Democrats, meanwhile, picked up seats in Gwinnett County and South Georgia. Sam Park defeated state Rep. Valerie Clark, R-Lawrenceville. Georgia Equality sent out a release touting Park's election as the first in state history by an openly gay man.
Longtime Rep. Mike Cheokas, R-Americus, who switched parties in 2010, lost his toss-up district against former Americus Mayor Bill McGowan. State Republican leaders invested heavily in re-electing Cheokas, a well-liked committee chairman.
Rep. Joyce Chandler, R-Grayson, appeared to come from behind to beat chemical engineer Donna McLeod of Lawrenceville in a district Democrats thought they could pick up. As in the case of Cheokas, Republican leaders poured money into Chandler’s race in hopes of helping her retain her seat.
In DeKalb County, former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones completed a political comeback Tuesday, winning a seat in the Georgia House, where he once served for nearly a decade.