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Hodges beats Teilhet in heated AG race

ATLANTA -- Former prosecutor Ken Hodges scored a resounding victory Tuesday over rival state Rep. Rob Teilhet in the Democratic race for the state's first open attorney general's seat in more than 60 years.

Unofficial returns show Hodges winning 66 percent of the vote with 90 percent of the precincts reporting, giving him an overwhelming win in what was one of the most heated races in Georgia's primary election season.

Teilhet generated controversy when he ran an emotional attack ad featuring a grieving mother who claimed Hodges made mistakes in a high-profile case involving the death of her son. Hodges countered that Teilhet was exploiting the victim for political gain.

''I think the voters of this state certainly rejected negative politics and they decided this was about experience, not about politics,'' Hodges said after his victory Tuesday night. ''They thought it was about seeking justice -- not about seeking office.''

Hodges will face the winner of a three-way Republican primary in November. Cobb County Commission chair Sam Olens advanced to an Aug. 10 runoff with 40 percent of the vote, leading state Sen. Preston Smith, who was in second, and ex-U.S. Attorney Max Wood.

A runoff involving the top two vote-getters is required if none of the candidates gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

In another high-profile race, Democrat Carol Porter won her party's nomination Tuesday for the right to challenge Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle for the state's No. 2 job.

Porter, the wife of House Minority Leader and gubernatorial hopeful DuBose Porter, has run her husband's political campaigns for 26 years and decided this year to run herself for the first time. She leads political newcomer Trish McCracken of Augusta with 70 percent of the vote.

In November she'll face Cagle, who had no GOP opposition and breezed to the November election with more than $800,000 in his campaign coffers.