Georgia voters decide runoff elections today

Georgia voters decide runoff elections today

July 21st, 2014 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

POLLS OPEN

The Georgia primary runoff election is today. Polls in Georgia will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. statewide. Voters must bring a valid state or federal photo identification card.

Jack Kingston

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Republican Senatorial candidate and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue participates in a debate at the Georgia Public Broadcasting studio on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Atlanta.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

On the eve of Georgia's runoff election, two Republican U.S. Senate candidates were on a mad dash to garner support - and get people to the polls.

Volunteers for candidates Jack Kingston and David Perdue made thousands of phone calls Monday to drum up turnout as their leaders traveled the state trying to energize supporters.

Kingston, a Savannah congressman, made a six-stop tour from metro Atlanta, joined by former Secretary of State Karen Handel, and planned to end in Savannah.

Perdue made seven stops between Macon and Atlanta with his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in one of the most important midterm elections this year as Republicans seek to claim a majority in the Senate.

The only other statewide runoff election that will appear on Northwest Georgia ballots is the contest for state school superintendent.

The incumbent, Republican John Barge, did not seek re-election and unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican primary. Republicans and Democrats alike answered the call to fill his seat.

Republican Michael Buck, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education, and Richard Woods, a longtime educator in Irwin County, are running in the Republican runoff.

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan and former Decatur school board Chairwoman Valarie Wilson are competing in the Democratic contest.

With so few up-ticket races, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp reported low numbers for early voting.

Kemp said in a statement Monday that 159,152 ballots already have been cast. That number includes 134,267 ballots in which people voted in person plus 24,885 mail-in ballots returned.

There are more than 4.9 million voters in the state's 159 counties, according to secretary of state reports.

Turnout in Northwest Georgia followed the statewide trend -- mostly because of small local ballots, officials said.

In Dade County, Republicans will choose between Lamar Lowery and incumbent Mitchell Smith for the District 1 county commission seat. And candidates Jennifer Hester Hartline and Summer Lawson Kelley are vying for the District 2 school board post.

Dade County voters and those in the western half of Walker County also will decide the runoff between incumbent Republican District 1 state Rep. John Deffenbaugh and challenger Robert Goff.

Whitfield County ballots will show local races for the District 1 county commission seat. Republicans Renee Davis and Barry W. Robbins are seeking that job. All voters also will decide the nonpartisan race for judge of the Superior Court of the Conasauga Judicial Circuit between incumbent David J. Blevins and challenger Jim E. Wilbanks.

Chattooga, Catoosa and Walker counties have only state-level races.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.