Voters in three of Oconee County’s 13 precincts likely will be participating in a special election on Nov. 7 to help determine who replaces Regina Quick in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday announced the appointment of Quick as Superior Court Judge of the Western Judicial Circuit, making it necessary for her to resign as representative of the 117th House District.
Rep. Chuck Williams from the 119th District is being considered for appointment as director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Williams And Decision
Williams told me tonight (Thursday) that he did not know when Gov. Deal will make the decision on appointment of the head of the Forestry Commission.
|Quick Statehouse Picture|
Williams said he did not seek out the position but went forward with the application process when encouraged to do so.
Williams did say he did not expect the decision to be made as late as after the November elections.
The 119th District is divided roughly equally between Oconee and Clarke counties. Williams lives in southern Oconee County.
The election calendar on the Georgia Secretary of State web site lists Sept. 19 and Nov. 7 as possible special election dates.
Quick’s resignation has to be received by the governor’s office, and Deal will have to call a special election to fill her spot, making the Sept. 19 date unworkable.
The announcement from the governor’s office did say that Quick’s appointment will take effect on swearing in.
Quick is replacing Superior Court Judge David Sweat, who was re-elected in 2014.
Superior Court judges are elected on a nonpartisan basis in circuitwide elections for four-year terms, meaning Quick will be up for election in 2018.
The 117th House District is made up of three precincts in Oconee County, Athens Academy, Malcom Bridge and Bogart, as well as parts of Barrow, Jackson and Clarke counties.
Clarke County is the dominant part of the district, followed by Oconee. Quick is an Athens attorney.
Three candidates filed early for the 117th election, anticipating Quick’s appointment to the Superior Court.
Democrat Deborah Gonzalez and Republicans Houston Gaines and Douglas McKillip all have qualified and begun raising money for the campaign.
The three–and any other candidates who qualify--would run against each other in a special election in November. If none of the candidates gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff would be held on Dec. 5
Gaines News Release
Gaines issued a news release this afternoon congratulating Quick on her appointment and touting his support from two prominent Oconee County elected officials.
Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell is quoted as saying: “Houston Gaines is a lifelong Republican whose conservative values don’t shift with the political winds. He knows the priorities of Oconee County and will be a tireless advocate for lower taxes and less spending. I look forward to working with him as our next state representative.”
Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry is quoted as saying: “Like his grandfather, Judge Gaines, Houston is someone we can trust representing our community and someone we can be proud to call our State Representative. He will get things done in Atlanta and be someone who will listen to all of us.”
Gaines, the grandson of the late Superior Court Judge Joseph Gaines, is a 2017 graduate of the University of Georgia now working as a consultant for Lighthouse Counsel, a nonprofit consulting firm.
Gaines says he has raised over $110,000 for his campaign.
Gonzalez is an Athens attorney, and McKillip is an attorney who lives in Oconee County.