COVINGTON, Ga. — Mike Collins and Vernon Jones, both vying for the Republican nomination to represent Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, are headed for a runoff as primary election results were tallied Tuesday night.
With nearly 95% of precincts reporting, Collins, who is a Jackson native and owner of Collins Trucking, led the field of eight candidates with 25.56% of the vote. Collins previously ran for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in 2014 but lost in a runoff.
"Wow!" Collins said in a statement early Wednesday morning. "I’m honored and humbled to be in first place in our race heading to a runoff with a huge lead and a ton of momentum. These results clearly show that the hardworking folks of the 10th district want a Pro-Trump, America First, blue collar trucker who will fight for them every day in Washington.
"Over the past year, we’ve been putting in the work every day, knocking doors, putting up yard signs, making phone calls, meeting with voters and traveling every corner of this district to get our message out — and that’s why we’re in first place with a huge lead," he said. "For the next four weeks, we’re going to hit another level altogether, and win this race on June 21. Leigh Ann and I are so thankful for the tremendous support you’ve given us so far — now, let’s go finish this race strong and send a trucker to Washington who will fight for our values everyday in Washington. God bless!"
Trailing Collins on Tuesday night by only four percentage points was Trump-endorsed Jones (21.58%).
“Throughout this race, our campaign has withstood attack after attack from the radical Left, Washington establishment, and RINO Right. The people of the 10th Congressional District saw through their deceit and saw my campaign for what it was: a grassroots movement fueled by the people to take our country back,” Jones said. “Over the next few weeks, I look forward to earning the support of my neighbors in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District and uniting the 18 counties of our district behind my Trump-endorsed, America First campaign to beat back the Radical Left, take on the Squad, and provide relief to the everyday Americans who have been decimated by the policies of the Joe Biden administration. Despite a late entrance to the race and being both out-raised and outspent , Georgians have made it clear they are ready for an America First Congressman. Today’s surge showed that we are in prime position to win this seat and take back Georgia."
A former Democrat, Jones worked previously as the DeKalb County government’s CEO and is a former state legislator. He said he switched parties a couple of years ago because the Democratic Party had long strayed from being a conservative group in the South to one favoring the liberal tendencies of the national party.
Finishing behind Collins and Jones were Timothy Barr, 14.37%; Paul Broun, 13.4%; David Curry, 9.09%; Marc McMain, 4.72%; Alan Sims, 6.63%; and Mitchell Swan, 4.64%.
In Newton County, Collins pulled in 2,422 votes (37.19%). Jones received 1,678 votes (25.77%) from area voters. Only 8,922 total votes were cast in Newton County for the race — 6,512 Republican and 2,410 Democrat.
Deciding the Democrat nomination will also come down to a June runoff. On Tuesday night, Tabitha Johnson-Green led the pack with 42.12% of the vote, and she will face Jessica Allison Fore, who garnered 19.28% of the vote. Finishing not far behind was Phyllis Hatcher (18.7%). Candidates Femi Oduwole (11.65%) Paul Walton (8.26%) were out of contention early.
Johnson-Green also led the vote totals among Democrats in Newton, garnering 1,101 votes (45.68%).
The U.S. House District 10 seat was vacated by Jody Hice, R-Greensboro. Hice has held the seat since he was elected in 2014. The congressman announced in March 2021 he would not seek reelection and instead campaign for Georgia’s Secretary of State, challenging incumbent Brad Raffensperger.
The 10th District spans 25 counties, including a portion of Newton County.
In Georgia, runoff elections are required for all congressional, state executive, and state legislative elections in which a candidate does not receive a majority in the general election. In other words, no candidate was able to get more than 50% of the vote. The top two finishers in the general election advance to the runoff. Georgia's legislature passed a law implementing this system in the 1960s.
Runoff elections are slated for June 21.
Staying in the U.S. House, District 4 incumbent Democrat Hank Johnson will face Republican challenger Jonathan Chavez in the Nov. 8 General Election. Johnson ran unopposed in the primary while Chavez, who garnered 78.35% of the vote, defeated Surrea Ivy (21.65%).