3 state House races decided, and 3 more need runoffs

Georgia will have its first husband-and-wife team serving at the same time in Congress and the Georgia Legislature following the election of Betty Price.

Price, a Roswell councilwoman who is married to U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., was one of three candidates who won state House elections Tuesday. The others are Marie Robinson Metze, a retired educator who will represent South Atlanta, and Sheri Smallwood Gilligan, a former CIA analyst who will represent Cumming.

Three other House races are heading for runoffs, including a contest between former Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett and former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis.

House District 48 (Roswell)

Price, a Republican, avoided a runoff by winning a majority of the vote against two opponents. She defeated longtime Republican activist Dave McCleary and Democrat Jimmy Johnson.

Price will replace former Rep. Harry Geisinger, who died in May after serving in the state House from 1969 to 1974 and again since he was re-elected 2004.

Price, an anesthesiologist, campaigned on eliminating the state income tax, prohibiting illegal immigrants from having driver’s licenses and creating Milton County out of what is now North Fulton.

House District 55 (South Atlanta)

Metze won a runoff against Shelitha Renee Robertson, an attorney. Both are Democrats.

Metze will take over for former Democratic Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who resigned and pleaded guilty to a single count of tax fraud and no contest to five charges of mail and wire fraud.

She has said she will work for more economic development for her district.

House District 24 (Cumming)

Gilligan defeated David Van Sant, an attorney who was the runner-up in a special election last month. Gilligan fell just three votes short of winning the special election outright in a four-way race. Both are Republicans.

Gilligan, an instructor at Lanier Technical College, succeeds Rep. Mark Hamilton, who resigned for a job opportunity in Tennessee.

Her campaign website says she will oppose the federal Affordable Care Act, fight Common Core educational standards and work to end the income tax.

House District 80 (Brookhaven)

Bennett, a Democrat, and J. Max Davis, a Republican, will meet in an Aug. 11 runoff after they emerged atop four candidates in the race.

The winner will fill a vacancy created when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Rep. Mike Jacobs to become a judge on DeKalb County State Court.

Bennett has opposed “religious liberty” legislation pending in the Georgia Legislature. Davis has proposed a cap on property tax increases caused by rising property assessments.

House District 146 (Bonaire)

Shaw Blackmon, the CEO of National Bank Products in Warner Robins, and Larry Walker, the CEO of Walker Insurance Agency in Perry, will face off in a runoff after a three-way race Tuesday. Both are Republicans.

They’re seeking to replace former House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, who resigned to accept a judgeship.

Blackmon has said he wants to cut red tape, while Walker said jobs should be the top priority for the Georgia Legislature, according to The Telegraph newspaper in Macon.

House District 155 (Ocilla)

Clay Pirkle, a farmer who has previously worked as an economist, will be opposed in a runoff by Horace Hudgins, the former mayor of Ocilla and a Georgia Power manager. The two Republicans received the most votes in a four-way race.

They’re running to succeed Rep. Jay Roberts, whom Gov. Nathan Deal appointed as planning director of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Pirkle supports free-market policies, and Hudgins says he wants to seek more education money for South Georgia.