Perdue beats Kingston; recount likely in school superintendent race

by Sarah Fay Campbell


Election workers Lori Bradley and Faye Holloway wait to check in poll workers delivering precinct election returns Tuesday night at the Coweta County Administration Building. 

Businessman David Perdue beat long-time Congressman Jack Kingston in Tuesday's runoff for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The two men were neck and neck throughout the night, but Kingston could never catch up to Perdue. At just before midnight, with all but two Georgia counties reporting final vote totals, Kingston, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993, conceded.

Perdue won with 50.88 percent of the vote. Perdue had 245,725 votes to Kingston's 237,192, a difference of 8,533 votes.

Perdue will face Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in the November general election.

The race for the Republican nomination for state school superintendent appears to be headed for a recount. With 100 percent of counties reporting Wednesday morning, but provisional ballots not included, Richard Woods was leading Mike Buck by a mere 727 votes. Woods had 50.09 percent of the vote, with 199,259 votes, and Buck had 49.91 percent, with 198,532 votes. That’s within the 1 percent margin for a recount.

Buck told the Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday that he would request a recount if the vote totals were within the recount margin.

On the Democrat side, Valarie Wilson easily beat Alisha Thomas Morgan for the Democratic nomination for state school superintendent, with 54.38 percent of the vote.

Editor's note: The print version of the election night story, which includes state-wide vote totals as of 9:54, follows.

Congressman Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue were neck and neck Tuesday night in their race for the Republican nomination for one of Georgia’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

At 9:54, Perdue had 50.4 percent, or 221,253 votes, to Kingston’s 49.6 percent or 217,722 votes. That was with 100 of Georgia’s 159 counties fully reported, and 59 counties partially reported.

The winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in November.

In the race for state school superintendent, Mike Buck had a close lead over Richard Woods for the Republican nomination. Valarie Wilson, former chairwoman of the city schools of Decatur, had a eight point lead over State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan for the Democratic nomination.

At 9:54, Buck had 50.14 percent, or 182,252 votes to Woods’ 181,267 votes. Wilson had 53.48 percent, or 58,932 votes to Morgan’s 51,265 votes.

The races weren’t close in Coweta, however.

Perdue garnered 59.9 percent of the vote in Coweta, with 4,494 votes to Kingston’s 3,008.

Richard Woods led Buck in Coweta, with 3,454 votes, or 53.58 percent to Buck’s 2,993.

And Wilson had 58.3 percent of the vote, with 267 votes to Morgan’s 191.

Coweta’s turnout was 11.24 percent, with 7,984 Cowetans casting ballots.

That was higher than expected, considering that the primary turnout was 15 percent.

“It was a little bigger turnout than I thought it would be,” said Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins. She's seen some runoffs with voter turnout as low as 3 percent.

Things went quite smoothly on election day. “Everything went well, with no problems. I don’t know of any complaints,” she said Tuesday night.

The vote count in Coweta was finished just after 8:30. During the primary in May, there were some issues with the machines that read the memory cards from the electronic voting machines. Scoggins had three new ones on hand Tuesday night, one of which was a backup.

Scoggins attributes a lot of the smoothness to her poll workers. “We have great poll workers, good poll managers. They’re dedicated people,” Scoggins said. “They’re here when you need them. I appreciate them."

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