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Outgoing state representative challenges narrow loss
Dan Gasaway 2018.jpg
Dan Gasaway

State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, is challenging his 2-vote loss after a recount by Banks, Habersham and Stephens counties earlier this week.

After the May primary, a judge ordered a redo of the election because some voters had been assigned to the wrong district. The Dec. 4 special primary between Gasaway and fellow Republican Chris Erwin yielded 7,040 ballots, with Erwin taking the seat by two votes. Tuesday’s recount found those same results.

No Democrats ran for the seat, making Erwin the overall winner.

On Wednesday, Gasaway filed a petition in Banks County challenging the Habersham, Banks and Stephen counties’ elections boards, along with Erwin.

Banks County Sheriff Carlton Speed issued a statement to the lawsuit on Thursday, saying he and his family were offended by allegations in the petition that accuse them of voting illegally.

“Yesterday, Mr. Dan Gasaway filed a frivolous lawsuit stating that my family and I live in another county and voted illegally in Banks County,” Speed, a second-term sheriff said. “The land and house that we reside in and own is located solely in Banks County.”

Google Maps incorrectly lists his home as being outside of Banks, but official tax documents show that he lives in Banks, Speed said.

“My family and I live, attend church, go to school, own a chicken farm and work in Banks County. … Speaking on behalf of my wife and children, we find it insulting and humiliating that Mr. Gasaway would attack our family and seek my job at the holidays for a political position,” Speed said.

In a Facebook post, Erwin expressed his support for Speed in the wake of the petition.

“It is unfortunate that we have to go through this,” Erwin’s post reads.

Gasaway was first sworn in to the House in 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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