Former Tech QB Taylor Bennett will meet Republican J. Max Davis — a former offensive lineman at UGA — in a runoff for House District 80.
The Brookhaven Post is reporting that the two will meet in an August 11th runoff for the seat vacated by Republican Mike Jacobs, now a DeKalb state court judge.
Republicans Catherine Bernard and Loren Collins came in third and fourth, respectively, in Tuesday’s special election.
Bennett — whose campaign visibility throughout the district was dwarfed by Davis and Bernard — was surprisingly the top vote-getter on Tuesday, with 36 percent. Davis came in second, with 33 percent.
Bennett’s campaign seemingly came on strong in the final days before the election, as the Democrat received endorsements from such organizations as the Sierra Club, Georgia Association of Educators, Planned Parenthood and even former state senator Jason Carter.
Davis, Brookhaven’s first-ever mayor and arguably the highest profile candidate in the election, also had a hefty list of endorsements, most notably from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and local political heavyweights such as state Sen. Fran Millar, Rep. Tom Taylor and three of the four members of the Brookhaven City Council.
Any contest fielding four candidates is most likely bound for a runoff, but Bennett’s first-place showing has to be considered somewhat of a political shock, given the district’s strong GOP leanings, along with some of its neighboring communities.
Another factor contributing to Davis’ second-place showing could be residual damage resulting from some unflattering charges made against him during the campaign, dating back to his tenure while mayor of Brookhaven.
In any event, if Bennett defeats Davis on August 11, it could signal a dramatic, political changing of the guard in an important metro Atlanta house district.