clear
Thursday May 7th, 2015 3:38AM

Collins wins GOP runoff to advance in 9th district

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - State Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville has won the Republican runoff election for a newly created congressional seat in north Georgia and will face Democrat Jody Cooley in November.

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Collins with 54 percent of the vote, compared to 46 percent for his opponent, conservative talk radio host Martha Zoller, with 89 percent of precincts reporting.

Collins said he thinks it was his consistent conservative message that gave him the victory.

"It is what resonated with the voters, they saw the record that we have in Atlanta, and we're going to take that to Washington, and I think it's also the support we had in the district," said Collins.

Given the Republican Party's strength in the region, Collins will be a favorite to win in November.

Collins beat Zoller by less than 1 percent of the vote in last month's primary election but failed to win a majority, triggering a runoff.

Zoller, also from Gainesville, said Tuesday night that she's not sure what her future holds politically, but she said one thing is certain.

"What I will tell you is that I'm going to do what I've done for the past 16 years, which is hold elected officials accountable... that's what I've done, and that's what I'm going to continue to do," said Zoller.

The Democratic candidate in the 9th District Congressional race said voters can expect a civil discussion on the issues facing the country now that he knows which GOP candidate he'll be running against in November.

Cooley said he knows North Georgia's newly created congressional district leans heavily to the right.

"It is a Republican district, but you know what, it's made up of 550,000- 600,000 people who have real problems, so I say let's start the discussion and give people a choice," said Cooley.

Collins said he's ready to continue the campaign battle with his Democratic challenger.

"Our country is broke, it's not just a matter of degrees, it's broke... we've got to get our fiscal house in order," Collins said. "In my opinion, we've got to cut taxes and cut spending."

The following counties comprise Georgia's new 9th Congressional District:

Banks
*Clarke
Dawson
Elbert
Fannin
*Forsyth
Franklin
Gilmer
Habersham
Hall
Hart
Jackson
Lumpkin
Madison
*Pickens
Rabun
Stephens
Towns
Union
White

*Indicates that only part of the county is located in the 9th District

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
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 )
Politics
Georgia sheriff charged in shooting of real estate agent
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta-area sheriff was charged with a misdemeanor Wednesday in the shooting of a real estate agent at a model home.Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill is charged with rec...
11:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
Deal signs watered-down craft breweries bill
Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a watered-down bill allowing craft breweries to let customers take home as much as 72 ounces of beer, or the equivalent of a six-pack, but only as a "souvenir.''
6:09PM ( 9 hours ago )
Brush fires along I-85 in Gwinnett Co. cause problems for motorists
The brush fires that were burning along an estimated six-mile stretch of I-85 southbound have now been extinguished and the road is reopened.
By Staff
4:00PM ( 11 hours ago )
Ride-hailing regulation bill gets Gov.'s signature
Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, which connect riders with drivers by means of a smartphone app, will soon have to comply with some Georgia regulations under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.
By Associated Press
2:37PM ( 13 hours ago )
Fire destroys Jackson Co. home
A Jackson County family lost everything in a house fire Tuesday afternoon, according to EMS Director Steve Nichols.
11:59AM ( 15 hours ago )