Thursday November 26th, 2015 5:42AM

McLeod asks for recount in Ga. 12th District race

By The Associated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The battle to choose a Republican challenger for Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow in the fall will require a recount of last week's GOP primary vote before moving on to a runoff between the top two finishers.

Republican candidate Wright McLeod asked for a recount Wednesday, a day after Georgia's secretary of state signed off on official election results that showed McLeod finishing just 584 votes behind runner-up Rick W. Allen. That result would advance Allen, not McLeod, to an Aug. 21 runoff with the primary candidate who finished in first place.

The margin was thin enough to guarantee McLeod, an Augusta attorney, a recount of the vote if he asked for it. The candidate sent a letter to Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Wednesday morning requesting a new tally "due to the close margin separating second and third places."

However, there's not much chance that recounting the votes will change the outcome. In an age of electronic voting, double-checking the vote count is much like punching the same numbers into a calculator a second time.

"They do have the privilege to ask for a recount, but we don't expect it to change anything," said Jared Thomas, spokesman for Kemp, who is Georgia's top elections official.

Thomas said recounting the votes was expected to take about a day.

McLeod and Allen, who owns an Augusta construction company, were among four GOP candidates who ran in the July 31 primary in hopes of getting to challenge Barrow in the fall.

Whoever prevails will face state Rep. Lee Anderson in the runoff. Anderson, a Grovetown farmer, finished more than 5,000 votes ahead of Allen in the primary but fell far short of the majority he needed to win the nomination outright.

Neither McLeod's nor Allen's campaign had immediate comment on the recount filing.

Allen, meanwhile, moved forward as though his slot in the runoff was a sure bet. Two days after the primary, he poured $250,000 of his own money into his campaign account - bringing the businessman's total personal investment in the race to $540,000. Allen also began running new TV ads last week touting his business experience as making him the best man to fix America's economy.

Anderson has said he doesn't care whether Allen or McLeod face him in the runoff, insisting he would keep his campaign focused on defeating Barrow in November. Since the runoff, he has been endorsed by former rival Maria Sheffield, a Dublin attorney who finished fourth in the primary.

Republicans are anticipating their best chance in years at defeating Barrow, who is seeking a fifth term. Last year, the GOP-led state Legislature redrew the congressman's district to remove Savannah, Barrow's political base and his home. Barrow has since moved to Augusta and has about $1.3 million in the bank to defend his seat in what's become a more rural, conservative-leaning district.

The winner of the GOP runoff will benefit from a sizable investment by the National Republican Congressional, which has reserved more than $900,000 worth of airtime for TV ads in the district.

That helps explain why the four Republicans who sought the seat each invested six-figure sums of their own money. Anderson loaned his campaign $178,000 for the primary.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Budget battle sends mixed signals on health care
Confused about the federal budget struggle? So are doctors, hospital administrators and other medical professionals who serve the 100 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
6:20PM ( 2 years ago )
Gainesville to lease vacant Community Service Center space to foster family advocacy group
Should the Gainesville City Council give their approval to a lease agreement at a voting session Tuesday evening, SAFFT will occupy vacant space at the Gainesville Community Service Center on Prior Street, and the sooner the better according to SAFFT’s Executive Director Ashley Anderson.
5:00AM ( 42 minutes ago )
The big getaway: Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and pack airports, despite terror fears
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fear...
7:10PM ( 10 hours ago )
Border Patrol: Nearly 5,000 unaccompanied children crossed US-Mexico border in October
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show nearly 5,000 unaccompanied immigrant children were caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in October, almost double the...
5:53PM ( 11 hours ago )
Georgia sheriff revels in 'politically incorrect' sign
The Harris County sheriff has posted a sign outside his department that says his county is politically incorrect, and anyone who has a problem with that can leave.
By The Associated Press
5:27PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Interview: Coke executive addresses company's 'adversarial' relationship with critics
NEW YORK (AP) — Coke says it wants to mend relations with critics of its sugary drinks.Sandy Douglas, president of Coke North America, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Coke is hopin...
4:35PM ( 13 hours ago )