At around 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday night, the Republican candidate for governor, Nathan Deal declared victory at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead. The Gainesville congressman garnered 53 percent of the vote, defeating his primary opponent Roy Barnes by 10 points.
Libertarian candidate John Monds, who was also the first African-American candidate for governor on the ballot, earned four percent of the votes.
“We’re going to be showing the rest of the nation what Georgia can do. Georgia has placed its faith in the Republican Party, and we’re not going to let them down,” Deal said in a speech to supporters.
Barnes conceded defeat to Deal at the Tech Hotel and Conference Center, where he and his wife took the stage just moments before Deal began his speech.
“I just talked to Congressman Deal, and I wished him the best as the new governor,” Barnes said. “I have fought the good fight. I have run the good race. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith, and so have you.”
Governor-elect Deal will succeed incumbent Republican Sonny Perdue, who has been in office since 2002. His proposals include cutting taxes to reduce unemployment, which currently stands at 10.3 percent. Deal also faces lingering questions related to ethics investigations that were brought up during his campaign.
Across the state, voters chose to elect mainly Republican, fueling the nationwide resurgence of the Republican Party. Senator Johnny Isakson was re-elected with a 19 percent victory over Democrat Michael Thurmond.
A total of seven of Georgia’s 13 Congressional Districts elected Republican candidates. Nationwide, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and also gained a significant number of seats in the U.S. Senate.