Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.
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Georgia House election do-over separated by just two votes

‘In the end, we just want a fair election.’

A Republican incumbent appears to have lost a rare repeat election for a Georgia House seat by just two votes, but he has yet to concede the race and is considering his legal options.

After about a dozen outstanding provisional and absentee ballots were tallied, Chris Erwin’s lead over state Rep. Dan Gasaway narrowed from three votes to two votes. 

The repeat election was ordered by a judge because dozens of voters received ballots for the wrong districts in the May GOP primary. No Democrat was on the ballot, so the winner will represent the district spanning three northeast Georgia counties.

While Erwin has declared victory and said he’s ready to “put campaign politics behind us,” Gasaway is raising the specter of a court fight as he questioned whether Habersham County officials wrongly accepted two provisional ballots. 

“I don’t believe the outcome tonight is accurate, and we can prove that,” Gasaway told WDUN after the ballots were accepted. “I hated we could not get some kind of resolution with this board when they clearly had illegal votes being cast in Habersham County.”

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Gasaway’s attorney, Jake Evans, said Sunday he was reviewing his client’s next steps. 

“Two votes is a small margin and virtually any irregularity makes a material difference,” said Evans. “In the end, we just want a fair election.” 

It’s the last unsettled state Georgia election after a grueling cycle that included 10 days of confusion over the outcome of the race for governor and a four-week sprint to a runoff that left Republicans in control of every statewide office. 

The election do-over played a prominent role in the contest between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. The Democrat frequently invoked the redo as she argued that Republicans also had reason to be concerned about the state’s elections policies with Kemp as secretary of state. 

 

About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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