Political Insider

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Former 6th District candidate mounts bid for Dunwoody state Senate seat

Democrat Sally Harrell said Thursday she will challenge Republican state Sen. Fran Millar, whose Dunwoody-based district is suddenly in the crosshairs after Hillary Clinton won the territory in November.

Harrell becomes one of the first ex-contenders in Georgia’s crowded 6th District race to mount a bid for other political office. Republican Kurt Wilson will kick off a bid next week for Roswell mayor. More announcements could soon follow.

An ex-state representative, Harrell announced in December she would run for the suburban Atlanta seat. But she withdrew her name just before the qualifying period ended, citing Democrat Jon Ossoff’s ability to “utilize Washington connections.” She soon endorsed his bid for Congress.

“Voters in this district are engaged, informed, and know that many important decisions directly affecting their lives will be made at the state level in the years ahead,” said Harrell. “It is time we get it right on healthcare, education, transportation, and the myriad other issues facing Georgians.”

First elected to the state Senate in 2010, Millar is one of three Senate Republicans holding districts won by Clinton in 2016. The other two – Hunter Hill and David Shafer – have both announced bids for higher office.

The Senate district stretches from the eastern edges of Sandy Springs through Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Doraville, Chamblee and parts of Peachtree Corners and Tucker.

It was once considered solidly Republican turf, but has become surprisingly competitive. Ossoff won most of the district in the April 18 vote.

Democrats are also likely to target another Dunwoody-based legislative seat: The House district held by state Rep. Tom Taylor. He easily won re-election in 2016 despite a guilty plea on DUI charges, but he faced no Democratic opponent.

Other contenders in the crowded 6th District field mentioned as possible candidates for other office include Republicans David Abroms, Bob Gray and Keith Grawert.

More: Democrats circle Atlanta statehouse seats where Trump struggled

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.