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Hill wins state Senate primary, faces Stoner next
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
August 02, 2012 05:18 PM | 2064 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tuesday’s Republican primary election results for state Senate District 6 gave Hunter Hill of Smyrna a resounding victory over opponents Josh Belinfante of Sandy Springs and Drew Ellenburg of Buckhead, sending Hill directly to the November general election ballot against incumbent Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna.

Hill said Election Night he was “blown away” by his victory.

“I’m really grateful right now,” he said. “The bottom line is we from the beginning tried to focus on the things that we could control and ignore the things we couldn’t, knowing that the things we couldn’t control would be so far more than the things that we could. But at the end of the day, I just can’t believe it.”

Hill made his first attempt to unseat Stoner in 2008, but the Democrat said in a statement on Election Night he is ready for a repeat.

“The voters have rejected this matchup before,” Stoner said.

Stoner, unopposed in the primary, said he embraces the new 2011 redistricting.

“I’m excited about my new district, which adds portions of Buckhead and Sandy Springs to communities such as Vinings, Smyrna and Marietta,” he said. “The addition of strong business and commercial areas will provide an opportunity to develop new partnerships to create jobs and advance our district's economic clout in the region.”

In Vinings, close to Hill’s Smyrna residence, which had 30 percent turnout at its four precincts, Hill clocked 60 percent of the vote, trailed by Belinfante at 22 and Ellenburg at 20.

In Buckhead and Sandy Springs, where turnout was slightly more than 20 percent at 30 precincts, Hill won more than half of the vote, while Belinfante took nearly 30 percent and Ellenburg about 18.

Ellenburg said after the race he congratulated Hill and thanked supporters who rallied around him during deaths in his family.

“In our lives, we not only aspire to greatness, but inspire others to be great as well. It is with this campaign that I hope to inspire others to live with integrity and lead with purpose,” he said.

Belinfante said he was honored by the 3,423 voters who chose him.

“[My wife] Karina and I knew running for office would be challenging and exhilarating, grueling and exhausting. We underestimated how truly humbling it would be to see so many invest their time, name and finances in our effort. Words cannot begin to describe our gratitude,” he said.

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