Bobby Banks faces an Aug. 10 runoff to preserve his District 1 seat on the Hall County Board of Commissioners against former Flowery Branch City Councilman Craig Lutz.
The two emerged with the most votes in Tuesday's primary that involved a third Republican, Robert "Kimbo" Senter.
"I really figured there'd be a runoff because of three well-known candidates (in the race)," said Banks, who was the highest vote-getter in his quest to win a second four-year term.
"I've got to get back out there and knock on doors. There are a lot of folks grouping me with the whole commission, but I ... spoke my mind, I didn't care who I offended," he said. "I did everything that I could to do it right and make sure it was above board."
Lutz didn't nail down second place until the final returns.
"It's been a stressful evening," he said. "This was the playoffs. Now, we've got a chance to qualify for the next round and we're going to hit the ground running," Lutz said.
He added that in the next three weeks, "I'd like to get my opponent to debate me. It's a matter right now of getting our word out to the public, and it would be nice if the incumbent would do the same."
Senter couldn't be reached for comment.
The runoff winner will face Democratic challenger Paul Wayne Godfrey in the Nov. 2 election.
Scott Gibbs beat Jones Cottrell with nearly 60 percent of the votes to become the next District 3 commissioner. No Democrats qualified for the race, so Gibbs will run unopposed in November.
"I feel very honored and humbled by the votes that I received and the people that gave them to me," Gibbs said. "I hope that I can fulfill what they are expecting of me."
Though he was not pleased with the outcome of the race, Cottrell congratulated his opponent.
"I've just been whipped soundly it looks like," Cottrell said. "It's disappointing, but Scott ran a good race and I'm sure he'll do a good job."