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Qualifying begins Monday in nationally watched Georgia races

Georgia elects a new governor and lieutenant governor this year, among other races.

ATLANTA - Georgia elects a new governor for the first time in eight years, as well as its first new lieutenant governor in more than a decade, as qualifying begins Monday in several nationally watched Peach State elections.

Four Republicans are seeking the governor’s mansion, with Gov. Nathan Deal prohibited from seeking a third term. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is the fundraising leader. Also announced are Secretary of State Brian Kemp, state Sen. Michael Williams and former state senator Hunter Hill.

Two former state representatives, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, are running for governor on the Democratic side. Abrams would become the nation's first African-American female governor.

Cagle has made national headlines over the last couple of weeks after he criticized Delta Air Lines for ending its discount for NRA members.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, state Sen. David Shafer has announced on the GOP side, along with former state Rep. Geoff Duncan and former state Sen. Rick Jeffares. Democrat Triana Arnold James is also running.

Some well-known Democrats and Republicans are seeking Kemp’s secretary of state position, including former U.S. Rep. John Barrow and former state lawmaker Dee Dawkins-Haigler on the Democratic side. GOP candidates including state Sen. Josh McKoon; state Reps. Brad Raffensperger and Buzz Brockway; and Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.

In the 6th congressional district, incumbent Karen Handel has drawn at least two Democratic challengers, Bobby Kaple and Kevin Abel. Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election last year that became the nation's most expensive congressional election in history.