Republican presidential candidate John McCain defeated Democratic president-elect Barack Obama by better than 1,400 votes in McDuffie County in Tuesday's General Election.
Shortly before 10:30 p.m., The Associated Press was reporting that 47-year-old Sen. Obama had seized command of the race for the White House. It came just after the Illinois senator defeated Sen. McCain in Ohio and Iowa - thus building a near insurmountable Electoral College advantage in his bid to become the nation's first black president.
Sen. McCain later issued a concession speech, which was followed by Sen. Obama's speech to a large crowd gathered at Grant Park in Chicago and carried nationally by major television networks.
Locally, Sen. McCain garnered a total of 5,400 votes, or 57.11 percent, to Sen. Obama's 3,989 votes, or 42.19 percent, in McDuffie County. In Warren County, it was just the reversed with Sen. Obama winning with 1,552 votes, or 58.37 percent. Sen. McCain got 1,086 votes, or 40.84, percent in the neighboring county.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, the Republican incumbent, meanwhile, soundly defeated Democratic challenger Bobby Saxon by a margin of 1,204 votes. Rep. Broun received a total of 5,052 votes, or 56.74 percent, to Mr. Saxon's 3,848 votes, or 43.22 percent.
Over in Warren County, it was incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow defeating Republican challenger John Stone, a former aid to the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood. Rep. Barrow tallied 1,717 votes, or 69.57 percent, to Mr. Stone's 751 votes, or 30.43 percent.
In the U.S. Senate race, it was Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss downing Democratic hopeful Jim Martin by a large margin. Sen. Chambliss, who recently campaigned in Thomson along with Rep. Broun, garnered a total of 4,838 votes, or 54.63 percent, to Mr. Martin's 3,829 votes, or 43.24 percent, according to unofficial election returns released by McDuffie County Elections Director Phyllis Wheeler. Tunout in McDuffie was at approximately 69 percent.
In one of the more surprising state races, incumbent State Rep. Helen G. "Sistie" Hudson, a Democrat of Sparta, lost by less than 10 votes to Republican challenger Scott Nutial in McDuffie County. Rep. Hudson, nevertheless, still retained her District 124 Georgia House seat thanks in large part to voters in her home county of Hancock and Warren counties.
Mr. Nutial, a Thomson resident, won by five votes. Mr. Nutial collected of 4,378 votes, or 50.02 percent, to Rep. Hudson's 4,373, or 49.96 percent, or in McDuffie County. In Warren County, Rep. Hudson defeated Mr. Nutial, collecting 1,621 votes, or 67.85 percent, to her opponent's 768 votes, or 32.15 percent, according to unofficial results released by Probate Judge Janice Thigpen.
Rep. Hudson also won in the counties of Taliaferro and Hancock. Mr. Nutial defeated her in both Glascock and Putnam counties.
"I'm delighted that the people have honored me again as their public servant," Rep. Hudson said from her home Tuesday night. "It's a role I really, really enjoy."
Associated Press reports were used for this article, as was information by Scott Swann, who served as a correspondent for The Mirror on election night in Warrenton.