Voters file into the gymnasium at the Smyrna Community Center to cast their ballots during Election Day in Smyrna, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

Republicans vying for Georgia Senate seat head to a runoff

A race for a southwest Georgia seat in the state Senate will be decided in a runoff between two Republicans next month.

Carden Summers, a real estate broker and former Crisp County commissioner, received slightly more votes in Tuesday’s special election than Jim Quinn, a former journalist who previously served as the mayor of Leesburg.

Neither candidate received more than 50% of votes Tuesday, forcing a runoff on March 3. Democrat Mary Egler finished in third place, according to unofficial results.

The winner will fill the Senate District 13 seat previously held by state Sen. Greg Kirk, a Republican from Americus, who died in December after he was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.

The election was one of the first where voters used Georgia’s new voting system, which combines touchscreens and printed-out ballots. The system was previously tested during local elections in six counties in November and in a state House election last month.

Summers previously ran for state Senate in 2002. Quinn finished in second place in a special election for a state House seat in November.

Senate District 13 covers Crisp, Dodge, Dooly, Lee, Tift, Turner and Worth counties, as well as parts of Sumter and Wilcox counties.

After next month’s runoff, the seat will be on the ballot again for a regularly scheduled election in November.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.