election news

Pierce County voters favored incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Tuesday’s special run-off election.

Perdue outpolled Democrat Jon Ossoff 6,971-956. Perdue’s winning percentage was 88 percent to 12 percent. Loeffler received 6,979 and Democrat, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, received 947 votes. The percentages were identical at 88 percent for Loeffler and 12 percent for Ossoff.

Perdue also received 88 percent of the vote in Pierce County in the general election in November.

Statewide, Warnock defeated Loeffler 51 percent to 49 percent or by about 83,000 votes out of the roughly 4.5 million votes cast. Ossoff’s margin was smaller as he won by about 50,000 votes or 50.5 percent to Perdue’s 49.5 percent.

Both of Georgia’s Senate seats will now be held by Democrats for the first time since Senators Zell Miller and Max Cleland held the seats in 2002.

The run-offs were required after no candidate received a 50 percent plus one majority in the general election Nov. 3.

Perdue was two-tenths of a point shy of the threshold in November owing to the presence of Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel in the race. Hazel drew 1.2 percent of the vote statewide in the general election.

Loeffler was the incumbent and was running to fill the unexpired term of former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, who resigned due to health reasons. Loeffler was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to serve until the general election. She faced off in a jungle election November 3 which featured a total of 20 candidates. Warnock finished first statewide then, but only with 33 percent of the vote. Loeffler earned the second run-off slot with 26 percent, fending off a challenge by fellow conservative, U.S. Representative Doug Collins. Collins received more votes in Pierce County in November, out-polling Loeffler 4,034-2,821. Warnock was a distant third locally in November with 478 votes.

In the lone state race and the lone bright spot for Georgia Republicans, Incumbent Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. won another term as Public Service Commissioner (PSC). McDonald beat Democrat Daniel Blackman handily in Pierce County with 3,983-482. McDonald also won statewide with 51 percent of the vote.  McDonald and Blackman were forced into a run off due to the presence of Libertarian candidate Nathan Wilson in the general election. Wilson received three percent of the vote statewide, depriving McDonald of an outright win.

Voter turnout in Pierce County was 61.26 percent as almost 7,946 of Pierce County’s 12,971 registered voters cast ballots. The total number was down about 10 percent or about 1,100 fewer voters than the November general election.

Most of Pierce County’s voters, 4,506 voters, chose to vote early, down from the 6,421 who voted early in November.  A total of 2,468 cast ballots in person last Tuesday, up from 1,347 voters who showed up to vote in person on Election Day in November. A total of 952 voters cast ballots by mail, down from 1,347 in November.