Chambliss wins runoff

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ATLANTA --- Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss cruised to victory Tuesday in a hard-fought runoff with Jim Martin, keeping Democrats from gaining overwhelming control of the Senate.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Chambliss led 58 percent to Mr. Martin's 42 percent.

Mr. Chambliss credited his success to bipartisan support based on ideology, but the results show Georgia remains a solidly red state, despite the victory of President-elect Obama on Nov. 4.

"This has been an unbelievable four weeks," Mr. Chambliss said. "It has really been a coalescing of conservative Democrats and independents that have gotten behind our campaign for all the right reasons."

Mr. Chambliss' victory thwarted Democrats' hopes of winning a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

It came after a bitter month-long runoff against Mr. Martin that drew political luminaries from both parties to the state and flooded the airwaves with attack ads weeks after campaigns elsewhere had ended.

Minnesota -- where a recount is under way -- now has the only unresolved Senate contest in the country. But the stakes are significantly lower now that Georgia has put a 60-seat Democratic supermajority out of reach.

Mr. Martin's strength came from urban counties such as DeKalb, Dougherty, Chatham and Richmond, while Mr. Chambliss drew strong support from counties such as Columbia, Cherokee, Walker, Fayette, Gwinnett and Cobb.

Mr. Martin didn't concede until after 10 p.m., even when major news organizations had called the race for Mr. Chambliss by 9 p.m. The challenger held out hope that slow returns from Fulton and DeKalb counties would change the results.

In his concession speech, Mr. Martin said his campaign kept the focus on the lagging economy, the war in Iraq and health care.

"I know our campaign has been successful even though we did not win," a visibly emotional Mr. Martin said.

In another statewide runoff, Republican Lauren "Bubba" McDonald beat Democrat Jim Powell in the race for a seat on the Public Service Commission, which sets rates for Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light, movers and transportation companies, and smaller gas companies.

In the third runoff, Sara Doyle beat Mike Sheffield in the contest for the Court of Appeals. She will take the seat of Judge John Ruffin, of Augusta, who is retiring.

Only 9 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in early and advanced voting.

OTHER RESULTS

In two other statewide runoffs, Republican Lauren "Bubba" McDonald won a seat on the Public Service Commission, and Sara Doyle was elected to the Court of Appeals bench.


U.S. SENATE


92 percent of precincts


Saxby Chambliss (R) 58%


Jim Martin (D) 42%


PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION,


4TH DISTRICT


92 percent of precincts


Lauren McDonald (R) 57%


Jim Powell (D) 43%


COURT OF APPEALS


92 percent of precincts


Sara Doyle 52%


Mike Sheffield 48%


-- From wire reports

HIGH TURNOUT

Voter turnout was high in Richmond and Columbia counties.


In Columbia County, more than 41 percent of registered voters cast ballots. County Board of Elections Director Debbie Marshall said that before the election she had predicted a 21 percent turnout.


In Richmond County, turnout was above the 25 percent Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey had predicted, at 37 percent.


With only provisional votes left to be counted, Columbia County chose Mr. Chambliss by a wide margin of 23,003 to 7,193. In Richmond County, Mr. Martin took more votes, with 23,493 to Mr. Chambliss' 16,082.


-- Preston Sparks, staff

ONE-VOTE MARGIN

Who says one vote doesn't make a difference?


Don't tell that to Barbara Hammett, the executive director of the Burke County Board of Elections. Democrat Jim Martin outpolled U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss in her county by a vote of 2,533 to 2,532.


Percentage-wise, she noted, that's 50.001 percent to 49.999 percent.


What would she say to people who think their vote doesn't matter?


"I would say that happens lots of times, where a few votes -- or one vote -- make a difference," she said.


In the school board runoff between Lynn Crews and Barrett Wimberly, won by Ms. Crews, each candidate got 178 votes in one precinct.


-- From staff reports

Comments (85) Add comment
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wildman
1225
Points
wildman 12/03/08 - 04:34 am
0
0
Thank God it's over.

Thank God it's over.

MrsD
0
Points
MrsD 12/03/08 - 04:45 am
0
0
Awesome news!

Awesome news!

factchecker
0
Points
factchecker 12/03/08 - 06:03 am
0
0
Jack234 - Your tooter is

Jack234 - Your tooter is broke.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/03/08 - 06:39 am
0
0
As I was saying yesterday,

As I was saying yesterday, the silly spin parroted by the goofy ones was just that, silly spin. How Dem of them. Without a veto proof majority, some of the moderate Dems will feel justified in casting the honorable vote instead of toeing the party line.

PAW
0
Points
PAW 12/03/08 - 06:55 am
0
0
On the augustaga.gov website

On the augustaga.gov website it says..... Martin won!!!! Go Figure!!! Is this Florida happening all over again

justthefacts
25478
Points
justthefacts 12/03/08 - 07:31 am
0
0
Hope Ga Values is OK.

Hope Ga Values is OK.

rufus
2
Points
rufus 12/03/08 - 07:42 am
0
0
Without Obama's coat tails he

Without Obama's coat tails he could not get the vote out. How ludicrous

NEone
6
Points
NEone 12/03/08 - 07:43 am
0
0
My absentee ballot arrived in

My absentee ballot arrived in the mail YESTERDAY. Just a bit late.

