The race to represent the GOP in the Georgia Senate election will be decided in a runoff election between Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue following Tuesday's primary.
With more than 94 percent of the vote counted, Kingston was at 30.2 percent of ballots cast with Kingston four percentage points behind. Former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, who had been running neck and neck with Kingston in the polls, was in third with 21.8 percent.
Kingston had been trailing in recent polls to Perdue but performed better in Tuesday's election as Handel's share of the vote failed to hold up to expectations.
As the results were coming in Kingston told Newsmax he was confident that his second place would hold up. "We feel like we're going to end up with good news tonight, but we're going to have a long way to go in the morning — and it's a great time to get started," he said in an interview from his election night headquarters at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
He said he believes that Georgia voters are ready for another Republican runoff.
"The people are always going to want to know what are the differences between the candidates," he said. "They will see them pretty readily.
"Mr. Perdue has come out for a tax increase, and that's something that most Republican voters are not fired up about. He's soft on the Second Amendment. His business record is abysmal. That's part of what the process is."
The 11-term congressman, who was endorsed by Newsmax in the primary race, noted that he has a 96 percent approval rating by the American Conservative Union.
"My vote record is a matter of history, a matter of the public record," Kingston added. "People will be scrutinizing my vote record. As people look at my voting record, it'll look better to them than his business record."
Kingston was one of three GOP congressmen who gave up their House seats to challenge for the Senate. Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey were back in fourth and fifth place in the primary, garnering around 10 percent of the vote each.
Perdue and Kingston now have to start all over again preparing for a July run-off. The eventual GOP nominee will take on Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of revered former four-term Sen. Sam Nunn, in the November election, who easily won her primary.
They will compete to replace two-term GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring.
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