Former Juvenile probation office, and Republican Chuck Payne, won a runoff election this week for the recently vacated State Senate District 54.

The district covers all of Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Gordon and Pickens counties.

The seat was vacated in November by Charlie Bethel, who just days after the 2016 election was appointed for a State Court of Appeals judgeship.

Originally a race of five, the runoff was between Payne and current non-partisan, former Democrat Debby Peppers of Dalton. Payne took the election with 65.41 percent of the vote. winning all four counties the seat covers.