Georgia Prosecutor Fani Willis Wins Democratic Primary—What Does This Means for the Future?

On May 21, 2024 Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis beat out her only democratic opponent, Christian Wise Smith. Although heavily favored to win, this Georgia primary race was a redo of 2020 in which Willis also beat Smith. Now, the lead district attorney looks ahead to the future as she locks in a fresh four-year term.

In November she will face-off against republican candidate and lawyer, Courtney Kramer, an opponent Willis says is “completely unqualified.” The positioning stems from the fact that Kramer, according to Willis, has never tried a criminal case in the entirety of her legal career. This is crucial as the lead prosecutor of any jurisdiction is tasked with not only setting the tone for how and which criminal cases will be moved through the legal process, but they are also often the lead litigating attorney on more high-profile cases in their districts. Additionally, it should be noted that Kramer was a former intern in the Trump administration and has close ties with many of the former president’s Georgia allies.

Despite this, Willis is still favored to win re-election as Fulton County—the country in which Atlanta lies—is majority democratic.

 “The campaign does not end tonight. It begins tonight,” Willis said to supporters after her primary win. “But while she [Kramer] is inexperienced and unqualified and does not represent the values of my county, don’t get confused. She is a real threat because of who backs her and how they back her.”

Willis has faced heavy criticism recently as she spearheads the criminal case against former President Donald Trump for his hand in potentially interfering with the 2020 Georgia election. She risked being completely removed from the case as lead prosecutor after it was suggested that she hired a former romantic partner, Nathan Wade, to serve as a special prosecutor in the case against Trump. While Wade has since stepped down, and Willis has been giving the green light to continue from Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee (also slated to win re-election in November), there is still an uphill battle to get the guilty verdict she is looking for.

There is currently a pending appeal from Trump’s legal team, asking the court to readdress whether or not Willis should be allowed to move forward with the case. The appeal is currently on hold and likely won’t be addressed until sometime after the November election.

Several republic representatives have also attempted to “throw salt” in Willis’ game and on her name throughout this process. Georgia Republican Representative, Greg Dolezal, is among a group of local leaders accusing Willis of prosecutorial misconduct. He is seeking to introduce an entire committee that would be tasked with solely investigating Willis and her office “in response to a wave of concerning reports and court filings regarding District Attorney Fani Willis of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.”

While many of these roadblocks will likely have no bearing on November’s election, Willis is not letting her guard down. During her Tuesday night primary win speech, she also urged folks around the nation to “support me, big and small, and say that we are going to be a country that still believes in the rule of law.”

Updated: May 22, 2024 — 6:01 pm