Jack Kingston will not be headed back to Washington.
The 22-year politician was defeated by challenger David Perdue in Tuesday’s tightly contested Republican runoff for Georgia’s open seat in the U.S. Senate. The race was called shortly before 11 p.m., with Perdue claiming about 51 percent of the unofficial vote total.
“I’ve never run for anything in my life, and I’m really humbled by this,” Perdue said in an address to supporters, aired on WAGA-TV. “… I never thought that this was in our future, even a few years ago.”
Perdue took 21,227 votes in Gwinnett County, about 4,200 more than Kingston. That difference mirrored the turnout in much of metro Atlanta, where Perdue took every county over his competitor from south Georgia.
With 94 percent of precincts reporting throughout the state, the former CEO of several big-name companies had claimed just over 242,000 of the 476,375 votes. The total was about 8,000 more than Kingston.
In a concession speech in front of supporters, Kingston expressed support for Perdue in November’s general election.
“We will win in November, we will keep Georgia in the Republican column,” Kingston said in the message, also aired on WAGA-TV. “But far more importantly, let’s keep at it, let’s do our homework, so we can turn this country around.”