Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson
Oconee County voters turned out in big numbers on election day, with a plurality picking Democrat Jonathan Wallace to represent voters in Georgia House District 119 and a majority picking Houston Gaines to represent voters in Georgia House District 117.
Wallace won strongly in the Clarke County part of the evenly split 119th District, ending with 56.7 percent of the votes in the unofficial tally—enough to avoid a runoff on Dec. 5.
Democrat Deborah Gonzalez dominated voting in Clarke County, giving her 53.1 percent of the votes in the 117th, which, in addition to Clarke County and Oconee County, includes parts of Barrow and Jackson counties.
The results mean that for the first time since the two districts were created in 2011, the districts will be represented by Democrats, and for the first time since the partisan transformation of the state Democrats will be representing Oconee County in Atlanta.
The special elections were called when Republicans Regina Quick and Chuck Williams resigned to assume a Superior Court judgeship and the directorship of the Georgia Forestry Commission, respectively
The results indicate that the Republican-dominated Georgia General Assembly in its 2011 redistricting session underestimated the power of Clarke County to control the election outcome in the two districts.
For more, visit Oconee County Observations.