Nathan Deal celebrated his victory.
ATLANTA -- Republican Nathan Deal defeated Democrat Roy Barnes for governor of Georgia Tuesday, leading a historic GOP sweep of all statewide races.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, the former congressman from Gainesville had won 53 percent of the vote in turning back former Gov. Roy Barnes' bid to return to office after an eight-year absence, according to unofficial returns.
Barnes had 43 percent of the vote, and Libertarian John Monds was running a distant third with 4 percent.
Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson also won re-election to a second term, besting Democrat Mike Thurmond 59 percent to 39 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
The rest of the GOP statewide ticket mirrored the success of Deal and Isakson, putting Republicans in every statewide office for the first time in Georgia history.
"Up and down the ballot, Georgia has placed its faith in the Republican Party," Deal told a cheering crowd of supporters shortly before midnight at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead Hotel. "We're not going to let them down."
Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle cruised to a second term over Democrat Carol Porter, 55 percent to 42 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Other statewide GOP winners included Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Sam Olens for attorney general, John Barge as state school superintendent, Ralph Hudgens as insurance commissioner, Gary Black as agriculture commissioner and Mark Butler as labor commissioner.
Another Republican, Mark Echols, won a six-year term on the Georgia Public Service Commission.
Deal said jobs will be a priority when he takes office in January."
"We're going to come out of this recession," he said. "We're going to put Georgia back to work."
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)