DADE COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — 24-year-old Colton Moore upset long-time Representative John Deffenbaugh in the race for Georgia House District 1 Tuesday night.
Just six years ago, Colton Moore walked the halls of Dade County High School. Already a leader then, his teachers say his success in the Georgia House race comes as no surprise — even at 24-years-old.
“Oh, Colton. You know, there’s not enough words really to describe Colton,” Moore’s Future Business Leaders of America adviser Tonya Gatlin said.
And now there are two more. “State representative.”
“We were neck-and-neck, 50 percent, for quite a while. And then when those final votes came in, that’s when things got exciting,” Moore remembered.
Dade County native Moore graduated from high school in 2012, the same year his opponent, Deffenbaugh, took office.
“He was one of these kids that you have in your classroom that you just know are destined to move on and do great things,” Gatlin said.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Moore studied International Affairs, but he said his goal was never specifically politics.
“I guess my dream job is to be an auctioneer,” Moore said. “I commonly joke that auctioneers and politicians, you know, they both talk fast and try to take people’s money, so you know, it’s a similar job description.”
Moore defeated District 1’s longtime incumbent, who says he has no regrets and wishes Moore the best. He’s even given Moore some seasoned advice.
“To be down there. Be very cautious starting out,” Deffenbaugh said. “Making sure he learns the lay of the land. Making sure he gets to know some of the people. And progress to do what he wants to do.”
Moore says his first focus is on education reform — a frontline issue for his supporters at Dade County High.
“I think he’s going to be here for our teachers, for our students,” Dade County High’s Dianne Meeks said. “[We’re] just very proud of Colton, very proud of Colton. He’s a great young man.”
Moore said he’s going to take advantage of the extra few months to start forming relationships in Atlanta before his first official day in January. He said he wants to propose four or five bills on day one of the legislative session next year.