Anderson in GOP District 12 runoff, challenger still undecided

Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012 12:23 AM
Last updated 2:45 AM

State Rep. Lee Anderson, R-Grovetown, won one spot in the Aug. 21 Republican runoff for the 12th Con­gressional District, but who he will face is still unclear.

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U.S. Dist. 12 candidate Lee Anderson talks on the phone outside his campaign headquarters where he was monitering election results.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
U.S. Dist. 12 candidate Lee Anderson talks on the phone outside his campaign headquarters where he was monitering election results.

At midnight, Augusta businessman Rick Allen was leading Evans lawyer Wright McLeod by about 500 votes, but neither was conceding the second-place finish that would place one of them in the runoff. The Asso­ciated Press didn't call the runner-up results because of the closeness of the race.

The margin is close enough to guarantee McLeod a recount if it holds in the official count, The Asso­ciated Press said.

Allen said Anderson has voted for significant tax increases as a legislator.

“He’s a career politician,” Allen said. “There’s no way we want to do the same thing over again.”

With final vote totals still not in, McLeod said that regardless of the primary result, “our overriding goal is to beat John Barrow.”

Anderson maintained a lead over his three opponents through the night but needed more than 50 percent of the votes to avoid a runoff.

Dublin lawyer Maria Shef­field conceded the race around 10 p.m.

“Tonight it was not in God's providence that our campaign move forward in this process,” Sheffield said. Campaign manager Kathryn Ballou said Sheffield would be endorsing one of the runoff candidates soon.

“On a personal level, I certainly appreciate the support that I've had from Augusta,” Sheffield said. “From a philosophical standpoint, I stand firm in my belief that the days of John Barrow are numbered, and we're going to elect a conservative."

Anderson said he was “prepared for a runoff. We can't relax. We can't relax until John Barrow is defeated and we can balance that budget and get back to basics.”
Anderson carried most of the rural parts of the 12th, which was redrawn by the Republican-controlled Georgia Legislature in an effort to unseat Barrow.

He won Appling, Bulloch, Coffee, Emanuel, Evans, Jen­kins, Montgomery, Tattnall and Toombs counties, along with his home county, Colum­bia. Anderson won 5,672 votes in Columbia County, where Allen got 4,317 and McLeod had 5,238.

The runoff winner will face Barrow, D-Augusta, in November’s election.


Richmond County

Rick Allen 2,417

Lee Anderson 825

Wright McLeod 2,487

Maria Sheffield 768

Columbia County

Rick Allen 3,181

Lee Anderson 4,445

Wright McLeod 4,180

Maria Sheffield 1,422

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jwarner6 08/01/12 - 06:54 am
It is a shame

It is a shame that Maria Sheffield didn't do better and make the run-off. I thought she was the more well-informed of the group. When I attended the debates, Ms Sheffield seemed to possess more knowledge regarding issues and less likely to spout off "talking points" as answers.

Riverman1 08/01/12 - 08:22 am
Thank Scott Peebles' handler

Thank Scott Peebles' handler Sam Nicholson for getting the crossover vote to put Anderson in the run-off. Of course, Nicholson is a Barrow supporter and contributor.

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