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Georgia Senate runoff runs neck-and-neck

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

ATLANTA — Businessman David Perdue on Tuesday had a slight lead in a tight race against Rep. Jack Kingston for Georgia's Republican Senate nomination.

With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting, Perdue garnered 50.4 percent of the vote to Kingston's 49.6 percent.

The winner will take on Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in a contest that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final two years of President Obama's administration.

Perdue and Kingston topped five other candidates in a May primary, but neither reached the majority necessary to win outright.

Both candidates greeted their supporters at their respective campaign parties Tuesday evening in Atlanta. Kingston was at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta. Perdue was at a hotel in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.

Kingston hugged supporters and talked with some of them.

Perdue also acknowledged his supporters and spoke with assembled media. “Let's get a decision, and let's go fight the Democrats in the fall, that's what I'm ready to do,” he told reporters. “I have a real peace about this. If Congressman Kingston wins this, he'll have my full support. I'll help him prosecute the failed record of the last six years.”

Perdue led the primary in May. Nunn is one of the few chances for Democrats to pick up a Republican-held seat this fall as the party tries to maintain its majority.

Republicans know they can ill afford to lose retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat if they hope to elect the six additional senators they need to run the chamber.

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