Former state Sen. Robert Lamutt's campaign supporters had high hopes as they gathered at the Paradise South of the Border Mexican restaurant on Sandy Plains Road to wait for election results Tuesday night.
But it was first-time candidate John Carson, an accountant with SunTrust Bank, who edged out Lamutt in the special election for state House District 43 in Northeast and East Cobb.
Because no one in the five-candidate election won a majority, Carson and Lamutt advance to a heads-up runoff Oct. 18.
Here are Tuesday's final, unofficial results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's Office, including 92 early-in-person and 146 absentee-by-mail ballots:
- John Carson, 801 votes, 35.8 percent.
- Robert Lamutt, 699 votes, 31.3 percent.
- Geraldine Wade, 496 votes, 22.2 percent.
- Don Hill, 137 votes, 6.1 percent.
- Roy C. Barnes, 103 votes, 4.6 percent.
- Write-in votes, 12.
Total votes cast: 2,248
According to Beth Kish, registration manager at the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration, 30,076 registered voters were eligible for the election.
Carson said he will continue what he described as his grassroots-oriented campaign.
"I can't be more pleased," Carson said at the on Shallowford Road, where he awaited results with his campaign manager, wife and and a cluster of supporters. "From six weeks ago being a political nobody to coming out on top, I can't thank the voters enough."
Carson got 35.8 percent of the vote, and Lamutt received 31.3 percent.
"So far, so good," Lamutt told his supporters.
Five Republican candidates awaited election results Tuesday after the special election to fill the 43rd District seat in the state House, covering parts of Northeast and East Cobb, left vacant by the death of in July.
With seven of 14 precincts reporting, has the lead with 422 votes, followed by with 399, with 229, with 76 and with 56.
The results are partial, including absentee in person and absentee by mail. Polls are still outstanding, according to the Cobb Board of Elections and Registration.
“Well, I'm not expecting any great results, but you never know what the good Lord has in store,” Barnes told Northeast Cobb Patch this afternoon.
The winner will serve out the remainder of Franklin’s term, which expires at the end of 2012.