The redistricting maps adopted in 2011 by Georgia Republicans handed them 124 seats and reduced Democrats to 56, giving them a super-majority on paper and Republican-leaning districts across the board. The Georgia House Democratic Caucus waged campaigns across the state to defeat four Republican contenders and restore the Caucus to 60 seats. Rep. Rusty Kidd is an Independent who does not caucus with either side, but represents Baldwin County that voted for President Barack Obama. The final tally was 119 to 60 to 1, sufficient to stop the GOP from claiming 120 seats and a true super-majority. In addition, Democrats came within 205 votes of unseating Rep. Mike Cheokas, an entrenched Republican incumbent who switched parties in 2010 and received a Republican-drawn seat in exchange. The House Democrats only lost the remaining contests by slim margins.
We ran smart, intense ground campaigns with targeted communications and it worked. With a small fraction of the money that the GOP had, Georgia House Democrats demonstrated a clear path to picking up more seats in upcoming elections. That kind of momentum can convert demographic changes into real gains for Democrats over the next few cycles.
In Rockdale County, Democrats won several seats, and a number of South Georgia counties went blue. Last night’s victories for President Obama and the Georgia House show that Democrats in Georgia are moving forward.
Representative Stacey Abrams
House Minority Leader, Georgia General Assembly