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UPDATED: Perdue wins GOP nomination
by Everett Catts
July 25, 2014 12:18 PM | 4412 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Buckhead resident Mike Quarles casts his ballot at the Chastain Park gym in Buckhead during Tuesday’s primary runoff voting.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Buckhead resident Mike Quarles casts his ballot at the Chastain Park gym in Buckhead during Tuesday’s primary runoff voting.
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(UPDATED FRIDAY AT 12:09 P.M. WITH QUOTES FROM CANDIDATES BOB BARR, BARRY LOUDERMILK AND SUSAN THAYER)

David Perdue has won his tight Republican U.S. Senate battle against Jack Kingston in Tuesday’s primary runoff election and triumphed in Cobb and Fulton counties. It is one of eight races, including five local ones, on the ballot.

With all 365 Fulton County precincts reporting, Perdue won with 54.9 percent. In Cobb County, with all 145 precincts reporting, Perdue had the advantage with 53.7 percent. Statewide, with all 159 counties reporting, Perdue won with 50.9 percent.

Perdue will battle Democrat Michelle Nunn in the general election Nov. 4. Incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss is retiring. Click here for The Associated Press' article on that race.

In the state school superintendent race, Richard Woods nipped Michael Buck with 50.1 percent statewide in the Republican runoff while Valarie Wilson defeated Alisha Morgan with 54.4 percent statewide in the Democratic one. Incumbent Republican John Barge is vacating the post to run for governor.

In the Republican District 11 U.S. House race, Barry Loudermilk beat Bob Barr with 66.1 percent. Republican incumbent Phil Gingrey vacated the post to run for U.S. Senate. The district includes parts of Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Cobb County, including all of Vinings, and all of Bartow and Cherokee counties. Loudermilk will be unopposed in November. He did not respond to a request for an interview/statement via his campaign spokesman, but Loudermilk was interviewed by the Marietta Daily Journal Tuesday night.

“My heart goes out to everybody that went to the polls and elected me to this position,” he said. “It’s people responding to a positive message that there is hope for America we get our nation back on track. … I think [my] message resonated with people more than the negative attacks we’ve seen.”

Said Barr, “I am extremely disappointed with the results themselves; it is always better to win than to lose. But I am not in any way disappointed with our campaign team and with the many donors and volunteers who helped bring the message of experienced conservative leadership to the 11th District. I will, of course, continue to remain involved actively with these important public policy issues, and working to strengthen our Republican Party message and structure.”

In the Republican District 54 Georgia House battle, Beth Beskin bested John McCloskey with 84.0 percent. The results are not a surprise considering McCloskey suspended his campaign and threw his support behind Beskin following the May 20 primary, when Beskin almost won a four-person race outright. Republican incumbent Ed Lindsey is leaving the seat to run for Congress. The district includes historic Brookhaven and most of Buckhead. Beskin will face Democrat Bob Gibeling and independent Bill Bozarth in November. “I’m thankful, ecstatic and relieved and looking forward to the general election in November,” Beskin said. “I really appreciate John suspending his campaign and supporting me.”

There were two judicial runoffs.

In the nonpartisan race for retiring Fulton County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright’s seat, Jane Barwick beat Shelitha R. Robertson with 62.6.percent.

“I’m thrilled,” Barwick said. “The most satisfying part is the broad base of support that came not only from the legal community but from all over the county. It was amazing getting to meet so many people and talk to so many people and hear what really is on everyone’s mind as far as our courts are concerned. So, I feel very honored and very humbled and very well prepared for this position.

“We worked very hard to go back to those voters that we knew had supported me and to reach out to people who had not voted in this judicial race or who had voted for someone else the first time around. We ran a very positive campaign, and one that I am very proud of.”

Said Robertson, “We did all we could do. Unfortunately my voters did not turn out and my opponent’s did. I want to congratulate her and I wish her the best.”

In the nonpartisan Cobb County Superior Court judge race, Ann Harris defeated Juanita Stedman with 61.7 percent. Incumbent Jim Bodiford is retiring.

“I’m really overwhelmed by the support I received from Cobb County," Harris said. "I’m very grateful. I feel like I had a message that resonated with the public and I tried to be out there meeting the people of Cobb County during the campaign and during the runoff. I think any elected official, even judges, needs to make a connection with the people.

“I had a very worthy opponent [in the runoff], and I was quite the underdog when we started at the first of the year. But I think my themes of justice, fairness [and] public safety resonated. I tried to keep a consistent theme and tried to engage with voters.”

Said Stedman, “Yes, I am disappointed. The other feeling I have is that I am a [Cobb County] Juvenile Court judge and that means I will continue to be a Juvenile Court judge. I have work left to do, specifically with treatment courts, which include drug courts and family drug courts. I am going to focus on that and go forward.

“It was probably more personal I had expected it to be in a judge’s race, especially near the end. I am very proud of the race I ran, and I’m extremely proud of the support I received in Cobb County and all the hard work they did. They were amazing.”

The only Cobb County Board of Education race affecting Vinings residents was the Post 2 Republican battle, where Susan Thayer triumphed over incumbent Tim Stultz with 70.45 percent. Thayer faces Democrat Kenya Pierre in November. “I am sincerely grateful for the overwhelming support I received and am appreciative of the confidence my community has shown in me,” Thayer said. “Also, I want to thank the many volunteers who worked tirelessly for this amazing win. We won in all 19 precincts, and with over 70 percent of the voters behind us, we are in a great position to win on Nov. 4.

Thayer thanked Stultz and his supporters for running a clean, issues-based campaign. She also said the key to victory was multi-faceted.

“There are a number of pieces to the puzzle which allowed us to win,” Thayer said. “I believe the results clearly show that voters here really care about our schools and want a school board member who will be actively involved – one who has the experience and knowledge needed to work with the superintendent and other board members to bring about sustainable improvements.

"Our campaign message was simple – bringing our community together to form a stronger support network for all of our schools, and that message will not change. I am extremely happy that we received the support of a large variety of groups and individuals who became involved in this campaign, because involved people are the key to any success.”

Stultz did not return phone and email messages seeking comment on the election, but he was interviewed by the Journal Tuesday night.

“I congratulate Mrs. Thayer on her win this evening,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work and I feel very disappointed … but I look forward to what comes next.”

McCloskey did not return phone and email messages seeking comment on the election.

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