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Perdue, Kingston in runoff to battle Nunn for U.S. Senate

Jack Kingston

Jack Kingston

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David Perdue

The highly anticipated match-up for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat won’t be decided for another two months.

Republican voters Tuesday sent businessman David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston to a July runoff to determine who will square off against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

While Nunn sailed to the nomination for the seat, which will replace Saxby Chambliss, the seven-person GOP field was not so easily whittled. Perdue brought in about 30 percent of the vote, as of press time, with Kingston taking about 27 percent of the support.

“Georgia Republicans have spoken tonight. They are concerned about the mess in Washington like you and I are,” said Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue who campaigned as a Washington outsider. “One thing we did do tonight, we retired three career politicians. We’ve got one more to go.”

Kingston, a congressman from Savannah who had the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a message to voters: “While this is cause for celebration, we cannot rest on our laurels. Tonight we must redouble our efforts.”

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel was the lead vote-getter in Gwinnett, but she missed the runoff with about 21 percent of the statewide total.

Congressmen Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey both pulled in just under 10 percent of the vote.

Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, who has been a national Democratic darling, had no trouble besting three other candidates in the race.

She garnered more than 80 percent of the support in Gwinnett, with Steen Miles barely breaking double digits and Branko Radulovacki and Todd Robinson bringing in little support.

“Over and over on the campaign trail, people, through their words and actions, have declared that our political leaders can do better,” Nunn said. “Georgians know that Washington is not working for them. They tell me they are tired of the political dysfunction, the finger pointing and the name-calling.”

“Tonight, we send a message to Washington that we want something different,” she added.