Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan appears to have beat Duluth-based state Sen. David Shafer in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor Tuesday night by such a slim margin that it is likely headed for a recount.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Duncan narrowly led Shafer by just 1,730 votes.
When the candidates are within 1 percent of each other, the loser can ask for a recount under state law, opening up the possibility that the race could remain unsettled for at least a few days. Results are unofficial pending the counting of any provisional ballots and certification by each county's elections department.
Just before midnight, Duncan tweeted, thanking Shafer for his service and looking ahead toward the general election.
"Congratulations to @DavidShafer on his service to our state and on a very competitive race. He’s a tough as nails opponent and he’s made me a better candidate for the general election. #gapol#TeamDuncan"
While not as heated as the Republican race for governor, the GOP runoff for lieutenant governor wasn’t a friendly contest, either. Duncan had painted Shafer as a government insider and accused the senator of being unethical. Meanwhile, Shafer said Duncan was deceiving voters and he set up a website to discount claims made by his opponent’s campaign.
Shafer declined to comment about the results during an election night party at Madcaps in downtown Duluth.
In the Republican secretary of state runoff race, state Rep. Brad Raffensperger defeated former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle 61.76 percent to 38.24 percent.
Otha E. Thornton Jr. defeated Sid Chapman 59.09 percent to 40.91 percent in the Democratic runoff for state school superintendent.
In local races, Carolyn Bourdeaux defeated David Kim 51.87 percent to 48.13 percent in the Democratic runoff for the 7th Congressional District seat.
Tracey Mason defeated Veronica Cope 63.41 percent to 36.59 percent in the Gwinnett County Superior Court race.
Bonnie Rich defeated Kipper Tabb 61.63 percent to 38.37 percent in the House District 97 Republican runoff while Paula Hastings defeated Zach Procter 64.27 percent to 35.73 percent in the House District 102 race. Former state Rep. Donna Sheldon defeated Robin Mauck 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent in the Republican House District 105 runoff.