STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
- Michael Buck 50%
- Richard Woods 50%
- Alisha Morgan 46%
- Valarie Wilson 54%
ATLANTA — The Republican primary runoff for state school superintendent proved too close to call Tuesday night.
Early, unofficial tallies showed longtime Irwin County educator Richard Woods with just over 50 percent of the vote against Michael Buck, the chief academic officer at the Georgia Department of Education.
Just over 700 votes separated the two candidates, less than 1 percent of the ballots cast.
State law allows a losing candidate to request a recount if the candidate trails by 1 percent or less.
The winner of the Republican contest will face Democratic nominee Valarie Wilson in the November general election. Wilson was the former chairwoman of the school board in Decatur.
Returns showed Wilson winning about 54 percent of the vote against state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Wilson was chairwoman of the City of Decatur’s School Board from 2005 to 2011. She previously worked as president of the Georgia School Boards Association.
In congressional races, Buddy Carter won the Republican nomination to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston in the U.S. House.
Carter, a state senator from Pooler, defeated Savannah surgeon Bob Johnson in a runoff in the 1st Congressional District, which covers Southeast Georgia from the coast to the Florida line. Carter counted on his political experience and connections, while Johnson courted tea party voters.
Kingston stepped aside after 22 years as the district’s congressman to run for the Senate.
Carter has served in the state Legislature since 2006. Before that he was mayor of Pooler, a small city outside Savannah.
In the November election, Carter will face Democrat Brian Reese of Savannah, who also won a runoff.
Reese defeated Amy Tavio of Richmond Hill. Early, unofficial counts showed Reese winning 63 percent of the vote.
Minister and talk radio host Jody Hice has won the nomination of Republicans trying to choose a successor to GOP Rep. Paul Broun of Athens.
Hice of Monroe defeated Mike Collins of Jackson in East Georgia’s 10th Congressional District. Broun vacated the seat to run unsuccessfully for the Senate.
Hice is a longtime advocate for political activism from the pulpit. He campaigned as an ideological successor to Broun, a congressman known for his fundamentalist Christian views. Collins is the son of a former Georgia congressman, Mac Collins.
Hice faces Democrat Ken Dious of Athens in November.
The 10th District was drawn to heavily favor Republicans. The seat covers a section of Eastern Georgia including Athens, Milledgeville and part of Columbia County outside Augusta.
Barry Loudermilk has been chosen by Republican voters to take GOP Rep. Phil Gingrey’s seat in Congress.
Loudermilk, a state senator from Cassville, defeated former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr in a GOP runoff for Gingrey’s House seat in the 11th District, which covers part of Atlanta’s northern suburbs.
No Democrats ran for the seat, essentially giving Loudermilk a free pass to Washington in the fall.
Barr, who helped lead the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, was denied a congressional comeback more than a decade after he became a casualty of a redistricting that forced him into a losing primary race against a fellow GOP incumbent, then-Rep. John Linder. He ran for president as a Libertarian in 2008.
Loudermilk ran for Congress after a decade in the state Legislature.