published Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

John Deffenbaugh takes House District 1 post

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Republican candidate John Deffenbaugh captured the Georgia House District 1 seat with double the votes of Democratic candidate Tom McMahan.

Deffenbaugh said he hopes to bring fiscal responsibility to the state Capitol. District 1 is a heavily red district that covers Dade County and most of Walker County.

Deffenbaugh, the former Dade County Republican chairman and a one-term Dade County commissioner, also has said he will work to improve representation for Northwest Georgia in the Legislature.

"Atlanta will know that Northwest Georgia exists and in a positive way," Deffenbaugh said.

He said he will work to be a conservative representative of the people on social issues such as marriage and abortion, but on other issues he hopes to negotiate to get things accomplished.

The District 1 seat was vacated by Martin Scott, a Republican and local pastor who decided not to run again. When district lines were redrawn in Georgia last year, House District 1 and 2 flipped their areas.

Many voters tended to vote their party line in a state race, said McMahan, the former Dade County Democratic Party chairman and a local teacher. He said he knew it would be an uphill battle to win, but he believes the race helped make the local Democratic Party more active.

"We're still going to be here," he said. "We're still going to push candidates out."

McMahan also said he plans to run for the seat again in two years.

Vote totals do not include federally mandated provisional ballots and are unofficial until certified by the secretary of state's office.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at or 423-757-6659.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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