A whisker-close election with a Republican incumbent refusing to concede and a Democratic challenger moving ahead with the transition is not only the story of the U.S. presidency. It’s also happening in the local Georgia House District 52, where Shea Roberts leads state Rep. Deborah Silcox by fewer than 400 votes ahead of a certification expected on Nov. 13.
The latest numbers posted on the afternoon of Nov. 11 by the Georgia Secretary of State for the District 52 seat, which represents parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, showed Roberts leading by 377 votes — 17,069 (50.56%) to Silcox’s 16,692 (49.44%).
In a Nov. 11 text message, Roberts all but claimed the win, saying, “I am moving forward with my responsibilities for HD52.”
And in Nov. 10 Facebook posts, Roberts showed photos of herself in the House Chamber at the Georgia State Capitol, where she met with members of the House Democratic Caucus. “My first Democratic Caucus meeting in the House Chamber. Feeling excited about January and getting to work for HD52 and Georgia,” she wrote in one post.
But Silcox said Nov. 6 that she had been advised not to concede, and in a Nov. 11 text message she had not changed her mind. Silcox said that there is “nothing for now” from her camp on the election results or a recount.
Roberts noted that her lead, while slim, is still above the 0.5% threshold at which a recount would be automatic. Roberts also pointed to a recent article in the Georgia Recorder that quoted Georgia’s speaker of the House, Republican David Ralston, as acknowledging that Silcox had lost, though such commentary does not equate with an actual election result.
Silcox first won the seat in 2016 in what seems like a different era, running in a district that had been Republican for so long she only had to defeat a primary election opponent.
If Silcox loses, it will complete a Democratic flipping of local state House districts that began in the “blue wave” of 2018. State Sens. John Albers and Kay Kirkpatrick, whose districts include parts of Sandy Springs, would be the only Republican state legislators representing significant areas of the communities.
Roberts and Silcox are both attorneys and both live in Sandy Springs. Roberts is co-owner of the Buckhead law firm Giacoma Roberts & Daughdrill.