Two Georgia down-ballot races appear headed to runoffs

People were still voting at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Samuel H. Archer Hall at Morehouse College in Atlanta. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
People were still voting at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Samuel H. Archer Hall at Morehouse College in Atlanta. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

ExploreUpdate: Early voting information for Dec. 4 runoff for two statewide offices

Georgians appear to be headed back to the polls next month to choose the next secretary of state and a member of the state’s Public Service Commission.

Neither Republican Brad Raffensperger nor Democrat John Barrow received more than half of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial results on the Secretary of State Office's website. Libertarian Smythe DuVal had secured about 2.2 percent of the vote.

Raffensperger, a state representative from Johns Creek, had a slight lead over Barrow, a former U.S. congressman from Athens. The two were separated by less than 1 percent of the vote.

“We are laser focused on the runoff and pursuing a victory for John on Election Day on Dec. 4,” Barrow campaign spokesman Jonathan Arogeti said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to go back to the voters and earn their support.”

A spokesman for Raffensperger did not return a request for comment.

In the Public Service Commission race, Republican District 3 incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller both fell short of the 50 percent mark required to win outright. Libertarian Ryan Graham received about 2.6 percent of the vote.

Georgia law requires a candidate to receive 50 percent of the votes plus one to win a race. A runoff election for state races would be held Dec. 4.

Less than 1 percent of the vote was still outstanding early Wednesday, according to the Secretary of State Office’s website, which showed that ballots in DeKalb County still needed to be counted.

The remaining down-ballot statewide races favored Republicans.

Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan will be the state's next lieutenant governor, beating first-time candidate Sarah Riggs Amico, a Marietta business executive.

Duncan, who played baseball at Georgia Tech and in the minor leagues, beat Amico by about 3.5 percentage points, or nearly 133,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

Fewer Georgians voted for the state’s second-highest elected office than any other statewide race. More than 3.9 million Georgians cast ballots in the governor’s race, and at least 3.8 million people voted in each of the other eight statewide contests.

A little more than 3.7 million Georgians voted in the lieutenant governor election.

Duncan, a Republican from Cumming, congratulated Amico on Twitter.

“Sarah ran a good, tough campaign that she can certainly be proud of,” he wrote. “I appreciate her passion to improve access to health care, transportation and education in GA.”

Amico had yet to concede as of Wednesday.

Attorney General Chris Carr defeated Democrat Charlie Bailey. It was his first time running for statewide office after being appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016.

Two-term Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will serve a third term after defeating Democratic challenger Fred Swann, a first-time candidate.

Republican Jim Beck narrowly emerged from a three-person race to be the next insurance commissioner, defeating Democrat Janice Laws and Donnie Foster, a Libertarian.

Incumbent state School Superintendent Richard Woods defeated Democrat Otha Thornton, the former president of the National PTA.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler secured his third term, defeating Democrat Richard Keatley, a former French professor who ran unsuccessfully in last year’s nationally publicized 6th Congressional District special election.

Tricia Pridemore, an incumbent public service commissioner for District 5, avoided a runoff, pulling in just over half of the vote. The Republican defeated Democrat Dawn Randolph and Libertarian John Turpish.