The Latest: Some Georgia statewide races too close to call
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Georgia elections (all times local):
Several statewide races in Georgia remain too close to declare a winner.
Georgia Democrats are hoping for some upset victories after Republicans have kept them shut out of all statewide offices since 2010. Unofficial election returns showed tight races for open seats for secretary of state and insurance commissioner. Two GOP members of the Public Service Commission are also in close contests with Democratic challengers.
Runoffs were possible in the secretary of state’s race as well as the two PSC contests because Libertarians candidates on the ballot could keep any candidate from surpassing 50 percent of the vote as required to win. Any runoff elections for statewide office would be held Dec. 4.
Republican nominee for Georgia governor Brian Kemp says he is “confident victory is near” but is waiting on final results in the close race.
Kemp told supporters at his election party Tuesday night that “the math is on our side to win this election” but stopped short of claiming victory.
Earlier, opponent Stacey Abrams implied that a runoff is likely in the election. The Democrat told supporters they would “have a chance to do a do-over.”
The Associated Press has not called the race.
Kemp has a narrow lead in the vote count but the race could still go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Republican Geoff Duncan has been elected Georgia’s next lieutenant governor.
Duncan of Cumming defeated Democratic businesswoman Sarah Riggs Amico of Marietta in the race for the state’s No. 2 office Tuesday. Duncan will succeed GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who held the job for 12 years before stepping aside this year to run unsuccessfully for governor.
Duncan becomes only the second Republican elected lieutenant governor in Georgia since the position was created in the mid-1940s. The lieutenant governor’s primary responsibility is to preside over the state Senate.
Duncan is a business executive and former minor-league baseball player. He served five years in the state House before stepping down last year to run for lieutenant governor.
Georgia’s Republican attorney general has won his first election for the statewide job he was appointed to fill two years ago.
Attorney General Chris Carr defeated Democrat Charlie Bailey in Tuesday’s election. It was Carr’s first contested race since Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him in November 2016 to fill the unexpired term of then-Attorney General Sam Olens, who left to become president of Kennesaw State University.
Bailey is a former Fulton County prosecutor who accused Carr of lacking the legal experience to serve in the job. Carr earned his law degree in 1999. He previously spent three years leading the Georgia Department of Economic Development and six years as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Carr says those roles prepared him well for managing the attorney general’s office.
Two Georgia Republicans seeking re-election to Congress are locked in tight races with Democratic challengers in districts that once were considered safe for the GOP.
Republican Rep. Karen Handel faced Democratic gun-control activist Lucy McBath on Tuesday in metro Atlanta’s 6th District. Four-term Rep. Rob Woodall was matched with Democratic college professor Carolyn Bourdeaux in the neighboring 7th District. Unofficial election returns showed both races were too close to call, with only a thin margin separating the rivals.
Democrats hoped to capitalize on voters disaffected by President Donald Trump, as well as demographic shifts that have made Atlanta’s suburbs less white.
Handel was running again after winning a closely watched special election last year against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Woodall has held his seat since 2011.
Democrat Stacey Abrams says votes remain to be in the tight Georgia governor’s race and vows to wait for them all.
Abrams told supporters at her election night party Tuesday that they would “have a chance to do a do-over” in her race against Republican Brian Kemp, implying a runoff.
Kemp has a narrow lead in the vote count, but it was still possible the race could go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Early returns showed Kemp running up large margins across rural and small-town Georgia, but parts of metro Atlanta, where Abrams’ strength is concentrated, had yet to report.
Some of those Atlanta-area counties had extended voting hours for some precincts to accommodate the crowds and compensate for problems.
Republican Gary Black has been re-elected to a third term as Georgia’s agriculture commissioner.
Black defeated Democratic challenger Fred Swann of Macon at the polls Tuesday. The GOP incumbent spent the campaign’s final weeks promising help for south Georgia farmers whose crops were devastated by Hurricane Michael.
Swann is a software developer and Democratic Party officer in central Georgia who accused Black of favoring large agricultural corporations at the expense of small family farms.
Black of Commerce defended his record since taking office in 2011, saying food safety inspections, promotion of Georgia-grown crops and school nutrition programs have all improved under his watch.
Georgia’s Republican state school superintendent has been re-elected to a second term.
Incumbent Superintendent Richard Woods defeated Democrat Otha Thornton Jr. of Richmond Hill in a statewide election Tuesday.
Woods has served as Georgia’s top education official for the past four years. He’s a former social studies teacher and school administrator from rural Irwin County.
Thornton is a former military officer who in 2013 became the first black man named president of the National PTA. He was endorsed by Arne Duncan, who served as education secretary under President Barack Obama.
Georgia’s Republican labor commissioner has won election to a third term in office.
Labor Commissioner Mark Butler beat Democratic challenger Richard Keatley of Tucker in a statewide election Tuesday. Butler of Carrollton has held the office since 2011.
