Blue Tsunami in Cobb County, Georgia. Abrams All the Way!
By Donna Wong. Posted November 12, 2018.
I’m keeping my spirits up ….and my yard sign for Stacey Abrams as thousands of provisional, absentee ballots are still being counted for Governor of Georgia for a possible runoff which will be announced by Wednesday, November 14. Meanwhile on Tuesday, November 6, Election Day, the Blue Tsunami hit suburbs of Atlanta, and I’m proud to be on the Marietta Team at Cobb County Coordinated Office that produced the Democratic win where I live! Abrams clobbered Kemp beating him by nearly 10 percent in Cobb County!
AJC news reporters on Abrams campaign: “They outworked us. They took their message door to door and engaged voters one on one.” What I saw was heartening: the majority of volunteers working in Cobb County were white retirees with blacks and a sprinkling of Latinx helping too. 400-500 volunteers came through our office on Saturday and Sunday in the Get Out The Vote to Cobb residents!
Scenes from the Abrams and GA Democratic Party campaign office in Marietta, GA. Photos courtesy of Donna Wong.
The rising blue wave correlates to hard groundwork and the fact that over the past six years, Georgia’s population is trending more diverse, less white—-and that’s manifesting itself at the ballot box in northern suburbs. Will the Democrats ever be able to expand its blue dots into larger blue blotches in red Georgia?
The reality of being in the deep South is that Republicans still held most Georgia statewide seats. Democrats have a steep uphill climb that correlates to historical white privilege and white supremacy beliefs. Republican candidate Brian Kemp’s appeal for guns and anti-immigrant were significant scare issues galvanizing high rural turnout. The rural areas have the least college educated residents and the most Republicans, and the 2018 GOP tightened its grip on rural voters here.
Another disturbing fact was that 75% of white women voted Republican for Kemp. This harkens back to Southern plantation wives who embraced the bigoted rhetoric and white males reinforcing Kemp’s protection against outsiders, immigrants, refugees and criminals! We must turn to progressive white women to help engage other white women to stand up for a kinder and just society and fight white supremacy, poverty, sexism, ableism, and homophobia.
Finally, we have Voter Suppression in full swing: Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp—-the Secretary of State who oversees elections—aggressively deleted inactive voters from rolls, enforced an “exact match” policy that prevented thousands of Georgians, mostly minorities, from registering and from voting at the polls. Many polling places in Atlanta did not have working machines, so people filled out paper provisional ballots, causing three to four hour long wait lines. Many could-be voters couldn’t stand the wait time. And, one in 12 polling places closed since 2012, forcing voters to travel farther in order to vote. Several lawsuits are pending to fight the unfair hurdles and outrageous restrictions.
The Abrams campaign continues to say All votes must be counted and that democracy works. Per Stacey: “ I am fighting for every Georgian who cast a ballot with the promise that their vote would count.” Keep hope alive! Yes, we can! I’m ready to join in the fight!
Gwinnett County in the northeastern suburb of Atlanta turned Blue.
The Asian Americans for Stacey Abrams really came out in numbers throughout the midterm elections in this county and had an impact for Democratic wins. Abrams beat Kemp in Gwinnett County by over 40,000 votes. Also, too close to call is the U.S House race in Georgia District 7 between four-term Republican incumbent Rob Woodall and Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux with only 901 votes separating them.
Of the 16 Georgia House Districts in Gwinnett County, Democrats now carry an 11-5 majority. In other words, five seats flipped to Democratic control.
Diverse AAPI Democrats Ran for state and local offices
Senator-Elect Sheikh Rahman, State District -5, won uncontested.
Angelika Kausche , a candidate for House District 50, won with 51% of the votes (11,105 votes
Aisha Yaqoob, a candidate for GA House District 97, lost but got 44% of the votes (10,636 votes).
Rep. Sam Park, House District 101 won, re-elected for second term with 59% of the votes (11,104 votes).
Zahra Karinshak (Iranian-American) won State Senate District 48 with 54% of the votes (35,303 votes).
Ben Ku a candidate for Gwinnett County Commission, District 2, beat the incumbent, winning 54% of the votes (34,050 votes).
NOTEWORTHY: Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow will go into a run-off election on December 4, 2018 to decide who wins a four-year term as Secretary of State, the office which oversees state elections.
Donna Wong is retired, but she is still active in local politics and community issues. She was an Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Director of Multicultural Programs at Emory University, working there from 1999 to 2012. She resides in Marietta, GA.