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Rogers wins House District 10; runoff set for Senate District 50
Austin and Wilkinson face each other in runoff for 50th
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Former Rep. Rick Austin and John Wilkinson face each other a Dec. 6 runoff for Senate District 50.

Meanwhile Terry Rogers won the race to fill an empty seat in state House District 10.

The special elections were necessary after Sen. Jim Butterworth, R-Cornelia, left the Gold Dome for a National Guard post, and Austin left the House to run for Butterworth's Senate seat.

Senate District 50 includes Towns, Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Banks, Franklin and Hart counties. House District 10 includes Habersham County and a portion of White.

After taking 43 percent of the vote in a five-candidate race that also included Mary Beth Focer, David Strickland and Curtis Burger, Austin said he is optimistic about the runoff.

"We're pleased where we are," Austin said after the results. "It's very difficult to win an election with five people in the race without a runoff."

Messages left for Wilkinson were not returned Tuesday night.

Rogers won the House race by a wide margin, beating out Bruce Harkness Sr. and Lori Duke Jones.

"We're just overwhelmed," Rogers said. "When you go into a race and there's two very good opponents, for us to come out overall close to 61 percent of the total vote, we're pleased, happy and ready to go to work."

After being sworn in, Rogers said he's going to have to learn quickly as the session starts in January.

"That's my first thing is to gather as much information as I can and be ready to go to work," he said.

Rogers said his key issue while in office is to create jobs and focus on economic development in his district.

"We have to do everything we can to reduce regulations and make certain we keep the tax structures low and let the free enterprise system work," he said.