By the numbers
With all of Forsyth County’s precincts reporting, here’s how the race went:
District 27 State Senate, Republican
* Jack Murphy — 5,518 votes; 34 percent
* Michael Williams — 10,796 votes; 66 percent
Source: Forsyth County Elections Office
FORSYTH COUNTY — Political newcomer Michael Williams defeated longtime incumbent state Sen. Jack Murphy in a bruising Republican primary runoff election Tuesday that signals a shift in Forsyth County politics.
Murphy, who was seeking a fifth term in the District 27 post he has held since 2006, is the senior member of local state legislative delegation.
Williams garnered 10,796 votes, or about 66 percent of the total, in Tuesday’s runoff to Murphy’s 5,518 votes, or about 34 percent of the vote.
With no Democrats running for the post in November’s general election, Williams will take office in January.
Surrounded by well-wishers at a south Forsyth restaurant after the final election numbers came in, Williams thanked his supporters, crediting their efforts for the victory.
“We have a ton of supporters … that put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this,” he said. “And just the way we won, I think it sent a message that we are ready to be heard. And we were.
“To my supporters, thank you so much. It was a victory for us and it was really their campaign, not mine, and we won this together.”
Murphy, who watched the election returns with a small group of family and friends at his home, thanked residents who supported him in this and previous elections.
“It has been my pleasure and honor to serve the residents of Forsyth County both in the [state] House [of Representatives] and Senate for the past 12 years,” he said Murphy, who served two terms in the House before becoming a senator.
“I wish nothing but success for our county and state in the future.”
Murphy and Williams were the top two vote-getters in the May 20 primary, outdistancing third candidate, Lauren McDonald III.
The district covers all of Forsyth County except a small northeast corner.
Williams, who has lived in Forsyth County since 2003, said he chose to run for the office after growing increasingly frustrated with what he described as government interference.
“I was just tired of the government continuing to interfere in our lives, our families’ lives, our liberties being taken away, and Obamacare was the last straw for me,” said Williams, who until May owned 18 Sport Clips Haircuts locations in the Southeast.
This fall, he plans to open a south Forsyth restaurant with his brother.
When the Georgia Legislature convenes in January, he said he’s ready to tackle conservative issues.
“The preservation of religious freedom act, that’s one of the bills I want to get in on,” he said, “and also [issues relating to] transparency in government … those are the two things that are pretty high on my priority list.”