Isakson will have GOP and Democratic opposition

[private]Sen. Johnny Isakson has long been one of Georgia’s most popular political figures, but that didn’t protect him from drawing opposition in his race for a third term in the U.S. Senate.

Two candidates qualified to run against Isakson in the Republican primary: Derrick Grayson of DeKalb County and Mary Kay Bacallao, a college professor from Fayetteville.

Grayson ran for the Senate in 2014 and drew 1 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. Bacallao ran for state school superintendent that same year and finished third in the Republican primary with 15 percent of the vote.

If Isakson survives the GOP primary – and he is expected to – he will have a Democratic challenger awaiting him in the general election.

Atlanta businessman Jim Barksdale, Hiram project manager Cheryl Copeland, military retiree Jim Knox and John Coyne qualified for the Democratic primary. Barksdale is being touted by the Democratic Party as a candidate who can run a largely self-financed campaign.

In the only other statewide race on the Georgia election ballot this year, Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols has Republican primary opposition from Kellie Pollard Austin, a Lawrenceville political consultant, and Michelle Miller, a Warner Robins business owner.

No Democrats have qualified to run for that PSC seat. Echols is running for a second term on the regulatory panel.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Johnny Isakson , qualifying , statewide office , Tim Echols