FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The June 9 general primary election narrowed the field for several federal and state seats representing Forsyth County, but some candidates are headed for the Aug. 11 primary runoff. With a surge in absentee ballots, the results of the general primary have not been made official.

The race for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District will feature a runoff for the Democratic and Republican candidate. The district covers the northern portion of Forsyth County and is currently represented by Doug Collins, who has held the seat since 2013.

The Republican ticket for the general primary was highly contested both in the number of candidates and the narrow margins separating the top contenders.

Matt Gurtler, who currently represents District 8 in the State House, led the field with 21 percent of the vote. Gurtler will take on Andrew Clyde, a business owner who garnered 18 percent in the runoff.

Forsyth County resident Ethan Underwood took 25 percent of the vote in the county, leading all candidates, but won just 8 percent in the overall district race.

The Democratic runoff includes Brook Siskin and Devin Pandy. Siskin took 46 percent of the vote over Pandy with 35 percent.

Siskin, a Gwinnett County resident, has worked as field coordinator in prior elections and lost a 2012 race for a State House seat. Pandy is an actor and spent 21 years in military service.

The State House District 9 seat will also go to a runoff on the Republican ticket. The seat, which represents the northwest corner of Forsyth County, is held by Kevin Tanner who ran for a U.S. House seat.

Will Wade led the six-candidate field for the seat with 34 percent of the vote and will face Steve Leibel in the runoff. Leibel beat out Wade by 12 points among Forsyth County voters with just around 700 votes cast.

Wade is the chair of the Dawson County Board of Education. Leibel, a Dahlonega resident, is a lawyer and provides legal counsel to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office according to his campaign website.

The winner of the runoff will take on Democrat Sharon Ravert who ran uncontested in the general primary.  

Candidates secure tickets in other races

Though some local races will go to a runoff, most federal and state races have been decided for the Nov. 3 general election.

Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue will face Democrat Jon Ossof for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate posts. Perdue is seeking a second term for the seat.

Ossof lost a tight runoff race to Karen Handel for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2017, a campaign that gained national attention.

There was no primary for the seat occupied by U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Instead, a nonpartisan primary will be held on Nov. 3. The ticket will include 21 candidates who qualified.

The race for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which includes the southern half of the county, will come down to Republican Rich McCormick and Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux after both won their party’s primary.

McCormick took 55 percent in the Republican primary, besting six other candidates. McCormick is a Suwanee resident in Gwinnett County and emergency room physician.

Bourdeaux took the Democratic majority with 53 percent of the vote in a field of six candidates. Bourdeaux will again be the Democratic nominee after falling just a few hundred votes short of Republican Rob Woodall in the 2018 general election for the 7th District.

Incumbent State Sen. Greg Dolezal will look to retain his District 27 seat as the Republican candidate after running uncontested in the primary. Dolezal will take on Brook Griffiths, a business owner, who ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

District 27 includes nearly all of Forsyth County.

The portion not included is the northeast corner of the county within District 51. Incumbent State Sen. Steve Gooch ran alone on the Republican ticket for the seat and will take on Democratic challenger June Krise.

The race for the District 22 seat in the State House pits incumbent Wes Cantrell, a Republican, and Democrat Charles Ravenscraft, who took a close victory over Bobbi Simpson in the general primary.

Cantrell has represented the district, which includes a southwest section of Forsyth County, since 2015.

Incumbent Sheri Smallwood Gilligan ran uncontested on the Republican ticket for the District 24 seat in the State House, representing the mid-west section of Forsyth County. Gilligan has held the post since 2015.

Democrat Natalie Buckso will challenge Gilligan. Buckso ran uncontested on the Democratic ticket.

Republican State Rep. Todd Jones will face off with Democrat challenger Christa Olenczak for the District 25 seat covering southern Forsyth County. Jones is seeking a third term, while Olenczak is running for her first political office. Both candidates ran uncontested in the general primary.

The District 26 seat for the State House features Republican Lauren McDonald, former Forsyth County Coroner, and Democratic challenger and public accountant Jason Boskey. The seat represents most of eastern Forsyth County.

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