With 100 percent of the districts reporting this morning, Hill won 35,299 votes (52%) over Stoner’s 32,233 votes (48%).
But Stoner lead among Cobb voters. Stoner won 20,412 votes (59%) in Cobb, to Hill’s 14,312 votes (41%).
Early Wednesday, neither man was willing to declare victory.
Said Stoner: “In spite of Republican leadership efforts to gerrymander my district to gain a supermajority in the State Senate, the returns we have seen tonight indicate bipartisan support for a pragmatic, common-sense problem solving.
“I remain hopeful voters will return me to the Senate. Otherwise, a GOP supermajority becomes more than my race. It means that some two million citizens’ voices will be silenced around Georgia. Good ideas for solving the failing economy of our state should come from everywhere — Republicans and Democrats,” Stoner said.
Hill, likewise, said he was hopeful.
“We’re very encouraged by the results so far,” Hill said. “We’re grateful for the outpouring of support from our volunteers and the voters. I’m hopeful for the opportunity to serve the district.”
Returns showed the two neck-and-neck throughout the night.
Hill is a West Point graduate who saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army airborne ranger. He is a rising star in the state GOP, having the support of Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, of east Cobb.
He is the director of new business development at security firm SecurAmerica, and he and wife, Shannan, have two children, Hunter Jr., 2, and Annie, 1.
It was a harsh, if not surprising upset for Stoner, who is finishing his fourth term in the state senate. He previously served in the state House.
Stoner, who is employed at Croy Engineering, briefly appeared at the Cobb Democrats’ party Tuesday night.
The two were also close in the race for campaign cash. According to reports filed with the state, Hill had $134,350 on hand as of Nov. 1, while Stoner had $131,055.
Teasley keeps Ga. House seat
Republican State Rep. Sam Teasley, of Marietta, will keep his desk under the Gold Dome when the Legislature convenes Jan. 14.
Teasley won 13,418 votes (60%) to Democratic challenger Bill Bolton’s 9,117 votes (40%).
Teasley, a 36-year-old Realtor in his first term in the state House, campaigned on a platform of job creation, education and government accountability.
Tuesday night, he said he appreciated the response of his constituents.
“I want to thank the voters of House District 37 for their support in sending me back to the state capital to represent their values,” he said. “It is both an honor and a solemn responsibility.”
Teasley was elected to then-District 38 in 2010, earning nearly 6,400 votes (57%) against Pat Dooley’s 4,800 (43%), to represent a large portion of Marietta and some of unincorporated Cobb.
Teasley and his wife, Michelle, have three school-age children.
Democratic challenger William Roy “Bill” Bolton III, 64, is a technical management consultant who has run for governor and Marietta mayor, among other offices, in the past.
He has three degrees from Georgia Tech in engineering science and mathematics, civil engineering and sanitary engineering.
The father of two and grandfather of one ran on a platform that included supported extending MARTA to Town Center in five 10-year phases.
Bolton acknowledged he would be surprised if he won.
“I’m a Democrat in a highly Republican area,” he said.
Bolton ran for mayor and governor twice as a write-in candidate and said he couldn’t resist the chance to throw his hat in the ring for another office.
“No one was running against Teasley, so I jumped in there,” he said. And he’s already looking forward to his next campaign.
“I’ll be running for governor again in 2014,” he said.
And he wished Teasley well.
“He’s a good man. He lives right across the street,” Bolton said of Teasley. “He’s a great guy, a hardworking man with a nice family.”
Bolton reported a negative balance of $682 net cash on hand in his campaign-finance disclosure.
Teasley, meanwhile, reported $57,287 in cash on hand as of Nov. 1.
Smith takes open House seat
Democrat Michael Andre Smith, 29, of Marietta was the top vote-getter in the contest to represent House District 41 in south-central Cobb County.
Smith got 10,024 votes (64%) to Republican Edmond Phil Daniell’s 5,654 votes (36%).
Incumbent Democrat Terry Johnson of Marietta did not seek re-election.
Smith, a teacher at an east Cobb Middle School, said he was humbled by the voters’ decision.
“This shows how hard we worked to earn the votes of every voter in this district,” Smith said, adding that his team included friends, family, the American Federation for Children, community volunteers and an Osborne High School student.
His campaign was rocked, however, when his sister, Jennifer, endured drastic surgery to save her life.
The candidate said he was inspired by her example.
“My sister is the epitome of never giving up,” Smith said. “She continued to remain positive. I believe she gave me the extra energy I needed to go out there and campaign even though I had a long day at work.”
The east Cobb middle school science teacher and his wife, Ryisha, have two children, Aniyah and Christian.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in history education from Kennesaw State University.
His campaign-finance report filed with the state indicated he had $1,100 cash on hand as of Nov. 1. He owes $750 in state ethics fines for failing to file the required disclosures in 2008 when he ran against District 33 State Rep. Don Wix.
Republican Daniell said he ran the best campaign he could, but wished Smith well.
“I feel I was a candidate of honesty and integrity,” Daniell said. “I’m disappointed that we were not able to prevail. … I hope the winner serves the people of the 41st District well.”
Daniell, 70, is a retired building inspector. He’s not held elective office, but has served in varying capacities in the GOP. Daniell’s cash on hand as of Nov. 1 was $24,259, according to his finance report.
Carson wins House District 46
Republican John K. Carson Jr., 41, handily won election to his first full term representing northeast Cobb and a portion of Cherokee County in Georgia House District 46.
Districtwide, Carson won 19,922 votes (74%) over Democratic challenger Kevin “Big Kev” Westphal’s 7,120 votes (26%).
Among voters in the Cobb portion of the district, Carson won 14,038 votes (73%) to Westphal’s 5,104 votes (27%).
“I am pleased and humbled by the confidence the voters in northeast Cobb and southeast Cherokee have placed in me,” Carson said Tuesday night. “I look forward to serving them for a full two-year term in the Georgia House of Representatives.”
Carson campaigned on a conservative platform of cutting taxes, attracting jobs, stopping Obamacare, limiting government, prioritizing spending, stopping illegal immigration and protecting values like Second Amendment rights.
Westphal did not respond to repeated inquiries Tuesday night.
Westphal, 34, is a retail sales manager and lives in Kennesaw. He campaigned on a platform of transportation, education and jobs.
In September 2011, Carson led a field of five candidates in a special election to fill the seat previously held by Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin, who died in July 2011.
Carson is a certified public accountant in the commercial real estate group of SunTrust Bank. He and his wife, Beverly, have two toddlers: Elizabeth, 3, and Jack, 2.
According to Carson’s campaign-finance report, his campaign had $23,707 in cash on hand as of Nov. 1. Westphal’s report showed he had $2,483 on hand.