The Nov. 6 election saw two seats flip Democratic, and incumbent state Rep. Beth Beskin get ousted on the same ballot where her tax relief question won approval.

Democrats flip two Buckhead seats

Democrat Betsy Holland has ousted Republican incumbent Beth Beskin in the local House District 54 seat by a razor-thin margin, according to unofficial results. And the open House District 40 seat that was previously held by a Republican has been won by a Democrat.
Other incumbents, like Democratic Sen. Jen Jordan and Republican Rep. Deb Silcox, held onto their seats in the Nov. 6 election.

Holland won 51.64 percent of the vote, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

“I’m humbled and honored by the results of the election, and I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues at the Capitol to build a better Georgia for future generations,” Holland said in an email. “This was a true grassroots campaign that brought together diverse people in our community, and I embrace the opportunity to represent everyone’s voices in our district.”

Beskin won the seat in 2014. Holland is the director of culture and engagement at Turner Broadcasting System.

Buckhead’s House District 40 is flipping to Democratic, with Erick Allen set to replace retiring Republican incumbent Rich Golick after defeating opponent Matt Bentley with 54.35 percent of the vote.

State House District 52

Republican incumbent Rep. Deborah Silcox held onto her seat, defeating Democratic challenger Shea Roberts.
Silcox was first elected to the seat in 2016, replacing longtime Republican Rep. Joe Wilkinson, who retired.

State Senate District 6

Democratic incumbent Jen Jordan beat Republican challenger Leah Aldridge with 57.97 percent of the vote.

It was a partial rematch of last year’s special election, where Jordan’s win switch the seat from a longtime Republican base to Democratic, and Aldridge was among five Republicans who were winnowed out before a runoff.

Property tax relief measures

Voters overwhelming approved a property tax exemption for the Atlanta Public Schools portion of the tax bill.

This legislation, sponsored Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat who represents part of Buckhead, exempts residents from paying taxes to the school district on $50,000 of their property value, but the first $10,000 would remain taxable. The current exemption is $30,000.

Atlanta Public Schools, which supported its passage, estimates it would cost the school district up to $25 million per year. It expires in 2021.

Voters statewide approved a city of Atlanta homestead exemption. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Buckhead), creates a new homestead exemption that caps annual property tax increases at 2.6 percent for the city of Atlanta portion of the tax bill.

Although it only applies to residents in the city of Atlanta, the measure was voted on statewide and Atlanta was not named in the ballot text.

Both pieces of legislation were drafted after Fulton County residents saw sharp increases in property assessments last year.

Sunday-morning alcohol sales

Atlanta voters overwhelming approved a measure that will allow alcohol sales in restaurants on Sundays starting at 11 a.m. rather than the current 12:30 p.m.

The question received over 70 percent of votes for support, according to unofficial vote counts.

The Brunch Bill legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven/Sandy Springs).

11th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, the Republican incumbent in the 11th Congressional District, will retain his seat after defeating Democratic challenger Flynn Broady Jr. with about 63 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

The district includes part of Buckhead.

–John Ruch and Evelyn Andrews

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.