Rep. Matt Gurtler enjoyed front-runner status despite opposition from party leaders, but he was defeated by Andrew Clyde on Tuesday in the race for the U.S. House 9th District Republican nomination.
Gurtler, of Tiger, lost the support of many establishment Republicans during his tenure in the General Assembly, when he regularly voted against legislation supported by party leaders. Clyde earned notoriety after successfully working to pass a law that now bears his name and limits the Internal Revenue Service's ability to seize business owners' assets.
J.G. Hill, a 51-year-old voter from Gainesville, said he voted for Clyde. He said he was concerned Gurtler is too young to represent the district in Congress.
"I just think with Clyde, he's got a little more age, which can give a little more wisdom and experience," he said.
The 9th covers all or part of 20 northeast Georgia counties, including Hall. The seat is open because U.S. Rep. Doug Collins is running for U.S. Senate.
Who is Clyde: A Jackson County resident, he is the owner of Clyde Armory, based in Athens.
How he reacted: He couldn’t be reached for comment late Tuesday.
On the issues: He has said he is concerned about government overreach and protecting gun rights. “I think I know the Second Amendment inside out and sideways. The Second Amendment is the teeth behind the Constitution, protecting the First Amendment.” Also, “I’m very pro-life — from conception to natural death,” Clyde said.
What’s next: He faces Democrat Devin Pandy in the Nov. 3 general election.
The Associated Press contributed.