SD 42- Parent wins, Williams concedes

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 21, 2014
Kyle Williams, left, and Elena Parent, right, candidates for state Senate District 42.

Kyle Williams, left, and Elena Parent, right, candidates for state Senate District 42.

This story has been updated. 

Decatur attorney Kyle Williams has conceded the Senate District 42 race to Elena Parent.

While there were some precincts outstanding on May 20, Williams faced daunting odds. By the end of the night, Parent led Williams 65 percent to 34 percent. According to revised figures published today, Parent received 61.5 percent of the vote to Williams’ 38.4 percent.

If Parent wins in November, she will replace State Sen. Jason Carter who is giving up his seat to run for governor against incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.

“My friends, it appears we have come up short. We have worked hard, we have worked true. We ran a campaign that you can be proud of,” Williams said via email. “Thank you to all of my friends who believed in me and this campaign from the very beginning and worked for the future of District 42. Political discussions and debate are essential to a vibrant community, and I congratulate Elena Parent on a hard-fought campaign. This is my home and I look forward to working with all of you to continue to make our community a better place.”

Parent said she hadn’t had a chance to speak to Williams yet, but she intends to.

“I’m thrilled about the strong showing of support from the community,” Parent said. “I think it speaks to the race that we ran and the vision that we put forth for what I want to talk about and accomplish at the state capitol. I just really want to say to Kyle that he ran a great race. It was a tough race. He ran hard. He did a good job. I look forward to seeking his counsel as I move forward to the general election.”

Parent will face Republican Greg Williams in the November general election.  Greg Williams ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Parent’s victory means that if she beats Greg Williams she will return to the General Assembly, where she served as a state representative in House District 81 before losing that seat to Republican redistricting. Williams, a local attorney, would’ve been the first openly gay man elected to the General Assembly and the first openly gay state senator if he had won. He ran for Decatur City Commission in 2009, but lost.

The overwhelmingly white, Democratic district offered voters a rare sight in Georgia: two liberals fighting to establish their left-leaning credentials.

Williams used Parent’s voting record as a state representative against her, pointing out votes that he said were out of step with the opinions in the liberal-leaning district. Parent in turn used Williams’ 2009 endorsement by the Log Cabin Republicans to tie him to prominent conservative figures, like former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The back and forth for liberal street cred continued right up until election day. While some votes still were being counted, Parent had 8,510 votes to Williams’ 5,319 votes as of 11:08 am on May 21.

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Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Prefer neither

    I really wonder if Kyle would have won if he hadn’t attacked Elena in his campaign flyer. I know it ended up being tit for tat but the first attack may have been the most damaging to the attacker.

  • Druid

    I probably would have voted for Parent anyway, but that ridiculous mailer solidified it for me.

  • Chris Billingsley

    I really enjoyed this contest probably as much or more than most Decaturites liked the Republican senate campaign. The debates, mailers, the use of the AJC fact checkers*, and most of all, the outstanding Decaturish coverage were like a 10 on the B-ster scale. In my opinion, the campaign showed the true character of the candidates and their hatred of any idea that would support Republican, conservative, or outside 285 loop thinking. Neither Ms. Parent or Mr. Williams will have any real influence at the capital, which is fine with me.
    *Here’s how this works. Someone has a friend at the AJC. A call is made or conversation takes place at a chi chi Decatur bar about “Oh that Mr. Williams! He’s so mean like he’s part of the War on Women” and Bam, you’re featured in Truth-O-Meter.
    Anyway great political theater and for the rest of the campaign, may I suggest, CAVEAT LECTOR!

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