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Graves bests Hawkins in 9th District runoff
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Forsyth County News
In a battle of former state lawmakers, Tom Graves bested Lee Hawkins in Tuesday's runoff election for the 9th District U.S. House seat.

Graves, a Ranger businessman, carried Forsyth County and the district to fill the unexpired term of Nathan Deal, who resigned to run for governor.

The district spans 15 North Georgia counties, including most of Forsyth.

Forsyth County's unofficial elections returns showed Graves tallied 5,224 votes, or about 63 percent, to 3,074 votes, or about 37 percent, for Hawkins, a dentist from Gainesville.

Graves won all 23 of the county's precincts that are in the 9th District. Portions of south Forsyth are in the 7th congressional district.

Districtwide, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Graves had 22,684 votes, or 56.5 percent, and Hawkins had 17,499 votes, 43.5 percent.

Graves and Hawkins were the top two vote-getters in a May 11 special election that featured eight candidates.

Graves drew 35 percent of the vote last month, with Hawkins at 23 percent.

The two candidates and four other Republican hopefuls are on the ballot for the July 20 primary 9th District race.

At stake is a full, two-year congressional term that begins in January. There are no Democrats running.

Early voting in that race got under way Monday and continues through July 16.

Check back for updates at or see the next edition of the Forsyth County News for complete local election coverage.