Good news for Democrats coming out of an unlikely source. The state of Georgia had a state Senate election, and the results are quite a hit to the Republican party.
The Cobb County Courier reported that Democrat Jen Jordan became the newest member of the Georgia State Senate, winning a seat that had long been occupied by Republican Hunter Hill. Hill vacated his seat in August to initiate a bid for Georgia’s gubernatorial election.
Jordan is the attorney who brought suit against the Secretary of State in 2015 after she discovered a data breach by the Secretary of State’s office. Apparently, the Secretary of State unlawfully distributed the personal information of every voter in the state, affecting over 6 million Georgians and their privacy. Jordan has made a career out of defending voter rights and prides herself on being a product of Georgia’s public education system. Her campaign message centered on promising to raise the minimum wage in Georgia to $10.10 per hour and to allow local municipalities the power to set wage standards. Jordan reported $234,650 in total contributions from more than 100 individual contributions, many from her strong Fulton county base and other Georgia lawyers.
Jordan’s win ends the reign of a GOP supermajority of two-thirds, which has many Republicans wondering what could have gone wrong.
Jordan’s opponent, fellow Democrat and pediatric dentist Jaha Howard, came under fire during the election for homophobic and misogynistic statements he posted on his Facebook page from roughly 2011 to 2014. The Georgia Voice reported that Howard posted that he believed that “women should only teach other women.” Howard also posted that there is “a homosexual agenda in public education,” and that he wonders if the Girl Scouts “are being used to push a [sic] pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions.”
These comments, among others, range from offensive to absurd and had serious consequences for Howard’s campaign. Discovery of Howard’s posts led to the resignation of his campaign manager and caused a queer state representative to rescind their endorsement. Howard apologized for his comments but then seemed to double down on his remarks by continuing to insist that being gay is a sin. Howard stated:
“I hate that homosexuality is THE sin that always gets singled out, but it’s the buzz topic of this generation. Good thing that it opens the door to honest discussions on what the bible actually teaches and its reliability to a trustworthy historical and inspired document.”
One of Howard’s most incriminating statements, however, was when he appeared to reason that everyone is “flawed,” but “it would be dangerous of [him] to redefine any of [his] sin problems as acceptable, let alone celebrate them.” Howard’s comment came in blatant disregard to the LGBTQ community and undoubtedly contributed to his failure to win the election.
While the initial election demonstrated a close race between Jordan and Howard, with Howard at 22.5 percent of the vote (5,398) and Jordan at 24.4 percent (5,860), Cobb County Courier reported a greater win in the special election, with Jordan having 10,681 votes (64 percent) against Howard’s 6,017 votes (36 percent).
Featured image by Prince Williams from Getty Images.