Fourteen state lawmakers defeated or drawn into runoffs

Fourteen state lawmakers were defeated or drawn into runoffs on Tuesday, including one party-switcher and one House member who had refused to sign a petition demanding a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. An attorney for the “birther” movement failed to scratch.

In the Senate, one incumbent lost outright. In the House, 10 were defeated — five Republicans and five Democrats.

Several conservative Republicans who weren’t defeated had very, very close calls.

Some of the highlights:

– In Senate District 6, Republican Hunter Hill (52 percent) swept past Josh Belinfante (29 percent) and Drew Ellenburg (19 percent). Hill’s outright victory is bad news for Democratic incumbent Doug Stoner of Smyrna, whose district was drawn well into Buckhead last year.

– In Senate District 7, Republican Tyler Harper of Ocilla (63 percent) crushed state Rep. Mark Hatfield of Waycross (29 percent). Hatfield, a tea party favorite, has served as an attorney for those seeking to challenge the citizenship of President Barack Obama.

– In Senate District 9, Republican incumbent and rules committee chairman Don Balfour of Snellville (63 percent) easily swept past two challengers despite an unresolved ethics matter.

– In Senate District 18, Republican incumbent Cecil Staton of Macon (50.5 percent) edged out challenger Spencer Price (49.5 percent) by only 207 votes out of more than 20,000 cast.

– In Senate District 21, Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock (59 percent) leaped past Republican challenger Brandon Beach of Alpharetta (41 percent) and disclosures of past associations in the gaming industry.

– In Senate District 25, Republican incumbent Johnny Grant of Milledgeville (47 percent) was defeated by Burt Jones of Jackson (53 percent). Jones faces Democrat Darrell Black of Milledgeville in November.

– In Senate District 26, Democratic incumbent Miriam Paris of Macon (45 percent) was nearly defeated, but drawn into a runoff by former House member David Lucas. (49.23 percent)

– In Senate District 27, Republican incumbent Jack Murphy of Cumming (50.22 percent) barely escaped challenger Steve Voshall (49.73 percent)

– In Senate District 31, Republican incumbent Bill Heath of Bremen (45 percent) was drawn into a runoff by Bill Carruth of Dallas (41 percent).

– In Senate District 44, former senator Gail Buckner (42 percent) drew Democratic incumbent Gail Davenport (34 percent) into a runoff.

– In House District 20, Republican incumbent Charlice Byrd of Woodstock (47 percent) was defeated by Michael Caldwell of Woodstock (53 percent). Caldwell had made an issue of Byrd’s vote changes.

– In House District 34, Republican incumbent Judy Manning of Marietta (44 percent) was defeated by Charles Gregory of Kennesaw (56 percent).

– In House District 57, Democratic incumbent Pat Gardner of Atlanta (63 percent) swept past fellow incumbent Rashad Taylor (37 percent). The two had been placed together during redistricting.

– In House District 58, Democratic incumbent Simone Belle of Atlanta (59 percent) bested fellow incumbent Ralph Long of Atlanta (41 percent). Another redistricted pairing.

– In House District 75, Democratic incumbent Yasmin Neal of Jonesboro (44 percent) was defeated by Mike Glanton of Jonesboro (56 percent).

– In House District 75, Democratic incumbent Glenn Baker of Jonesboro (46 percent) was ousted by challenger Demetrius Douglas (54 percent), also of Jonesboro.

– In House District 109, Republican incumbent Steve Davis of McDonough (34 percent) was crushed by challenger Dale Rutledge of McDonough (66 percent). Davis is considered one of the most conservative members of the Legislature.

– In House District 117, Republican incumbent Doug McKillip of Athens (49.56 percent), who switched parties in 2010, has apparently lost to challenger Regina Quick (50.44 percent) by a mere 66 votes.

State Democrats had urged their voters to cross over into the GOP primary to punish McKillip. One observer told us that one sign of the crossover: In the March GOP presidential primary, Clarke County turned out only 1,900 Republican voters. On Tuesday, almost 3,200 GOP ballots were cast.

McKillip won the other three counties in the district, but it wasn’t enough enough to offset a major loss in Clarke.

– In House District 118, Democratic incumbent Keith Heard of Athens (45 percent) lost to challenger Spencer Frye (55 percent).

