State Rep. Simone Bell will face a challenger in the Democratic primary this year, but it won’t be her former opponent for the seat, Ralph Long.
Instead, Long, who threatened to run against Bell if she supported his opponent in the Fulton County Commission District 5 seat, drafted his wife to run against Bell instead.
Erica Long, an attorney, qualified to run for the state District 58 seat today. Ralph Long did not qualify to run for Fulton County District 5, according to the Fulton election office. Erica Long lists her occupation as attorney on her qualification papers with the Secretary of State, but according to the State Bar of Georgia her license has been suspended for not paying her dues.
On Thursday, Bell did endorse Muhammad in an interview with GA Voice, saying Ralph Long has a long history of being confrontational, adding, “I don’t see him being good for our district.”
Bell, one of three lesbian legislators at the Gold Dome, qualified on Monday to see reelection. She posted to her Facebook page on Thursday that Ralph Long approached her on the House floor and told her not to support his opponent, Brenda Muhammad, in the upcoming Fulton County Commission race for the newly created District 5 post. Long lost a bruising battle with Bell in 2012 for the state representative seat after their districts were combined by the Republican majority.