Georgia voters Tuesday chose a millionaire from a political family, David Perdue, over longtime congressman
as the Republican nominee for an open Senate seat, ending a bruising primary fight that may have roughed up the party's prospects this fall in the battle for control of the Senate.
Perdue, the former
The cousin of former
"Fixing big problems like this is what I've done all my life," Perdue said in ad midway through the campaign. "It's what I do."
The long primary campaign dragged into Tuesday's late-night cliff-hanger. Perdue led by more than 6,000 votes with more than 91% reporting when the Associated Press called the race. Voter turnout for the election, on a summer day that threatened rain, was low.
Nunn's team has used the months of Republican infighting to her advantage, building a strong campaign in a long-shot effort to turn the Peach State blue and giving Democrats their best chance to add a seat in a midterm cycle in which Republicans are favored nationally.
Control of the Senate will probably be determined in part by Georgia and the other Southern states; Republicans need to net six seats to wrest the chamber from Democrats. The Georgia seat, now held by retiring Republican Sen.
Republicans immediately cast their nominee as the outsider at a time when Washington is woefully unpopular with American voters.
"David's experience in the private sector will be put to good use in Washington," said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), the chairman of the Republicans' campaign committee.
For good measure, party Chairman
But in a preview of the tough campaign to come, the executive director of the Democrats' campaign committee, Guy Cecil, said Perdue's "shady business dealings" made it "clear multimillionaire David Perdue is only looking out for himself."
The long-fought GOP primary was a test for the
The Chamber of Commerce spent more than $2 million backing Kingston, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, including a late-breaking ad that portrayed Perdue as a crybaby -- a nod to the former executive's own campaign ads that repeatedly set Kingston amid a sea of babies in Washington's often childish political dramas.
Perdue, who had never before run for office, led the wide-open field of candidates in May's first round of voting. Kingston was able to scoop up endorsements from both the tea party and the business community to improve his showing, especially in metro Atlanta, but apparently not enough.