Thursday March 30th, 2023 4:41PM

Special election: Chastain wins House District 7, District 119 race heads to runoff

By Austin Eller News Director

Johnny Chastain defeated Sheree Ralston Tuesday in a runoff for Georgia House District 7, and the race to replace Danny Rampey in Barrow County's Georgia House District 119 heads to a runoff.

Chastain, a Blue Ridge banker, defeated Ralston, the widow of late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, for the seat. Both are Republicans. Georgia House District 7 covers Fannin and Gilmer counties as well as a portion of Dawson County. 

With all precincts reporting, Georgia's Secretary of State reported Chastain won 52.76% of the vote while Ralston won 47.24%. 

The seat was left unfilled after David Ralston died on Nov. 16 at 68, less than two weeks after he announced he was stepping down due to health concerns.

Meanwhile, the special election for Barrow County's Georgia House District 119 seat will head to a February 28 runoff after all seven candidates failed to secure the needed 50% majority.

Republican Holt Persinger acquired the most votes at 27.68%, while Republican Charlie Chase acquired the second-most votes at 25.34%. Voters will find Persinger and Chase on the ballot in the February runoff.

This comes after the resignation of Danny Rampey, who was elected to the seat in November 2022. Rampey was arrested on Dec. 15, 2022, on burglary and drug charges. The Barrow County Sheriff's Office said Rampey allegedly burglarized a residence on the Magnolia Estates of Winder Assisted Living Center's campus and took narcotics from the unit. Rampey was a manager at the facility.

Rampey announced he would withdraw from office at the beginning of the year before stepping into the role. 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Elections, Special Election, Voting, Election, Georgia House of Representatives, House District 119, Georgia House District 119, Georgia House District 7, House District 7
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