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Gingrich takes Newton with 59 percent
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Newt Gingrich took Newton County Tuesday with overwhelming support, capturing 59.4 percent of the vote on his way to winning Georgia's primary with 48 percent of the vote.

Mitt Romney finished second in Newton County with 18.22 percent of the vote, while Rick Santorum took 16.37 percent and Ron Paul finished last among the four major Republican contenders with 5 percent.

The statewide election was called for Gingrich only minutes after the polls closed and before any precincts were officially recorded in Newton. Republican supporters gathered at Square Perk in Covington to await the unsurprising results.

However, the former House speaker fell short in the other nine states holding primaries Tuesday, as the Associated Press called three states for Romney and three for Santorum, including Tennessee, where Gingrich had hoped to compete.

Newton County's voter turnout was 19.39 percent, with 10,372 people voting, much lower than 2008's 45.71 percent turnout when both the Republican and Democratic nominations were up for grab.

Ohio, one of the most hotly contested states remained uncalled at 10:30 p.m., as Santorum held on to a slight lead over Romney for one of the biggest prizes of the night.

Gingrich's victory was his first since South Carolina and he said he hoped it would propel him on yet another comeback in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm delighted. I think the people of Newton County appreciate his conservative approach," said former state Sen. John Douglas, who helped bring Gingrich to Covington for a recent rally. "I think they appreciated that he took the time to come visit us and they showed it in their strong support for him with an almost two to one vote for him today in the election."

Gingrich will be in Montgomery tomorrow, as he continues his push to try and capture the vote in the southern states - the only place he's had significant success so far.