Black Marine Vet Michael Owens Launches Bid For Georgia Congressional Seat

Congressman David Scott and former Cobb County Democratic Party chairman Michael Owens will once again face off for a chance to represent Georgia’s 13th Congressional district. Owens, a Marine Corps veteran, launched a bid for the Democratic primary on May 6.

“The next member of Congress for Georgia’s 13th must be a progressive leader that will advocate for bold policies that will better the lives [of] every American,” Owens said in his announcement, according to GPB News. Owens promised to be a more visible progressive voice on the issues of voting rights, cybersecurity, and the racial and gender wage gap.

Owens unsuccessfully challenged Scott in 2014, winning just 18 percent of the vote, according to WUGA. He then became the chairman of the Cobb County Democrats. The Democratic challenger suggested that 73-year-old Scott has been out of touch with his Democratic constituents. Scott has represented the district since 2003.

Owens noted that Scott not only lives outside of the district he represents but has also shown support for Republican incumbents such as US Senator Johnny Isakson, Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce, and ex-Congresswoman Mia Love, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Those relationships aren’t bringing home the bacon,” Owens told the Journal-Constitution. “What those Republican relationships are doing is making it harder for us to flip seats here in Georgia. It shows discord among those of us who are fighting the most.”

Owens did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment. Owens told the Journal-Constitution that, if elected, his top priorities would be data privacy, cyber and election security. He added that he would focus on policies that level the playing field for people of color, women, and low-income families.

“I want to make sure that we stop allowing and supporting policies that are directly attacking our Black and Brown communities,” he said. The former Marine is a political director with the Atlanta chapter of the Washington, DC-based Truman National Security Center and the president and CEO of the US Global Center of Cyber Policy. He has worked for Fidelity Investments, Cisco Systems, Ernst & Young, Coca-Cola, and Equifax.

The 13th Congressional district includes Riverdale and parts of Forest Park in Clayton County, Mableton Powder Springs and Smyrna in Cobb County, parts of Fayetteville in Fayette and Fulton counties, and other small towns and cities in Douglas and Henry counties. Owens is a Mableton resident.

Scott easily defeated Republican David Callahan in November 2018, winning 76 percent of the vote. The congressman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Owen’s campaign. Scott is a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition and has criticized the Democratic Party on economic and defense policy issues. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Scott opposed President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran and voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline in January.

Former East Point mayor Jannquell Peters is also considering running for the 13th district seat as a Democrat. Both Owens and Peters will have to contend with a new “controversial” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee policy that blacklists any consulting firms that work with Democrats challenging sitting members of the party in the primaries, The Hill reported.

The date for Georgia’s 2020 primary has not been set, GPB News reported. It is likely the state will join other states in the South for the “SEC Primary” on March 3, 2020.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.