“We’re proud of all the people who supported us,” Hembree said Tuesday night after the votes were counted. “I want to thank all the Carroll County voters for sending such a strong message in my behalf. I’ll do everything I can to continue the fight, and hopefully win the runoff and become your state senator.”
“Obviously, I’m excited that I will live to fight another day,” Dugan said. “It’s been a long last couple of days of campaigning. I plan to get to bed early tonight and get up tomorrow to start all over again. Hopefully, we can win the next time.”
Also in the Georgia Legislature, Republican House incumbents Kevin Cooke of Carrollton and Randy Nix of LaGrange both won their re-election campaigns.
The winner of the Dec. 4 Senate Republican runoff will face Libertarian candidate James Camp of Temple in the Jan. 8 special election to fill the seat vacated by Bill Hamrick of Carrollton, who resigned to accept a judgeship.
Hembree based his campaign on his 19 years of experience in the state House, while Dugan emphasized holding regular town hall meetings and backing term limits.
About 71.9 percent of Carroll County voters cast ballots in the Tuesday election, with about 33.1 percent of those cast as advance ballots.
Incumbent Republican Carroll County Coroner Sammy Eady won an easy victory over his Democratic challenger, Ladonna Fryar. Eady got 27,516 votes, or 70.2 percent, to Fryar’s 11,616 votes, or 29.7 percent.
Temple voters approved Sunday serving of alcohol by the drink by 960-603 votes, while Roopville voters turned down Sunday beer and wine package sales by a 46-42 vote.
Like state voters, Carroll County voters chose Republican Mitt Romney for president, with 28,249 votes, or 67.9 percent. President Barack Obama got 12,635 votes, or 30.4 percent, while Libertarian Gary Johnson received 561 votes, or 1.4 percent.
With all three counties reporting, the unofficial returns showed Hembree leading the District 30 race with 27,565 votes, or 48.4 percent, just short of the majority needed to win. Dugan had 13,843 votes, or 24.3 percent. Former Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson came in third with 8,467 votes, or 14.9 percent, while Carrollton business consultant Jim Naughton had 7,043 votes, or 12.4 percent.
In Carroll County voting, Hembree had the most votes with 12,173, or 39.8 percent; Dugan came in second with 9,703 votes, or 31.7 percent. Naughton was third with 5,091 votes, or 16.6 percent; and Richardson had 3,627 votes, or 11.9 percent.
In the District 18 state House race, unofficial results showed Cooke with 12,165 votes, or 70.8 percent, while Democratic challenger Pat Rhudy had 5,007 votes, or 29.2 percent.
In the District 69 state House race, unofficial results showed Nix with 14,441 votes, or 75.5 percent, to Democratic challenger Herbert Giles, with 4,675 votes, or 24.5 percent.
In Carroll County voting, Cooke had 5,751 votes, or 61.9 percent, to Rhudy’s 3,535 votes, or 38.0 percent.
Nix also won Carroll County, getting 8,128 votes, or 73.9 percent, to Giles with 2,857 votes, or 26.0 percent.