Stokely handily defeats Marmon in State House District 71 race
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
State Court Solicitor Robert Stokely will be representing Coweta County in the Georgia General Assembly in January.
Stokely, who ran for the District 71 seat opened when Billy Horne decided not to seek re-election, easily defeated Darryl Marmon, his challenger in the Republican primary. The candidates – both Cowetans – live near each other.
“This county’s been good to me,” said Stokely, who knew only three people in Coweta County when he moved to the area 20 years ago.
He called his campaign Friends of Robert Stokely and said those friends came through for him. “I’ve got only one vote. The rest came from my friends,” he said.
Stokely also spoke of his family’s support, describing his wife, Retta, as “the balance behind” his public life.
He said “one thing that was important” about this election was that his entire family was “old enough to vote for me” with this being the first time his daughter was eligible to vote.
Stokely’s first run for public office was for chief magistrate in 1996. He placed third in that race but became solicitor 18 months later.
From now until January, when the legislature convenes, Stokely will be finishing his work as solicitor and preparing for a new role. Sandy Wisenbaker, who has worked for Stokely for several years, ran for solicitor without opposition and will succeed him in 2013.
“I’ve got a job to finish at the solicitor’s office,” Stokely said. “I’ve got to go through some file cabinets and drawers.”
He and Wisenbaker have already begun a transition for the office.
Stokely said he has been to the Capitol numerous times over the years. “I know where the front door is and how the process works,” he said. “I know I’ve got a lot to learn.”
He said he wants to get to know the civil servants in state government – “the people who really make the place work.”
Stokely won in both portions of his district in Coweta and Fayette counties. He received 5,497 votes to Marmon’s 2,099 — taking 72.37 percent of the vote.
Stokely paused for a moment of spiritual reflection as he prepared to leave the Newnan Carnegie Library meeting room downtown, where he gathered with supporters Tuesday night. Stokely said he ran for the House seat because he “felt strongly this was where God wanted me.”
He added, “I’m sure He’s got something in mind for Darryl Marmon.”