U.S. Rep. Paul Broun breezed to an easy win over Harlem's Barry Fleming in Tuesday's Primary Election.
With 96 percent of the precincts reporting as of late Tuesday, Rep. Broun was holding a sizable lead over the former Georgia Senate Majority Whip, who grew up in Columbia County and who once served as an aid to former U.S. Rep. Doug Barnard of Augusta. From a percentage standpoint, Rep. Broun had a commanding 71 percent lead to Mr. Flemings' mere 29 percent of the votes, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's Office.
Mr. Fleming telephoned Rep. Broun about 8:30 p.m. to concede. At the time, Rep. Broun, a resident of Oconee County, was awaiting election returns at the Continuing Education Center on the campus of the University of Georgia.
"He congratulated me on my victory and I congratulated him on a hard-fought race," Rep. Broun told The McDuffie Mirror during a telephone interview from Athens.
"It feels really great to have won this hurdle, but now it's time to concentrate on the November campaign that begins right after I take care of the people's business in Washington, D.C. over the weekend."
Rep. Broun, who won every precinct in McDuffie County, said he thought that one of the differences in the race against Mr. Fleming was that he ran a strong grassroots campaign - much like he did when he first won the office that was formerly held by Rep. Charlie Norwood.
"I think the people want to see changes made in Washington, D.C.," Rep. Broun said. "And changes are what need to be made there. I think I had the message for the times."
In November, Dr. Broun will face Democrat Bobby Saxon. Mr. Saxon is a member of the Georgia Army National Guard and a software consultant and insurance agency owner who lives in Jackson County.