Legislative Races To Watch Tomorrow

Among the items on your ballot tomorrow will be your State Representative and State Senator. Some of you live in areas where those races are contested and a few seats are actually in play. Several incumbents were tossed out in primaries earlier this year but will that translate into voters tossing out members of one party and replacing them with the other? With a few exceptions I don’t think so. My take on the seats in play tomorrow is as follows:


The Senate is rather quite. The only race really in doubt is SD6 between incumbent Democrat Doug Stoner and GOP challenger Hunter Hill. Both candidates have plenty of money and I think the race will be close either way.

SD9 between incumbent Republican Don Balfour and Democratic challenger Scott Drake has attracted interest but I don’t see this race as close. Balfour wins easily in the solidly Republican district.

UPDATE: Also there is a special election in SD30. Republicans Dugan, Hembree, Naughton, and Richardson square off. My prediction is a runoff between Hembree and Naughton. While Richardson has name ID, so does Hembree. Naughton is from Carroll County, which represents the largest part of the district.


I don’t think any GOP House incumbent is in serious trouble.

Possible pickups for the GOP:
HD12: Barbara Massey Reece (D) v. Eddie Lumsden (R) probably a toss up race.
HD16: Rick Crawford (D) is in serious trouble. I think Trey Kelley (R) wins big.
HD66: Open seat with 43% black voting age population. Bob Snelling (R) v. Kimberly Alexander (R D). Leans Democratic.
HD81: Scott Holcomb (D) v. Chris Boedeker (R). Leans Republican.
HD96: Pedro Marin (D) v. Mark Williams (R). Leans Republican.
HD132: Carl Von Epps (D) v. Gene King (R). Could be close but leans Democratic because of a 41% black voting age population.
HD105: New toss up seat in Gwinnett. Joyce Chandler (R) v. Renita Hamilton (D). Black VAP is 34%. The election is a toss up in my opinion.

Where am I wrong and what races did I miss?

Full disclosure: I’ve donated money to Boedeker, Chandler, Kelley, King, and Williams.

UPDATE: I should have also mentioned HD111. It’s a new seat in Henry County. Brian Strickand (R) v. Bill Blackmon (R). The seat leans Republican so Strickland is favored to win.


  1. Calypso says:

    Buzz, your party affiliations for HD66 make it look like a primary. Who’s the D?

    You’re wrong on Holcomb/Boedeker. After Boedeker’s disgraceful ad, Holcomb gained support from many sane Republicans who were ashamed and embarrassed that Boedeker pulled that kind of crap.

    I think Pedro will hold on to his seat due to the relatively high Hispanic population there. I like Mark, though.

    • Harry says:

      The district lines were fairly substantially reconfigured as I recall. I’m not sure if that will make a difference.

  2. troutbum70 says:

    The interesting aspect about HD#81, 96 and 105 is that those are the only three races that the Gwinnett GOP “decided” to target and support for the election tomorrow. Williams and Chandler were to be given $2,500 each and Boedeker $1,500. What I don’t understand, why give $1,500 to a race that only has one precinct in Gwinnett when the money could have been spent better inside the county. And why give $2,500 to two candidates who respectively had $24 and $11 grand in the bank before the October disclosures. Just doesn’t make sense. Williams turned it down and Chandler doesn’t show any records of taking the money.

    If Mark Williams wins, he’ll be a one or maybe two term House member. That district barely leans Republican. I think Boedeker will lose due to his antics and Chandler will win.

    On a county level, I think Mary Kay Murphy will lose her position on the Gwinnett Board of Education.

  3. How do you feel about HD1? We’ve got a Republican candidate who can’t state a position on any issue other than say he’s still reading about it and hasn’t made up his mind yet, or an outspoken Democrat school teacher who says what he thinks and has a position greatly different from quite a few of his maybe future constituents. No incumbent advantage in the race, and both candidates live in Dade county even though they’ll be representing Dade and half of much larger Walker.

    — LU

  4. newby says:

    Looking for a big win by Micah Gravley in HD 67. This is the seat that Bill Hembree gave up to run for Senate District 30.

  5. Left Turn Only says:

    It saddens me that our elections, national and local, are more like old Soviet elections than the democratic models of Europe. With the insane Electoral College concept on a national lever and computer driven political gerrymandering at the state level, voters are mere window dressing. My ballot had exactly one truly contested race, and that is close only because Scott Holcomb, a Democrat running in a heavily gerrymandered Republican district, is a straight arrow war veteran and Boedeker (R) is such a slime ball that even many of his own party can’t stand the smell. (I got flyers from his campaign daily, and the only good thing he could think of say about himself is he has a nice looking wife and a cute kid. The rest was devoted to lies about Holcomb.) Our vote in the presidential election counts not one whit – however we voted. No wonder our voter turn-out is so low – there’s no one to vote for!

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