SD 42- Parent wins, Williams concedes
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.