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Georgia-12: Primary, recount, runoff… Recount?

Georgia-12: Primary, recount, runoff… Recount?

Although the Operation Counterweight list has been finalized, a race we are focusing on out of Georgia still has not produced a Republican candidate.

On August 21st, a runoff election was held to decide who the Republicans would put forward to take on the very vulnerable incumbent Democrat, John Barrow in what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has called “Georgia’s most competitive congressional contest.”

Following a close primary, State Representative Lee Anderson and August businessman Rick Allen had hoped Tuesday’s runoff would determine the winner once and for all.

However, the runoff has yet to solidify the Republican candidate.

Anderson led by 154 votes Wednesday in uncertified results. There are 139 uncounted overseas military ballots and an undetermined number of provisional ballots, according to Jared Thomas, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. Voters have until Friday to confirm their eligibility at the local board of elections, after which the counties can tabulate the provisional ballots and the state can certify the results.

If the margin remains this close, the Allen campaign plans to ask for a recount.

It would be the second recount in three weeks in the 12th District, which spans from Augusta to rural Coffee County in South Georgia. After a four-way July 31 primary, third-place Augusta attorney Wright McLeod asked for a recount, but it changed only a handful of votes.

In a recount, each county retabulates its electronic votes the same way it counts on Election Night.

Despite the narrow margin, Anderson has declared victory and wants to turn his attention to the incumbent.

“Tonight we won a battle,” Anderson told supporters Tuesday night, claiming victory. “Tonight we start our effort to win the war and send Barrow and [President Barack] Obama back home.”

McLeod and Dublin attorney Maria Sheffield, the other primary contestant, both endorsed Anderson after losing. They also called for Allen to step aside so the party could “unite” against Barrow.

Allen insists that he will request a recount if the margin between the two candidates remains within 1%.

The official results will be certified on September 4th, and at that point Allen has two days to formally request a recount.


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Meanwhile, a vulnerable Democrat marks time and conserves resources as Republicans squabble.

There seems to be a failure to get the concept of taking one for the team. However, it’s not clear where the failure lies: competent state and national parties would reassure the affected individual that the sacrifice will not be forgotten.