Former Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett defeated former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis in a Tuesday runoff for the state House of Representatives, switching control of the Northern Perimeter district to a Democrat.
Bennett captured a seat that had previously been held by Republican Mike Jacobs, who was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a judge in DeKalb County State Court.
Bennett and Davis, a Republican, were competing in a runoff after no candidate received a majority of votes in a four-way special election last month to represent House District 80.
Bennett will represent a district that includes parts of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Sandy Springs in DeKalb and Fulton counties.
Bennett’s election gives Democrats control of Fulton County’s legislative delegation, where Republicans had held a 13-12 majority.
His win also gives Democrats more than one-third of the seats in the state House, which is enough to block constitutional amendment bills from passing if each party were to vote together.
In House District 146 in Bonaire, Shaw Blackmon, the CEO of National Bank Products in Warner Robins defeated Larry Walker, the CEO of Walker Insurance Agency in Perry. The two Republicans were running to replace former House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, who resigned to accept a judgeship.
In House District 155 in Ocilla, Clay Pirkle, a farmer who has previously worked as an economist, was the winner in a race against Horace Hudgins, the former mayor of Ocilla and a Georgia Power manager. The two Republicans were running to succeed Rep. Jay Roberts, whom Gov. Nathan Deal appointed as planning director of the Georgia Department of Transportation.