Taylor Bennett, state representative-elect in District 80
Taylor Bennett, state representative-elect in District 80

Democrat Taylor Bennett defeated Republican J. Max Davis, the former Brookhaven mayor, in the Aug. 11 runoff election for the District 80 state representative seat.

Bennett took 54.5 percent of the vote in the district that includes parts of Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. He will replace Republican Mike Jacobs, who left the seat to become a judge.

“It’s just like playing football,” Bennett, a former Georgia Tech quarterback, said in an interview shortly after his win. “Enjoy the victory, but tomorrow we’ve got to get back to work. There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of problems to solve.”

Davis, in an Election Night interview, had a different view of a race that involved some bitter partisan campaign flyers. Davis was repeatedly targeted over accusations that he engaged in sexual harassment while mayor and was involved in a cover-up.

“Obviously, the politics of personal destruction played a big role in this race,” Davis said. “A lot of falsehoods and untruths were thrown my way.”

However, Bennett and Davis spoke on Election Night, with each congratulating each other on the race. Bennett said that mirrors his approach to the office he will soon hold.

“I want to [have] open ears to everyone in the district, regardless of political affiliation,” Bennett said.

According to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, 4,977 votes were cast in the election. Bennett earned 2,714 votes and Davis 2,263.

Bennett praised his campaign team’s hard work for beating Davis, Brookhaven’s first mayor and the son of a former state representative.

“Two and a half months ago, no one knew who we were, and we had zero dollars in the bank,” Bennett said.

Asked about any plans to continue in public service, Davis said his focus will be on his family and his business in the coming months, and to “rebuilding my reputation” for his children’s sake.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

5 replies on “Bennett wins House District 80 state rep. election”

  1. Congratulations to Mr. Bennett. His campaign worked hard for this.

    I wish Mr. Bennett luck.

    The Sky is not falling on the Republicans. This is not a monumental shift in Georgia Politics that some have made this out. This is for a year.

    This was a clear referendum on JMax Davis. And the voters ignored their political affiliation and made the right call here.

  2. Agree that this is more of a referendum on Max than Republicans and I think it’s pre-cursor of what’s going to happen to the rest of the moral crusaders on the Brookhaven City Council (and interim Mayor) when those elections come around.

Comments are closed.