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The Latest: Georgia secretary of state race heads to runoff

November 7, 2018
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A Fulton County election worker counts provisional ballots, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Atlanta. Malfunctioning voting machines, missing power cords, and hours-long lines at the polls are being scrutinized in Georgia, where the governor's race is still undecided as votes are still being tallied.(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on Georgia elections (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

At least one statewide race in Georgia is headed to a runoff election.

Unofficial returns show Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger and former Democratic congressman John Barrow will face off again Dec. 4 in a runoff for Georgia secretary of state. Neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday to win a three-way race with Libertarian Smythe Duval.

The office is currently held by Republican Brian Kemp, who passed on seeking re-election to run for governor.

Three other down-ballot races in Georgia remained too close to call Wednesday. Republican Jim Beck leads Democrat Janice Laws in the race for Georgia’s next insurance commissioner. But unofficial returns show he’s barely above the threshold that would trigger a runoff.

Meanwhile, two GOP incumbents on the Public Service Commission — Chuck Eaton and Tricia Pridemore — are both struggling to avoid runoffs with Democrats Lindy Miller and Dawn Randolph.

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3:25 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel isn’t conceding a too-close-to-call race against Democratic challenger Lucy McBath.

Unofficial election returns show a vote margin of less than 1 percent separating the two candidates in metro Atlanta’s 6th District, a suburban seat long considered safe for Republicans. The Associated Press has not called the race for either candidate.

Handel’s campaign issued a short statement Wednesday after McBath claimed victory.

The congresswoman’s statement said: “Given the close results of our race, and the fact that the official results at this time are within the 1% threshold where a recount is possible, we believe it is prudent to review and assess all data before making additional actions or statements.”

McBath is a gun-control advocate whose teenage son was slain in 2012. Handel won a special congressional election last year.

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2:40 p.m.

Democrat Lucy McBath is declaring victory in her too-close-to-call race against Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel of Georgia.

Unofficial election returns show a vote margin of less than 1 percent separating the two candidates in metro Atlanta’s 6th District, a suburban seat long considered safe for Republicans. The Associated Press has not declared a winner in that race.

McBath released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying: “After a hard fought race, I am honored to announce that the people of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District have put their trust in my vision for the future of our district and nation.”

Handel’s campaign did not immediately return phone and email messages.

McBath is a gun-control advocate whose teenage son was slain in 2012. Handel won a special congressional election last year.

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12:15 p.m.

Democrats who took control of the U.S. House in the midterm elections are still hoping for upset victories over Republican incumbents in two extremely close congressional races in the Atlanta suburbs.

Unofficial returns Wednesday morning showed GOP Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall neck-and-neck with Democratic challengers. Both races were too close to call and campaigns said they were still awaiting final tallies of absentee ballots.

Handel faces Democratic gun-control activist Lucy McBath in metro Atlanta’s 6th District. Handel is running again after winning a closely watched special election last year against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Woodall is being challenged by Democratic college professor Carolyn Bourdeaux in the neighboring 7th District.

Either race could trigger a recount if the final vote margin separating the rivals is 1 percent or less.

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3:25 a.m.

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.

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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This story has been corrected to say Jim Beck, not Jim Black.

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