Democrats add 7 Spotlight candidates in key Georgia legislative races

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) has added seven candidates to its Spotlight program aiming to combat what it describes as Republican extremism in battleground states, including Georgia.

Republicans currently hold majorities in both the House and Senate, and have a Republican Governor. The state has had such a GOP trifecta since 2005, according to Ballotpedia. Democrats are looking to chip away at majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

“The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is proud to announce our Spotlight candidates to build Democratic power in Georgia,” DLCC President Heather Williams said.

“State Republicans in Georgia have kept themselves locked in power with ruthless racial gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts, but the DLCC has a multi-cycle strategy to overcome GOP extremism and build power, with this slate of candidates as our next step.”

The candidates added to the DLCC Spotlight program include incumbent Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes (SD 7), as well as Reps. Farooq Mughal (HD 105) and Jasmine Clark (HD 108). Also on the list are candidates Susie Greenberg (HD 53), Laura Murvartian (HD 48), Michelle Kang (HD 99), and Ashwin Ramaswami (SD 48).

“The DLCC’s Spotlight program uplifts some of the best opportunities to build and cement Democratic power, and we’re thrilled to continue our momentum from our ‘Summer of the States’ campaign. These Georgia candidates represent the brightest opportunities to alter the balance of power in the state and work toward a legislature that is representative of Georgians,” Williams said.

The Spotlight candidates represent “some of the best opportunities to defend and build Democratic power this cycle,” the DLCC said in a press release adding the candidates to its program.

The latest additions build on the DLCC’s broader “Summer of the States” campaign launched last week to raise awareness for Democrats’ opportunity to erode GOP power in red states this year.

The program aims to build foundational success to erode GOP power in battleground states with Republican majorities, and protect Democratic majorities where they exist in key battlegrounds. The effort aims not just to boost Democrats in state Legislatures, but to build momentum among Democratic voters to stop former President Donald Trump from defeating President Joe Biden this year.

“We’re bringing importance of the groundwork happening to stop Trump and his allies from taking us backward and building the infrastructure for Democrats to push past Republican efforts and boost our chances for victory in November,” the program’s mission states.

The effort aims to “drive excitement and turnout for the Democratic Party.”

Parkes was the first Muslim woman and the youngest woman ever elected to the Senate when she first secured victory two years ago. Mughal is an economic advisor who has worked to cut red tape for businesses, protect health care workers and expand mental health services for veterans.

Clark, a microbiologist and educator, is defending her seat in the House on a platform rooted in science, including to enact gun safety measures, improve public education, and defend reproductive health care through problem-solving and attention to detail.

Greenberg has previously served as a court-appointed special advocate for kids in foster care. She also volunteers as a college counselor and a grassroots organizer, including for the gun safety group Moms Demand Action. She’s running on a platform to restore reproductive freedom, promote gun safety legislation and enact economic policies that benefit working families.

Murvartian is a nonprofit leader who immigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was eight years old. She’s running on a similar platform as Greenberg, with special attention to her background working on projects to increase voter engagement, support the arts and advocate for the local Latino population.

Kang is also an immigrant. She started a small business supporting other immigrants.

Ramaswami is running against a Republican incumbent indicted in Trump’s fake elector scandal, Sen. Shawn Still. Ramaswami, a member of Generation Z, is a computer scientist who works in cybersecurity. His platform includes transforming Georgia into a tech industry hub by ensuring all Georgia residents have access to quality public schools. He’s also running on a platform to expand Medicaid, increase affordable housing access, enact gun safety legislation and protect the environment.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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