James Burchett won a special election runoff against Franklin Patten to represent House District 176 in South Georgia. Photo: James Burchett for House

Burchett wins runoff for South Georgia House seat

Voters elected Republican James Burchett to fill the South Georgia state House seat previously held by Jason Shaw.

Burchett, an attorney from the Waycross area, won a runoff election Tuesday against Republican Franklin Patten, chairman of the Lanier County Board of Education, to represent House District 176.

When Burchett takes office, nearly all 180 state House seats will finally be filled.

Several seats became vacant after November’s general election because of appointments to other government positions, deaths and contested elections.

The election Tuesday was needed to replace Shaw, a Republican whom Gov. Nathan Deal appointed to the Georgia Public Service Commission in November.

One special election for state House is still to come April 9. Former state Rep. Dan Gasaway will face Chris Erwin, a former Banks County school superintendent, in a second redo election after a judge found that ineligible voters had cast ballots. Erwin had appeared to win by two votes.

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