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Updated 11:56 p.m. | The Republican primary is not over in a key Congressional race in Georgia.
In the new ultra-Republican 9th district, neither radio talk-show host Martha Zoller or state Rep. Doug Collins came close to the 50 percent necessary to avoid a runoff in a three-way race.
With 90.6 percent of precincts reporting, Collins had 41.9 percent, Zoller had 41.3 percent and retired educator Roger Fitzpatrick was a distant third with 16.9 percent.
With support from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Zoller cast herself as the insurgent candidate against Collins, who is close with Gov. Nathan Deal and the Atlanta Republican establishment.
Even though Zoller was a terrible fundraiser, insiders believe she was boosted by her longtime presence on airwaves in the district. Her radio show was broadcast to most of what became the 9th district, anchored in Hall County in northeastern Georgia.
The winner of the Republican primary is widely expected to be elected in November, given the deep red hue of the district.
The primary runoff will be held Aug. 21.
Updated 11:56 p.m.
State Rep. Lee Anderson and businessman Rick Allen are headed for an Aug. 21 GOP runoff to see who will take on vulnerable Rep. John Barrow (D) in the reconfigured 12th district.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Anderson had 34.2 percent, followed by Allen with 25.7 percent. Attorney and retired Navy fighter pilot Wright McLeod came in third with 24.8 percent and attorney Maria Sheffield got 15.3 percent.
Anderson was likely helped by his base and his name ID as an elected official.
It’s unclear who has the edge in the runoff.
Roll Call rates the general election race as a Tossup.
Congressional candidate Martha Zoller, locked in a tough GOP primary with state Rep. Doug Collins in Georgia’s new 9th district, today picked up the endorsement of Sarah Palin, Zoller’s campaign said.
Zoller, a conservative talk radio host, has positioned herself as the insurgent candidate against Collins, who is close with Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and the Atlanta GOP establishment. Both candidates are very conservative.
“Martha is running against the establishment, which, as we know, is an uphill battle; but with all of our support she can win. In Congress, she’ll vote to cut spending, lower taxes, and repeal Obamacare,” Palin said in a statement released by the Zoller campaign. “I hope you’ll join me and other conservatives like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin in supporting Martha Zoller for Congress!”
Zoller had an absurdly low $7,873 in cash on hand on July 11 while Collins had $60,000 in the bank. Still, unaligned Republicans in the state see the primary race as close, with either candidate having a shot at victory.
Roll Call rates the 9th, one of the most Republican in the country, as Safe Republican. The winner of the July 31 primary will almost certainly be coming to Congress next January.
Conservative organization FreedomWorks PAC today released its “first slate” of House endorsements.
“Through extensive personal interviews, detailed research of their records, and feedback from activists in their districts, we are confident these candidates will expand the freedom caucus in the House and lead the fight for economic freedom and constitutionally limited government,” FreedomWorks PAC Executive Director Max Pappas said in a statement.