Archive for November 2nd, 2010

Nathan Deal claims victory

Republican Nathan Deal claimed victory Tuesday night in Buckhead. He said he had spoken with Democrat Roy Barnes on the phone before making his speech at about 11:45 p.m.

“Georgia has placed its faith in the Republican party and we are not going to let them down,” said Deal to cheers.

Late Tuesday, Deal led Barnes with about 53 percent of the vote. Barnes had 43 percent, Libertarian John Monds about 4 percent.

As the returns rolled in Tuesday night, Republicans were confident they would win all statewide offices.

“This is not an election,” said GOP chairwoman Sue Everhart. “This is a restraining order against Barack Obama.”

In other statewide races, all GOP candidates had at least 54 percent of the vote. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was declared an early winner with more than 60 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Michael Thurmond.

“It looks like our numbers are continuing to rise, and we can win without a runoff,” Deal said as he entered the Grand Hyatt ballroom …

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Lt. Gov. Cagle re-elected

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle won another term Tuesday, handily defeating Democrat Carol Porter with 55 percent of the vote.

Speaker David Ralston introduced Cagle at a victory party by saying voters believed in the message of cutting taxes and cutting government.

“We won back seats we shouldn’t have lost two years ago,” Ralston told a crowd that swelled to hear from Cagle and Nathan Deal, who was slated to appear shortly after Cagle took the stage.

Cagle echoed the joy of other candidates in the GOP sweep.

“It is our moment to seize the time to liberate our state,” Cagle said. “People are looking for someone who recognizes that government does not create jobs but the private sector does. We have to make our state the best there is to do business in.”

Cagle defeated Democrat Jim Martin in 2006 to become the first Republican lieutenant governor in Georgia history.

- April Hunt

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No African-Americans in new U.S. Senate

For the first time in several years, the U.S. Senate will not include an African-American.

Three black candidates for the U.S. Senate were shut out Tuesday. The only incumbent African-American, Roland Burris (D-IL), retired.

Democrat Mike Thurmond was defeated by Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson in Georgia. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Alvin Greene (D-SC) also came up short.

There’s only been six African-Americans in the U.S. Senate: three Republicans and three Democrats, including President Barack Obama (D-IL).

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Republicans sweep state offices

Democrats made history Tuesday night, but not the kind they had hoped for.

For perhaps the first time since Reconstruction — that 150 or so years for those without history books — it appears no Democrat will hold a statewide office in Georgia. Late Tuesday night, Republicans held comfortable leads in all statewide races. Democrats didn’t even get close enough to force a runoff.

* Nathan Deal led Roy Barnes 53 percent to 43 percent in the race for governor.

* Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had 54 percent of the vote over Democrat Carol Porter.

* Secretary of State Brian Kemp held 56 percent of the vote over Georganna Sinkfield.

* Attorney general candidate Sam Olens, former Cobb County Commission chairman, held 52 percent of the vote over Ken Hodges.

* State superintendent candidate John Barge had 53 percent of the vote over Joe Martin.

* Insurance commissioner candidate Ralph Hudgens was leading Mary Squires with 55 percent of the vote.

* Gary Black was leading J.B. Powell with 55 …

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Libertarian Monds smiles in defeat

“I’m still smiling,” said Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Monds, at 9:30 p.m., as he joined the election night partiers gathered at the downtown Georgian Terrace. “We’ve had a great time, we’re excited, we want to see how it turns out.”

Monds and his family, including his mother Marva Stanton, arrived around 9 p.m., after driving from their home in Cairo. Georgia’s first African-American candidate for governor, Monds wasn’t expecting a win but said, “It would be nice to get in the teens, it would be great to get 20 percent.”

In the final analysis he said, “the exposure [of his candidacy] is going to do great things for the party.”

Monds’ family, including his wife, Kathaleena, and their four children, Malik, 4, Halima, 9, Cazembe, 11 and Akintunde, 13, assembled at a round table in the ornate hotel ballroom, and waited for returns.

Kathaleena said the campaign has been “one of the most educational experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m a PhD.”

She said her husband’s …

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Kemp, Black tout GOP unity

Secretary of State Brian Kemp will return to the office he was appointed to earlier this year.

He easily defeated Democrat Georganna Sinkfield.

He said the results showed voters not only agreed with Republicans’ vision but also their unity.

“We’ve certainly shown we’ve got a great team,” Kemp said. “We want to work together, and I think that’s what Georgians expect us to do.”

For Kemp, that means a chance to partner with Sam Olens if he wins his bid for attorney general and with would-be labor commissioner Mark Butler on economic development initiatives, especially with small businesses.

GOP candidates in statewide races held comfortable leads late Tuesday.

“We all want to put Georgia back to work, and we have a lot of opportunities to get there together,” Kemp said.

Economic development was also a platform for Gary Black, the GOP nominee for agriculture commissioner. Black agreed that the ties between the top candidates – who spent five days together on a bus tour last week …

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GOP takes U.S. House

Resurgent Republicans gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to various news outlets. The GOP was adding seats in the Senate, too, in midterm elections shadowed by recession and fueled by a rebellion of tea party conservatives.

“We’ve come to take our government back,” Sen.-elect Rand Paul told cheering supporters at a victory party in Bowling Green, Ky.

Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas lost her seat and House members in Florida, Indiana and Virginia were among the Republicans’ victims. First-term Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia was a casualty despite a late-campaign appearance on his behalf by President Barack Obama.

On a good night for Republicans, Paul and tea party favorite Marco Rubio in Florida coasted to easy Senate victories, overcoming months of withering Democratic attacks on their conservative views. But Christine O’Donnell lost badly in Delaware.

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GOP chairwoman predicts good night in Georgia

Georgia Republican Chairwoman Sue Everhart made her rounds Tuesday in a hot pink dress suit, greeting GOP members before they gathered into the ballroom.

She said she was hopeful for a Republican sweep of Georgia.

“It would certainly make me a happy woman, and would make a lot of Republicans in Georgia happy,” Everhart said.

She said she expects close races for Nathan Deal, Sam Olens and John Barge, with the possibility that independent and Tea Party candidates could force these potential runoffs to spill into other races.

“Having that third person (in the race) could cause more runoffs,” Everhart said.

But she said she didn’t anticipate any more of the sniping between Deal and Roy Barnes should their contest continue.

“If we get into a runoff, it’s going to be issues, issues, issues,” Everhart said. “There hasn’t been anything else that’s come up to this point.”

– Marcus Garner

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Keep checking and Wednesday’s AJC for full election coverage will provide updates on this elections blog throughout the day and into the evening when the winners are declared. On Wednesday morning, don’t miss The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for full post-election analysis.

You’ll also want to join the hundreds who have signed up to become  Twitter followers @ajcgaelections.

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State and federal hotlines open for reporting election abuse complaints

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is encouraging voters who believe they are being treated unfairly at their precinct, or if they witness a potential election law violation, to immediately contact the poll manager on duty and call the Secretary of State’s Stop Vote Fraud Hotline at 877-725-9797.

Georgia voters can also report a potential violation online by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at, and clicking on the Stop Voter Fraud button.

In addition, the FBI and federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes metro Atlanta, are taking complaints of suspected election fraud and voting rights abuses.

The FBI can be reached at 404-679-9000. Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767.

“It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information …

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