Mullis holds off Moore in Georgia Senate race; Greene and Cowan advance to August runoff in 14th congressional district

An early voter, who wore gloves to cast their ballot, shows off their sticker during Georgia's primary election at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Office in Lawrenceville, Ga., Monday, May 18, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
An early voter, who wore gloves to cast their ballot, shows off their sticker during Georgia's primary election at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Office in Lawrenceville, Ga., Monday, May 18, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

With all four counties in the 53rd District Senate race reporting, Sen. Jeff Mullis held off challenger and current House District 1 Rep. Colton Moore by winning 54.67% of the vote.

Moore won his home county of Dade, where he received more than 61% of the vote, but received only 34.7% of the total vote. Newcomer Todd Noblitt got 10.64% of the vote.

In an emailed statement late Wednesday, Mullis said, " I am humbled by and grateful for the support in a three-person race to continue to serve you as your District 53 senator. Graciously, Todd Noblitt called to concede the race last night and to offer his congratulations. I appreciate Mr. Noblitt conducting an honorable race."

Moore said Wednesday afternoon he was thankful that Dade County trusted him and was proud of Noblitt for working hard on the campaign trail for over a year.

"I'm excited to move forward and to no longer be campaigning," Moore said. "I'm going to get back to auctioneering and get back to making a real living. I plan on continuing to be an advocate of conservative state policies."

For the 14th Congressional District seat, Marjorie Greene holds a commanding lead, while John Cowan sits in second in a race sure to lead to a runoff on Aug. 11. With more than 90% of the precincts reporting, Greene received over 41% of the vote while Cowan received 18.65%.

Greene said in a statement the runoff will be about which candidate is going to "fight harder against radical left Socialist Democrats trying to destroy the country."

Cowan took the opportunity Wednesday morning to celebrate and also tried to separate himself from Greene.

"I didn't choose to run in the 14th District in pursuit of personal ambition; I'm running here because, for me, this is home," Cowan said in a statement. "Let's not forget: No matter what happens in this election, I'll still live, work and raise my family in northwest Georgia. When Marjorie Greene loses this race, she's moving back to her real home in Fulton County."

In House District 1, former Rep. John Deffenbaugh and Mike Cameron are headed to a runoff after Deffenbaugh received 42% of the vote and Cameron got 37%.

Incumbent Dewayne Hill shook off challenger Jeff Holcomb for the second time in a row by getting 62% of the vote in the House District 2 race.

Charlie Bethel, a former state senator and city councilman from Dalton, was holding on to his seat on the state's Supreme Court over Beth Beskin with 53.2% of the vote and 80% of precincts reporting. Bethel was a member of the Court of Appeals when then-Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2018.

Local elections

With only the Democrat absentee ballots not counted, the unofficial final results from Catoosa County show commission incumbents Steve Henry and Jeff Long have won, and there will be a Jim Cutler and Vanita Hullander runoff for the District 3 commission seat.

Incumbent Gary Autry won his re-election bid for tax commissioner, and James Spurling will be the county's new coroner.

In the race for Chattooga County sole commissioner, two votes separated Blake Elsberry (1,595) and incumbent Jason Winters (1,593). Elsberry and Winters will face each other in a runoff. The winner will eventually face Democrat Jimmy Holbrook in November.

WZQZ radio in Summerville reported after midnight that a voting machine in Trion didn't properly count between 300 and 600 votes. The station reported a representative from the software company would be in Summerville on Wednesday to fix the problem.

B.J. Montgomery (2,177 votes) beat Chad Dodd (1,794 votes) for a school board seat, and voters approved a SPLOST for education in Trion and Chattooga County as a whole.

The Dade County Commission will remain the same as all incumbents - Ted Rumley, Robert Goff and Allan Bradford - were victorious Tuesday night. Goff won by just 30 votes.

On the school board, there will be a runoff between Jayne Griffin and Brooke Wilson on Aug. 11.

Dade County voters also passed a special-purpose, local-option sales tax and a provision to allow liquor sales by the drink and packaged liquor on Sundays.

In Gordon County, R. Bruce Potts Jr. defeated commission incumbent Norris Sexton by getting 52% of the vote, James Carver won his race as coroner, Bobby Hall will retain his position on the school board and newcomer Christie Fox will join Hall as a new school board member.

In the sheriff race for Murray County's next top law enforcement official, Jimmy Davenport received 43% of the vote while Dekota Boiling got 23% of the vote. The two will face off in a runoff in August.

Greg Hogan held on to his sole commissioner seat with 57% of the vote. School board incumbent Greg Shoemaker got 69% of the vote and kept his seat.

Sole commissioner Shannon Whitfield will be on the Republican ticket for the chairman of the brand-new, 5-member Walker County Commission after he received 52% of the vote. Matt Harris came short of forcing a runoff by getting 39% of the vote. Perry Lamb received nearly 9% of the vote.

Rounding out the rest of the commission for November will be Robert Blakemore in District 1, William Askew in District 2, and Brian Hart in District 3. A runoff between Alan Painter and Robert Stultz in August will determine the District 4 seat.

Democrats John McDonald, Tyrone Davis and Hakie Lyndel Shropshire will compete in November for District 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

Walker County voters also approved the SPLOST that will take effect Oct. 1.

Incumbent Dale Wilson won his seat on the school board. The SPLOST passed with more than 67% of the vote.

In Whitfield County, two-term incumbent Lynn Laughter failed to keep her seat and lost to Jevin Jensen, an executive at Mohawk Industries.

Results show Jensen received 58.5% of the votes to Laughter's 41.5%.

In a statement Tuesday night, Jensen said Laughter called him to "graciously concede" and she thanked her for all the hard work she has put in the last eight years.

"I am grateful for and extremely humbled by the overwhelming trust that the voters have invested in me to tackle the challenges our community faces," Jensen said. "I am committed to working with the commissioners to build a brighter future for all of Whitfield County."

Jensen added he wants to start immediately on the county's economic recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis.

"We need to put our great people safely back to work and sensibly lower property taxes, so people can keep more of the money they earn," he said.

Whitfield voters approved a four-year, $66 million special-purpose, local-option sales tax with nearly 59% of the vote.

Incumbent Greg Jones reclaimed his seat on the county commission, Babs Bailey defeated April Plott for the county clerk seat and incumbent Rod Weaver defeated Wallace Johnson in a nonpartisan race for Magistrate Court judge.

Contact Patrick Filbin at or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.