Reynolds ran against Republican Cindi Yeager of Marietta in the GOP primary on Tuesday, and with no Democratic candidate on the November ballot, the winner will take over the DA’s office in the new courthouse in January.
Reynolds has 36,410 votes, or 53 percent, to Yeager’s 32,263 votes, or 47 percent.
He credited running a positive race and informing voters about his intentions with his lead in the race.
“I think that positive message has resonated with enough folks, and I’m hoping in the end it’ll carry us over the victory line,” Reynolds said Tuesday night.
Reynolds watched the returns with his supporters at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center, while Yeager was scheduled to be with her supporters at Johnnie MacCracken’s in Marietta Square. Reynolds had nothing but praise for Yeager, whom he called a “worthy opponent.”
Reynolds said he will work on closing about 80 active cases before being sworn-in in January. He also said he would start putting together a staff and use his own money to study the operations of other DA offices in the state.
“Most of the cases I have pending are misdemeanors; I haven’t taken any new felonies in a good while,” he said. If the two felony cases he has couldn’t be closed out in time, he said would personally recuse himself from them and allow his staff attorneys to handle them.
Reynolds, 55, is a well-known defense attorney, having represented convicted antifreeze murderer Lynn Turner and municipal judge Diane Busch, who was accused of hosting an underage drinking party in 2009. He also served as Cobb’s chief magistrate judge from 1994 to 1999.
During the campaign, he vowed to aggressively prosecute white-collar crimes and to immediately designate a prosecutor to go after those who target the elderly, calling for harsher punishment of such offenders.
Reynolds described the district attorney’s job as mostly administrative and touted his judicial service as giving him the necessary managerial experience to oversee the office’s more than 100 employees.
He said he supported the state’s recent criminal-justice reforms that are designed to save expensive prison beds for violent offenders, but called for the creation of a mental health court.
Since announcing his candidacy in March 2011, Reynolds raised a total of $176,090 for his campaign and ended with $70,354 on hand, according to his latest disclosure report filed with the Georgia Ethics Commission.
Reynolds outspent his opponent by nearly two-to-one.
Yeager, a former Cobb prosecutor, raised $56,268 for her campaign and ended with $696 on hand, according to her disclosure report.
Neither Yeager or her campaign manager could be reached by press time.
Reynolds, a Rome native, graduated from Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University Law School. He worked as a police officer for four years. He served several years as an assistant district attorney, prosecuting felony cases in Fulton and Cobb counties.
In 1994, he was appointed to the Cobb Magistrate Court and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1996. Four years later, he left the bench for private practice with law partner Jimmy Berry.
Yeager, 50, is a longtime trial attorney and former prosecutor in Cobb. She began her career as a prosecutor in the Cobb Solicitor’s Office, before becoming an assistant district attorney and handling domestic violence, crimes against children, DUI and vehicular homicide cases. Presently, she has her own private practice in downtown Marietta.
During the campaign, she supported capital punishment and criminal justice reforms, as well. She criticized her opponent for supposedly flip-flopping on his stance on the death penalty and emphasized her own leadership as a prosecutor, high school mock trial coach, and past Cobb Bar Association president