Former Columbus Mayor Announces Exploratory Committee For U.S. Senate

Apr 5, 2019

Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has announced she is taking the first steps toward running for the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican David Perdue in the 2020 U.S. Senate Race. 

Friday morning Tomlinson shared the news of her exploratory committee and said "together, we can take the roadmap to the Senate majority through Georgia and have a government that works for ALL Georgians and ALL Americans."

Tomlinson will be a panelist on Friday's "Political Rewind with Bill Nigut" at 2 p.m.

The newly established committee circulated a press release Friday morning stating their case for Tomlinson as the next Senator from Georgia.

"As Democrats look to regain a majority in the U.S. Senate, Tomlinson’s political strength could go a long way in helping turn Georgia blue. But first, she’ll need to make a final decision about entering the race and make her case to Georgia voters."

That final decision will come after former gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams makes a decision, something Abrams said won't happen for at least a few months. 

In Friday's press release Tomlinson, so far the only Democrat to announce an exploratory committee to challenge incumbent Republican David Perdue, says she is "running if Abrams doesn't."

The filing comes a day after Abrams revealed she would not decide on her next steps until the fall. During an interview on MSNBC, she said “the average voter is not paying attention until Labor Day.”

The first female mayor of Columbus, Tomlinson completed her second and final term in January but has remained an active voice in Democratic politics since leaving office. 

The Atlanta native is a graduate of Sweet Briar College in Lynchburg, VA and received her law degree from Emory University in 1991.

She went on to become the first female partner at the law firm Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison, & Norwood,  where she practiced for 15 years. Before launching her bid for mayor in 2011, Tomlinson served as executive director of the non-profit MidTown, Inc. 

During the end of her term-limited time as mayor, Tomlinson remained candid about exploring her options and weighing whether or not she would pursue another election. After leaving her post at Columbus City Hall Tomlinson became a partner at Atlanta law firm Hall Booth Smith. 

On her website, Tomlinson touts her experience and in hopes of being a progressive candidate that can work with those in the conservative parts of the state, she highlights previous years as a Republican and work during the 1984 Regan-Bush campaign. 

Among those who have been floated as a possible candidates include former 6th Congressional district candidate Jon Ossoff, former Lt. Gov. nominee Sarah Riggs Amico, former state Sen. Jason Carter, state Rep. Scott Holcomb and many others who all say they are waiting to see what Stacey Abrams decides. 

Election dates for the 2020 primary in Georgia have not been set and the secretary of state's office has yet to announce the deadline for those who wish to declare candidacy. But after Sen. Perdue hosted a handful of campaign fundraisers last month, including one with Vice President Mike Pence in Atlanta, you can expect candidates to begin to filing so they can begin to collect campaign donations.