm. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Bee Nguyen attended Georgia State University and founded a nonprofit organization called Athena’s Warehouse, which says its goal is to educate and empower young women. Nguyen was the first Asian American Democratic woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2017. She represented House District 89, the seat formerly held by Stacey Abrams, until 2023. (Campaign website)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Ted Metz attended the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. He has a background in consumer science and worked in the finance and insurance industry. (Campaign website)

Brenda Lynn Nelson-Porter qualified as a write-in candidate for this office.

Note: Under Georgia election law, candidates must earn more than 50% of the vote to win, so this race could go to a Dec. 6 runoff.


Attorney General

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Chris Carr, Georgia’s incumbent attorney general, was born in Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1995 and a law degree in 1999 from the University of Georgia. Carr worked as a private practice attorney in Atlanta, then served as vice president and general counsel for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation before joining the Senate campaign of Johnny Isakson as campaign manager. After Isakson won the 2004 election, Carr worked as Isakson’s deputy chief of staff and then as chief of staff until Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Carr as the commissioner of the Department of Economic Development. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Jennifer “Jen” Jordan was born in Eastman, Georgia. She earned a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2001 and a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Georgia Southern University in 1997. Jordan’s career experience includes working as a partner at Shamp Jordan Woodward and principal at The Jordan Firm LLC. She serves on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia and recognition as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the State from the Georgia Super Lawyer’s Magazine in 2016. She was elected to the state senate in 2017. (Campaign website)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Martin Cowen was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1972 and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1975. Cowen’s professional experience includes practicing law since 1975. His organizational affiliations include the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia and the Board of Directors for Fellowship of Reason. (Campaign website)

Commissioner of Agriculture

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Tyler Harper earned his B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of Georgia. His professional experience includes working as a small businessman and farmer in Ocilla, Georgia (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES
  • Nakita Hemingway is a Georgia native who attended Georgia State University where she majored in real estate and also has a degree in finance from American Intercontinental University. She is a married mother of four and resides in Dacula, Ga., with her family where she farms and maintains a small real estate practice. (Campaign website)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Dave Raudabaugh has been a resident and businessman of Marietta, Georgia for nearly 30 years. Together with his wife of 38 years, Karen, he has raised two daughters. He has extensive background in the security industry and founded several cannabis-focused technology start-ups and sales organizations. (Campaign website)

Note: Under Georgia election law, candidates must earn more than 50% of the vote to win, so this race could go to a Dec. 6 runoff.


Commissioner of Insurance

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • John King was appointed as the insurance and fire safety commissioner on June 12, 2019, after Jim Beck was suspended from the position and later convicted of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and tax fraud. Born in Mexico, King received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and public administration from Brenau University and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. King held several positions in the Atlanta and Doraville police before becoming chief of police in Doraville. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Janice Laws Robinson is a licensed insurance professional who owns an agency in Newnan, Georgia. She was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States as a teenager with her family, becoming a United States citizen a few years later. She is a mother of two grown daughters and a published author. (Campaign website)

State School Superintendent

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Richard Woods, the incumbent in this race, worked 14 years as a social studies teacher in Irwin County before holding several administrative positions, including assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-k director and alternative school director.(Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Alisha Thomas Searcy was born in Georgia, earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in 2000 and a graduate degree from Kennesaw State University in 2017. She has owned an education consulting business, been a school board member, coach and mentor, state legislator and superintendent. (Campaign website)

Commissioner of Labor

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Bruce Thompson, a businessman from Wacworth, is finishing a second term representing District 14 in the Georgia Senate. A native of a small town in Montana, Thompson grew up working on his family farm and attended college at Montana State University before joining the U.S. Army. He is married with two children. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • William “Will” Boddie is an attorney from East Point and completing his third term representing District 62 in the Georgia House of Representatives. Boddie was born in Atlanta, earned a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Valdosta State University in 1999 and a law degree from Mercer Walter F. George School of Law in 2003. He was a founder of The Boddie McKnight Law Firm LLC, a council member and community liaison with the Fulton Leadership Academy and a legal commentator for area radio stations. (Campaign website)
  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
  • Emily Anderson is a digital printer in Peachtree City. (No website found)

Statewide ballot questions

All voters will be asked to vote yes or no to the following four questions:

Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 - Provides for suspension of compensation of certain State officers and members of the General Assembly. (Senate Resolution No. 134 Resolution Act No. 304}

  • “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to suspend the compensation of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, or any member of the General Assembly while such individual is suspended from office following indictment for a felony?”

Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 - Provides for temporary local tax relief after disasters. (House Resolution No. 594 Resolution Act No. 803)

  • “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the governing authority of each county, municipality, and consolidated government and the board of education of each independent and county school system in this state shall be authorized to grant temporary tax relief to properties within its jurisdiction which are severely damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster and located within a nationally declared disaster area?”

Statewide Referendum Question A - Provides for ad valorem tax exemption for certain timber production, reforestation, and harvesting equipment. (House Bill No. 997 Act No. 859)

  • “Shall the Act be approved which Grants a statewide exemption from all ad valorem taxes for certain equipment used by timber producers in the production or harvest of timber?”

Statewide Referendum Question B - Expands ad valorem tax exemption for family‐owned farms and adds qualified products to the exemption. (House Bill No. 498 Act No. 260)

  • “Shall the Act be approved which expands a state-wide exemption from ad valorem taxes for agricultural equipment and certain farm products held by certain entities to include entities comprising two or more family owned farm entities, and which adds dairy products and unfertilized eggs of poultry as qualified farm products with respect to such exemption?”

Georgia’s 1st Congressional District

One of Georgia’s 14 seats in the U.S. House includes Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn, Pierce and Ware counties.

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Earl “Buddy” Carter - A pharmacist who has held this seat in Congress since 2015. Before his election to this seat, Carter was mayor of Pooler, Georgia, served in the Georgia House and Senate. He lives in Savannah with a wife and four children. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Wade Herring - After graduating from Central High School in Macon, Georgia, Herring earned a law degree from the University of Georgia. His career experience includes working as a lawyer and judicial clerk. Herring has served with the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club and Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy lawyer. (Campaign website)

Georgia’s 8th Congressional District

This South Central Georgia U.S. House seat includes Clinch County.

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
  • Austin Scott - Member of Congress from Tifton, Georgia. Before his election in 2011 he is agent and owner with The Southern Group and was senior agent with The Principal Financial Group. He has a BBA in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia. (Campaign website)
  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
  • Darrius Butler - Pastor in Warner Robins with degree from Carver College. He founded a non-profit and has served as the chair of the Boys & Girls Club. (Campaign website)

Georgia State Senate & House

While seats in the Georgia Legislature are on the ballot around the state, all lawmakers in Southeast Georgia either ran for re-election unopposed or won their Republican primaries in May and faced no opposition in the general election. Their names will still appear on ballots in their districts.

  • Georgia State Senate, District 3 - Mike Hodges, a banker in Brunswick, won a three-way primary and will represent Brantley Camden, Charlton, Glynn and part of Ware counties. He takes the seat of one-term Republican state Sen. Sheila McNeill, who did not seek re-election.
  • Georgia State Senate, District 8 - Sen. Russ Goodman, a farmer from Homerville, was unopposed for re-election in both the primary or the general election for this district that includes Clinch, Pierce and part of Ware counties.
  • Georgia State House, District 167 - Rep. Buddy DeLoach, who lives in Shellman Bluff and retired after an insurance career, drew no opposition in either the primary or the general election. This district represents western Glynn County.
  • Georgia State House, District 174 - Rep. John Corbett, a business owner and farmer who lives in Slake Park, drew no Republican or Democratic challengers. His district includes Brantley, Charlton, Clinch and part of Ware County.
  • Georgia State House, District 176 - Rep. James Burchett, who co-owns a law firm in Waycross, drew no Republican or Democratic challengers. This district includes part of Ware County.
  • Georgia State House, District 178 - Rep. Steven Meeks, a farmer in Screven, beat a Republican challenger in the primary. With no Democrat in the race, Meeks wins re-election to this district that includes Pierce County.
  • Georgia State House, District 179 - Rick Townsend, a retired educator/consultant who lives in St. Simons Island, won in a three-way Republican primary to fill the seat of state Rep. Don Hogan, who did not seek re-election. No Democrat is in the race so Townsend is elected to represent the city of Brunswick, St. Simons Island and other parts of eastern Glynn County.
  • Georgia State House, District 180 - Rep. Steven Sainz, CEO of Camden Connection, turned back a Republican challenger in the primary and faces no Democratic opposition in this district that includes all of Camden County and a strip of southern Glynn County.

Local races in Southeast Georgia

Like many of the legislative races, most decisions about local elected officials were made in the primary or candidates were unopposed. Voters of Glynn County will be asked to select their choices for two commission seats and a board of education member, there’s a board of education post to be decided in Charlton County, there are SPLOST questions on the November ballot in Glynn and Ware counties, there’s a ballot question about alcohol sales for voters in the city of St. Marys, and there is a special election for Blackshear City Council on the ballot for some Pierce County voters.


Information in this guide was collected from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, individual county elections offices, Ballotpedia.com and the candidates’ own websites.


About the Author:

Digital election producer in 2022. He created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.