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Abortion galvanized as 2020 campaign issue as Georgia’s WIN List unveils slate

Georgia's WIN List, slate, 12:5:19

Georgia's WIN List has backed a slate of 40 candidates, including this group who gathered in December 2019, before coronavirus-related restrictions were in effect. The photo on the left is of a candidate who's expected baby was due at any moment. File/Credit: Eric Voss

By David Pendered

Georgia’s WIN List announced Thursday its slate of 12 women who are running for the state Legislature – pro-abortion rights candidates who are expected to spark Democrats’ energy and turnout as Gov. Brian Kemp’s anti-abortion Republican pick for the U.S. Senate will be trying to retain her seat in 2020.

Georgia's WIN List, slate, 12:5:19

Candidates in the first round of support by Georgia’s WIN List gathered Thursday at the state Capitol. The photo on the left is of a candidate who’s expected baby was due at any moment. Credit: Eric Voss

Abortion is already at the center of both the U.S. Senate campaign and campaigns for state legislative offices. If politics alone weren’t enough to draw attention, the federal lawsuit over Georgia’s so-called “heartbeat bill” will continue to unfold in 2020 and remind voters that Georgia’s law could well become a test case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court judge in Atlanta issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit to block the anti-abortion law from taking effect. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, a defendant in the case, filed a motion in favor of the plaintiff’s position, according to the ruling. These sorts of milestones will likely generate headlines during the campaign.

Kelly Loeffler highlighted her anti-abortion position in her remarks in a statement Kemp’s office released announcing her appointment to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson, the Republican who is retiring from the office:

  • “I’m strongly pro-life and believe that every life is a blessing. When it comes to protecting the innocent, I don’t look to government for the answers. I look to God.”

Kemp cited Loeffler’s anti-abortion position in the statement released by his office:

  • “[S]he is a real conservative who will defend life against the radical left’s abortion-on-demand agenda, protect the Second Amendment, champion pro-growth policies, support our President, and put hardworking Georgians first.”

Georgia’s WIN List is a political action committee with a stated goal to:

  • “[C]hange the face of Georgia’s politics by electing more pro-choice Democratic women to the General Assembly and to statewide office who are committed to reproductive freedom and economic, educational, and legal equality for all women.”

The slate by Georgia’s WIN List aims to counter efforts by Republicans to regain strong support of Republican women who have turned sour on the Republican Party. This includes women in metro Atlanta and in communities outside the region.

Melita Easters

Melita Easters. Credit: Eric Voss

Melita Easters, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement released Thursday:

  • “Gov. Kemp is trying to regain the support of the women voters who have drifted away from the Republican Party. However, we know women do not vote on gender alone. Women are motivated to support candidates who reflect their values.
  • “We strongly believe our 2020 endorsed candidates more accurately reflect the values of women voters who will be motivated by the messages they take door-to-door whether in the Atlanta suburbs or rural districts.”

Georgia WIN List’s slate of candidates includes:

Sitting Lawmakers

  • Rep. Mary Frances Williams – Marietta;
  • Rep. Mary Robichaux – Roswell;
  • Rep. Angelika Kausche – Johns Creek;
  • Rep. Jasmine Clarke – Lilburn.

Senate challengers

  • Kelly Rose – McDonough (incumbent Republican Sen. Brian Strickland);
  • Kim Jackson – Stone Mountain (incumbent Democrat Sen. Steve Henson, retiring);
  • Sarah Beeson – Roswell (incumbent Republican Sen. John Albers).

House challengers

  • Luisa Wakeman – Marietta (incumbent Republican Rep. Sharon Cooper);
  • Shea Roberts – Sandy Springs (incumbent Republican Rep. Deborah Silcox);
  • Regina Lewis Ward – McDonough (incumbent Republican Rep. Dale Rutledge);
  • Joyce Barlow – portions of 11 counties surrounding Albany (incumbent Republican Rep. Gerald Greene);
  • Julie Jordan – St. Simons/Brunswick (incumbent Republican Rep. Dominic LaRiccia).
David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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1 Comment

  1. Not playin December 7, 2019 9:07 am

    Paul Howard was hired to protect and defend life in the position he was elected to….now he’s filing motions for defendants that whole heartedly promote the murder of innocents…

    I hope he doesn’t run unopposed next election and is kicked out on his…..



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