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Barrow prepares to face winner of Republican runoff
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Congressman John Barrow will seek his fourth term in November and will face one of two Republican challengers as he defeated challenger Regina Thomas in the Georgia’s 12th congressional district Democratic primary Tuesday.
With 84 percent of the district’s 288 voting precincts reporting, Barrow received 59.4 percent of the vote (18,904 votes) while Thomas, a former state senator, received 40.6 percent of the ballots cast (12,922 votes).
Barrow said he wanted to thank the 12th District voters for helping him achieve victory.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to the voters for their support,” he said. “This is the sixth contested election where we’ve come out on top, and it looks like we’re heading to a seventh.”
Barrow will face the winner of an Aug. 10 runoff between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. McKinney, an Effingham County native now living in Lyons, captured 42.6 percent of the vote, garnering 11,700 votes. Smith had 7,672 votes, or 27.9 percent.
Jeanne Seaver, who campaigned frequently in Effingham, was third with 18.3 percent, resulting in 5,038 votes. Mike Horner was fourth with 3,049.
McKinney carried 18 of the 22 counties in the district and had 44 percent of the vote in Effingham. He had 1,751 votes, with Smith second in Effingham with 1,126 votes, or 28.38 percent.
“Because of your support, I finished first in a field of four candidates with nearly 43 percent of the vote, 15 points ahead of the second place finisher,” McKinney said in thanking his supporters. “This was all accomplished even though I didn’t enter the race until April of this year.”
McKinney called on Republicans need to unite against Barrow and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, regardless of who wins the runoff.
“We have all campaigned on reducing spending, cutting taxes, protecting Second Amendment rights, protecting the unborn and elderly, and defending the Constitution,” he said. “Our minor differences or disagreements must be put aside if we really want to change the leadership in Congress.”
The congressman said he prefers to focus on the issues that everyone thinks is a problem and focus less on those issues where the people disagree about their importance. Barrow said this focus is even more important in the general election where he will address constituents across the political spectrum, not just the ones who voted the Democratic primary ballot.
“There are Republicans and Independents that are looking for someone to look at all sides of the issue as well as someone who will work well with both sides of the aisle,” Barrow said. “I think my record reflects that.”
The Statesboro Herald contributed to this report.