For The Record

Coweta-based House seat won by anti-establishment Republican

By: - October 2, 2019 8:44 am

Marcy Westmoreland Sakrison and Philip Singleton , who made it to the special election runoff to fill Georgia’s House District 71 seat, are shown here at an August debate. Contributed by Jonathan Grant

An anti-establishment Republican soundly won a run-off election held Tuesday to decide who would replace state Rep. David Stover under the Gold Dome.

Philip Singleton, an airline pilot and U.S. Army veteran, clinched about 59% of the vote. With that, he bested Marcy Sakrison, who enjoyed a significant fundraising advantage and support from several high-profile elected Republicans, including House Speaker David Ralston.

About 9% of voters turned out in a district that falls mostly in Coweta County but spills over some into Fayette County, an area that is just southwest of Atlanta.

Sakrison, who is an educator and the daughter of former Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, reported raising nearly $113,000 as of the last filing late last month, pulling in significant support from the capitol crowd.

Singleton attracted about $68,000 in donations.

The contest evolved into somewhat of a referendum on Ralston, who came under scrutiny earlier this year for his use of a law that allows him to request delays for court proceedings that conflict with his legislative responsibilities. Ralston is also an attorney.

Stover, the outgoing state representative, was part of a small group of lawmakers who signed onto a measure this year that called on Ralston to resign. Singleton actively campaigned on his opposition to Ralston during the run-off.

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Jill Nolin
Jill Nolin

Jill Nolin has spent nearly 15 years reporting on state and local government in four states, focusing on policy and political stories and tracking public spending. She has spent the last five years chasing stories in the halls of Georgia’s Gold Dome, earning recognition for her work showing the impact of rising opioid addiction on the state’s rural communities. She is a graduate of Troy University.