Regina Quick Not Running for Re-election, Three Candidates Enter HD 117 Race

Blake Aued profiled the (surprise!) open seat for State House 117 in Flagpole yesterday, noting three candidates in the race: Doug McKillip, running as a Republican (bet you wondered…); Deborah Gonzalez, running as a Democrat; and Houston Gaines, running as a Republican. It’s been well-known for about a month that Gonzalez was running in the district that has been trending left in recent elections. She announced her campaign kick-off on June 10th, which was profiled in Flagpole, the Athens Banner-Herald, and The Oconee Enterprise. Of course, folks were assuming at the time that Quick would be running for a fourth term.

But hold the phone.

Brian Robinson of Nathan Deal and Lynn Westmoreland fame sent a press release yesterday about Gaines’ solid fundraising numbers. The first sentence:

Republican Houston Gaines reported today that he has raised over $65,000 in under two weeks as he launches his bid for the open state House District 117 seat.

To the campaign, the big news was the amount raised “in under two weeks.” To the rest of us, the big news was “the open state House District 117 seat.” Never fear, Blake has the explanation:

Quick is not running for re-election and signed off on Gaines’ announcement, according to one of his campaign advisors, Brian Robinson, a former spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal.

She is widely rumored to be Deal’s pick to replace the retiring Superior Court Judge David Sweat. If she is appointed, she will have to resign her House seat, and a special election will be held. If not, the primary will be in May 2018, with the general election the following November.

Well, no wonder everyone announced so early.

This means your next state rep from the Athens area will be either the Democrat-turned-Republican who only has campaign cash because he loaned it to himself or one of the two first-time candidates. The new guy, by the way, is in his early 20s and was most recently the University of Georgia’s student government president in 2016. He also ran Nancy Denson’s campaign for mayor of Athens three years ago.

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I thought it would’ve been interesting to see a primary between Regina Quick and Jody Hice.

George Chidi
George Chidi

This district is imminently winnable by a Democrat. The state party needs to get its act together and press this election. Giving up this seat to another Republican, in Athens(!) would be an act of gross political incompetence.

John Pezold
John Pezold

Not to split hairs, but Regina would be running for her fourth term. We came in together as freshmen in 2013. Never have I met a more brilliant mind.


John – Your last sentence will disturb the force under the Dome…Truth be d___d.


Last month I saw Deborah Gonzalez picking John Barrow’s brain at a local coffee shop. Her people have been passing out fans at Athens’ farmers market and she’s spoken informally to two groups that I know of.


The majority of the district’s active registered voters are in Clarke (56% as of the last general election), but the remaining 44% indeed are (combined) in the surrounding GOP enclaves of Barrow, Jackson and Oconee. Trump did as noted only narrowly win the district last time, but in 2014 both Senator Perdue and Governor Deal each carried it by a 10-point margin. The district voted Republican in every statewide contest in 2014, so the question next year would be whether “anti-Trump” is enough to motivate a high Democratic turnout in the Clarke portion of the district? In the 2016 presidential… Read more »