Williams wins House race in Athens; Lucas in a runoff in Macon

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Watkinsville banker Chuck Williams was an easy winner over his runoff opponent, Democratic Party activist Dan Matthews, in a Tuesday special election to replace former House member Hank Huckaby.

Williams pulled 62.4 percent of the vote to defeat Matthews by a margin of 3,149-1,897 votes in the heavily Republican district that encompasses Oconee and portions of Clarke, Morgan and Oglethorpe counties.

Huckaby resigned from the House more than two months ago after he was appointed chancellor of the University System by the Board of Regents. Williams will serve the remainder of Huckaby’s two-year term in the General Assembly.

In Macon, a state Senate race will be decided by a runoff between two Democratic candidates: Miriam Paris, the former city council president, and longtime Georgia House member David Lucas.

With all precincts reporting, Paris had 45 percent of the vote to 39 percent for Lucas. Bobby Gale, the lone Republican in the race, drew the remaining 16 percent of the vote to force an Aug. 16 runoff election.

The Senate seat was vacated last month by Robert Brown, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Macon.

Lucas’ former House seat appears to have been captured by Macon optometrist James Beverly, who drew more than 65 percent of the vote against chiropractor Anissa Jones. Beverly and Jones are both Democrats.

In the Macon mayor’s race, incumbent Mayor Robert Reichert was running ahead of a crowded field in the Democratic primary but appeared to have been forced into a runoff with former mayor Jack Ellis.

Reichert, an attorney and former legislator, had 48 percent of the vote with nearly all the precincts reporting. Ellis had 38 percent of the vote, Brown had 9 percent of the vote and Paul Bronson was at 5 percent.

Whoever wins the Democratic runoff will be heavily favored to win the general election in November.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Chuck Williams , David Lucas , Hank Huckaby , Macon mayor's race , Miriam Paris , Robert Brown , Robert Reichert , special elections