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Georgia's GOP governor primary: 2 officials face runoff

| Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 11:09 p.m.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican primary candidate for governor, talks with supporters during an election night results party Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican primary candidate for governor, talks with supporters during an election night results party Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Republican candidate for Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle alongside his wife Nita take the stage to speak to supporters during an election-night watch party in Gainesville, Ga., Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
Republican candidate for Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle alongside his wife Nita take the stage to speak to supporters during an election-night watch party in Gainesville, Ga., Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
A supporter holds a sign during an election-night watch party for Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
A supporter holds a sign during an election-night watch party for Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Mia Lei from Oakland, California chose Freedom Parkway and Boulevard to campaign for Gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams on Tuesday May 22, 2018. Lei joined other Californians who came to Atlanta to campaign for Abrams. (John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Mia Lei from Oakland, California chose Freedom Parkway and Boulevard to campaign for Gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams on Tuesday May 22, 2018. Lei joined other Californians who came to Atlanta to campaign for Abrams. (John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Supporters react during an election-night watch party for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Supporters react during an election-night watch party for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Voters cast their ballots at Chase Street Elementary for Georgia's primary election in Athens, Ga., Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
Voters cast their ballots at Chase Street Elementary for Georgia's primary election in Athens, Ga., Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
The 1956 Georgia state flag is displayed in a frame as George Farr votes at the Chickamauga Civic Center on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Chickamauga, Ga. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)
The 1956 Georgia state flag is displayed in a frame as George Farr votes at the Chickamauga Civic Center on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Chickamauga, Ga. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

ATLANTA — In Georgia's gubernatorial primary, Democrats elected the state's first woman nominee from either party, but no Republican candidate could gather more than 50 percent of the vote — so the top two face a July runoff.

If Stacey Abrams wins in November, she'll become the first black woman governor in the U.S. She will face either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Their runoff is scheduled for July 24.

Abrams beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans. The one-time legislative colleagues tussled over ethics accusations and their records on education. Both are Atlanta-area attorneys. Abrams got a last-minute boost with an endorsement -- in the form of a 60-second robo-call -- from Hillary Clinton.

In the Republican race, Cagle and Kemp beat three GOP rivals in a race characterized by strong support for gun rights and tough talk on immigration. The field was all white men - former legislators, officeholders and businessmen, some with decades of political experience and others positioning themselves as outsiders challenging the establishment.

In the ballroom of a downtown Atlanta hotel, Abrams supporters trickled in to a soundtrack of R&B and hip-hop songs. Two young women — one black and one white and both wearing shirts reading "Elect Black Women" — huddled over a table as Rihanna's "Diamonds" played in the background.

At Cagle's gathering in Gainesville, he walked through a crowd of supporters shaking hands, offering hugs and taking selfies while country singer Tyler Hammond performed on stage.

In Athens, supporters of Kemp streamed into the upstairs ballroom of the Holiday Inn to await returns.

The candidates are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who has held the office since 2011.

All of Georgia's statewide constitutional offices are up for grabs this election cycle, including those vacated by Cagle and Kemp, as well as the position of insurance commissioner vacated by Ralph Hudgens, who isn't seeking re-election.

Georgia's 180 state House and 56 state Senate seats are also up for a vote.

Five of Georgia's U.S. House members face primary challengers.

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