“No other state will play a more important role in the 2020 election than Georgia, and no other city will better determine our state’s performance than Atlanta.”

Those words, penned by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to the Democratic National Committee, officially fired the opening salvo on where the next Democratic presidential primary debate on Nov. 20. A venue and location has not been announced.

In September, Bottoms began lobbying for Atlanta to host the November debate while being a surrogate for former Vice-President Joe Biden.

Georgia will host the Democratic presidential debate on Nov. 20, another indication that the state is a top political battleground in next year’s election.

Democratic Party of Georgia chairwoman Nikema Williams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday she was not clear where the debate will be held, but that it would likely be in metro Atlanta.

“All roads to the White House run through Georgia,” she said.

State Democratic officials have aggressively lobbied the Democratic National Convention to hold the debate in Georgia, particularly given the double-header U.S. Senate races and competitive U.S. House contests.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told the AJC in September that she and other state Democrats were in “very active discussions” with the party to schedule a debate in Georgia.

“When you look at what’s at stake in Georgia — two Senate races — there aren’t many opportunities like that,” she said after the Houston debate. “To have that opportunity in Georgia, it only makes sense that we bring this field of candidates to our state.”

Democratic Party of Georgia chairwoman Nikema Williams proclaimed, “all roads to the White House run through Georgia.”

Conversely, Georgia Republicans believe the upcoming Democratic presidential primary debate will be a unique opportunity to advance their agenda on a national stage. Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer believes the visit from Democrats would help President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

“I am delighted that hard working Georgians will have an up-close view of these ridiculous candidates and their ruinous proposals,” Shafer said. “It should boost the president’s prospects here in Georgia.”

The polling standards are slightly different than previous debates: Candidates must poll 3 percent or better in four qualifying state or national polls or 5 percent in two qualifying state polls.

And candidates must receive contributions from 165,000 unique donors, including 600 unique donors in 20 states, to qualify.

According to NBC News, eight candidates appear to have qualified already: Former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg;  billionaire Tom Steyer; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

With U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson announcing his retirement earlier this year, coupled with the up-coming re-election campaigns of U.S. Representative Lucy McBath and U.S. Senator David Perdue , the 2020 elections will guarantee unprecedented amounts of advertising, attention and money that will pour into Georgia.


(Photo: The Atlanta Voice/Itoro N. Umontuen)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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