State Rep. Rick Williams, a republican from Milledgeville, turned back a strong challenge from democrat Quentin T. Howell in Tuesday’s general election to win the Georgia House District 145 seat.
In Baldwin County, Williams, who owns several funeral homes in the area, collected a total of 9,538 votes, while Howell, a local businessman and radio personality, as well as chairman of the Baldwin County Democrat Committee, received a total of 8,398 votes.
Both men also polled numbers from the southern portion of neighboring Putnam County where the district boundary expands. In Putnam, Williams garnered 2,230 votes, or 74.88%, to Howell’s 748, or 25.12%.
The Associated Press called Williams the winner of the race at 10:42 p.m. Tuesday.
Immediately after learning that he had won reelection to a third two-year term, Williams talked with reporters at the Baldwin County Registrar’s Office on Tuesday night.
“I’m humbled by the support I received in this election,” Williams said.
He said he looked forward to getting back to serving the people right away.
Though he lost in his bid to become the first Black man ever elected to the local state representative seat, Howell said he was deeply touched and appreciative of the support he received from family and friends and voters who were looking for a change.
Williams was heavily supported by several state officeholders and had political endorsements from several local elected officials as well. He received support from Gov. Brian Kemp and Speaker of the House David Ralston. During a recent campaign rally, Ralston flew down from Atlanta to the Baldwin County Regional Airport as a special guest to support Williams’ reelection efforts.
Williams said he has tried to meet the needs of his constituents since he was first elected to office.
“I’ve tried my best to be open to the needs of the people of our district, and with the help of the newspaper, of course, I’ve been able to keep the public aware of issues, legislation and various bills,” Williams said.
Now that he has won reelection to another term, Williams said he plans to continue keeping residents of District 145 as informed as he possibly can.
He also said he looks forward to serving in another session of the General Assembly come January 2021.