State Rep. Simone Bell cruised to victory in her Democratic primary battle against Erica Long for State House District 58. She won with 63 percent, or 2,255 votes, to Long’s 1,312 votes, or 37 percent, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State.
There was a bit of controversy in this race. Shortly before Sine Die this session, Bell got into a spat on the House floor with Ralph Long, her opponent in the 2012 general election. Bell claimed Long threatened that he would run against her again if she did not back out of supporting a Fulton County Commission candidate he was planning on running against.
Bell said she would not back down and on the last day of qualifying, instead of Mr. Long paying the $400 qualifying fee to run for the state legislature, his wife, Erica Long, signed up to challenge Bell. Supporters of Bell said this was nothing but a “personal vendetta” by Mr. Long against her, but Mrs. Long told GA Voice she has always wanted to run for political office and this year was the right time to do so.
“We worked hard as a team as we always do,” Bell told GA Voice as she waited for results at the Georgia Equality election night watch party at Radial Cafe. “I think my record at the Capitol stands on its own. I’ve got a lot more work I want to do. I love my job, I’m good at it, and I want to keep it.”
Bell, who became the first African-American lesbian elected to a state legislature in 2009, faces no Republican opponent in November.
FULTON COUNTY COMMISSION RACE
The Georgia Stonewall Democrats endorsed many of the same candidates as Georgia Equality but the two groups split on support for Commissioner Robb Pitts and Chairman John Eaves for the Fulton County Commission chair post. Eaves eked out a victory over Pitts with 50.39 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Fulton Elections Office. Eaves garnered 22,798 votes to Pitts’ 22,442 votes, or 49.61 percent. In Georgia, a candidate needs 50 percent plus one vote to win.
Lesbian Joan Garner was easily reelected to Fulton’s District 4 seat over challenger Eddie Lee Brewster with 71 percent of the vote.
GEORGIA EQUALITY ENDORSED CANDIDATES
These results are from the unofficial results from the Secretary of State and Fulton Elections Office.
• Alisha Morgan is in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for state School Superintendent with Valarie Wilson. Wilson received 85,574 votes, or 31.94 percent, to Morgan’s 70,707 votes, or 26.39 percent, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State. The runoff will be in July.
- Harold Jones is in a runoff for state Senate District 22 against Corey Johnson.
- State Sen. Nan Orrock holds on to state Senate District 36.
- State Sen. Horcena Tate retains her state Senate District 38 seat.
- State Sen. Gail Davenport retains her District 44 seat.
- Erica Thomas wins the Democratic nomination for State House District 39; she has no opposition in November.
• Openly gay Democrat Bob Gibeling will face a Republican in November but which Republican that will be will be determined in a July runoff between Beth Beskin and John McClosky.
• Lesbian state Rep. Keisha Waites had no opposition Tuesday and has no November opposition.
• State Rep. Valencia Stovall defeats GE endorsed challenger Roberta Abdul-Salaam.
- State Rep. Karla Drenner, the first openly gay person elected to the Georgia General Assembly, had no opposition and has no opposition in November.
- State Rep. Michele Henson easily defeats her challenger and faces none in November.
- State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler coasted to victory and has no November challenger.
• Openly gay Tim Hur was unable to win the Democratic primary against Renita Hamilton for State House District 105.
- State Rep. Pam Dickerson holds on to House District 113 seat.