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State Senate race headed for run-off between Summers, Quinn

It appears Tuesday’s special election to fill the state senate seat vacated by the December death of Greg Kirk has merely narrowed the field to two final candidates who will face off in a run-off election to be held on March 3. Final vote tallies have not been certified.

Cordele businessman Carden Summers, who as of press time had garnered 5,146 votes with 75 of the 76 voting precincts in the nine counties that make up the 13th District of the Georgia Senate having reported, will likely move on to the run-off against former Leesburg mayor Jim Quinn, who picked up 5,019 votes. Left behind on Tuesday was third candidate Mary Egler, who had picked up 1,749 total votes.

Summers performed strongly, as expected, in the Dispatch’s coverage area of Crisp, Dooly, and Wilcox counties. In Crisp County, Summers’ unofficial vote count equaled 1,301 compared to Quinn’s 219 and Egler’s 182. In Dooly County, Summers picked up 282 votes while Quinn gathered 181 and Egler 182. In Wilcox, Summers picked up 178 votes compared to Quinn’s 52 and Egler’s 59.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of Quinn’s support came from Lee County voters. More than half of Quinn’s ballots were cast in Lee County, which went 2,566 for Quinn and 399 for Summers. Egler, who also hails from Lee County, managed 322 votes in Lee County.

Tuesday’s election marked one of the first uses of new voting machines in Georgia. The new machines were due to roll out in the upcoming presidential primary, but this and another special election forced a few counties, including those in the 13th District, to bring them online earlier. The district is made up of Lee, Sumter, Crisp, Dooly, Dodge, Wilcox, Worth, Turner, and Tift counties.

Crisp County Elections Supervisor Becky Perkins said the new machines performed “extremely well.”

Check back for updates to this story.