by Richard Winger
In November 2018, 61% of Georgia’s legislative races have only one candidate on the ballot. There are 56 State Senate seats and 180 State House seats. From those 236 races, Democrats aren’t running anyone in 77 races, and Republicans aren’t running anyone in 67 races, for a total of 144 seats without a Democratic-Republican contest.
One independent candidate is on the ballot for State House, in a race that otherwise would have only one candidate on the ballot, so there are 143 races with only one candidate. That one independent is Nancy Stead in the 29th district.
No minor party candidates are on the ballot. The Libertarian Party nominated three state legislative candidates but none of them were able to get the required 5% petitions (approximately 1,200 signatures).
Fortunately, there is a lawsuit pending against the 5% petition requirement for U.S. House candidates, and if it wins, any improvement for U.S. House will probably also have a ripple effect for legislative races. The case, Cowen v Kemp, is pending in U.S. District Court. Discovery is underway. The decision will probably come in 2019.
Reposted with Permission of Richard Winger