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 GeorgiaPol.com 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.