The Latest: GOP runoff for lt. governor too close to call
By The Associated Press
Jul. 25, 2018
The Latest on primary runoff elections in Georgia (all times local):
A runoff in the Republican race for Georgia lieutenant governor is too close to call.
Unofficial election returns late Tuesday showed Geoff Duncan of Cumming leading David Shafer of Duluth by fewer than 1 percent of the total vote with nearly all precincts counted. A final margin that narrow would allow Shafer to request a recount.
The candidates are running for a shot at succeeding Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who passed on seeking re-election to run for governor.
Shafer has served at the state Capitol since 2002 and once was the Senate's president pro tempore. Duncan of Cumming spent five years in the state House.
The GOP runoff winner will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico, a Marietta businesswoman, in the November general election.
Democrat Lucy McBath will challenge Republican Rep. Karen Handel for her seat in Congress this fall.
McBath of Marietta defeated fellow Democrat Kevin Abel of Sandy Springs in a runoff election Tuesday in metro Atlanta's 6th Congressional District. Handel has to defend her U.S. House seat in November after winning a special election last year.
McBath is a gun control activist whose teenage son was fatally shot in Florida in 2012.
Democrats are hoping to upset Handel in the Republican-leaning district after her surprisingly close 2017 race with Democrat Jon Ossoff. Total spending on that campaign topped $50 million, making it the most expensive U.S. House race in history. Ossoff passed on seeking a rematch.
Carolyn Bourdeaux has won the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Rob Woodall for his congressional seat in metro Atlanta.
Bourdeaux of Suwanee defeated fellow Democrat David Kim of Duluth in a runoff Tuesday in the 7th Congressional District.
Bourdeaux is a Georgia State University professor and former director of the state Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. Kim publishes books and magazines for teenagers.
Democrats face an uphill battle in the 7th District, which covers portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties outside Atlanta. Woodall has held the seat since 2011, and has won re-election three times — each with 60 percent of the vote or more.
Democrat Otha Thornton Jr. has been nominated to challenge Georgia's Republican state schools chief in November.
Thornton of Richmond Hill defeated Sid Chapman of Griffin in a Democratic runoff election Tuesday. Thornton advances to the fall campaign against Republican state School Superintendent Richard Woods.
Thornton is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who became the first black man named president of the National PTA in 2013. He was endorsed by Arne Duncan, who served as education secretary under President Barack Obama.
His opponent was a former classroom teacher as well as a past president of the Georgia Association of Educators. Chapman had support from former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes.
Brad Raffensperger has won a Republican runoff in the race to replace Georgia's top elections official.
Raffensperger of Johns Creek defeated former Alpharetta mayor David Belle Isle on Tuesday to become the GOP nominee for secretary of state. The office is currently held by Republican Brian Kemp, who passed on seeking re-election to run for governor.
Raffensperger is a lawmaker in the state House and a businessman. He will face Democrat John Barrow of Athens in the fall campaign. Barrow is a former Georgia congressman who lost his seat in 2014.
Both GOP runoff candidates emphasized upgrading Georgia's electronic voting machines for improved security as their top priority.
The secretary of state oversees elections as well as corporate filings and professional licensing.
The Republican showdown for governor isn't the only key Georgia race being decided by a runoff election.
Runoffs Tuesday also will settle which Republicans get nominated for the statewide offices being vacated by the GOP gubernatorial rivals: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
State Sen. David Shafer and former Rep. Geoff Duncan are in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor. Former Alpharetta mayor David Belle Isle and state Rep. Brad Raffensperger are in a GOP runoff for secretary of state.
Democrats also are choosing a nominee to take on GOP state School Superintendent Richard Wood in November. Democratic runoffs also will decide fall challengers for two Republican members of Congress: Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th District and Rep. Rob Woodall in the 7th District.