By Jeffrey Albertson/Nov. 12, 2018
While campaigns and pundits debate the merits of a Democratic Party “blue wave” in this week’s midterm elections, the initial election results from Gwinnett County offer a glimpse of a blue wave. Gwinnett County, located in the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta and home to nearly a million people, has long been a bastion of Republican dominance predominantly reinforced by white flight from the city of Atlanta beginning the early 1960s. As a point of reference from the 2012 Presidential election, the county favored then Republican candidate former Governor Mitt Romney 53.76% over then Democratic President Barrack Obama 44.56%. Four years later, during the the 2016 Presidential election, the county favored Democratic candidate and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over now President Donald Trump 50.20% to 44.41%.
The gubernatorial race between now resigned Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and former Democratic Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams has yet to be called. Also, yet to be determined is the U.S House race in Georgia District 7 between four-term Republican incumbent Rob Woodall and Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux. As of 11/11/18 (2:55 pm EST), only 901 votes separate Woodall and Bourdeaux, in a District that Woodall has carried by at least 20% since 2010.
Georgia House of Representatives: Gwinnett County
Prior to Tuesday’s election, of the 16 Georgia House Districts, Republicans carried a majority of 10-6. After the election, Democrats now carry an 11-5 majority. In other words, 5 seats flipped to Democratic control.
Georgia Senate: Gwinnett County
In a similar trend as the House, two Senate seats flipped to Democratic control. Of the seven Senate Districts that encompass Gwinnett County, five are controlled by Democrats.
Gwinnett County Offices
Board of Education
Before the election, the sole Democrat on the Board of Education was Louise Radloff of District 5. She had been a Republican since election to the Board in 1973, but in 2012 changed to the Democratic Party. The District 2 seat, held by Daniel Seckinger will remain in Republican control with the election of Steve Knudsen. The District 4 seat, held by Republican Robert McClure will flip given the election of Democrat Everton Blair, Jr.
Incumbent Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, who has held the position since January 2007, was defeated by Democratic candidate Brian Whiteside.
Board of Commissioners
Two incumbent Republicans on the Board of Commissioners were defeated by Democratic challengers. District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard was defeated by Ben Ku. District 4 Commissioner John Heard was defeated by Marlene Fosque.