Republican Shelly Echols defeated Democrat Jody Cooley by a huge margin in a race for the Georgia Senate District 49 seat. The post was left open when Butch Miller, who has served in the Senate since 2010, decided to run instead for lieutenant governor.
Who is she: Echols, a business owner, has served as Hall County District 3 commissioner since 2019.
How she reacted: “I’m excited We’ve put a lot of hard work into this. Tonight’s conclusion is what we hoped for.” She went on to thank her family “for doing this with me” and Hall County voters “who showed up and showed out. It’s quite the honor to have the support of the district.”
Senate District 49, as of 9:45 p.m. with 90% of precincts reporting
- Shelly Echols 76%
- Jody Cooley 24%
On the issues: She has said she believes that surplus budget money should be returned to taxpayers. I don’t think we really need to expand our spending because the surplus won’t always be there.” Also, in education, “anything we can do to help our teachers out, I’m always in favor of doing that.”
What’s next: Echols’ first term begins Jan. 1.