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Georgia Election Results: Former Gov. Roy Barnes wins Democratic primary; Handel, Deal in runoff

Updated at 11:05 p.m.
By Aaron Blake

Former Georgia governor Roy Barnes(D) won his party's nomination for governor Tuesday, while former secretary of state Karen Handel and former congressman Nathan Deal qualified for an Aug. 10 runoff on the GOP side.

Barnes defeated state Attorney General Thurbert Baker and five other Democrats in his race, getting nearly two-thirds of the vote. The Democratic Governors Association aims to be competitive for a seat now held by a Republican, Sonny Perdue, and Democrats are hopeful that Barnes's decisive win, while Republicans are still settling on a candidate, will give him a leg up in November.

Handel and Deal led five rivals in the Republican race. With four-fifths of the vote in, Handel was first at 33 percent, while Deal took the second spot with 24 percent of the vote.

Handel came into Tuesday's voting with the momentum, thanks in part to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's (R) late endorsement. But after a wide-open primary, the runoff in three weeks appears to be anybody's game.

Deal earned the endorsement of another potential 2012 contender, former Georgia congressman and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R).

State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who was favored for much of the primary campaign, wound up a disappointing fourth.

In other races held in the state Tuesday, GOP state Reps. Austin Scott and Mike Keown won their primaries and will face targeted Reps. Jim Marshall (D) and Sanford Bishop (D). Scott and Keown have both drawn some attention from national Republicans, though theirs aren't yet considered top-tier races.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) won his primary over former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jonesand DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes. Johnson drew the primary opposition after, during a congressional hearing, he suggested the island of Guam may capsize from over-population. He has also battled the effects of Hepatitis C in recent years.

Rep. John Barrow (D) easily won his primary as well. But Rep. Tom Graves (R) fell about 400 votes short of a majority, so he will face a runoff with the man he beat in last month's special election, former state Sen. Lee Hawkins.

In the state's Senate race, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond ran away with the Democratic nomination and will face Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in November. The race isn't likely to be competitive unless recent health issues compromise Isakson's campaign.

By Aaron Blake  |  July 20, 2010; 9:45 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

I'd be very surprised if the facts that Deal used to be a Democrat and used to be (still is?) pro choice didn't come up quite often in the runoff.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | July 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So in the run-off it's Handel vs. Deal. That's going to be quite a primary between now and then. I get the feeling that b/c Handel has played the gender card, Deal now will too. If Deal got the endorsements of Oxendine & Johnson, he becomes the favorite. If they split, this one could come really down to the wire. Also, Gov. Perdue seems to be in support of Handel. How about Senators? Will they endorse? This race really is up in the air. Barnes winning the Democratic nomination does give Democrats a shot to take back the governor's mansion in Georgia. I predict it will not happen as Georgia has gone far right. I think Barnes has a better shot against Handel than he does against Deal. Time will tell, but I'd say Deal has an electibility argument there in Georgia.

Posted by: reason5 | July 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Barnes is a good ole boy re-tread. It's hard to see much optimism in the Dems regurgitation of the former Governor who will try to say he's transformed into something better than the iPad.

Posted by: 2012frank | July 21, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Who could vote for a guy named Thurbert?"

The state of Georgia, multiple times. The size of Barnes' win is really impressive, considering that about every high ranking Dem official left in Georgia ran in the primary. Meanwhile, assuming Handel wins the runoff, it means that every southern state save Mississippi and Tennessee will have nominated a woman for Governor at some point. Mississippi Dems almost nominated Evelyn Gandy for Gov in the late 70s/early 80s, but her support collapsed when it came out that she helped write Sen. Theodore Bilbo's book "Segregation or Mongrelization"

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | July 21, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Shrink! You've been missed.

One of the things I am enjoying about the coverage of these smaller, local races is the local posters we get. We have had some interesting posts from locals in SC, GA and WV. AL, not so much. We had some good posts from KY when that state was on the boil.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 21, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

what no mention of Deal's whako behaviour? Actually sending a letter to the WH demanding to see the Prez's birth certificate isn't the actions of a sane man, but I guess if he's GOP, and trying to be the Gov of a southern state, he'll fit right in...

Posted by: katem1 | July 21, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

what no mention of Deal's whako behaviour? Actually sending a letter to the WH demanding to see the Prez's birth certificate isn't the actions of a sane man, but I guess if he's GOP, and trying to be the Gov of a southern state, he'll fit right in...

Posted by: katem1 | July 21, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

what no mention of Deal's whako behaviour? Actually sending a letter to the WH demanding to see the Prez's birth certificate isn't the actions of a sane man, but I guess if he's GOP, and trying to be the Gov of a southern state, he'll fit right in...

Posted by: katem1 | July 21, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

There's a type-o in WaPo's teaser for this article (on the main Politics page).

"Party's" is spelled "parties".

Posted by: paul65 | July 21, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Today Sarah Palin endorsed Karen Handel as governor of Georgia. While I have nothing against Sarah Palin, she obviously did not do her homework on this endorsement. Karen Handel reversed her position and supported unverifiable voting in Georgia while she was accepting $25,000 in direct campaign contribution from individuals connected to the voting machine vendor lobbyist, Massey & Bowers . We also explained that Karen Handel even hired a former partner of the lobbying firm, Rob Simms, as her deputy after she was elected. He has since raised untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in indirect contributions for her gubernatorial campaign. Her office conducted politically motivated investigations as documented by 63 Articles of Impeachment.

Posted by: aprilshowers422 | July 21, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse


Health care (transformation) is one of the best issues this current administration has done thus far. With this change individuals will have the opportunity to seek professional and quality health care services. Who would want to return to the days of the horse and buggy, b/w tv sets, manual typewriters, pac man, you get the point? That's about how old the health care system was in the USA. Each day the news is filled with social tragedies in which lives are taken at the hands of known acquaintences and/or family members. Our society is stricken with the institutions of white collar crime permeating throughout this great nation and greed which tends to strike at the very fabric of our country. If you are looking for affordable health insurance check out http://bit.ly/chE6zp . I hope everyone will soon recognize and use the resources made by this transformation to seek professional medical attention as the need arises rather than turning to illegal and criminal activities to resolve their issues.

Posted by: jordanrow | July 21, 2010 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Democrats might really might return to power in this state, because the Republicans cut back on education before the economy went bad. Cuts in funding went from bad to worse. Gov. Perdue gave a big contract to phone company and IBM for technology services, cutting state jobs. It was good for the companies, but not for taxpayers. He refused to increase gas taxes, the lowest of the 50 states, and now roads have deteriorated into almost third word status. Georgia is almost as bad a shape as California, unemployment is almost as high.

Posted by: Georgiaguy88 | July 21, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

It took me a moment, shrink, but my congrats on a beautiful piece of spam parody.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 20, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

the retreat winter sincere appearance, lets lithe, the individuality, the fashion,
the sex appeal, mature you start from here! Has a good news to tell everybody: Recently, every bought full 200 US dollars in this company, then has the present to see off

This could be an important semiotic installation. This day in the year of our lord or whatever when China overcame the United States of America in consumption.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 20, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

We read here previously that Barnes raised big bucks in the reporting period.

Do we know yet if the sums were raised from many small donors or a few big ones?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 20, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course Barnes won. Who could vote for a guy named Thurbert?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 20, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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