Key Players in Trump’s Georgia Criminal Case Face Voters

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Two key players in Donald J. Trump’s criminal case in Georgia are on the ballot Tuesday: Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney prosecuting the former president, and Scott McAfee, the presiding judge in the matter.

The two candidates are considered the favorites in their respective races. But they are running a few months after the election-interference case against Mr. Trump and his allies hit serious turbulence.

Defense lawyers said Ms. Willis’s romance with a lawyer she hired to manage the prosecution — a relationship that came to light in January — created an untenable conflict of interest, and they asked Judge McAfee to remove her from the case in Fulton County Superior Court.

Ms. Willis pushed back vigorously against the effort, and in mid-March, Judge McAfee ruled that she could stay on the Trump case if the subordinate, Nathan J. Wade, stepped down, which he quickly did. This month, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to review the judge’s decision.

Ms. Willis and Judge McAfee have faced criticism over the matter, but they also enjoy certain advantages as voters head to the polls.

Ms. Willis is running in a Democratic primary against Christian Wise Smith, a former prosecutor who has called on her to resign. She has wide name recognition in Fulton County, a heavily Democratic area where 45 percent of the population is Black.

Ms. Willis has suggested that racism played a role in the attacks on her — an argument that has resonated with some constituents. This month, she was endorsed by some of the Atlanta area’s most prominent Black preachers.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face off in a November general election against Courtney A. Kramer, a Republican lawyer who has worked in the Trump White House and with the Trump campaign. Ms. Kramer is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

Judge McAfee, a conservative who was appointed to his first term by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, is running in a nonpartisan election against Robert Patillo II, a civil rights lawyer and radio show host.

Mr. Patillo has criticized Judge McAfee’s ruling on the Willis matter, but he has received significantly fewer campaign contributions than the incumbent, who was endorsed by Mr. Kemp and by former Gov. Roy Barnes, the last Democrat to occupy the Georgia governor’s mansion.



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