– In House District 133, Republican incumbent Kip Smith (48 percent) lost to challenger John Pezold (52 percent). Ethics was an issue in this contest. Smith had refused to sign a petition advocating a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. A DUI arrest in January didn’t help.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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59 comments Add your comment


August 1st, 2012
9:51 am

If Hunter Hill got 52%, how is it a runoff?


August 1st, 2012
9:53 am

maybe he meant “victory lap”


August 1st, 2012
9:55 am

Balfour and Rogers won?!?!? Republicans love their scumbags.


August 1st, 2012
9:59 am

CRUSHING defeat for RINO Judy Manning. Way to go Charlie!


August 1st, 2012
10:01 am

Sorry. Long night. Garbled first paragraphed fix. Hunter Hill won outright.


August 1st, 2012
10:15 am

Now Rogers wants to do another TSPLOST vote with more road construction and less transit. Really? Is that the best he can do? And yet, people keep voting for these idiots.

In the know

August 1st, 2012
10:28 am

No way Judy Manning is a RINO. She’s just not one of the Ron Paul nuts.

They just don't get it

August 1st, 2012
10:33 am

A T-Splost is a tax. Plain and simple. The people are weary of seeing more taxes, dressed up verbally as SPLOST , User Fee or any other nice marketing term, only to watch the same old tired politicians use the money for their same old, tired programs which never end up costing what they were estimated to cost.
We have to run our households on a budget based on how much money we have. It’s time the folks in the Gold Dome did the same.


August 1st, 2012
10:36 am

Alliteration surely aided Hunter Hill.


August 1st, 2012
10:37 am

If there is anything worthy of paying taxes for it is infrastructure.


August 1st, 2012
10:49 am

at least mckillip and manning got rejected so there are pockets in this state with enough educated voters to reject the party of hate and ignorance


August 1st, 2012
10:59 am

see how quick atlanta becomes a has been progressive city now that the transportation initiative has not passed. the capital of the state and they reject transit projects…….??? sickening. those who voted no deserve what you get……………..

St Simons - we're on Island time

August 1st, 2012
11:12 am

Mark Hatfield gone – praise jaysus-ahh
Benedict McKillip gone – justice
Pompous Bill Heath – In god we trust, but all others, runoff heheh

we’re still deliverance-banjo-Red, but
keep swingin the hammer, and hit one nail at the time


August 1st, 2012
11:15 am

Wait … isn’t infastructure something that SHOULD be paid for out of the taxes we ALREADY pay? Why do we need a special tax? How about cutting some of the pork and other programs, and spending our tax appropriately? T-SPLOST was nothing more than an attempt at avoiding the necessary cuts.


August 1st, 2012
11:21 am

AJC giving the credit of T-Splost defeat to tea party, never mind all the branches of the NAACP and other organizations were working with them, did not take the AJC long to give conservatives all the credit.


August 1st, 2012
11:24 am

The AJC headline said the defeat of the TSPLOST was a victory for the Tea Party. NO it was not. It was a victory for ALL OF US. NONE of us taxpayers wanted that thing to past — we ALL voted NO, even the sane among us — not just the Tea Party.

are you all serious?

August 1st, 2012
11:27 am

yellowdog…relax fella, this does not mean the end of Atlanta as we know it. this was a mandate from the people telling the elected ones to go back to the drawing board and come up with something comprehensive. the big $$ projects were just too vague if you check out the TSPLOST site. don’t worry the money grab is not over for the six paving companies that run this state. the pot just won’t be so big for the gov’t cronies on this next attempt.

are you all serious?

August 1st, 2012
11:30 am

where’s td at??? is he mad because the dems and repubs are on the same page with the tsplost? is he upset that he can’t come on here and spew the rush and hannity rhetoric??


August 1st, 2012
11:33 am

Cecil Stanton is not my Rep but he causes enough problems for the region. I was hoping he would go down.


August 1st, 2012
11:36 am

Hey, McKillip: NOW will you give back the money you took from Planned Parenthood and the Democrats? Or will you come crawling back like the sorry little insect you are?

Clayton Results

August 1st, 2012
12:11 pm

Jim, you missed Glenn Baker’s loss in the House District 78. Have any insight on why so many incumbents either lost or were pulled into a runoff in Clayton County?


