A Democrat Enters the Race for SD-6

“Medium beige head atop hazy copper body.” That’s how a reviewer on RateBeer.com described the Five Seasons Westside’s Hunter Hill IPA, which boasts a respectable 3.5 out of 5.0 rating. Senator Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) is a friend to Georgia’s beer industry, and represents Senate District 6. SD-6 spans the top end of I-285, and includes most of Smyrna, Vinings, north Buckhead, and Sandy Springs.

SD-6 was represented by Doug Stoner, a Democrat, until Hill unseated him in 2012 with 53% of the vote (Stoner was elected to the Smyrna City Council in November 2015 and began representing Smyrna’s Ward 6 earlier this month). Smyrna leans Democrat – typically, by around 50-55% – so it’s not surprising that another Democrat from Smyrna is interested in the seat, and this morning Jaha Howard announced his candidacy. Howard is a pediatric dentist with a busy practice in Vinings, and he is perhaps best known in the community for launching the Smyrna Wave of Excellence, a grassroots Facebook group that has played a large part in reinvigorating participation and engagement between the community and Smyrna’s public schools. The group also dabbled its toes in politics during the school board election for the Cobb County School District’s Post 2 in 2014 when Susan Thayer, who eventually won the seat, defeated incumbent Tim Stultz in the primary.

It will be interesting to see how this race evolves. Hill can’t fundraise during the session, but that won’t be a problem after late March, when the Legislature is predicted to adjourn. Hill supported the “Guns Everywhere” bill in 2014 despite lackluster support for the measure from the Republican base in his district, but beer makes for a better talking point than bullets, and the Fulton part of SD-6 leans around 60-65% Republican.

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