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Miller rolls past 2 foes in state Senate race

Gainesville businessman to fill seat vacated by Hawkins

POSTED: May 12, 2010 12:23 a.m.

Butch Miller and wife Teresa thank everyone in attendance for their support Tuesday night during his campaign party at the Royal Lakes Country Club clubhouse as votes come in for the state Senate 49th District race.

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Butch Miller swept the polls, crushing two other candidates for a seat in the Georgia Senate in Tuesday’s special election.

Miller, a Republican, received a whopping majority of the votes, collecting nearly 78 percent of the total.

Miller will serve the remaining term of former Sen. Lee Hawkins, who resigned to run for the 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senate District 49 represents all of Hall County and parts of Jackson County.

“I’m very, very pleased,” Miller said. “I’m honored and humbled by the outpouring of support that has come from Hall County. We’ve got strong support throughout the entire district and that was important for us.”

Miller, 52, is an owner and dealer manager of Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville. He lives in Flowery Branch with his wife Teresa and two children.

This was Miller’s first run for office.

Miller said a date has not been set with the Secretary of State yet, but he will be sworn into office some time over the next few days.

“I intend on getting started right away contacting department heads of the state of Georgia to learn how I can best educate myself and inform myself on how I can be of best service to the people of the 49th district of the state of Georgia,” Miller said.

“We’re going to get to work, attack that learning curve now, so that when Jan. 1 rolls around we can hit the ground running.”

Miller will serve out the remainder of Hawkins’ term, which ends Dec. 31. He will face off again against Republican Jimmy Norman in the July 20 primary to seek a full term.

Norman, who received nearly 14 percent of the vote, said he was surprised by the results.

“I’m disappointed,” Norman said. “I’d hoped to do better.

“I’m licking my wounds for a little while until I figure out what to do,” Norman said. “My only question is what do I do, how much do I do. I’m a little stunned by the results tonight, so I’m going to have to think about that. Figure out if I want to double down, or be cautious or what the right move is.”

Norman said no matter what, he plans to stay active in politics.

Libertarian Brandon Givens said though he only received a little more than 8 percent of the vote, he was glad he could offer voters a choice and spread the word about Libertarian ideals.

“Libertarians can generally expect to get 4 percent of the vote,” Givens said. “So we more than doubled that.”

Givens, who has not definitively decided whether or not he will run again in November's general election, said he expects third party and independent candidates to have more of a presence in upcoming elections.

“It’s about getting people involved in their own government and getting people thinking about candidates,” Givens said.

“Right now we have in Georgia almost a one party system. Voting party ticket is not good for democracy. What’s good for democracy is learning about the issues and learning about the candidates. When I ran I helped bring that to the forefront, more people are paying attention.”


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