It appeared late Tuesday that the winner of the Republican runoff in the 14th Congressional District would be a candidate that the Republic Jewish Coalition previously said it would not support and who has been criticized by other Jewish organizations.
The available results also showed one of two remaining Jewish members of the Georgia General Assembly, longtime state House Rep. Michele Henson, losing her Democratic runoff in the 86th District, which includes Stone Mountain. Zulma Lopez led Henson, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.
The other Jewish member of the legislature, Democrat Mike Wilensky, from the 79th district, will face Republican Andrea Johnson in the Nov. 3 general election.
In the 14th Congressional District, as of 11 p.m., Marjorie Taylor Greene, owner of a construction company, held 58.1 percent of the vote against 41.8 percent for John Cowan, a neurosurgeon.
Greene has posed for photos with Chester Doles, a known white supremacist and promoted theories of the right-wing QAnon that linked billionaire George Soros, an emigre from Hungary and Holocaust survivor, and the Rothschild family to a pedophile conspiracy against President Donald Trump.
After Greene was the leading vote-getter in the June 9 primary, the Jewish Insider news website reported that Matt Brooks, director of the national Republican Jewish Coalition, said that the RJC would not support Greene if she won, but also would not oppose her.
The 14th, a heavily Republican district, covers a large swath of northwest Georgia, taking in all of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties and a portion of Pickens.
The winner of the Republican runoff will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal in the Nov. 3 general election. The district’s current representative, Republican Tom Graves, is retiring.
The RJC did not respond Tuesday to requests by the AJT for comment on Greene’s apparent victory.
Dov Wilker, regional director of the American Jewish Committee office in Atlanta, told the AJT, “It’s common for Americans to disagree on policy. But political candidates should not promote antisemitic tropes or associate with white supremacists. This is not the face of Georgia.”
Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Southern Division, said, “Ms. Greene has a history of propagating antisemitic disinformation, including the notion that Jewish philanthropist George Soros collaborated with the Nazis in World War II. ADL previously called on Ms. Greene to disavow her relationship with a prominent white supremacist leader and retract past antisemitic statements. ADL said that ‘failure to do so is a moral failure and unbecoming of someone elected to public office.’ Ms. Greene’s continued insistence on propagating such antisemitism shows that she has decided to double down on hate, which, to say the least, is deeply problematic.”
After the June 9 Republican primary, the POLITICO news site reported on Facebook videos, including one in which Greene said: “George Soros says dark forces have been awakened by Trump’s win. I don’t think so. George Soros is the piece of crap that turned in — he’s a Jew — he turned in his own people over to the Nazis.”
Greene also has made comments about Muslims and Blacks that have been criticized as bigoted and offensive.
The RJC also had said that it would not support Georgia state Rep. Matt Gurtler if he won the Republican runoff in the 9th Congressional District, but as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, Gurtler was losing to firearms dealer Andrew Clyde.
Gurtler, who also had appeared in a photograph with Doles, had 44 percent of the vote to 56 percent for Clyde. The winner will face Devin Pandy, who handily won the Democratic runoff with 68.2 percent of the vote to 31.7 percent for Brooke Siskin.
The 9th District, in northeast Georgia, takes in all of Banks, Dawson, Elbert, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White counties, and parts of Clarke, Forsyth, and Pickens counties.
The 9th has been represented by
Republican Doug Collins, a staunch defender of Trump during the impeachment process. He is seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp when Johnny Isakson stepped down for health reasons with two years left on his term.