Democrats pull off upset in House District 80 race

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 12, 2015
Taylor Bennett, state representative-elect in District 80. Photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers

Taylor Bennett, state representative-elect in District 80. Photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers

Former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis lost the Aug. 11 runoff election to his Democratic opponent Taylor Bennett in the race for the House District 80 seat.

The seat was vacated by Mike Jacobs, who left the seat when he was appointed as a judge.

Bennett carried 54.5 percent of the vote. House District 80 encompasses Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.

“It’s just like playing football,” Bennett, a former Georgia Tech quarterback, told Reporter Newspapers 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.”

According to, Bennett’s win has cost the GOP its supermajority in the House.

Davis said allegations that he sexually harassed city employees while mayor of Brookhaven were used against him in the campaign. The allegations resulted in the resignation of the city’s attorney after it was discovered that the officials had tried to hide the allegations against Davis.

“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.”

There were 4,977 votes cast in the Aug. 11 runoff, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

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

Davis said his focus over the next few months will be on his family, business and “rebuilding my reputation.”

This story was provided courtesy of Reporter Newspapers.

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  • Chris Billingsley

    Thanks Dan. The result makes me question the intent of the past articles dealing with sexual harassment claims when Davis was mayor of Brookhaven. We may never know if Davis was guilty of the charge or did the reporters twist the facts in a way to slander a rising star in the Republican party. I’m glad that Decaturish would never do such a thing.
    It will be interesting to see if Bennett acts like more of a moderate in the house than a Democrat. If so, he may accomplish something as the swing vote on constitutional amendment issues.

  • Chris Billingsley

    One more thing. Mr. Bennett is a former big time college quarterback from GA. Tech. This experience will serve him well in the House. Congrats. Go Dawgs! Go Tech!

  • Rabbit47

    Max Davis, a rising star, please! He tried to get elected to this post when Mike Jacobs won it–as a Democrat. Mike Jacobs won the seat a second time as a Democrat & immediately switched parties. He could have been more honest & come out as a Repub prior to the election (& before taking a great deal of assistance from the Young Democrats). Maybe the people in that district just don’t want Max to represent them.

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