Tuesday November 13th, 2018 12:36AM

Even in defeat, Hawkins declares 'momentum is growing'

By Ken Stanford Reporter
  Contact Editor
GAINESVILLE - Saying he has made "significant" headway in his battle in his congressional race, Lee Hawkins Wednesday urged his supporters to "reach out to new people."

Hawkins was defeated by Tom Graves in Tuesday's special election runoff for the unexpired term of former 9th District U.S. Representative Nathan Deal who resigned earlier this year to devote full time to running for governor.

Hawkins is focused on the July 20 Republican Primary and the election for a full two-year term on Congress beginning January 1. Graves - who Tuesday was elected to serve the remainder of Deal's term which expires December 31 - will also be on the ballot as will three other candidates.

In a email to friends, supporters and others Wednesday morning, Hawkins wrote "
We want to let you all know how much each one of you is appreciated. You have all worked hard on this campaign,donating both your time and your resources. Your spirit and your will to win this election is uplifting to all of us."

Hawkins points out that he gained votes in every county Tuesday compared to his showing in the May 11 election...and we also won more counties than we did (the first time). This is great news and shows that our message is beginning to reach throughout the Ninth District...our momentum is building and with your help, it will continue to climb."

Graves defeated Hawkins in the runoff by a 13 percent margin.

There are five other Republicans - Chris Cates, Bert Loftman, Bobby Reese, Steve Tarvin and Bill Stephens - in the race, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's Web site. However, Stephens suspended his campaign after the May 11 election. There no Democrats running for the post.
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