Brandon Beach managed to get more than 12,000 people to vote for him in his bid for the state Senate District 21 Republican Primary. While that was a respectable number, it was nowhere near enough to unseat Chip Rogers. The incumbent, who is the Georgia Senate Majority Leader, had 17,522 votes.
Both candidates "won" their home counties. But with abysmal voter turnout in Fulton County – less than 14 percent – and only 5,428 total votes cast, Beach, an Alpharetta resident, needed to match Rogers in votes in Cherokee.
Rogers, however, handily beat the North Fulton Chamber executive in his own home county. The Woodstock resident had 14,856 ballots cast in his favor in Cherokee County. After working in North Fulton for years, Beach did exceptionally well in Cherokee. However, 9,409 votes just wasn't enough to unseat Rogers.
Both candidates had hurdles to overcome. Rogers continues to be identified with offshore casino gambling because of commercials he filmed. A bank loan that soured has been linked to him, whether fairly or not.
Beach, on the other hand, is a Georgia Department of Transportation Board member who has supported TSPLOST.
Advance voting in Cherokee County would give the impression that the race was going to be tighter than it was. Beach picked up 3,023 votes to Rogers' 2,994. But come election day, that narrow margin disappeared as more Cherokee voters picked Rogers than Beach. It was Rogers 10,116 to Beach's 6,030 votes.
While Beach "won" Fulton County, it wasn't quite a 100-vote victory. His 2,762 vote total was more than the 2,666 Rogers got, but that was far short of what he needed in Fulton. Forsyth had a 31 percent voter turnout, with Fulton less than half that by falling under 15 percent.
Absentee by Mail votes in Cherokee County have tipped in Rogers' favor. The incumbent received 746 votes (67.7 percent) to Beach's 356 (32.30 percent).
Rogers collected another 4,109 votes cast in advance in person, but Beach picked up 3,123 votes.
Cherokee & Fulton Precincts as reported to the Ga. Secretary of StateCandidate Election Day Absentee by Mail Advance in Person Provisional Total* Percent Brandon Beach 8,692
356 3,123 -
41% Chip Rogers (I) 12,667 746 4,109 -
*Unofficial returns, no provisional ballots counted
With no Democrat qualifying for this race, this General Republican Primary will determines who is in the General Assembly for the next legislative session in 2013.
Patch editors posted unofficial results in this race and others throughout this election night on Canton-Sixes Patch, Holly Springs-Hickory Flat Patch, Woodstock Patch and Alpharetta-Milton Patch. Add your comments about this race on any of these Patches, and they will appear on all of them.