But for two District 30 Republican state Senate hopefuls, the race will go on almost another month.
Former state Rep. Bill Hembree of Winston missed by less than 2 percentage points in Tuesday’s election achieving the majority needed to win outright.
Hembree got 27,565 votes, or 48.4 percent, while the closest challenger, Carrollton building contractor Mike Dugan, got 13,843 votes, or 24.3 percent, enough to put him on the Dec. 4 runoff ballot.
The other candidates were former House Speaker Glenn Richardson of Hiram with 8,467 votes, or 14.9 percent; and Carrollton business consultant Jim Naughton, with 7,043 votes, or 12.4 percent.
“We’re going to stay focused on the same message because we feel it’s good,” Hembree said. “I’ll always work hard for the people of West Georgia and I’ll always be on the side of the people. I want to cut waste in government, lower taxes, and most importantly, try to attract new jobs so we can get our families back to work.”
Hembree said that his been his message all along and he will continue it as he begins campaigning anew.
“I want to thank the people who voted for me and had confidence in who I am,” he said. “I’ll always make the people of West Georgia proud and stand up for issues that are important for the people of Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties.”
Hembree had the highest candidate votes in all three counties. He dominated the Carroll County race with 12,173 votes, topping two Carroll County candidates — Dugan 9,703 votes, and Naughton, 5,091 votes. Richardson finished a distant fourth in Carroll County with 3,627 votes.
Meanwhile, Dugan was out campaigning again Wednesday, proud to still be in the race.
“Part of being the underdog is that you can’t take a day off,” he said. “It’s all day, every day for me from now until the runoff. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Dugan said he will again take his message all over the district and work to get more votes in the precincts where he finished lower.
“On the Monday before the election, I was in every precinct in the district,” he said. “That’s the only way I can do it. Just keep going.”
Although this is Dugan’s first run at public office, he feels his military and business experience would help him quickly adapt to the legislative process. He had pledged to hold regular town hall meetings and work for term limits, if he’s elected.
County Elections Supervisor Becky Deese said she hopes to have at least a week of advance voting for the Dec. 4 runoff.
“The ballot database cannot be created until the secretary of state certifies this election after the close of business Friday,” she said. “After the database is created, it will have to be proofed and ballots ordered.”
Deese called Tuesday’s voting “fabulous” and said everything went without a hitch, from the opening of the polls to the final vote count, which was finished before 9:30 p.m.
“For a rainy day, the turnout was great,” she said. “We had no long waits or voter dissatisfaction. We had consistent voting all day long. I think that speaks well of the citizens of Carroll County, exercising their voting rights.”
She said about 71.8 percent of Carroll County’s 57,996 registered voters turned out, not counting the few military and provisional ballots that will be counted through Friday. More than 33 percent of those were advance votes, meaning that about 38 percent of eligible voters cast ballots on election day.
“The turnout was down a little from 2008, when we had a turnout of 75.6 percent,” she said. “That turnout was probably heavier because there were a lot more local races on the ballot.”