The state labor commissioner enforces Georgia labor regulations, oversees unemployment programs and produces statistics on the state labor market.
Keatley is a former Georgia State University professor of French and Italian. Keatley ran unsuccessfully last year in the special election for metro Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District.
Democratic U.S. Rep. David Scott has won a ninth term in his metro Atlanta district.
Scott defeated Republican David Callahan in the Democrat-leaning 13th District as midterm elections were held Tuesday to determine which party controls Congress.
Scott of Riverdale has held the seat since 2003. The district covers portions of six counties in metro Atlanta.
Callahan of South Fulton describes himself as a part-time driver and former printing company manager.
Republican U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk has won a third term in his northern Georgia district.
Loudermilk defeated Democratic rival Flynn Broady Jr. as elections were held Tuesday to determine which party controls Congress. Loudermilk of Cassville was re-elected to the 11th District.
The district was drawn to favor Republicans and covers Bartow and Cherokee counties as well as a large portion of Cobb County north of Atlanta.
Loudermilk has held the seat since 2015. Broady is an attorney from Marietta.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson has won re-election to his seat in metro Atlanta.
Johnson of Lithonia defeated Republican Joe Profit in Tuesday’s midterm election showdown for control of Congress. Johnson’s victory means he’ll return to Washington for a seventh term representing Georgia’s 4th District.
The district covers portions of DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties in metro Atlanta. Johnson has held the seat since 2007.
Profit is a GOP businessman and former Atlanta Falcons running back.
Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter has won re-election to his district in southeast Georgia.
Carter won a third term in Congress by defeating Democrat Lisa Ring of Richmond Hill on Tuesday in the midterm election battle for control of the U.S. House.
Carter represents the 1st Congressional District, which includes portions of 16 Georgia counties from Savannah to the Georgia-Florida state line. Carter, a pharmacist from Pooler, has held the seat since 2015.
Ring is a former corrections officer and military spouse who ran her first campaign for public office.
Voters have re-elected Republican U.S. Rep. Jody Hice to a third term in eastern Georgia.
Hice defeated Democratic challenger Tabitha Johnson-Green in the 10th District as midterm elections were held Tuesday to determine control of Congress.
Hice is a Southern Baptist pastor from Monroe who has held the 10th District seat since 2015. Johnson-Green is a nurse from Sandersville.
The 10th District covers portions of 25 counties in eastern Georgia and includes the cities of Athens and Milledgeville.
Freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson has won his first re-election campaign in western Georgia.
Ferguson of West Point defeated Democrat Chuck Enderlin in Tuesday’s midterm election battle for control of the U.S. House.
Ferguson represents western Georgia’s 3rd District, which includes portion of 13 counties along or near the Georgia-Alabama state line.
Enderlin of Newnan is a Delta Air Lines pilot and a political newcomer.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop has been re-elected to serve a 14th term in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District.
Bishop of Columbus defeated Republican Herman West Jr. in Tuesday’s midterm elections as candidates battled nationwide for control of the U.S. House.
The 2nd District covers 29 counties in southwest Georgia and includes the cities of Columbus, Macon and Albany. Bishop has held the seat since 1993.
West of Albany is a pastor and former police officer making his first attempt at winning public office.
Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Allen has defended his seat to win a third term in eastern Georgia.
Allen of Augusta defeated Democratic challenger Francys Johnson in the 12th District race Tuesday, when midterm elections were held nationwide to determine which party controls Congress.
Allen has held the seat since 2015. Johnson is a Statesboro attorney, pastor and a former president of the Georgia NAACP.
The 12th District covers portions of 19 counties in eastern Georgia and includes the cities of Augusta, Statesboro and Vidalia.
A group of voters has filed a lawsuit seeking to keep Georgia’s secretary of state, who’s also the Republican candidate for governor, from further presiding over the midterm elections.
Nonprofit Protect Democracy said in a news release that the lawsuit was filed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, two hours before polls closed in Georgia.
As secretary of state, Brian Kemp is the state’s top elections official. The lawsuit seeks to keep him from being involved in counting votes, certifying results or any runoff or recount. Those are responsibilities of the secretary of state’s office or the state election board, of which he is a member.
The lawsuit says that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.”
A Kemp spokeswoman didn’t respond to an email Tuesday evening seeking comment.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia has defeated a Democratic challenger who spent much of the race locked away in jail.
Graves of Ranger won re-election Tuesday to the state’s 14th District. His opponent, Democrat Steve Foster, was sentenced to six months in jail for drunken driving in August. Foster of Dalton refused to quit the race and remained behind bars until Election Day. His attorney, Richard Murray, said Foster was released Tuesday.
The northwest Georgia seat Graves has held since 2010 strongly favors Republicans. Foster would have been considered a longshot even if he had not been jailed.
Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins has been re-elected to his seat in northeast Georgia.
Collins of Gainesville overcame Democratic challenger Josh McCall on Tuesday as midterm elections were held across the U.S. to determine which party controls Congress.
