Man, what a week it has been!
The midterm election picture became a lot clearer on Tuesday after some surprising primary election results. But there’s still some critical runoff races taking place next month, on June 21, to establish the final contenders in November.
U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker enjoyed a landslide Tuesday night win in his Republican primary race before stumbling during subsequent national news interviews.
And Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens unveiled some new affordable housing developments before giving an update on his “Light Up the Night” crime prevention program.
Here’s a rundown of the political news you need to know heading into the weekend.
Democratic battle for Secretary of State headed for a runoff
Several key Democratic and Republican runoff elections are set to take place next month after candidates in a few key primary races failed to capture a majority of votes.
One of those showdowns is the Democratic primary race for secretary of state, a job that has huge implications for how Black votes are counted (or not) in the state.
Nguyen had 44.32% of votes, according to the latest tally from the secretary of state’s office, with more than 99% of precincts reporting. Dawkins-Haigler received 18.66%.
Whoever wins the runoff next month will take on incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in November.
Walker wins big, stumbles during national media interviews
The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner secured his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate in a landslide victory over five GOP rivals. Walker’s win set up a historic matchup with Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who won his party’s nomination.
It’s the first time in Georgia history that a general election U.S. Senate race will be decided between two Black candidates, and only the second time that’s happened in the country’s history.
But Walker stumbled out of the general election starting blocks after his win when a CNN reporter asked him if he supports enacting any new gun laws in the wake of Tuesday’s Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“What I’d like to do is see it and everything and stuff,” Walker said in a moment captured on video.
During a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Walker struggled again to answer a question about gun policy solutions to mass shootings.
“What we need to do is look into how we can stop those things,” he said. “You know, they talked about doing a disinformation [department]. What about getting a department that can look at young men, that’s looking at women, that’s looking at, uh, their social media? What about doing that, looking into things like that and we can stop that, that way? But yet they wanna just continue to talk about taking away your constitutional rights.”
Still, the Georgia football legend, who was endorsed by longtime friend Donald Trump, has spent most of the year polling ahead of Warnock. But the latest poll conducted in late April had Warnock up 5 points over Walker.
Dickens touts southwest Atlanta affordable housing progress
Atlanta’s mayor made notable progress this week on his plan to increase the city’s supply of affordable homes.
On Tuesday, Dickens attended the grand opening of Hartland Station, a housing community located in the city’s Sylvan Hills neighborhood. The complex contains 130 units, 52 of which are subsidized for families that earn 60% of the metro area’s median income.
A day later, Dickens broke ground on a mixed-use, real estate development in southwest Atlanta that includes affordable housing.
The complex known as Briarwood — located in the city’s Greenbriar neighborhood — is set to include 87 three-story town houses and a 30,000-square-foot medical office building, according to Dickens’s office.
It also will include 16,000 square feet of commercial space, the city said. Officials said 25 single mothers already have pre-qualified for the property’s affordable housing units.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit community development financial institution, and the economic development agency known as Invest Atlanta partnered to create the Briarwood complex.
Dawn Arnold, Invest Atlanta executive vice president and chief operating officer, told reporters that developers also are building two more housing communities, known as Paramount and Briar Park, across the street from Briarwood.
Dickens lauded the city’s affordable housing progress Wednesday after detailing plans earlier this year to build or maintain 20,000 affordable housing units over the next eight years.
“I’m telling developers, ‘Get your shovel ready,’ because you see what we’re doing in Atlanta,” he told reporters. “We’re going to build or preserve those 20,000 units, and we’re going to do it in a way that’s going to make everybody happy.”