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65 State House Republicans Currently Unopposed

As Georgia gears up for the 2024 elections, a staggering 65 Republicans in the State House are currently set to run unopposed. This is especially alarming, given there are just five weeks until qualifying, which lasts from March 4th through March 8th. This is a significant uptick from 2022, where 52 Republicans ran unopposed, and 2020, when 39 Republicans ran unopposed in the State House. Georgia “flipped blue” in 2020 in part because so many Democrats ran in local races across the state. Candidate recruitment efforts are in full swing, and Georgia Democrats have their work cut out for them to match that 2020 number. With each additional candidate, the chances of Biden/Harris winning Georgia increase. If you know someone, or are someone, willing to run, reach out to The 2030 Project so that we can help.

In addition to a lack of candidates in general, the underrepresentation of women in politics continues to persist, despite them winning just as often as men. Studies show women are not only asked to run less frequently, but that it also takes three asks for them to say yes. A parallel challenge exists for people of color, who historically encounter barriers to receiving adequate representation. Despite the challenges, the 2023 Legislature, marking Georgia’s most diverse body in history, underscores the value of fighting for a state that mirrors its citizens.

By running down-ballot candidates, Democrats can increase voter turnout, with a Run For Something study from the 2020 election indicating a boost in turnout by up to 1.5% in each contested legislative district for the top of the ticket. This is particularly important given that Republicans are statistically more likely to vote down-ballot than Democrats. With the possibility of former President Trump returning to the ballot and currently outpolling President Biden, there are real concerns Republicans may mobilize in full force. Waiting until the 2026 midterms, when voter turnout typically drops without a presidential election in the background, is not an option.

If nothing changes, thousands of Georgians, from Atlanta down to Lake Seminole, will only have one choice on their ballots for their local representation: (R). These districts, some of which are winnable seats, would automatically go to Republicans no matter what candidate they run. This means that extremist candidates in these seats will go unchecked. Candidates like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who ran unopposed in her US house race, could become much more common. It also allows Republicans to pour even more money into competitive districts, since they are defending far fewer seats statewide.

The lack of Democratic candidates hurts all Georgians, not just those without local candidates. Without local candidates for 65 State House seats, Democrats run the risk of having depressed turnout across the state, including in areas like Athens. The gerrymandered Classic City has struggled in recent years to fill out the ballot, and this year is no exception. Statewide, if 65 State House races had been uncontested in 2020, Biden/Harris would likely have lost Georgia, which they won by only 11,000 votes. 

This is clearly unacceptable, especially in a swing state, and especially with Democracy on the line. The 2030 Project is partnering with the DPG to recruit candidates, especially in areas where we have real influence, including Athens and Atlanta. Again, qualifying week runs from March 4th through March 8th. So spread the word, ask your friends and neighbors, and consider running yourself. Georgia needs you.

If you don’t want to run, but still want to help, consider donating! With your donations, we can expand our candidate recruitment efforts and begin our organizing push for the 2024 election cycle. 

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