Stoner Cedes Race to Hill
Says important lessons learned
Atlanta, Ga. - November 8, 2012 - Georgia State Senator Doug Stoner today reached out to his challenger Hunter Hill to congratulate him on his Tuesday night election victory and to wish him well.
"I had to leave a message," said Stoner.
Stoner, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, was targeted during the 2011 GOP-controlled redistricting process. Republicans combined senate districts in middle Georgia held by Sen. George Hooks and Sen. Freddie Powell Simms and created a GOP seat in the metro Atlanta area to provide themselves what they wanted - a Senate supermajority.
The nature of the redrawn sixth senate district made a victory for Stoner an uphill battle. With heavily Republican precincts drawn in, the district gave a 55 percent or greater edge for any Republican challenger.
"I worked hard to overcome the obstacles. The final tally of 52.87 percent to 47.13 percent demonstrates that had this district not been gerrymandered, I may well have won. In fact, I carried the Cobb County portion of the district two to one," Stoner said.
Stoner's end results are an important lesson and take away from the Tuesday night election. Democrats can build cross-the-aisle relationships and coalitions.
"The election results in the Cobb portion of the district are informative," Stoner said. In those precincts - many of them Republican - I have built meaningful relationships across the aisle and across industries. Democrats and Republicans alike knew I took a pragmatic approach to politics. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to build that confidence with voters on the Fulton County side before I had to run. My sense is that extreme politics will not be tolerated in the district," said Stoner.
Steve Henson, leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus said he was saddened by the loss of his colleague and chairman.
"For a decade, he has represented his constituents well and served with integrity. His common sense approach to leadership will be missed by many on both sides of the aisle," said Henson.
Henson said Stoner would remain involved with the Caucus for now. Stoner's background and knowledge in transportation is well known.
"I value Doug's insights and will be calling on him to share his knowledge and perspective on important issues facing our state," Henson said.