Election results: DeKalb Commission and House seats

Mereda Davis Johnson, an attorney who is married to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, won a runoff Tuesday to finally restore representation to 144,000 southeast DeKalb residents who haven't had a county commissioner for two years.

A separate race for a state House seat representing the Brookhaven area is heading for an Aug. 11 runoff between former Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett, a Democrat, and former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, a Republican.

Johnson defeated George Turner, a retired MARTA manager and a leader of several community improvement groups. Both are Democrats.

Her election brings the DeKalb Commission to a full seven members, reducing the likelihood of contentious tie votes. She also will be able to give a political voice to residents in the Lithonia and Stonecrest areas who say their area has been neglected.

The southeast DeKalb district lost its commissioner when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Lee May as DeKalb's interim CEO in July 2013, and an election was scheduled after May resigned the commission seat in May. May replaced suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, who was found guilty of attempted extortion and perjury this month.

In the House District 80 race, Bennett and Davis came out on top of four candidates who were seeking to represent about 50,000 people in the Georgia House. They were trailed by Catherine Bernard, a Republican who opposed Brookhaven's redevelopment powers referendum and Loren Collins, a Republican and a previous write-in candidate for Congress.

The winner of the House race will fill a vacancy created when Deal appointed Rep. Mike Jacobs to become a judge on DeKalb County State Court.