In the general primary, where a candidate has to take 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to win outright, challenger Gail Buckner finished with 7,600 votes or 45.86 percent of the vote to the incumbent Gail Davenport’s 7,497 votes or 45.24 percent, a difference of 103 votes.
Each candidate saw the general primary results differently.
Davenport attributed her strong showing to her record of excellence in service to the 44th district “as a senator and a community worker.”
However, Buckner saw the vote in a different light, saying it “clearly demonstrates our citizen’s desire to have a change in the person representing them at the state capital.”
In citing her accomplishments, Davenport reflected on the leadership she has had in the committees she has served on and is now serving on, including higher education, veterans, military and homeland security and urban affairs among many others. She also spotlighted two special awards she received in 2008, Legislator of the Year by the Atlanta Regional Commission of Clayton County as well as another Legislator of the Year Award from the Rainbow People United to Serve Humanity Coalition.
“In addition, as a real estate agent for the past 30 years, I have conducted workshops on home ownership and assisting persons in the American dream of home ownership,” Davenport said.
Bucker countered that residents of the district had repeatedly expressed to her their confidence in the extensive experience she has had in state government as she was elected to eight terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and one term in the state Senate.
“During my service in the House, I was appointed the chair of the House Appropriations Human Services Committee and as a member of the House Economics Development Committee,” Buckner said. “I had budget responsibilities of billions of state dollars and thousands of state employees.”
She added that all Georgia residents are benefitting from legislation she has authored and passed including legislation designed to fund cancer research and prevention in Georgia.
Davenport said that as a community leader and activist, she has, for the past 20 years, served as chairperson of the Clayton County Campaign for the United Negro College Fund.