Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp rode a late wave of momentum – caused in large part by President Donald Trump’s endorsement last week – to an easy victory in the Republican runoff for governor. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, long the presumed frontrunner, saw his campaign collapse down the stretch following the leak of a tape where he told one of his ex-primary opponents, Clay Tippins, that he had pushed through a bill during the legislative session to hurt a political rival.
Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams awaits in the general.
The battle for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, a heated affair throughout, was the closest race on the ballot. Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan appears to have pulled off the upset, defeating state Sen. David Shafer by a margin of just 1,700 votes. With less than a 1% margin between the candidates, the race is eligible for a recount should Shafer request one. If the result holds, which seems likely, Duncan will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November.
State Rep. Brad Raffensperger had a slightly less stressful night, defeating former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle in the GOP runoff for Secretary of State by more than 20% of the vote. Raffensperger will now go head to head with former U.S. Rep. John Barrow in what figures to be a slugfest.
Otha Thornton Jr. won the Democratic nod for State School Superintendent, cruising past Sid Chapman by roughly 20%. He will take on Republican incumbent Richard Woods this fall.
The Democrats also had a pair of runoffs for congressional seats. In U.S. Rep. Karen Handel’s 6th District it was gun control activist Lucy McBath who advanced over Kevin Abel by 7% – some 2,000 votes. The general election figures to be a high profile one, with McBath looking to bring in millions (more) from outside sources as she contests what has become a relatively purple district.
Meanwhile in the 7th District U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall will face Dem Carolyn Bourdeaux in the general. She defeated David Kim last night in the runoff by 4%.
We will have more takeaways from last night’s results later in the week.