Experience was the theme of the night in the state Senate and House races in the primary election on July 20.
Fran Millar, who spent 12 years representing District 79 in the state House of Representatives, was on his way to an easy win for the Republican nomination in Senate District 40. With more than 60 percent of the precincts reporting by press time, Millar had more than 66 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. James Sibold, a former DeKalb County GOP chairman, was second with 28 percent and Jim Duffie had about 10 percent.
Millar will face Democrat Eric Crist, who ran unopposed in the primary, in the November general election.
“It’s very gratifying,” Millar said. “I’ve spent the past 12 years in the General Assembly and I was rewarded for what I’ve done in the past. I’m optimistic I’ll prevail in November.”
Millar said he was the target of a negative campaign by Sibold, who ran against Millar for the House seat 12 years ago.
“Most of his campaign was directed at me in a negative manner,” Millar said. “I think the people looked at what we’ve actually done. You’ve got to tell people what you’re going to do, not just criticize people.”
In the House, Democrats Billy Mitchell (District 88) and Earnest “Coach” Williams (District 89) kept the seats they have held since 2002.
Both won their primaries with more than 60 percent of the vote at press time and will be unopposed in the general election. Mitchell beat Simone Joye and Williams beat Kenneth Samuel.
In the House District 94 race, Dar’Shun Kendrick will be in a runoff Aug. 10 for the Democratic nomination with Rhonda Peek. Kendrick, a Lithonia-based attorney and graduate of Towers High School, had about 36 percent of the vote at press time with more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting. Peek garnered more than 27 percent of the vote.
Four Democrats were trying to take the seat vacated by gubernatorial candidate Randal Mangram. Kendrick or Peek will face Republican Steven Conner, who was unopposed in the primary, in November’s general election.
“We feel good about the runoff because we’ve got some momentum,” Kendrick said. “We’ve got a lot of great endorsements and support from a lot of people. I’m ready to work over the next two weeks.”
Peek said she had hoped to be in this position.
“I think I have a message and a spirit of service that resonates with the voters,” Kendrick said. “I think the people are ready for someone to lead the district to bigger and better things.”