Democrat challenger Charles "Trey" Paradee upset Republican incumbent Lincoln Willis in Tuesday's election with 54.3 percent of the vote in the 29th Representative District.
Willis was running for his second term as representative but fell short with 45.7 percent of the vote. Willis garnered 4,358 votes compared to Paradee's 5,183 votes.
Following the election, Paradee said he was very, very happy but relieved at the same time because of the hard work he put into the campaign: "I knocked on over 6,000 doors. We started in early April. I went to 72 subdivisions. I worked very hard and we had a great group of volunteers."
Paradee also said he has a tremendous amount of respect for Willis and the Willis family, who Paradee said have been incredible assets to the Smyrna/Clayton communities for many years.
"I know Lincoln and the Willis family will continue to be a great contribution to the community as they always have been," he said. "I really have a great amount of respect for him and I always will."
Willis was the only incumbent in the House to lose his re-election bid, but there were 16 districts with incumbents running unopposed.
After the election Willis wanted to thank all of his supporters who helped with the campaign and said he couldn't have thanked a finer group of people to support himself, his wife Laura and their son Deane.
"I am absolutely honored to have served the people of the 29th District," Willis said.
Though Paradee felt he had a good chance of winning, he was surprised by the margin of victory and never imagined that he would win by that kind of a margin with over 50 percent of the vote.
"I'm just really looking forward to representing the district," Paradee said. "I'm very appreciative of the voters. I'm going to work hard. I don't want to let them down."
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