At least eight incumbent district attorneys in Georgia have been beaten this year for a myriad of reasons, including those who represent the state’s five biggest cities: Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also tossed out: District Attorneys in Gwinnett and Cobb counties, as well as the embattled prosecutor in Brunswick in southeast Georgia. Jackie Johnson, Brunswick’s DA, lost on Election Day to an independent candidate largely because of her connection to the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man shot to death while jogging. Fulton County’s six-term DA, Paul Howard, was jettisoned in a Democratic primary runoff this summer after being investigated for using nonprofit money to augment his salary.
Gwinnett’s seven-term Republican DA Danny Porter got caught in a Democratic wave that hit his county. The same thing happened in Cobb County. In Columbus, DA Julia Slater was defeated by a man who was arrested days before the Democratic primary for his role in making a rap video. That helped his campaign. The prosecutorial musical chairs is historic. “I cannot remember a single time when I saw this kind of turnover,” said Pete Skandalakis, who heads the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. In addition to the eight defeated at the polls, another seven have retired. That means 15 of the state’s 49 judicial circuits will have new chief prosecutors. “It’s very hard to beat an incumbent,” said Skandalakis, who won seven elections himself in west Georgia. “When a DA is doing his or her job, you don’t get a lot of attention.”