ATLANTA - Secretary of State Brian Kemp easily won the Republican nomination for Georgia governor Tuesday, defeating Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle after a grueling runoff shaped by secret recordings, provocative ads and the late intervention of President Donald Trump.
Kemp will face Stacey Abrams in the general election in November. The two are bitter rivals who have sparred over voting rights and election security since 2014.
We'll have the latest on Kemp's win and what's next in the race, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning starting at 4:30 a.m.
It was an early night as Cagle conceded to Kemp about an hour and a half after polls closed.
"Tonight did not turn out quite the way we anticipated," he told supporters at a campaign party in DeKalb County.
The Republican runoff for governor was one of several big decisions for voters.
Channel 2 Action News reporter Richard Elliot is with the Kemp campaign in Athens and Channel 2's Carl Willis is in DeKalb County with the Cagle campaign.
Greg Bluestein reports 'underdog' Geoff Duncan defeats David Shafer for GOP Lt. Gov. nomination.\
Race for lieutenant governor still too close to call. The winner will face off against Democratic candidate Sarah Amico.
Otha Thornton defeated Sid Chapman in the Democratic race for Georgia School Superintendent.
Sen. David Perdue releases statement supporting Brian Kemp.
.@BrianKempGA has my full support, and I’m going to do all I can to help him get elected as our next Governor, and keep Georgia headed in the right direction.— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) July 25, 2018
Full statement: https://t.co/KyuqihYDlM #gapol
Brad Raffensperger wins GOP secretary of state race.
Kemp gives a victory speech to supporters in Athens.
Gov. Nathan Deal sends a congratulatory message to Brian Kemp on Twitter.
My congratulations to Brian Kemp on his victory tonight. Both he and Casey Cagle ran passionate, hard-fought campaigns. Now, it’s time to unite behind Brian to keep moving Georgia forward. (1/2)— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) July 25, 2018
Together, we’ll continue to keep our state the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family. This November, join me in electing Brian the 83rd governor of Georgia. (2/2)— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) July 25, 2018
Kemp campaign celebrates a victory in Athens.
Cagle addresses supporters after conceding to Kemp in DeKalb County.
Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirms Brian Kemp defeats Casey Cagle to win GOP nomination for Georgia governor
With 20 percent reporting, Kemp still leads Cagle 63-percent to 34-percent.
With 5 percent reporting, Kemp leads Cagle 62 percent to 38 percent in the GOP gubernatorial runoff.
Polls have officially closed across Georgia.
Polls close in one hour across Georgia for the runoff election.
Willis caught up with Cagle, who took a clear shot at Kemp saying, "I'm going to be a bulldog for Georgia, not a lapdog for D.C.," referring to President Donald Trump's endorsement of Kemp.
#ElectionOn2: @CaseyCagle says he would make the better candidate in the general election. "I've always done very well in a general election, being the number one vote-getter every time that I've been on a statewide ballot. That's because I have a strong crossover vote." pic.twitter.com/zvSBMYwp5z— Carl Willis (@CarlWillisWSB) July 24, 2018
Elliot was there when Kemp cast his ballot at his precinct in Winterville.
Brian Kemp and his family arriving to vote at his precinct in Winterville. At 5, what he had to say about the grueling campaign for governor. pic.twitter.com/2JYSUxQlUS— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) July 24, 2018
There are also runoffs Tuesday for other state offices and congressional districts.
David Shafer and Geoff Duncan are in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor.
David Belle Isle and Brad Raffensperger are Republicans running for secretary of state.
And there's a runoff between Democrats Kevin Abel and Lucy McBath in the Sixth Congressional District. The winner will face incumbent Karen Handel in November.
There’s also a runoff in the Seventh Congressional District between Democrats Carolyn Bordeaux and David Kim. The winner will face Congressman Rob Woodall in the general election.
Some voters report problems at the polls
Some voters said they were given provisional ballots at the polls.
Channel 2’s Audrey Washington talked to voters in Cobb County who said there were problems with the machines at Blackwell Elementary School.
The Cobb County elections director told Washington that the “check-in express” polling units did not have power Tuesday morning because the batteries were drained. So while things were getting fixed, for about 45 minutes, seven provisional ballots were handed out.
One voter said she wished the voting location would have been better prepared.
“I think that they handled themselves professionally, the ones that were sitting at the desk. The others were walking around wringing their hands. There was nothing that they could do, and they didn’t know what to do,” said Veronica Lilly.
Some of the voters with provisional ballots questioned whether their vote would actually be counted.
The director of elections said because there is no question about eligibility, every vote will be counted.
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