This week’s Special Election saw two Athens-area Democrats taking seats once held by Republicans. One of those candidates, Jonathan Wallace, is now the Representative-elect for House District 119.
Wallace said he had hoped just to make it to a runoff with one of his three Republican challengers. But instead, he’s heading to the capitol in Atlanta.
"This was a surprise to me as well and I think to the team," said Wallace. "And obviously this was the best outcome that we hoped for. We hoped that all of our hard work would pay off."
The software developer says he ran because he wanted progressives to know someone in the community shared their viewpoint.
While there was an anti-Trump sentiment at play in other parts of the nation, Wallace said he ran with a local focus. He has two clear goals he’d like to accomplish.
"My goal is to support our public schools. To make sure they're fully funded. I would like to make sure our kids receive the support that they need," said Wallace. "And I would love to see us have an independent re-districting commission for 2020. The people want us as elected officials to be accountable to them. And so having competitive districts is something that I welcome and encourage. I think it encourages civic engagement."
Wallace respects the hard work it takes to run.
"I am incredibly appreciative to all of my opponents," said Wallace. "And all the other folks who have put themselves forth to represent their district or their city or their precincts."
Democrat Deborah Gonzalez won the House District 117 seat.