IncredibleGuy
0
Points
IncredibleGuy 12/03/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
We need to write a rap song

We need to write a rap song about this squashing of the O evil in Georgia.

elpi
0
Points
elpi 12/03/08 - 08:06 am
0
0
Now all you folks who were so

Now all you folks who were so sure the Dems would take another seat can shove that up your tailpipe and get back to your deadbeat lives while you wait for the handout Obama promised you!! Meanwhile, I'll get back to honest work so I can have some self-respect.

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 12/03/08 - 08:15 am
0
0
Wooooooooooo

Wooooooooooo Hooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jack234
852
Points
jack234 12/03/08 - 08:21 am
0
0
Look like one of the wheels

Look like one of the wheels came off the Martin train. Congratulations to Mr. Chambliss. We will not be bitter, the voters have spoken. We respect the democratic process. Just a small toot. HELLO!!!

jack234
852
Points
jack234 12/03/08 - 08:24 am
0
0
Handout? Are you talking

Handout? Are you talking about the the big three autos? Hello!!

justthefacts
25478
Points
justthefacts 12/03/08 - 08:31 am
0
0
jack234, are you for or

jack234, are you for or against the auto bailout?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 12/03/08 - 08:33 am
0
0
I just hope Georgia dosen't

I just hope Georgia dosen't need any federal help during the next four years. Politicians being politicians, we might not be as well liked as some states who toed the party line! Just don't be surprised!!

sanders23
0
Points
sanders23 12/03/08 - 08:43 am
0
0
FAIR TAX!!FAIR TAX!! I hope

FAIR TAX!!FAIR TAX!! I hope it gets passed. Every dollar is taxed, not just the folks that work for a living!!!

aaa
2
Points
aaa 12/03/08 - 08:50 am
0
0
O.K., we stopped the Obama

O.K., we stopped the Obama freight train - maybe slowed it up a bit. But let's not forget what Chambliss has done. Let's start looking for a possible replacement - a true conservative - to run against him in the next Republican primary!!!!

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 12/03/08 - 09:00 am
0
0
Zaxby is the dirtbag of the

Zaxby is the dirtbag of the Senate. Calling Max Cleland unpatriotic was disgusting and stupid. This guy is less than a chicken.

LittleLady
1
Points
LittleLady 12/03/08 - 09:04 am
0
0
Maybe Sen. Chambliss learned

Maybe Sen. Chambliss learned his lesson this time around and get back to basics, I hope.

LittleLady
1
Points
LittleLady 12/03/08 - 09:07 am
0
0
I am willing to give him

I am willing to give him another chance, but if he continues to sign on to big spending, constraint domestic energy exploration and vote for amnesty, I am going to start a campaign to draft a true conservatives to oppose him the next time around. I hope Isakson learned his lesson from this as well.

Tujeez
0
Points
Tujeez 12/03/08 - 09:56 am
0
0
Well, I'm sure glad the

Well, I'm sure glad the Election is over. And NOW we can all come together and join hands and work for a better tomorrow. It's a bitter, jagged, little pill, but it's for the best. It only tastes bad........ if your guy didn't win.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 12/03/08 - 10:06 am
0
0
Who cares?

Who cares?

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 12/03/08 - 10:14 am
0
0
Senator Steamy Dogpile won

Senator Steamy Dogpile won for only one reason: Sarah Palin.

Tujeez
0
Points
Tujeez 12/03/08 - 10:33 am
0
0
What I'm wondering is.......

What I'm wondering is....... How can The MSM say that the country is Center-Right, When all the while it is leaning Left---More than the tower of Pizza? Well, you all will believe what you want to believe, and no amount of pandering will bring you to sound reasoning. Keep merrily polishing those spittoons.

elpi
0
Points
elpi 12/03/08 - 10:40 am
0
0
Really folks, it's less about

Really folks, it's less about what Chambliss stands FOR and more about what he stood AGAINST...which was superpower Democratic control. He did the whole country justice by keeping the seat even if it did take a WOMAN to make it happen! (Thanks Sarah!) (...just a little poke there to keep you male-chauvinist awake!)
All in all, Georgia turned out the vote and did good!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/03/08 - 11:01 am
0
0
well said elpi.

well said elpi.

jack
11
Points
jack 12/03/08 - 11:02 am
0
0
Grouse, Georgians didn't went

Grouse, Georgians didn't went to send ANOTHER sleazebag to Washington, so Chambliss will go instead. Hopefully he has heard his constituents speak loud and clear.

jack
11
Points
jack 12/03/08 - 11:05 am
0
0
Dashiel, the point is,

Dashiel, the point is, Chambliss won! Doesn't matter why or how. Palin is the new Conservative Republican to lead the fight against Rockefeller elitist Repubicans (RINOs) like Snow, Collins, Grahamnesty, exSpecterant, et al.

palomino9
0
Points
palomino9 12/03/08 - 11:16 am
0
0
It is a sad day in the state

It is a sad day in the state of Georgia. guess more idiots showed up at the polls than the educated.

elpi
0
Points
elpi 12/03/08 - 11:29 am
0
0
Palomino9...that's exactly

Palomino9...that's exactly what I thought on Nov 5! Touche'.

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