The win grants Collins with a fourth term in Georgia’s 9th District, a seat he’s held since 2013. McCall is a high school teacher from Gainesville.
The 9th District covers portions of 20 counties in the northeast corner of Georgia.
A judge has extended voting hours at more polling locations in Georgia, where some voters have complained of waiting for hours in long lines.
An order issued Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court says one polling place in the county, home to much of Atlanta, must allow voters to keep casting ballots until 9 p.m. — a full two hours after polls closed statewide. Two additional polling locations must remain open even longer, until 10 p.m.
A court in neighboring Gwinnett County also extended hours Tuesday at three polling places.
Some Georgia voters have reported waiting as long as three hours to vote Tuesday because of a shortage of voting machines and other problems at poll locations.
Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp — who is also in charge of the state’s election — had problems voting.
The Georgia governor’s race is one of the most closely-watched in the country, due in part to an ongoing dispute over Kemp’s management of the election system.
Kemp had an issue with his voter card when he went to cast his ballot, but it was fixed quickly. He walked by reporters and said: “Take Two.”
There have been widespread reports of technical malfunctions and long lines at polling stations across the state.
Over the weekend, a private citizen alerted the Georgia Democratic Party and a private attorney of potential vulnerability in the online voter database that Kemp oversees in his current job as secretary of state.
Kemp later announced, without providing any evidence, that he was launching an investigation into Georgia Democrats for “possible cybercrimes.”
Officials in one Georgia county have been ordered to extend voting hours at three poll locations.
Under an order issued Tuesday in Gwinnett County Superior Court, two polling locations in the county are staying open until 7:14 and 7:30 p.m. respectively. A third location will continue allowing voters to cast ballots until 9:25 p.m.
The site staying open latest is Annistown Elementary school, where some voters reported waiting in line up to three hours Tuesday.
Joe Sorenson is a spokesman for the Gwinnett County, Georgia, supervisor of elections. He said earlier Tuesday some precincts had issues with “express polls,” which create cards that amount to electronic ballots.
Voters in an Atlanta neighborhood arrived at a library that’s been their polling site for years to find a car with two hand-written signs on its windshield that said, “NOT A VOTING LOCATION.”
Jessica Olson says she’s lived in the Midtown neighborhood near the library polling place where she’s voted for nearly 10 years. Suddenly this year, she was told she isn’t supposed to vote here. Instead, she’s supposed to go to a church nearly 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away.
In this pedestrian neighborhood, many walk to the polls.
Fulton County said in a statement that the change was made in early 2018 because the library will close for renovations.
At the new polling site at the church, 26-year-old Mylandria Ponder says she’s been waiting an hour and 20 minutes and now is leaving, although she hopes to return later in the day.
Some voters in one of Georgia’s most diverse counties are complaining that they’ve had to wait more than 3 hours to cast their ballots at a polling place in Snellville, east of Atlanta.
Ontaria Woods said she arrived at Annistown Elementary School at 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More than three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line. She said she witnessed about two dozen people leave in frustration without voting because of the long wait.
Joe Sorenson is a spokesman for the Gwinnett County, Georgia, supervisor of elections. He says he can’t confirm the wait times, but he says four precincts have had issues with “express polls,” which create cards that amount to electronic ballots.
The elections director in Atlanta says he’s heard of long lines Tuesday morning but no other issues, despite what has been posted on Twitter.
Richard Barron, Fulton County’s director of registration and Elections, says “Twitter’s irrelevant,” and he doesn’t trust anything he reads there.
He blames some problems on a limited number of machines available because of a federal judge’s order to sequester more than 700 of the county’s voting machines more than a year ago.
Barron said the county only had 40 spare machines, so if there are widespread problems, that judge’s order was not going to help matters.
Georgia voters finally get their say in a hotly contested gubernatorial race.
Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams have been locked in a tight race for months.
There were problems with the voting machines in Gwinnett County on Tuesday morning. Paper ballots were being used at a school near Snellville. Hundreds of voters were in line late Tuesday morning, waiting to make their choices.
Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said the problem was not electrical. He said new equipment is being brought to the school.
Georgia Democrats hope enthusiasm for Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign will help them win open seats for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and insurance commissioner.
Republicans have held all the statewide offices in Georgia since 2010.
Georgia voters are turning out to decide several key Election Day contests beyond the heated race for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.
Democrats hope enthusiasm for Abrams’ campaign will also help them win open seats for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and insurance commissioner. Republicans have successfully shut out Democrats from holding any statewide office in Georgia since 2010.
Republican Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall face strong Democratic challengers in metro Atlanta congressional districts long considered safe for the GOP. Democrats see a potential opening as demographic shifts have made the Atlanta suburbs less white.
Meanwhile, Republican incumbents on the utility-regulating Public Service Commission are running amid an outcry over spiraling costs for the Plant Vogtle nuclear plant expansion.