Republican candidate Greg Vital won the race for Tennessee’s District 29 state representative seat on Tuesday. Vital beat Democratic candidate DeAngelo Jelks by 80%, with Vital bringing in 3,884 votes and Jelks receiving 964.
Vital will replace Joan Carter, who took over for her late husband, Mike Carter, after he passed away from pancreatic cancer on May 15.
“I’m so honored and humbled by the support that District 29 residents have placed in me to represent them in the General Assembly,” Vital said, according to a statement that he posted on his Twitter account. “Mike and Joan Carter have served us well, and I will continue to carry their torch of good government and strong leadership.”
Vital is co-owner of Morning Pointe Senior Living in Ooltewah and an environmental conservationist. According to a statement released to the Accent, he grew up in the Collegedale-Ooltewah area and is an alumnus of Southern.
Vital said he plans to finish Mike Carter’s term and then run in the 2022 election.
“As state representative, I will always put what matters first — you,” Vital continued in his statement. “That means standing for life, defending the Constitution, supporting our businesses and protecting our conservative values. Thank you for your trust, and I will continue to make Hamilton County the best place to start a business, work, raise a family and retire.”
In the days leading up the election, Jelks became the subject of a police report accusing him of rape, according to articles published by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Immediately following the accusations, Jelks resigned as vice chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
Jelks, who recently admitted to an extramarital affair but denied the rape allegations, has not been charged or arrested. Chattanooga police are currently investigating the allegations, according to media reports.
Alyssa Rivas also contributed to this article.