Two legislative elections appear headed to runoffs

[private]Special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Georgia House of Representatives will be settled in July 14 runoffs after Tuesday’s balloting failed to produce a majority winner in either district.

Sheri Smallwood Gilligan, a Lanier Technical College instructor, came close to securing an outright victory in Forsyth County’s House District 24 election as she garnered 49.97 percent of the votes against three other candidates.

If Gilligan had received just two more votes on Tuesday, she would have won the race to replace Mark Hamilton without a runoff.

Her runoff opponent will be attorney David Van Sant, who attracted 24.55 percent of the vote and finished ahead of another lawyer, Ethan Underwood, who had 20.69 percent. Will Kremer finished fourth with less than 5 percent support in a field of Republican candidates.

In Atlanta’s House District 55, where Tyrone Brooks Sr. stepped down after 35 years in the legislature, attorney Shelitha Robertson will be in the runoff against retired educator Marie Metze. They are both Democrats.

Robertson pulled 851 votes (30.76 percent of the total) on Tuesday, just 10 votes ahead of Metze, who finished second with 841 votes (30.39 percent).

Attorney Raghu Raju, project manager Alysia Brown, business owner Michael Fitzgerald, and interior designer John Franklin Guest Jr. finished out of the running.

Tyrone Brooks Jr. had been the early favorite to win his father’s legislative seat, but he was knocked off the ballot the day before the election because he had not been a legal resident of the district for at least a year.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: House District 24 , House District 55 , special elections