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Cooper earns commission seat; runoff possible for school board
GOP Senate runoff appears certain; Nunn, Deal, Collins earn nominations
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Angela Ivey casts her primary ballot at the Gainesville Civic Center. “We had people waiting (at 7 a.m.),” poll manager Michael Dyer said at 8:40 a.m. “That’s a change for us.” He referred questions of specific voter numbers to the county elections office. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Kathy Cooper defeated Ken Cochran by a slim 129-vote margin Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for the Post 1 seat on the Hall County Board of Commissioners, and with no Democratic challenger in the fall.

With 100 percent of precincts counted, Cooper earned 51.6 percent of the vote to edge Cochran for the seat currently held by Craig Lutz, who is trailing in a three-man race for a post on the Public Service Commission

In another tight local race, Hall School Board member Brian Sloan earned 50 percent of the vote against two challengers but may be headed to a runoff against Mark Pettitt, who edged third candidate Traci McBride by just three votes. Sloan appears to be a mere two votes shy of winning without a runoff, and a recount may be requested in the race, and with provisional ballots yet to be counted.

In the at-large school board post, incumbent Bill Thompson earned 63 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Paul Godfrey.

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate remained a tight battle Tuesday, with Jack Kingston and David Perdue leading five other candidates for likely spots in a July 22 runoff.

Michelle Nunn, daughter of longtime U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, earned the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by the retiring Saxby Chambliss.

Incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins each handily defeated Republican challengers to earn their party's nominations for the Nov. 4 ballot.

Deal bested John Barge and David Pennington in the GOP governor's primary and will face Democrat Jason Carter in November.

Collins defeated GOP challenger Bernie Fontaine and will take on Democrat David Vogel in the fall.

In another statewide race, Hall County attorney Ashley Bell is running third in the GOP race for school superintendent, trailing Mike Buck and Richard Woods. The top two candidates will meet in a runoff, with a runoff likely on the Democratic side as well.

Here are the latest vote percentage totals as reported by the Secretary of State's office and Hall County Elections Office websites (results are rounded up to the nearest whole percentage and some may not total 100 percent):

U.S. Senate
Paul Broun, 10%
Art Gardner, 1%
Phil Gingrey, 10%
Derrick Grayson, 1%
Karen Handel, 21%
Jack Kingston, 28%
 David Perdue, 30%

Steen Miles, 9%
 Michelle Nunn, 76%
Rad Radulovacki, 4%
Todd Robinson, 11%

9th District U.S. Representative
√ Doug Collins, 79%
Bernie Fontaine, 21%

John Barge, 12%
√ Nathan Deal, 72%

David Pennington, 16%

Hall County Board of Commissioners, District 1
Ken Cochran, 48%
√ Kathy Cooper, 52%

Hall County Board of Education At-large
√ Bill Thompson, 63%
Paul Godfrey, 37%

Hall County Board of Education, Post 2
Traci Lawson McBride, 25%
 Mark Pettitt, 25%
 Brian Sloan, 50%