Wins for Democrats and women make a small dent in Georgia Legislature’s majorities


Though Democrats and women made gains in the Georgia General Assembly after Tuesday’s runoffs, they remain significant minorities at the Capitol.

The Georgia House and Senate will remain dominated by Republicans and men during the 2018 legislative session, even after Democrats and women flipped three seats each.

As a result of this year’s special elections, the state’s legislative bodies will be less than two-thirds Republican and almost three-quarters men when the annual lawmaking session begins Jan. 8.

Democrats broke Republicans’ two-thirds supermajority in the state Senate with Jen Jordan’s win in Tuesday’s runoff against Jana Howard, also a Democrat. A party with a supermajority can pass proposed constitutional amendments without any votes from the minority party. Jordan will replace former Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, who resigned to run for governor. 

The Senate will have 37 Republicans and 19 Democrats for next year’s legislative session — a 66 percent to 34 percent split.

Democrats also picked up two seats in the House during last month’s elections. Democrat Deborah Gonzalez replaces former Rep. Regina Quick, R-Athens, who was appointed to a judgeship, and Democrat Jonathan Wallace will take over for former Rep. Chuck Williams, R-Watkinsville, who was appointed to lead the Georgia Forestry Commission.

When the House convenes in January, it will be run by a 64 percent Republican majority, with 116 Republican and 64 Democratic representatives.

Women are even more outnumbered than Democrats.

While women make up 51 percent of Georgia’s population, they’re only 27 percent of the state Legislature.

Voters increased the number of women in the state Senate to 12 of the chamber’s 56 members; the House remained unchanged with 51 women of 180 members.

Three more women will be in the Senate since last legislative session: Nikema Williams, a Democrat who won a runoff Tuesday for Sen. Vincent Fort’s former Atlanta seat after he ran for mayor; Kay Kirkpatrick, a Republican who won election in May for Sen. Judson Hill’s former Marietta seat; and Jordan.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Legislature

Wins for Democrats and women make a small dent in Georgia Legislature’s majorities
Wins for Democrats and women make a small dent in Georgia Legislature’s majorities

Though Democrats and women made gains in the Georgia General Assembly after Tuesday’s runoffs, they remain significant minorities at the Capitol. The Georgia House and Senate will remain dominated by Republicans and men during the 2018 legislative session, even after Democrats and women flipped three seats each. As a result of this...
How did your Cobb neighbors vote in the 6th District runoff election?
How did your Cobb neighbors vote in the 6th District runoff election?

Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in the 6th Congressional District race Tuesday night, becoming Georgia’s first female Republican member of the U.S. House. What would usually be a tame special election in an historically red section of the Atlanta suburbs brought obscene amounts of national attention and dollars...
Hey, 6th District voters: Did the rain stop you from voting today? 
Hey, 6th District voters: Did the rain stop you from voting today? 

Now that most of the polls have closed in the hotly contested 6th Congressional District runoff, election officials will play the waiting game to see if heavy metro-wide showers and flooding hampered voter turnout.  Voters seeking to elect either Democrat Jon Ossoff or Republican Karen Handel in this special election to replace...
Trump PAC misrepresents scene from Obama book to get 6th District blacks to vote Republican
Trump PAC misrepresents scene from Obama book to get 6th District blacks to vote Republican

In the eighth chapter of his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," former president Barack Obama describes a barbershop haircut he got in Chicago in the 1980s, just days after he moved to the city for his new job as a community organizer. Obama's barber, named Smitty, speaks in the passage of the racial and political tension in Chicago before...
Early voting for Senate District 32 race begins May 6 in Sandy Springs
Early voting for Senate District 32 race begins May 6 in Sandy Springs

Voters in north Fulton County will be able to cast ballots as early as May 6 for the runoff election to fill Judson Hill’s state Senate seat. The North Fulton Service Center at 7741 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs will be home to the lone early voting polling place for the District 32 election. Early voting will be available Saturday, May 6 through...
More Stories