For those primary contests not heading to a runoff, there was much surprise at how close the results were, particularly for the District 26 post in the state House of Representatives.
Political newcomer Geoff Duncan defeated fellow Forsyth County resident Tom Knox, a former state lawmaker, by 55 votes.
Duncan received 50.31 percent, or 4,503 votes, to Knox’s 49.69 percent, or 4,448 votes.
“When you get down to the end and you see that you lost by 55 votes, the people have spoken and the campaign is over with and the election is over with and that’s the system we operate under and it’s a good one,” Knox said.
“I’ve won an election by 71 votes … and this time I lost by 55, and nobody knows exactly why. That’s the power of the individual votes.”
Knox, an attorney, served as a state representative in House District 24 from 2001-10 and later ran for state insurance and safety fire commissioner. He had not decided whether to pursue a recount.
Duncan said he was nervous watching the election returns, which sent the lead back in forth throughout Tuesday night. But prior to that, it was like the calm before the storm.
“Today was probably the most relaxed day I’ve had in six months,” he said. “Our team has worked so hard and we put everything out on the line. We had so many volunteers just thinking through all the effort that’s being put forward.”
Winning the election was just the first step, said Duncan, a former pitcher in the Florida Marlins baseball organization and current business owner.
“The job in front of me is going to be even harder,” he said, adding that he’s up for the challenge.
“This from day one has been about what my constituents want and what the next generation needs,” he said. “This is about the people of the 26th district and Forsyth County. That’s who I work for.”
Knox said he may not have won the election, but plans to remain actively involved.
“There’s more than one way to serve than just being elected,” he said. “We need to have a bunch more people involved in the process because we have some pretty serious things facing us in the next few months, much less the next few years.”