Georgia Republican voters Tuesday night had a nail-biter of a primary for U.S. Senate. But in the late hours, businessman David Perdue, who is also a cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), has emerged as the winner against 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Perdue has 51 percent of the vote, to Kingston's 49 percent; The Associated Press has projected Perdue as the winner. The incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring after two terms.
In the first round of the Republican primary back on May 20, Perdue finished first with 31 percent, followed closely behind by Kingston with 26 percent, in a field of five significant candidates. The GOP runoff race then turned nasty, as when the two candidates met for a single debate — and each accused the other of being out of touch and benefiting from insider deals.
Perdue will now face a potentially close race for this red-state seat against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, a former non-profit director who headed up the Points of Light Foundation, the national volunteerism group founded by former President George H.W. Bush. And like Perdue, Nunn also has a close family link to politics: She is the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, who held this same U.S. Senate seat from 1972 until his retirement in 1996.