Democrat Dawn Johnson has lost to Republican Frank Ginn for the District 47 state Senate seat in the Nov. 6 general election.
With 75 percent of precincts reported, Johnson lost the district with 32.09 percent of the vote, while Ginn won with 67.91 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's website. 66,340 total ballots were cast.
Johnson and candidate Jonathan Wallace for state House District 119 hosted a joint watch party at The Glass Building on South Milledge Avenue. The night began with more than 100 in attendance but dwindled to about 40 when the final results came out.
Anticipating her loss, Johnson addressed attendees at 9 p.m. and said, “We didn’t lose all these seats in one night. We won’t win them back in one night. But we have got the groundwork in place and we realize the areas we need to work on.”
Johnson said she was proud that District 47 had a Democratic challenger against the Republican incumbent.
“District 47 had a choice on the ballot, and for the first time in the history of Georgia that choice wasn’t a man,” Johnson said to cheers from the crowd.
Johnson acknowledged her campaign’s challenges but was thankful to her supporters.
“We knew this was an uphill battle with a pretty gerrymandered district, but we got votes. So thank you all for being a part,” Johnson said.
Attendees were discouraged but remain hopeful.
Carina McGeehin, who worked on the Johnson campaign, said, “I’m not feeling too good right now, but I will be soon enough.”
State Senate District 47 has been held by Ginn since 2010. Ginn has run uncontested for the district since 2012.
A new comer to politics, Johnson previously worked as a deputy sheriff and as a director of a program that helps those with developmental disabilities become employed.
This year, Johnson ran a campaign for District 47, which includes parts of Athens-Clarke County, Madison County, Jackson County and Barrow County, focused on expanding Medicaid, creating a living wage for working Georgians, increasing funding and lowering academic standards for HOPE and investing in a “clean energy economy.”
Ginn did not host his own watch party but instead attended Republican Houston Gaines’ party, who is in a tight race for the state House District 117 seat.