Emory Dunahoo Jr. will be the man to follow in the footsteps of his younger brother-in-law, James Mills.
Dunahoo snagged nearly 63 percent of the votes cast in a runoff election Tuesday against former Hall County Commissioner Bobby Banks.
He'll represent South Hall in the state House next year, replacing Mills, an 18-year representative who resigned from the seat in October to take a job on Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Standing before a group of his supporters gathered Tuesday night at the Mulberry Creek Community Center in South Hall, Dunahoo thanked God, his wife, Elaine, and his friends for praying for him throughout the campaign.
"We knew who was in control and that he was going to work it for good," Dunahoo said.
In a speech that centered on his Christian faith, Dunahoo had his wife read a passage from the couple's morning devotion that encouraged a focus on God when "the way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty" and asked his supporters for their continued prayers as he moves on to the Capitol.
Banks declined comment after the votes were tallied Tuesday.
Tuesday's election is the second runoff Banks has lost in as many years.
Last year, Banks was defeated as an incumbent candidate in a runoff against Craig Lutz for the Republican nomination in an election to the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
This year, Banks came in second in the November special election for the House seat. He and Dunahoo were on the ballot with five other men, but neither received the majority vote required to nab the seat.
Tuesday, Banks fell short of the House seat with 931 votes, or 37.1 percent.
Despite the South Hall seat being open for the first time in 18 years, voters' interest in the election was never remarkable; barely 14 percent of the nearly 36,000 eligible voters showed up in the first round of the election.
And their interest waned even more for the runoff. Some 7 percent showed up Tuesday to make the final decision.
Both Banks and Dunahoo have a background in the trucking industry. Banks and his wife own CBT Trucking in Oakwood; Dunahoo was a former partner in K & D Transportation in Oakwood.
Today, Dunahoo is partly involved in poultry sales.
He is an avid outdoorsman, having helped organize bass tournaments for Challenged Child and Friends and the planning of JAKES day at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center for the last decade.
Dunahoo and his wife have two daughters, a son and two grandchildren.