In a crowded field of Republicans, attorney Josh McKoon of Columbus fell short in the race for Secretary of State late Tuesday in the primary.
With 100 percent of votes counted, McKoon had only 21 percent or 111,985, Brad Raffensperger recorded 35 percent or 185,307, Buzz Brockway collected 15 percent or 81,377, and David Belle Isle with 29 percent or 151,151. The top two candidates will be in a July 24 runoff.
For the Democrats, Dee Hawkins-Haigler collected 29 percent or 151,508, John Barrow recorded 51 percent or 264,328, and Rakeim “RJ” Hadley recorded 19 percent or 97,327 of the vote. Barrow wins without a runoff.
“I’ve had better days,” McKoon said after watching the numbers late Tuesday. He noted that the finish for candidates in the race was in line with what was spent.
Outspent about 2 to 1 by one candidate and 3 to 1 by another, McKoon said his campaign spent about $350,000 and fell short of advertising resources. “I think we needed about a 4 percent swing in our direction,” he said. “I think we did a great job with the resources we had. We didn’t have enough at the end of the day. It’s unfortunate that so much of our politics come down to how much money you can gather in. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the modern political campaign.”
While he expected to be in a runoff, McKoon said he will take a couple of days to see what his next steps will include. He wants to get back to his law practice but admitted that he’s not done with politics.
“I told folks at the gathering tonight I certainly was not finished with being part of the political conversation,” he said from Atlanta. “I will see what shape that takes. Obviously, that is a decision that will be made sometime in the future.”
In the race for state Senate District 29, Democrats Ben Anderson of Grantville collected 28 percent or 1,275 votes while Valerie Haskins of Manchester took 72 percent or 4,525 with all votes counted. For Republicans, Mayo “Biff” Hadden, a government contractor, had 29 percent or 4,169 while Randy Robertson, retired sheriff deputy of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, recorded 10,032 or 71 percent of the vote. Robertson and Haskins will square off in the November general election.
In House District 133, Republican Christopher Gyening, CEO of Lani Mac Management Inc., collected only 16 percent of the vote or 940 while Vance Smith, a consultant and former House member, had 84 percent or 5,101. There is no Democratic opposition in the race for the November election.