It was supposed to be a close race.
It was anything but.
Tuesday night, Secretary of State Brian Kemp throttled Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican run-off for governor. Kemp won easily in Coffee County -- 1,323 to 627 -- and just as easily statewide. Very early in the evening, and with a lot of votes still to be counted, Cagle saw the writing on the wall and conceded the race to Kemp.
The weeks between the primary and the run-off were punishing for both candidates. Cagle seemingly had the advantage until Clay Tippins, a candidate in the Republican primary for governor, released a secret recording he made of a conversation with Cagle after the primary. In the recording, Cagle admits that he supported an education bill that was bad policy but good for him personally.
The momentum then shifted to Kemp. It shifted once more last week when President Donald Trump endorsed Kemp's candidacy. Two-term governor Nathan Deal gave Cagle his stamp of approval. But it was too little, too late and the voters weren't buying it. Kemp came across as compassionate, concerned, and a candidate who truly wanted to serve the people of Georgia. Cagle, meanwhile, never could shake the image of the stereotypical politician more concerned with himself than his constituency. In the end, it cost him. Big time.
Kemp's win sets up what will likely be another hard-fought contest against the Democratic nominee for governor, former state representative and attorney Stacey Abrams. She is the first black female major-party candidate to run for governor of any state in the United States.
Here is how the other elections stacked up locally:
Lieutenant Governor (Republican) -- David Shafer defeated Geoff Duncan 1,011-831
Secretary of State (Republican) -- Brad Raffensperger defeated David Belle Isle 1,326-459
State School Superintendent (Democrat) -- Otha Thornton defeated Sid Chapman 68-42