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State Sen. Frank Ginn (Rep., Ga) attends an election night party in 2018. Ginn defeated Dawn Johnson to win reelection in District 47. (Photo/Sidhartha C. Wakade, wakade98@gmail.com)

Voters in Georgia Senate District 47 reelected Frank Ginn by a wide margin in Tuesday’s election. The Republican received just under 66% of the vote, about half a percentage point less than his 2018 total. 

Ginn defeated Democrat Dawn Johnson, who also ran in 2018. Results are currently unofficial since they might not include all absentee or provisional ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s website. 

First elected to the state Senate 10 years ago, Ginn served as chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism committee during the 2019-20 legislative session. He believes in reducing the size of government to empower Georgia taxpayers, according to his campaign website. 

Republicans retained their majority in both chambers of the General Assembly. They want to make sure that the state budget benefits the people of Georgia, Ginn said. 

“With the leadership of our good Governor Brian Kemp, we can continue to keep Georgia on the right path as an excellent place to live, raise a family and have a good job,” Ginn said in a phone interview. 

Half of the Georgia government’s tax revenue goes toward education, but lawmakers cut $950 million in K-12 school funding in June due to revenue shortfalls associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Both Ginn and Johnson’s campaigns focused partly on education. Johnson advocated for universal Pre-K, free technical college and keeping K-12 school control on the local level. 

The results of Tuesday’s election weren’t a surprise, Johnson said. Her goal was to continue building up Democrats in Georgia. The party gains voters, she said, by ensuring Republicans aren’t unopposed and by talking to potential voters about issues like increasing access to healthcare. 

After the loss, Johnson said she has been in contact with the Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock campaigns, two Democrats facing runoffs in the U.S. Senate.  

“We didn’t go into 2020 thinking that we could flip District 47,” Johnson said. “It’s been a long time. There hasn’t been a [Democrat] candidate before me since 2012. So we know that we’re going to have to do the work and build up county parties in the rural areas and get people used to voting for Democrats.” 

District 47 encompasses a small portion of Clarke County along with Republican-leaning Barrow, Jackson and Madison Counties. Clarke County voters favored Johnson over Ginn by about 39%. 

Ginn said he will serve all of his constituents and will work across the aisle in the state senate.  

“We live in the best state in the best country in the world,” Ginn said. “As long as we’re continuing to improve things, I’m proud that the citizens of Georgia and especially those in the 47th district offer me the chance to do that.”