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Georgia political party voters say yes to FairTax, gun control

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(The Center Square) — While the re-election of a state Supreme Court justice and the Fulton County district attorney prosecuting former President Donald Trump topped Tuesday’s primary election headlines, voters weighed in on party questions that may guide lawmakers’ efforts in upcoming legislative sessions.

Nearly 64.7% of Republicans voted in favor of a question asking whether state lawmakers should enact the FairTax and replace the state income and sales tax with a consumption tax equal to current state funding.

Additionally, more than 81% of Republicans voted for a statewide vote to allow gaming in Georgia. While an expansion of betting failed this session, Tuesday’s vote may give politicians the cover they need to weigh — and potentially pass — a measure next session.

Republican-backed Jeff Davis defeated Tabitha Ponder to win a nonpartisan seat on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Davis will succeed the retiring M. Yvette Miller, who was initially appointed to the post in 1999 by former Gov. Roy Barnes.

On the Democratic side, more than 91% of voters said the state should ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines as part of gun safety reforms.

In what might be among the most surprising outcomes of the night at the state level, progressive Gabriel Sanchez picked up more than 56% of the vote to knock off state Rep. Teri Anulewicz, D-Smyrna, in House District 42. Sanchez faces Republican Diane E. Jackson in November’s election.

In Gwinnett County, voters approved two homeowner property relief referenda.

More than 73.7% of voters cast ballots in favor of a referendum authorized under House Bill 711, which doubles — from $4,000 to $8,000 — the homestead exemption for Gwinnett County homeowners. Additionally, 63.5% of voters cast ballots in favor of a referendum to provide a $2,000 homestead exemption for school, law enforcement, hospital and military personnel, which was authorized under HB 748.

“Hardworking Gwinnett homeowners deserve substantial tax relief to support their pursuit of the American Dream,” state Rep. Matt Reeves, R-Duluth, said in a statement. “I am immensely proud to have championed this cause for Gwinnett’s homeowners and taxpayers.

“The overwhelming approval by Gwinnett voters demonstrates our community’s strong commitment to providing much-needed financial relief and fostering a better quality of life for all.”

Gwinnett County voters also passed a referendum, authorized by Senate Bill 333, to create a new city of Mulberry, with nearly 57% of voters casting ballots in favor of the measure. The county’s newest city covers roughly 25.9 square miles and has about 41,000 residents.