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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6659.
Joy Lukachick is a crime reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing down ...