Another Republican prevails in midterm runoff

DCNFJason Hopkins, DCNF

YouTube screengrab-Brad Raffensperger and John Barrow

Republican Georgia state Rep. Brad Raffensperger won the runoff election to become the next Georgia secretary of state, defeating former Democratic Rep. John Barrow on Tuesday night.

The 2018 midterm elections finally drew to a close for Georgia voters, with The Associated Press and other election analysis sites calling the race for Raffensperger. The Republican candidate captured a little over 53 percent of the vote as of publication.

Neither Barrow nor Raffensperger received over 50 percent of the vote in November, forcing them into a runoff. The results Nov. 6 were close between the two candidates, with Raffensperger receiving 49.1 percent of the vote to Barrow’s 48.6 percent. Under Georgia law, statewide candidates must receive over 50 percent of the vote or else face a runoff with the second-place finisher.

Barrow served as a moderate Democratic lawmaker in Congress from 2005 until 2015 — leaving office after he was defeated in the 2014 midterm elections. Raffensperger has been serving in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2015.

Raffensperer will fill a position held not long ago by Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp, who stepped down from the Georgia secretary of state position shortly after Election Day to begin the transition to the governor’s office. His victory over former Democratic state Rep. Stacey Abrams created controversy that trickled down to the Secretary of State’s race.

Abrams — who is also known for writing raunchy romance novels — has vehemently accused Kemp of using his secretary of state position to suppress black voters and has refused to acknowledge his victory as legitimate. These accusations, which Kemp debunked, continue to be repeated by Abrams’s campaign staff. The former Democratic lawmaker is suing the state over perceived voting irregularities.

Democrats used Abrams’s claims of voter suppression to urge voters to elect Barrow.

“If we turn out to the polls today to elect John Barrow as Secretary of State, he will transform Georgia, taking active measures to expand voting rights, shut down voter suppression, and fix our broken electoral system that has prevented so many Georgians from having their voices heard and their votes counted,” Abrams wrote in an email to supporters Tuesday.

President Donald Trump even got involved in the race, tweeting his support for Raffensperger during the runoff and urging voters to take advantage of early voting.

Despite raising half as much as his Democratic opponent, Raffensperger ultimately prevailed Tuesday night.

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