Three House Seats To Be Decided Tuesday

Tuesday brings to a close the summer round of special elections that began back in June after six House seats became open. Voters will go to the polls to choose new representation in House District 80, which includes portions of DeKalb and Fulton counties, House District 146, which includes much of Houston county, and House District 155, which includes portions of the South Georgia counties of Ben Hill, Coffee, Irwin, Tift, and Turner.

The most watched race is the seat formerly held by Mike Jacobs in Brookhaven. In the July 14th first round, Democrat Taylor Bennett got the most votes, with 36.8% Former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis edged past Catherine Bernard for the runoff slot, 31.5% to 30.1%. Loren Collins came in fourth, far behind the frontrunners.

The race is significant for two reasons: should Bennett win, control of the Fulton County delegation would flip to the Democrats, allowing them to undo some of the measures passed in the General Assembly designed to limit the size of Fulton County government. In addition, a win by the Democrat would leave the GOP one short of its current supermajority in the House, making it impossible to pass a constitutional amendment without Democratic support.

These two issues drew plenty of attention to the race, with Governor Nathan Deal and 6th District Congressman Tom Price endorsing and campaigning for Davis, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other Democrats hosting a fundraiser for Bennett. Third place finisher Bernard declined to endorse either candidate in the runoff.

In the race to replace Larry O’Neal in Houston County, Shaw Blackmon got almost 44% in July, not quite enough to defeat second place Larry Walker, who had 35%. Both are Republicans. Walker is the son and namesake of Larry Walker II, who held the seat formerly occupied by Sam Nunn for 32 years, retiring in 2004. Maggie Lee of the Macon Telegraph had the story back on election night. It’s important to note that Blackmon was appointed to the board of the Technical College System of Georgia by former governor Sonny Perdue, and has enjoyed the support of Perdue in the election. Some of Blackmon’s campaign team also worked on Senator David Perdue’s election bid.

The House District 155 race, which will replace Jay Roberts, is also between two Republicans. Farmer Clay Pirkle received 36.5% of the first round vote, while former Ocilla mayor Horace Hudgins got 31.7%. WALB news posted a story on the background and goals of the two candidates.

Polls will be open on Tuesday between 7 AM and 7 PM. You need not have voted in July’s first round in order to vote in the runoff. You can verify if you are in one of the districts holding runoffs, and find your polling place by going here.

:: Update ::
Once the polls close, results will be available here.


        • TheEiger says:

          Are you serious??????? You have to be joking.

          If a D wins then that means a R lost. Take one out of the R pile and add one to the D pile. You get 13D and 12 R. Wow.

          • UpHere says:

            There are 13 R regardless of the election – if J Max wins, there will be 14 R.

            If a D wins, it will be tied at 13-13.

            Look at the link that Jon posted and count yourself.

            • TheEiger says:

              So you weren’t joking.

              The list that you mention has Mike Jacobs listed. Jacobs seat is the seat that J. Max Davis is running for. You are double counting house district 80 in your backwards math. You are wrong. Please stop. It’s embarrassing.

            • Jon Richards says:

              Note that Jacobs is listed as one of the 25, and that the seat in HD 55 is vacant, without a party. So, either a D or an R will replace Jacobs on that list. HD 55 is Tyrone Brooks’s old seat, which remained a D when Marie Metze won it in July. There are 13 Rs in the list now.

  1. George Chidi says:

    J. Max Davis is perhaps the weakest possible Republican candidate the party could have fielded, given his scandals in office and the general distaste for his brand of politics in the district.

    It is telling that he didn’t exactly sweep his home district. Brookhaven gave Taylor Bennett 37 percent of the vote. Davis, mayor of Brookhaven, won 13 percent.

    Nominally, this is a +5 Republican district. Davis’ negatives are strong enough to lose that advantage, even in a summer low-turnout special election.

  2. TheEiger says:

    I live in Roswell. No where near House District 80, but this weekend I was surprised to find a mailer in my mailbox attacking J. Max Davis. Someone should fire their mail vendor because they are screwing you out of money. There is no paid for by on it so I can’t look up the idiot that sent it out.

  3. Three Jack says:

    Kudos to Catherine for standing her ground by not endorsing either of the remaining candidates. Her non-endorsement letter clearly lays out very viable reasons against favoring either of the guys. Good luck Brookhaven.

  4. seenbetrdayz says:

    I haven’t had my coffee yet today but will someone please explain this line:

    In the race to replace Larry O’Neal in Houston County, Shaw Blackmon got almost 44% in July, not quite enough to defeat second place Larry Walker, who had 35%. Both are Republicans.

    and both are bad at math? Or is this a typo? Or do I just need to go drink my coffee so the world makes sense? 🙂

    • ATLguy says:

      Because Blackmon didn’t get 50%+1. Because Georgia requires 50%+1 to actually WIN an election, then the article was right. The election was inconclusive and needs a runoff between the top two finishers to actually resolve the issue. “Winning” for Shaw Blackmon would have meant getting to 50%+1 and taking office shortly thereafter. As Larry Walker may yet actually win the runoff and the race, Blackmon didn’t win a thing. Just like Jack Kingston didn’t win the Senate primary in 2014, and Karen Handel didn’t win the governor’s primary in 2010. Both of them would be a lot happier if they did!

  5. TheEiger says:

    44+35= 79

    The other candidates in the race split the leftover 21%. So Blackmon and Walker are in the runoff today.

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