Gay-friendly Democrat and political newcomer Elena Parent knocked off incumbent Jill Chambers in a close battle for District 81 in the Georgia State House. The margin of difference was less than 300 votes.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting this morning in District 81, Parent held on to victory with 3,315 votes, or 52 percent,  to Chambers' 3,039 votes, or 48 percent, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State.

Parent gave a victory speech at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference center at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, although some news outlets at the time were calling the race too close to call. The results this morning show Parent held on for the victory.

UPDATED: Democrat newcomer Elena Parent defeats gay-friendly GOP Jill Chambers in state House

Parent said she was actually excited about working under a Nathan Deal administration.

“[I] believe Nathan Deal is dangerous on GLBT issues and I’m excited to have a voice to speak out against his policies,” she said election night.

Chambers had gained strong LGBT support in the past specifically for her strong stance in the legislature as the only Republican to vote against the 2004 state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Fears of a possible proposed anti-gay adoption bill coming up in the legislature this year especially under a Nathan Deal administration had both candidates promising to oppose any support for such a policy.

“That wouldn’t put me in a difficult spot at all,” Chambers said. “I think anyone who wants to provide a loving home to a child in need they should be able to…. I don’t really see the need to have that debate.”

Parent said being a Democrat she could be a stronger voice of dissent against an anti-gay adoption bill.

“I would be firmly against any legislation that would restrict efforts to restrict gay adoption,” Parent said. She went on to explain that she is part of a new class of young Democrats who work together and have similar beliefs.

“[Chambers] would have to seek some sort of pass or exemption, and all she could do at best is vote against and I could be a strong voice against it,” Parent said.

On her Facebook page late last night, Parent wrote, “WE DID IT!”

Chambers was endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans while Parent was endorsed by the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats.

Chambers was first elected to her seat in 2002.


— Matt Schafer contributed