Sonya Halpern wins Georgia State Senate runoff

Headshot photo of Sonya Halpern.

A special Democratic primary runoff election was held for Georgia State Senate District 39 on December 1, 2020. A special primary election was held on November 3.

The special election was called when incumbent candidate Nikema Williams (D) withdrew from the race after being chosen by the Democratic Party of Georgia to replace incumbent candidate John Lewis (D) on the general election ballot for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District race after Lewis’ death on July 17.

Because Williams was unopposed in the regular general election, no special general election was needed to replace her. The race was determined in the primary runoff. When no candidates in the November 3 primary received a majority of the votes, top-two vote-getters Sonya Halpern and Linda Pritchett advanced to the primary runoff. Halpern won the runoff after receiving 80.8% of the vote.

As of December 2020, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. Georgia has held 63 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2019.

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