ATLANTA – State Rep. Matt Gurtler and gun store owner Andrew Clyde appeared headed toward a runoff Tuesday night to decide the Republican nominee in Georgia’s 9th Congressional District Republican primary.
With 77% of precincts reporting in the Northeast Georgia district, Gurtler was in the lead with 25% of the vote, with Clyde running second with 21%, according to unofficial results.
With candidates in Georgia needing to win a majority of the vote to claim a primary nomination outright, Gurtler and Clyde likely will face off in an Aug. 11 runoff for the GOP nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, who is leaving the House to run for the U.S. Senate.
Former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, state Sen. John Wilkinson and state Rep. Kevin Tanner were next in the crowded Republican field in a virtual three-way tie at 13%.
Four other candidates were down in the single digits.
Gurtler, a general contractor, has built a reputation in the General Assembly for voting against bills more often than his colleagues. He touts that “Dr. No” record as his way of demonstrating his philosophy of limited government.
Clyde, a U.S. Navy veteran, not surprisingly is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He supports doing away with federal background-check requirements and waiting periods Congress passed in 1993.
Meanwhile, a runoff also was the probable outcome in the 9th District Democratic primary. Also with 77% of the precincts tabulated, small business owner Brooke Siskin held a solid lead with 44% of the vote. However, that likely won’t be enough to avoid a runoff, probably against Devin Pandy, an actor and U.S. Army veteran.
Pandy was running second late Tuesday night with 29% of the vote, slightly ahead of Dan Wilson, a retired reverend, who with 27% support, still had a chance to overtake Pandy and make the runoff instead.