Incumbent Republican Bill Cowsert won the State Senate District 46 election on Tuesday with 60.95% percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State. Cowsert defeated Democratic challenger Zachary Perry, a University of Georgia law student, and will take on an eighth term in the Georgia General Assembly.
Cowsert has served as the senator for District 46 for 14 years, which is the entirety of his political career. Cowsert won the election with support from Walton and Oconee counties, where he earned over 70% of the vote in each.
Cowsert has governed “fiscally conservative” during his tenure, he told The Red & Black in an interview before the election. Two of his primary concerns in office have been economic development and supporting UGA.
Perry, in his first election as a candidate, earned 67.44% of the vote in Athens-Clarke County, a heavily Democratic county in the district.
“While I’m somewhat disappointed in the results, I’m still very happy in the fact I was able to put some of my ideas out there, and potentially move the needle, if you will, on progress Georgia needs to address,” Perry said.
The primary issue Perry ran on that he believes needs to be addressed is the affordable housing crisis in Athens, he said. Perry would love to stay in Athens, where he feels at home, and be a part of the political process even if it doesn’t mean running for political office in the near future, he said.