ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - Republican Sam Olens has defeated his Democratic opponent, Ken Hodges, in the race for Georgia attorney general.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution showed Olens, the former Cobb County Commission chairman, as the projected winner at 11 p.m. Tuesday, with 73 percent of the state's precincts reporting. Olens had 54 percent of the votes and Hodges with 43 percent. Libertarian candidate Don Smart had 3 percent of the votes.

After serving as a district commissioner, Olens was elected chairman of the Cobb County Commission in August 2002. In December 2004, he was elected chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

A graduate of Emory University School of Law, Olens received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C.

He has practiced law in Georgia for more than 25 years, representing clients in both state and federal courts.

Hodges, a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law and Emory University, served as a district attorney for 12 years and was re-elected in both 2000 and 2004 by wide margins.

Hodges had faced a tough primary matchup with Rob Teilhet. An attack ad featured the mother of a shooting victim pleading with voters not to vote for Hodges because he did not secure a grand jury indictment against the shooter, who was a cop. Read more here.

The two candidates were vying for the seat left open when incumbent Thurbert Baker decided to launch an unsuccessful campaign for governor.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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