August 1st, 2012
12:27 pm

Congratulations to Pat Gardner – and to her constituents. She is a smart, honorable, responsive legislator and I’m delighted that all of her constituents, new and old, recognized that despite the GOP’s effort to gerrymander her out of the way.


August 1st, 2012
12:27 pm

I will say I didn’t vote “no” on T-SPLOST simply because it is a tax….. In an effort to be too politically correct, too many projects were cherry picked rather than projects that would have truly made a difference in Atlanta.

Going Right

August 1st, 2012
12:58 pm

@St Simons – we’re on Island time;
Is that a non-prescription drug that you are taking? If so, please post the name of it and where we may find it so our brains may turn into fecal matter also.

Miss J

August 1st, 2012
1:02 pm

How is it that the Tea Party is getting all the credit for defeating the T-SPLOST????????????

That is insane…….I voted no simply because we are paying too much taxes as it is period.

Our elected officials need to manage the tax revenues they already received from us.

Look closely as the 6 figure salaries (I mean come on…$525,000 and up) in this economy…..and yet you want to furlough teachers and cops and raise our taxes………

But Hey

August 1st, 2012
1:20 pm

But hey, we reelected that idiot Paul Broun. so huzzah for that. As long as we keep putting rubes with views reflective of those of cave men in national office we are going to continue to be a laughingstock.

T-Party angst.

August 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

The loss of Judy Manning is a real tragedy. She was a wonderful advocate for the disabled and for children with mental health problems…..and yes, she was a true conservative as well. So now what you TEA PARTY heads ?!?!?!? Are you going to lock up everyone who has a mental health problem and throw away the keys ?!?!?! You best look in the mirror first.

Faaarrr Right

August 1st, 2012
1:28 pm

Geez, just think: If we could only have a Democrat for Governor, both houses of the State Senate in the hands of the Democrats, taxes raised, the wealthy money grubbers thrown out, happiness and smiles all around, Georgia would then become a solid Blue, socialist state…worthy of bin Obama’s adulation. Why, with David Axelrod and David Plouffe (to mention but two of the truly great brain trusts of the bin Obama Administration), there would absolutely be cherubs and pixies flying around dispensing cheer, good will, feel-good sensitivity, understanding, singing and, gosh, so many Garden-of-Eden happy things that just cannot be mentioned! So what if the Democrats steal money from the wealthy? It’s just right, or as bin Obama told Joe the Plumber: “..I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
YES! I can’t wait to sign up! Life will be like Heaven on Earth after bin Obama II goes into power. And all this time, wow, I thought it would be the same old “work hard, study hard, go for the American Dream, etc. and what for? I now know that it was the government that stepped in and did it for me. All those 60-80 hour work weeks I put in for my small business (which I have shuttered as I no longer need it, I on the Government’s dole now), were for naught. Fool that I was! I will vote Socialist/Democrat from now on.


August 1st, 2012
1:33 pm

Is Judy Manning the republican who made the anti-Mormon, anti-Romney hate comments during the primary season?

M Louis Morgan

August 1st, 2012
1:33 pm

Don’t crucify me. But I sense that Atlanta is finally paying a price for White flight and the latent racism that caused it. I voted against T-SPLOST because I simply do not believe poor people and others who do not live in the suburbs should have to pay for higher-income folk to drive to and from the City of Atlanta. Whenever one compares Philadelphia, for example, to Atlanta, one wonders why in downtown Philly you can find a rich multicultural mix of in-town residents who walk to and from in-town supermarkets, often after dark, while here in Atlanta there is a mass exodus of White workers between 5 and 7 pm. I haven’t read any comments regarding this issue.

Banned Poster

August 1st, 2012
1:40 pm

Jack Murphy would not have survived if it wasn’t for the incompetence of his challenger, Steve Voshall. Voshall made the mistake of endorsing – early on and before he became a candidate, and as local Tea Party chairman – a candidate for Sheriff that has many less than desired character flaws and ethics questions. Despite the repeated warnings from those who wanted to support him and warned that he would lose their vote if he didn’t drop his endorsement, Voshall stubbornly stood his ground and he lost by 117 votes. Had he simply listened to those of us who wanted to support him and backed off that endorsement, then he would have likely squeaked out a close win. Instead, we get Jack Murphy for two more years.


