Despite changes in congressional districts, strong local support led longtime state Rep. Carl Von Epps to defeat Republican opponent Gene King on Tuesday.
Epps, of LaGrange, has represented the previous District 128 since 1993, and took a narrow 54 percent victory over King, of Gay, with 8,256 to 7,081 district wide. The newly drawn District 132 that Epps represents includes part of Troup, Meriwether and Coweta counties.
“I’m very appreciative of the support shown and re-election process,” Epps said this morning. “I’m glad so many people took the time out to vote and I’m proud to represent the people of the 132nd house district one more time.”
King said this morning that he was a little disappointed, but plans to run again.
“It’s a sad day for District 132 and a sad day for people of Georgia. They had somebody here that was willing to – a business man, a hard-working man — willing to take time from family, career, personal life and dedicate it to each and every one in district to make difference and change and impact their daily lives,” he said. “I don’t understand why people choose somebody that had not had much accomplished in the last 20 years and does not have much say in (Republican-controlled) house.”
Epps won the district on Troup County’s votes alone. Locally, he was the favorite with 60 percent of the vote, taking 5,993 votes to King’s 3,990.
“That’s a testimony to the fact that I’ve been a good representative, I think, and naturally people close to home know you,” Epps said. “I think they know I’ve tried to improve the quality of life all around. That’s been my motto over the years, to always try and help somebody, and I’m appreciative of the team efforts. I’m just proud to go back and be representative for the district one more time.”
In Meriwether, King’s home county, the challenger had a slight edge with 51 percent, 69 votes ahead of Epps, and King had a bigger margin in Coweta County with 56.5 percent of the vote, more than 600 votes ahead of Epps.
“I may challenge Mr. Von Epps in 2014, or maybe he’ll decide to retire, but I hope to have the opportunity to serve the people of District 132 and make a difference in their lives,” King said, adding, “I want to thank all those that supported and voted for me, and ask them to keep up the good work and pray for our state and country.”