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Turnout strong in Forsyth for runoff

POSTED: July 23, 2014 12:54 a.m.
Micah Green/

Tina McGinley, joined by daughters Maggie and Kathleen, casts her ballot in the state primary runoff election Tuesday afternoon at the Mashburn precinct on Buford Highway.

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FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County’s election supervisor attributed the 16 percent voter turnout for Tuesday’s state primary runoff election to the efforts local politicians made to get to know constituents.

“The candidates got out and pushed people to go out and vote,” said Barbara Luth, adding turnout that high for a runoff is unusual.

According to Luth, voters encountered no delays at the polls Tuesday. All the voting machines functioned properly, and lines were not long at any of the 16 precincts.

“As soon as [voters] got their cards encoded, they were at the machines,” Luth said. “Nobody had to wait.”

The early voting period may have helped. Nearly 5,200 people cast ballots early either by mail or in person between June 30 and July 18.

Two local races highlighted the Republican ballot — District 27 state Senate and Forsyth County solicitor general.

Michael Williams won the state Senate race, bringing to a close incumbent Jack Murphy’s 12-year stint in the Georgia General Assembly. 

William “Bill” Finch defeated Donna Gopaul to become the county’s next solicitor general. Gopaul was appointed to the post in March 2013 by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Republican voters living in the southwest Forsyth precincts of Brandywine, Polo and Midway also got to vote in the race for the District 22 seat in the state House of Representatives.

The county and the district, which also covers part of Cherokee, northern Fulton counties, backed Wes Cantrell over Meagan Biello.

No Democrats are running for any of the three offices in the General Election on Nov. 4, so the runoff decided the outcome.

In the Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, Forsyth voters backed businessman David Perdue over longtime U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston.

Perdue garnered 9,396 votes in Forsyth, or 57 percent of the total, compared to Kingston’s 7,212 votes, or 43 percent.

Late Tuesday, the Associated Press was reporting that Perdue defeated Kingston, setting up a general election matchup against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Unofficial statewide returns showed Perdue with a lead of more than 6,000 votes, with about 93 percent of precincts reporting.

Perdue is a former corporate CEO making his first bid for public office. He campaigned as an outsider and called Kingston a career politician who has done little to solve the nation's problems.

Kingston is an 11-term congressman from Savannah.

The Perdue-Nunn race will be one of the most critical matchups of the November midterm elections.

Republicans need six more seats to win Senate control for the final two years of President Barack Obama's administration. The GOP cannot afford to lose outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat.

In the race for state school superintendent, Forsyth voters backed Richard Woods over Michael Buck on the Republican side by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin.

For their party’s nomination, Forsyth Democrats supported Valarie Wilson against Alisha Morgan, also by a 53-47 percent margin.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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