State Senate District 6 will flip from red to blue next month thanks to a runoff featuring two Democratic candidates, but it’s the inclusion of one of those candidates that is making this race stand out even more. Jaha Howard, the Vinings dentist whose anti-LGBT, misogynistic Facebook posts were uncovered last month, will face attorney Jen Jordan in the Dec. 5 runoff election.
Georgia Voice broke the story uncovering Howard’s Facebook posts made from 2011 to 2014, in which he said that he believes that “women should only teach other women” and wonders if there is a “a homosexual agenda in public education” and if the Girl Scouts “are being used to push a [sic] pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions.” The discovery of the posts led to Howard’s campaign manager resigning and a queer state representative to refute claims of an endorsement.
Howard apologized on his Facebook page several hours after the original story was posted, but in a follow-up dialogue with people in the comments section, he doubled down on some of the views, confirming that he believes being gay is a sin, that he doesn’t know whether being gay is a choice and that women shouldn’t be in the ministry. He later refused calls for him to drop out of the race.
The seat, which includes parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, has long been in Republican control and was left vacant when Hunter Hill resigned to run for Georgia governor. Howard came within four points of beating Hill last year.
Howard’s opponent, Jen Jordan, received the endorsements of Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats.