By Greg Bluestein and Sarah Kallis (AJC/Political Insider)
Atlanta, GA - March 06, 2020 - Almost as soon as qualifying in Georgia opened, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins filed paperwork to run against each other in Georgia’s free-for-all Senate race.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue also quickly made his intention to run for a second term formal, too, as he stood at the head of a long line of Republican candidates.
And U.S. Rep. John Lewis, recently diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer, signed up to run for an 18th term, telling reporters he’s feeling “stronger and stronger.”
The Georgia Statehouse is already a hive of activity with lawmakers in the middle of a tense legislative session. But it took on a circus-like atmosphere with a week of qualifying that began Monday.
Election 2020: Track who has qualified for Georgia’s 2020 elections
Over the next five days, hundreds of candidates will line up to fill out paperwork and pay fees to run for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats, 14 U.S. House seats and all 236 seats in the Georgia General Assembly.
Four prominent challengers have vowed to run against Loeffler, who was recently appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp. And Perdue faces at least three well-known Democrats. Three open U.S. House seats have already attracted droves of contenders.
Pressure will mount on some would-be challengers to duck out of the races. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who recently dismissed President Donald Trump’s overture for a Cabinet appointee, was one of the first in line Monday to challenge Loeffler.
In the U.S. Senate election for the seat occupied by incumbent Kelly Loeffler, R-Atlanta, Republican Annette Jackson and Democrats Deborah Jackson, Jamesia James and Raphael Warnock, Green Party candidate John “Green” Fortuin and independents Michael Green and Valencia Stovall qualified on Day 5, bringing the total number of candidates in that race to a 21