The 9th District U.S. House race is set with GOP and Democratic nominees after a campaign season that at one time featured 12 candidates in both parties combined.
Republican Andrew Clyde, an Athens-based gun dealer and Navy veteran, will face off against Democrat Devin Pandy, an Army veteran and Gainesville resident, in the Nov. 3 general election.
Clyde survived what was a nine-person field before beating state Rep. Matt Gurtler in the runoff Tuesday, Aug. 11. Clyde won 56.3% of the vote, or 50,059 votes, to state Rep. Matt Gurtler’s 43.7%, 38,832 votes, the Secretary of State’s website reported as of Wednesday afternoon.
Clyde narrowly trailed Gurtler in the nine-way primary in June but reaped support and endorsements from many state Republicans. Clyde touted his successful advocacy of restrictions on the IRS after the agency seized $940,000 from him in 2013.
He will be a heavy favorite in November in one of the nation's most reliably Republican congressional districts. The 9th covers all or part of 20 northeast Georgia counties, including Hall. The seat is open because Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins is running for U.S. Senate.
Clyde didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.
Gurtler sought to bring his quest for a small government aligned with his vision of the U.S. Constitution to Congress. But there was a split, with some Republicans backing Clyde because of Gurtler’s rebellion against the GOP state House leadership, while the GOP-friendly Club for Growth backed Gurtler and ran ads attacking Clyde. As a state representative, some dubbed Gurtler as “Dr. No” for how often he voted against legislation.
In the Democratic runoff on Tuesday, Pandy defeated Brooke Siskin after trailing her in a three-way June primary.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Pandy had received 68.5% of the vote, or 8,013 votes, to Siskin’s 3,691 votes, or 31.5%, the Secretary of State’s office reported.
Pandy said his military career has prepared him for Congress, and he will work with other Democrats to help the party in the region. He also pledged to help farmers and veterans, protect the environment and improve access to health care.
“I am ready to move on … and let people know that they don’t have to be afraid of Devin Pandy, the Democrat,” he said Tuesday night. “This is Devin Pandy, the person, the soldier who fought for his country and now the candidate who is fighting for his district.””
Siskin was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in March at a Gwinnett County bank, and police found a loaded handgun in her car. A judge found Siskin in contempt on June 19 for violating a 2012 divorce decree requiring that she surrender weapons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.