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