March 3, 2015 - Atlanta - Rep. Jan Jones (left), R - Milton, confers with Rep. Paulette Rakestraw, R-Hiram, as session gets underway. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres/
Photo: Bob Andres/

Georgia Runoffs 2018: State House election results

The only incumbent member of the Georgia House in a runoff, state Rep. Paulette Rakestraw, lost re-election Tuesday.

Rakestraw, a Republican from Hiram, is the ninth incumbent booted from the Georgia General Assembly so far this year. Eight legislators previously lost their primary elections in May.

Rakestraw was defeated by Joseph Gullett, the former chairman of the Paulding County Republican Party. Gullett will face Democrat Alison Feliciano, the CEO of a company that helps people repair their credit, in the November general election.

The district has changed hands several times in recent years. 

House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, resigned in 2009 after confessing to an affair with a lobbyist, and he was replaced in a 2010 special election by Daniel Stout, a Republican whose background included an affair with his mother-in-law. Rakestraw defeated Stout in a regular primary election later that year.

Among other state House runoffs:

  • Ginny Ehrhart beat Thomas Gray to replace Ehrhart’s husband, Earl, a Republican who is retiring from the Powder Springs seat. She’ll face Democrat Jen Slipakoff in the general election.
  • Democrat El-Mahdi Holly defeated Tarji Leonard Dunn in the runoff for a Henry County seat. He’ll challenge incumbent state Rep. Geoff Cauble, R-Locust Grove, in November.
  • In a Macon district, Republican Dale Washburn bested Gary Bechtel in the runoff to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon. Washburn doesn’t have an opponent in November.
  • Jessica Walden beat Gregory D. Odoms in the Democratic primary runoff for an open Bleckley County seat. State Rep. Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch, is retiring from the Legislature. Waldon will be opposed by Republican Danny Mathis in the general election.
  • Bonnie Rich was victorious against Kipper Tabb in a Republican runoff for a Duluth-area district, a seat currently held by outgoing state Rep. Brooks Coleman. Rich faces Democrat Aisha Yaqoob in November.
  • In another Gwinnett County district, Paula Hastings defeated Zach Procter in a race to succeed state Rep. Buzz Brockway, a Republican from Lawrenceville who ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state. Hastings will be challenged by Democrat Gregg Kennard in the general election.
  • Republican Donna Sheldon won against Robin Mauck in another Gwinnett district, hoping to fill the seat left open by retiring state Rep. Joyce Chandler, also a Republican. Sheldon faces Democrat Donna McLeod in November.

— Staff writer Jim Galloway contributed to this article.

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