Republican Kay Kirkpatrick cruised to a win Tuesday night against Democrat Christine Triebsch, according to unofficial results in a runoff to represent parts of Cobb and Fulton counties in the state Senate.
The outcome was cheered by Republicans, who hope Kirkpatrick's success foreshadows a win for GOP congressional candidate Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff next month in a hotly contested 6th District runoff election.
Democrats, meanwhile, applauded Triebsch’s upstart campaign, which came almost nine years after the party had last fielded a candidate for the state Senate District 32 seat.
Kirkpatrick garnered about 57 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. Triebsch took about 43 percent. Results are expected to be certified next week.
While the seat has been held by a Republican since 1995, the race had appeared surprisingly competitive after Triebsch topped an eight-candidate field in an April 18 special election. The finish seemed to surprise even Triebsch, who led the field last month with 24.2 percent of the vote, narrowly edging Kirkpatrick, who came in at 21.1 percent.
Triebsch ran after being deeply affected by the presidential election, tapping into the grassroots energy among liberals who have opposed President Donald Trump.
Kirkpatrick ran a far more traditional campaign, steering clear of Trump and instead focusing on issues such as the Fair Tax and the repeal and replacement of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Longtime state Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, who held the seat since 2005, resigned earlier this year to run for Congress. He came in fourth in the 6th District vote on April 18, missing the June 20 runoff.