Conservative Republican Chuck Payne, the former juvenile probation at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, emerged victorious in the runoff election for the recently vacated State Senate District 54, which covers all of Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Gordon and Pickens counties.
“I will not forget the confidence you have placed upon me, nor the cause for which I serve,” Payne told his supporters via social media on Wednesday.
The State Senate District 54 seat was vacated in November by Charlie Bethel, who was appointed just days after the 2016 election for a State Court of Appeals judgeship.
Originally a race of five, the runoff was between Payne and current non-partisan, former Democrat Debby Peppers of Dalton. Payne took the election with 65.41 percent of the vote. winning all four counties the seat covers.
Payne, who served in the U.S. Army in the 1/504th Airborne Infantry Battalion, has also served in many civic capacities in, not only Whitfield County, but the state as well. He is the former co-director at Crusaders of Faith and Freedom, former chairman of the Whitfield County Republican Party, former vice chairman of the 14th District GOP of Georgia, and former second-vice chairman of the 9th District GOP of Georgia.
Payne ran on a conservative platform of protecting the lives of unborn children, preserving the sanctity of marriage, defending Constitutionally protected freedoms and supporting school choice.