Houston County is at the nexus of Georgia’s Senate contest

Perry — Few folks were paying more attention to last month’s Senate runoff than the people of Houston County. The outcome meant that two of their most prominent families, both with enduring legacies in middle Georgia, are squaring off in a nationally watched contest for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Saxby Chambliss.

The family seats of Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue sit just a few miles from each other in Houston County, and though both live elsewhere, their families have left indelible imprints on the region. Residents here are both tickled and torn that their county is suddenly at the heart of the bitter November race.

From the museum celebrating the accomplishments of Michelle Nunn’s father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, in a stately Perry administration building to the elementary school named after Perdue’s father on the outskirts of Warner Robins, both families have bonds here so deep that many residents are deeply conflicted.

“I’m a mess down here with the ties we have to the Perdues and Nunns,” said Larry Walker, a Perry attorney who was once the Majority Leader of Georgia’s House. “It’s a big county now, a lot bigger when they were growing up. But their ties are still everywhere.”