Robert Dickey appears to have won a special election Tuesday to represent District 136 in the Georgia House of Representatives.
However, due to the narrow margin a runoff remains possible pending vote certification and provisional ballots.
The election became necessary after the death of Rep. Tony Sellier in November. Dickey, Sellier’s widow Judye Sellier and Sharon B. Howard were on Tuesday’s ballot, with Dickey taking 50.4 percent of the 3,794 votes cast in unofficial results. Judye Sellier received 43.3 percent of the vote, while Howard -- the lone Democrat in the race -- received 6.2 percent.
District 136 includes all of Crawford County and portions of Bibb, Houston, Lamar, Monroe, Peach and Upson counties.
The results of Tuesday’s election must be certified by the election superintendents in each county and by the Secretary of State’s Office before they are official, and all provisional ballots must be counted. If Dickey’s percentage of votes cast drops to 50 percent or less, he and Sellier would be entered in a runoff election March 15.
Dickey was willing to claim victory Tuesday night.
“I’m kind of speechless to be honest with you. I have about 60 of my supporters here in front me,” Dickey said when reached on his cell phone Tuesday evening.
“We did not want to go to a runoff, I can tell you that.”
Judye Sellier, on the other hand, was upbeat in declaring the race still on.
“Well, it’s close,” Judye Sellier said with a chuckle when reached by phone.
“There may still be absentees out, or whatever. It’s just close. We all knew it would be.”
Tuesday’s nonpartisan special election became necessary after Tony Sellier died Nov. 30 of congestive heart failure following a medical procedure. He was elected to a third term as the District 136 representative on Nov. 2, defeating Howard.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Ryan Gilchrest, call 256-9725.