The voters have spoken. Cherokee County businessman Sam Moore will be the new state representative from District 22 after defeating Meagan Biello in a special election runoff Tuesday.
Moore garnered 1,529 votes, or about 58 percent, in the district that covers southwest Forsyth and parts of Cherokee and Fulton counties. Biello, a school teacher, received 1,113 votes, or about 42 percent.
In Forsyth, Moore tallied about 74 percent, with 209 votes, to Biello’s 26 percent, or 73 votes.
Moore will fill the remaining term of Calvin Hill, who died in October.
He and Biello emerged as the top two vote-getters in the four-candidate field for the Jan. 7 special election. While the race was nonpartisan, both candidates identified themselves as Republicans.
Barbara Luth, Forsyth’s elections supervisor, said the real surprise Tuesday was the turnout. Nearly 200 more voters across the district took part in the runoff than in the original election.
“I’ve never seen it before,” she said. “It’s usually a lot lower for a runoff.
“I think the candidates did their jobs and they got out and really talked people into coming and that helped. So I have to give them all the credit for that.”
Forsyth had three more voters take part in the runoff than the Jan. 7 election.
Turnout for the runoff was highest in Cherokee, at nearly 10.4 percent, though Luth noted that county also has the largest voting area in the district, with about 22,000 registered voters.
In Forsyth, 3.05 percent of the fewer than 10,000 eligible voters — those living in the Brandywine, Midway and Polo precincts — took part. Less than 2 percent of Fulton County’s 2,000 eligible voters participated, according to Luth.
The timetable for Moore to take office was not immediately available. The election results still must be certified by the state.
Moore will then join the 2014 Georgia General Assembly, which began Jan. 13, in midsession.
Lawmakers’ terms expire Dec. 31, so also looming is the May 20 primary that leads up to the General Election in November, in which the District 22 post will be up for a two-year term.
Check back for updates at forsythnews.com or see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.