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Thursday May 19th, 2022 8:10PM

Bailey to run for lieutenant governor, not attorney general

By The Associated Press
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Democrat Charlie Bailey is switching races to run for lieutenant governor, ending his bid for attorney general.

Bailey made the announcement Sunday, leaving state Sen. Jen Jordan as the only announced Democrat in the race seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Attorney General Chris Carr. Bailey told The Associated Press on Monday that a number of prominent Democrats had asked him to change his focus.

“I think it's the best place that I can make the most impact for the working people of this state,” the 38-year-old Atlanta Democrat said.

Bailey set out goals for lieutenant governor including expanding the state-federal Medicaid program to cover more adults, increasing school funding, and raising pay for teachers and law enforcement officers.

Bailey jumps into a crowded Democratic field for lieutenant governor, with incumbent Republican Geoff Duncan deciding not to run again. Declared Democratic candidates include state Rep. Erick Allen of Smyrna, Jason Hayes of Alpharetta, state Rep. Derrick Jackson of Tyrone, Bryan Miller of Watkinsville, state Rep. Renitta Shannon of Atlanta and others.

Republicans include state Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville, state Sen. Burt Jones of Jackson, Jeanne Seaver of Savannah and others.

Bailey was his party's nominee for attorney general in 2018, and won 48.7% of the vote when he lost to Carr.

“I think I'm the best person for the job and I think I can help the ticket,” Bailey said. “I'm a proven statewide nominee.”

He acknowledged that Republicans would likely remain in the majority in the state Senate after the 2022 elections, but said he would advocate for Democratic priorities and try to get Republicans to work with him on subjects of mutual interest such as public safety and health care.

Bailey is being endorsed by former Gov. Roy Barnes, former Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson. But other Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor say they're not giving up.

“For the last five years, Charlie was running for attorney general. That seemed to be what his heart was set on,” Allen said. “I'm a good fit for this office and I don't think someone seeking a winnable race is going to change my opinion.”

Jordan announced Monday that she has raised more than $1.3 million in her bid for attorney general and had $1 million in the bank as the 2022 legislative session began. As a state senator, Jordan has to stop raising money during the session.

“We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is to work hard to put together a campaign that ultimately is going to be able to beat Chris Carr,” the Sandy Springs Democrat said.

Jordan said she was encouraged that Democrats would ultimately have a strong, unified group of candidates in November, while Republicans are fighting among themselves.

“I think what’s interesting, in terms of how things are panning out, is that it seems like Democrats are really focused on trying to build a slate that’s going to be able to ultimately win,” Jordan said.

___

Follow Jeff Amy at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

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