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Incumbent losses mean no more Republicans in DeKalb delegation

The last remaining Republicans in the DeKalb County Legislative Delegation lost their races on election night.

Rep. Meagan Hanson, R-Brookhaven, was defeated by newcomer Matthew Wilson, and Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta, lost his seat to Rep. Sally Harrell.

Millar posted a farewell speech on Facebook this morning, congratulating his opponent and the Democratic Party.

“The Blue Wave struck North DeKalb, the Sandy Springs panhandle, and Peachtree Corners,” he wrote. “In January there will be no Republican in the DeKalb House or Senate delegation. I'm not sure what else I could have done to offset the anti Trump/Washington attitude and changing demographics. It has been an honor to serve our community for almost 20 years and I will continue posting through the balance of my term.”

DeKalb appears to be the only county in Metro Atlanta where the delegation is all Democrats. Wilson, a Brookhaven attorney, said voters chose a new direction.

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“What I think we saw was a realization that our representatives didn't have the same priorities as us, and so they paid at the ballot box,” he said.

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DeKalb now has no members of the controlling party able to serve as a liaison to the GOP-controlled General Assembly. Millar often positioned himself in that role, touting his work to get the SPLOST tax passed and having a friendly working relationship with CEO Mike Thurmond.

Hanson faced criticism for working with fellow Republicans to push forward a bill ending the county’s unique CEO form of government without consulting the delegation. Her bill was unsuccessful, but she is currently chairing a study committee looking into the issue.

With no Republicans in the DeKalb delegation, new cityhood measure may have a harder time finding sponsors. Proponents of Greenhaven in south DeKalb and Vista Grove in the north had hoped to get bills approved in the 2019 session.

Wilson already has faced his first bit of controversy in politics. When photos surfaced of him delivering pizza to people standing in line at a precinct on Election Day, people accused him of violating state anti-electioneering laws. It is not clear if any formal complaints were filed.

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