August 1st, 2012
2:02 pm

In Georgia, the only time Conservatives lose is when they stop acting like Conservatives….those politicians with “close calls” should be mindful of this…


August 1st, 2012
2:06 pm

Whu would evr think the T-Party and the NAACP would be standing side by side to oppose this new tax boondoggle? Of course they oppose it for different reasons but the outcome was the same.

Mike Geigerman

August 1st, 2012
2:13 pm

Yellow Dog whiner… we will spend all of our money wisely politicians and socialists beware.


August 1st, 2012
2:13 pm

Any election that gets rid of some of these incumbent Republican Tea Party nut cases is a good election. Is Georgia finally deciding the 21st century is an improvement over the 19th century? Let’s hope so.


August 1st, 2012
2:15 pm

This TPLOST boondoggle was defeated by a wide range of people form every political affiliation and all walks of life. Why? Because people across the board no longer have any faith at all in any layer of government getting anything right. Please share with me the last time any of them have. The idea of throwing Billions of tax dollars more into a pool for all these entities to suck from is just a pure nightmare. The average taxpayer is fed up. It is nothing more complicated then that. They can go back to the drawing board all they want. Until they correctly manage what is there now, no one is going to offer up any more.


August 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

The difficulties experienced by voters at the polls yesterday were a horrible wake-up call that must be addressed before the national election in November. Regardless of party affiliation we all need reassurances from the Sect. of State that these inexcusable acts will not occur again because there is too much at stake!
The state NAACP went anti Tsplost but their local chapters did the opposite! Talk about hedging your bets! If the locals had not bolted the defeat of T-splost would have been even greater.


August 1st, 2012
2:29 pm

Glad to see TSPLOST defeated…and soundly!

I heard Gov Deal say there is an alternative…wait, I thought it was TSPLOST or bust!


August 1st, 2012
2:34 pm

The reason Tyler Harper won district 6 was because of all the money he spent to get elected. God only know where a 26 year old Contractor with his on airplane got all that money to spend. Whats this 100 million deal with govt.?


August 1st, 2012
2:43 pm

Well said “They just don’t get it August 1st, 2012 10:33 am”! “We have to run our households on a budget based on how much money we have. It’s time the folks in the Gold Dome did the same.”

I’m very tired of sending my hard-earned tax dollars to irresponsible politicians and bureaucrats for them to waste!


August 1st, 2012
3:01 pm

People don’t trust Govt to spend their money anymore. Thats the reason TSPLOST lost…They get the money and spend like hell for everything from golf balls to free rides. Stop the spending. Wake up Obama stop the spending.


August 1st, 2012
3:04 pm

Steve Davis,conservative, endorsed by Herman Cain and other regional and national conservatives,however a BIG TSPLOST proponent. In his district it was defeated 3 to 1. I have to beleive his support of that cost him re-ecelction.


August 1st, 2012
3:09 pm

God, reading this you’d think liberals won and T-SPLOST passed….There will be serious crying in November when Mitt WINS!


August 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

It was a clear MESSAGE to the idiots at the gold drone and GOP at large…Some of your cronies will not be back …you could be NEXT…
Speaking of next. . Next project, lets get serious about the mayor’s 90 million dollar trolley ride.

Recall REED


August 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

What is the margin that dictates a runoff? I see some of these candidates winning by a margin of 10% or better.

Dr. D. Farmer

August 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Which is correct. I found these numbers on Fulton County website

STATE SENATE 21 – R 5579 total votes (15 precincts reporting of 15)
100.00% reporting


BRANDON BEACH 2829 50.71%
CHIP ROGERS (I) 2750 49.29%


August 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Kelli, the winner must get over 50% of the total votes to avoid a runoff. Often with 3 or more candidates in a race that is difficult to do.


August 1st, 2012
4:09 pm


Steve Davis lost in part because he is a pompous, self-indigulent individual. People on the right and the left were fed up with his antics. He has not shown any leadership for Henry County other than call himself a true conservative.


August 1st, 2012
4:38 pm

Georgia, the “regressive” state.

[...] however, 26-year-old farmer and businessman Tyler Harper put Hatfield’s career on hold, winning 63 percent of the vote to his 29 percent and ending Hatfield’s quest for a state senate [...]