Results of voting in Forsyth County for Georgia’s presidential preference primary, with all 25 precincts reporting:
President — Republican
* Newt Gingrich: 14,419 votes, or 48 percent
* Mitt Romney: 8,533 votes, or 28 percent
* Rick Santorum: 5,249 votes, or 17 percent
* Ron Paul: 1,923 votes, or 6 percent
* Five other candidates combined for 186 votes, or about 1 percent
President — Democrat
* Barack Obama: 799 votes, or 100 percent
Sunday sales — Forsyth County
* Yes: 21,491 votes, or 69 percent
* No: 9,846 votes, or 31 percent
Sunday sales — Cumming
* Yes: 363 votes, or 61 percent
* No: 232 votes, or 39 percent
Source: Forsyth County Elections Office
Voters in Cumming and Forsyth County backed Newt Gingrich in the Republican presidential preference primary Tuesday.
They also gave overwhelming support to referendums that will allow stores in the city and county to sell alcohol on Sundays.
“Both Sunday sales referendums won by a good margin,” said Barbara Luth, Forsyth County’s election supervisor. “I can’t tell you why on the presidential race. I guess with Newt being from Georgia.”
Luth said Forsyth’s strong turnout — about 32 percent, which exceeded projections — was largely because of its large Republican presence.
“I think part of it was the alcohol and I think part of it was that the candidates were out here and it was important for them to vote for the candidate of their choice,” she said.
Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, made two trips to Forsyth, while Santorum visited once, in the weeks leading up to the election.
The Sunday alcohol sales measure passed in the county with 21,491 votes, or about 69 percent, to 9,846 votes, or about 31 percent.
In Cumming, the final tally was 363 votes, or about 61 percent, in favor and 232 votes, or about 39 percent, against.
Jim Boff, chairman of the county commission, said he expected residents to approve the issue, since the referendum has passed in nearly all jurisdictions in Georgia that have put the question on the ballot.
“I’m glad people got an opportunity to express what they want to do,” Boff said. “And it’s pretty clear what it is they want.”
Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt could not immediately be reached for comment.
Neighboring Dawson and Hall counties also approved Sunday package sales in Tuesday’s election.
Sunday sales could begin in Forsyth starting March 18, contingent on the election results being certified at least two days prior.
The hours of sale for the county will mirror the state statute, allowing for purchases between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Overall in Forsyth, 31,463 of Forsyth’s 98,819 registered voters, or about 32 percent, cast ballots in Tuesday’s election.
The polls had barely closed Tuesday night when the national media called Georgia a win for Gingrich. But it took Forsyth a little longer to reach the same result.
In the end, Gingrich won convincingly in the county. He tallied 14,419 votes, or roughly 48 percent, about what he received statewide.
“They called it about 15 seconds after the thing closed,” joked Peggy Green of how quickly Georgia was declared for Gingrich. “I was very pleased and very excited. I thought it was great.”
Green, a Gingrich supporter and president of the Republican Women of Forsyth County, said she knew early on Gingrich would take the state, but had hoped he would carry more than 50 percent of the vote.
Mitt Romney came in second, both in the state and Forsyth, where he received 8,533 votes, or about 28 percent.
Rick Santorum’s 5,249 votes, or about 17 percent, placed him third in Forsyth.