2022 Highlighted Victories

The overarching goals of New Southern Majority are to build Black and Brown political power and defeat bigots at the ballot box. Two of our victories in 2022 that encapsulate these are the Cobb County, Georgia, solicitor general race, and the Mississippi District 5 Mississippi Circuit Court, Place 2 runoff election.

Makia Metzger

Cobb County, Georgia, Solicitor General

Once a GOP stronghold, Cobb County has had more competitive elections in recent cycles and demographics have shifted to make the county increasingly diverse. Republican Barry Morgan served as the Cobb County solicitor general since 1998; his decision not to seek reelection in 2022 made this an open seat. Solicitors general play a key role in Georgia’s criminal legal system as the chief prosecutor of misdemeanors and violations at the county level. In 2022, New Southern Majority was pleased to support Democrat Makia Metzger, a native of Sierra Leone, West Africa, who migrated to the United States with her family before a civil war broke out in her home country. Metzger distinguished herself as a student at Georgia State University and the University of Georgia School of Law and began her legal career at the Athens Legal Aid Clinic. New Southern Majority used direct mail, digital ads, outdoor advertising and door canvassing to highlight Metzger’s biography and urge voters to support her campaign. Metzger won the race with 52.32% of the vote, outperforming six of the nine statewide candidates running in Cobb County, and became the first person of color and woman to hold this position in Cobb County.

Curtis Flowers

District 5 Mississippi Circuit Court, Place 2

Mississippi District 5 District Attorney Doug Evans garnered national attention when the United States Supreme Court reversed the guilty verdict of Curtis Flowers, a Black man who Evans tried six times for the same crime. Evans’ tactic of removing as many Black jurors as possible drew the rebuke of Justice Brett Kavanaugh who wrote, “The State’s relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals strongly suggests that the State wanted to try Flowers before a jury with as few black jurors as possible, and ideally before an all-white jury.” Adding, “The State’s actions in the first four trials necessarily inform our assessment of the State’s intent going into Flowers’ sixth trial. We cannot ignore that history. We cannot take that history out of the case.” Despite this embarrassing decision, Evans sought higher office in 2022, running for Mississippi Circuit Court Judge in District 5. Evans placed second of five in the general election and advanced to a runoff election after Thanksgiving. During the narrow window between the general and runoff elections, New Southern Majority invested thousands of dollars in a direct mail and texting program to make sure voters were aware of Doug Evans’ history of prosecutorial misconduct. Evans lost in a landslide, receiving only 30% of the vote.  

Becky Sayler

Cobb County, Georgia, School Board races

The Cobb County School Board, the third largest school board in Georgia, has become a hotbed for reactionary education policy. Since 2020, the white Republican-led school board, representing a minority of Cobb County families (because the district seats have been heavily gerrymandered to give Republicans a majority), enacted policies that silenced Black board members and their constituents, including an election rule that makes it impossible for Black board members to add items to meeting agendas; dismantling a committee to rename Wheeler High School, which is now named after a Confederate general; refusing to entertain school COVID mitigation strategies advanced by Black members of the school board and their constituents; and passing resolutions to ban inclusive education. Bad policies weren’t the only problem. During the 2021 redistricting process, the state further gerrymandered the district to protect Republican incumbents. Against this backdrop, New Southern Majority invested in multiple Cobb County school board races in 2022. We opposed the Board chair’s reelection in District 4 and supported candidate Becky Sayler in the open race for District 2. New Southern Majority covered District 4 in YouTube ads highlighting corruption on the board. We also utilized direct mail, outdoor advertising and door canvassing to urge voters to make a change. While the effort in District 4 came up short, and the incumbent won with 53.9% of the vote, our effort succeeded in making this race much closer than others in the district. In District 2, our effort helped Sayler win overwhelmingly.