National Democratic party unveils plan to loosen the GOP’s strong grip on the Georgia Legislature

Democrats are targeting four Republican-held seats in the Georgia General Assembly, aiming to flip the GOP’s control of the Golden Dome.

Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

The national Democratic party plans to target four Republican-held seats in the Georgia General Assembly this year in hopes of chipping away at the GOP’s grip on power under the Gold Dome.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced Wednesday morning that it would boost the campaigns of four Democrats who are trying to flip legislative districts in the north Atlanta suburbs: Susie Greenberg, Laura Murvartian, Michelle Kang and Ashwin Ramaswami.

The announcement is part of the escalating fight this year for control of state legislatures across the country, even though both chambers in Georgia are expected to stay in GOP hands. In Georgia, Republicans have the advantage in the House with a 102-78 split, and they have more comfortable control over the Senate, where the divide is 33-23. 

Democrats, though, are hoping to continue to tighten those margins, particularly in the House. Greenberg, Murvartian and Kang are running in the House, challenging Sandy Springs Republican Rep. Deborah Silcox, Peachtree Corners Republican Rep. Scott Hilton and Duluth Republican Rep. Matt Reeves.

In the Senate, Ramaswami will face Norcross Republican Sen. Shawn Still, who is a defendant in the Fulton County 2020 election interference case for his role as an alternate GOP elector.

The committee, which is an arm of the Democratic Party, will also dispatch resources to help defend three legislative seats, including two in the House held by Rep. Jasmine Clark of Lilburn and Dacula Democrat Rep. Farooq Mughal and one in the Senate held by Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes of Duluth.

“These Georgia candidates represent the brightest opportunities to alter the balance of power in the state and work toward a legislature that is representative of Georgians,” Heather Williams, who is the committee’s president, said in a statement.

The candidates will receive help with fundraising and other perks meant to help them at the ballot box. Williams described the initiative as part of the committee’s “multi-cycle strategy to overcome GOP extremism and build power.”

But the national GOP also has its sights on Georgia. The Republican State Leadership Committee has named Georgia as one of the five states where it plans to deploy resources to defend majorities.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has also said his “main goal” this year will be to protect the Republican majorities that have supported his legislative agenda.

The term-limited governor recently pledged $1.5 million to help Hilton, Reeves, Silcox and Milledgeville Republican Rep. Ken Vance, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kemp also plans to target several Democrats, including Clark and Mughal.

The Nov. 5 election will be the first under maps drawn last December after a federal judge tossed out the previous boundary lines, but Republican map-makers gave up little ground. 

This story was provided by WABE content partner Georgia Recorder.