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Voters to decide in runoffs
Polls open until 7 p.m. Tuesday across Georgia

COVINGTON, Ga. — Nine weeks after voters first went to the polls, it’s time to finalize nominees in Georgia political races.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. across the state for party primaries. By night’s end, Georgia Republicans will have picked their nominee for governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.

Residents in part of Newton County will know who will serve as their next commissioner as well.

Here’s a look at the races on Tuesday’s ballot.


Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have engaged in a nasty battle for the GOP nomination.

Outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal surprised many observers with his endorsement of Cagle on July 16 — most thought Deal wouldn’t choose a side until after the Republicans had settled on a nominee — but President Donald Trump jumped in two days later with his endorsement of Kemp.

Vice President Mike Pence held a rally with Kemp on Saturday in Macon, along with U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.

Cagle led a five-man race in May with 39 percent of the vote. Kemp made the runoff by finishing second at 25.55 percent. Cagle also finished first and Kemp second in Newton County.

The winner will face Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in the Nov. 6 general election.

Lieutenant Governor

Cagle’s decision to seek the governorship after three terms left the position open for the first time since he won it in 2006.

State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer and former state Rep. Geoff Duncan meet in Tuesday’s Republican runoff. The winner will meet Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico, a businesswoman, in the fall.

Shafer just missed winning outright, getting 48.91 percent of the vote in the primary. Duncan pulled 26.65 percent.

Former state Sen. Rick Jeffares of McDonough finished third, even though he carried Newton County, part of which was in his old legislative district. Jeffares has endorsed Shafer.

Secretary of State

Former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and state Rep. Brad Raffensperger meet in the Republican runoff for secretary of state.

The winner will oppose Democratic nominee John Barrow, a former congressman, who won a three-person primary without a runoff.

Raffensperger got just under 35 percent in the four-man GOP primary. Belle Isle came in second at 28.5 percent.

State School Superintendent

The only statewide race for Georgia Democrats is for state school superintendent.

Sid Chapman, who recently completed a term as the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, opposes Otha E. Thornton Jr., a past president of the National PTA.

Thornton got just under 44 percent of the vote in the primary.

The winner Tuesday will face Republican nominee Richard Woods, the incumbent.

Board of Commissioners

The only local race is for 2nd District voters in the Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Lanier Sims, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election. Four candidates sought the Democratic nomination, and the runoff winnowed the field to two. Demond Mason faces Earnest L. Simmons on Tuesday.

Sims announced last week he is endorsing Mason.

There are no Republican candidates in the race.