With some ballots still being tallied, Debby Peppers conceded a Georgia state senate runoff to Chuck Payne tonight.
Payne, a Republican, has about 65 percent of 6,700 votes cast in the race, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's site.
"I'm grateful to all those who voted for me in a race which I knew would be an uphill battle," Peppers said in a statement. "I deeply appreciate my numerous volunteers and their tireless efforts. I'm grateful our campaign exceeded all expectations."
Peppers, an independent candidate, said during the campaign that she would caucus with the Democrats if elected. She was running in a deeply conservative region.
Payne and Peppers were competing for former State. Sen. Charlie Bethel's seat. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Bethel, R-Dalton, to the Georgia Court of Appeals in November.
The senate seat covers all of Whitfield and Murray counties, as well as eastern Gordon and western Pickens counties.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.