As Jon Richards summarized earlier, Janice Frey Van Ness, a Republican, defeated Tonya Anderson, a Democrat and a House member who resigned her seat to run for the Senate seat. The special election was necessitated by the resignation of Ron Ramsey, who was appointed to the judiciary by Governor Deal.
Why is this so surprising? Because this district goes for Dems 75/25. Ramsey got 80% of the vote the last time he was opposed. It has a BVAP of 67%. This is not a race Democrats should lose.
But lose they did. Here’s a picture of the winner with a horse:
This victory will be short-lived for Republicans, but its lessons for Democrats shouldn’t be. Special elections are low turnout and they require real campaigns even in cases where the psychodemographics imply a cakewalk. The campaign disclosures will be enlightening to see how these candidates spent their money, but the early lesson is clear: you can’t just show up.
Update: Anderson was the former Mayor of Lithonia and took only 68 votes from that precinct. That says it all right there.