Chris Boedeker conceded defeat in an unorthodox race for House District 81, which covers Brookhaven, Tucker and North Druid Hills.
Rep. Scott Holcomb seemed to prevail with 8,700 votes and 56 percent of the vote; Boedeker received 6,824 votes and 44 percent of the votes, according to an unofficial tally by DeKalb County elections.
The vote total doesn’t include mailed-in absentee votes.
The race included mudslinging, including House Democrats accusing Boedeker of suggesting Holcomb used illegal drugs. Incumbent Holcomb didn’t return phone calls election night.
Boedeker conceded “mistakes” he made in his time running for any office.
“I don’t want to get into specifics,” he said. “Yeah, we wanted a focused message.”
Holcomb wasn't as vague or as forgiving Wednesday morning about the campaigning of his opponent.
"I'm proud of the campaign I ran and I'm very thankful to my amazing team. I also want to thank the voters for re-electing me and for rejecting the negative, corrosive, and dishonest campaign of my opponent."
Boedeker complimented his opponent, who is considered a rising star in the state’s Democratic Party. Controversy arose in the Democratic primary when House District 81 was merged.
Legislator Elena Parent’s and Holcomb’s districts were merged into one single District 81 by legislative Republicans when Georgia's legislative maps were redrawn to conform to the new Census numbers. Parent stepped down voluntarily.
“He ran a clearly sharp, professional campaign and it really worked out,” Boedeker said in defeat.
The race was never really close Tuesday, with Holcomb coming out with 56 percent of the vote in early election tallies.
In the GOP primary, it got ugly. Against primary opponent Carla Roberts, that contest was filled with accusations flying back and forth from both sides. Boedeker tried to have Roberts disqualified from the race by saying she wasn't a legal resident, a charge that was dismissed. Roberts claimed intimidation.