Republicans Succeed in Local Races
Clarke County voters helped decide some area races at the statewide level. Incumbent Senator Bill Cowsert defeated Democrat Marisue Hilliard and Senator Frank Ginn held on to his seat by beating back a challenge from Democrat Dawn Johnson. Ginn said he’s looking forward to continuing his efforts at the capitol.
“I think we’ve got a tremendous group of folks that I serve with down at the Capitol,” Ginn said. “I want to continue that moving forward.”
Both Athens-area Democrats who won special elections in 2017 were defeated by their Republican challengers. Deborah Gonzalez in District 117 lost to Houston Gaines and Representative Jonathan Wallace lost his seat in District 119 to Marcus Wiedower. Wiedower says his next step is to learn everything he can about his new position at the State Capitol.
“Obviously, I’d be a freshman representative. The first thing I’m going to have to do is go down there and really earn the respect of everybody in the House,” Wiedower stated.
By a wide margin, Athenians approved the so-called brunch bill, which will allow earlier sales of alcohol by the drink. That means restaurants can sell alcohol at 11 o’ clock instead of 12:30 pm. The measure does not affect sales at retail stores, which must still wait until 12:30.