After a five-way special election on Jan. 3, two Republicans will compete later this month for the Georgia House District 7 seat formerly held by the late Rep. David Ralston.
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Sheree Ralston, his widow, has gotten a projected 45.02% or 3,582 of 7,956 votes, according to updated results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
Opponent and fellow Fannin County Development Authority member Johnny Chastain has gotten 39.28% or a projected 3,125 votes.
A special election runoff will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, since neither of the leading candidates won more than 50 percent of the vote.
District 7 covers northwestern Dawson and all of Fannin and Gilmer counties.
On Wednesday, the Dawson County Board of Elections and Registration posted a voting schedule for the runoff.
Advance voting for western precinct voters only will take place from Monday, Jan. 23 until Friday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Board of Elections office. The office is located at 96 Academy Avenue in Dawsonville.
Election Day voting will take place Jan. 31 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fire Station 6, located at 2142 Hubbard Road.
The other candidates have gotten the following vote percentages so far:
Justin Heitman: 7.42%
Brian K. Pritchard: 6.16%
Richie Stone: 2.12%
Overall, the voter participation rate for all three counties together was 17.52%.
“To the voters of the 7th District: Thank you for your faith in me. Tomorrow, the clock starts over, and we are hitting the ground running,” Sheree Ralston said in a Tuesday night Facebook post.
“The special election runoff is January 31, and we are going to bring our conservative message and mountain values to every voter in the district.”
In a post on his campaign’s Facebook page, Chastain said he was “humbled to say the least.”
“Nearly 8,000 voted, and we came in a close second to someone who we were told deserved the seat. Less than 400 votes separated us tonight. Now we are in a 28 day sprint, and I need all hands on deck.”
DCN will continue to follow the special election for the Ga. District 7 seat.