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Ferguson wins GOP runoff

WEST POINT — A small-town mayor scored an unlikely victory Tuesday in the race to become the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.

Former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson, a dentist by trade, beat state Sen. Mike Crane of Newnan with a nearly 8-point lead. He garnered 22,813 votes, compared to Crane’s 19,490, and will face Democrat Angela Pendley of Grantville in the Nov. 8 general election. Incumbent Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, a Newnan Republican, is not seeking re-election.

At a jubilant election-watch party in West Point, Ferguson — flanked by Westmoreland — thanked supporters.

“To think that we came from really the smallest part of the district, with the least resources, and the least name recognition, to get to this point says an awful lot about about y’all,” Ferguson told the crowd. “It says a lot about the supporters, the volunteers and the work that was done.”

Ferguson also set his eye on November.

“We’ve got work to do between now and November, we’ve got work to do in the Congressional race,” he said. “We feel good about our chances, and we’re going to work hard. We have a big hurdle ahead of us in the general election.”

Westmoreland also addressed the crowd, telling them Ferguson was “going to do a job that’s going to make you very, very proud.”

The congressman also made a slight jab at Ferguson’s opponent, Crane, who had accused Ferguson of being too cozy with big businesses, including Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

“As I was coming down (Interstate) 85, I looked to the right and saw Kia, and I saw all those cars in that lot, and I thought to myself, ‘Would those folks in there, making those cars, call this corporate welfare?’” he said. “No, they would call that economic development. I know that Drew is going to carry that on — what we’ve tried to do, and that’s bring jobs to Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District, because it is a great place for people to live, work and to play.”

The comment drew a strong applause from Ferguson’s supporters.

Meanwhile in Newnan, Crane gathered with supporters at Orchard’s Hill Church on Gordon Road. In a concession speech to supporters, Crane hinted at a future run for office.

“God’s got bigger things for us. The next race won’t be in November. We just don’t know when it will be, do we?” Crane said. “Georgia could use a new governor, couldn’t they?” Crane said with a laugh, to loud applause.

Crane asked if state Sen. Josh McKoon, a Columbus Republican and Crane supporter, was still in the room.

“That’s who I was thinking about,” Crane said. “All right, I’m just teasing.”

Crane said he was heavy hearted, but in the future, “We’re going to win. It may not be me, it may be somebody else in this room. But we’re going to win because we’re an idea, an idea that comes directly from the heart of God. He set us in the garden, and he set us free and he said choose.”

— Newnan Times-Herald reporter Sarah Faye contributed to this article as part of a reporting collaboration between the Times-Herald and the Daily News.

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This story was updated Wednesday morning. The original Tuesday evening post is below.

Drew Ferguson, former West Point Mayor, beat state Sen. Mike Crane in a Republican runoff election Tuesday and will face Democrat Angela Pendley in the Nov. 8 general election for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District.

Ferguson garnered 22,354 votes and Crane had 19,115 with all but Henry County reporting as of 10:40 p.m. Results are unofficial until certified by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Ferguson celebrated with supporters at an election night party in his home town of West Point. He was flanked by supporters, including incumbent Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who is not seeking re-election.

The candidate thanked supporters and his family, and said he would continue to work toward earning votes in the general election.

Read LaGrange Daily News online and in print on Wednesday for a full recap of the night and more information.

Click here to see a video of Ferguson, along with Westmoreland, address supporter.

Candidate for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District Mike Crane gives his concession speech Tuesday evening at Orchard’s Hill Church in Newnan. Crane lost a runoff election to former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_Crane01WEB-1.jpgCandidate for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District Mike Crane gives his concession speech Tuesday evening at Orchard’s Hill Church in Newnan. Crane lost a runoff election to former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson. Sarah Faye | Newnan Times-Herald
Troup County Commissioner-elect Lewis Davis, center, poses with former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson after Ferguson won a runoff election to be the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday in West Point.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_Ferguson02WEB-1.jpgTroup County Commissioner-elect Lewis Davis, center, poses with former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson after Ferguson won a runoff election to be the Republican nominee for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday in West Point. Tyler H. Jones | Daily News
Republican nominee for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District Drew Ferguson hugs supporter Gloria Marshall of West Point on Tuesday during an election-night party. Ferguson beat state Sen. Mike Crane in a GOP runoff and will face Democrat Angela Pendley in the Nov. 8 general election.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_Ferguson01WEB-3.jpgRepublican nominee for Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District Drew Ferguson hugs supporter Gloria Marshall of West Point on Tuesday during an election-night party. Ferguson beat state Sen. Mike Crane in a GOP runoff and will face Democrat Angela Pendley in the Nov. 8 general election. Tyler H. Jones | Daily News
Small-town mayor clinches unlikely victory

By Tyler H. Jones

tjones@civitasmedia.com

COUNTY BY COUNTY RESULTS

County: Crane | Ferguson

Carroll: 2,620 | 3,362

Coweta: 4,453 | 3,890

Fayette: 4,638 | 2,872

Harris: 448 | 1,357

Heard: 257 | 355

Henry: 844 | 1,070

Lamar: 399 | 414

Meriwether: 301 | 609

Muscogee: 473 | 941

Pike: 695 | 806

Spalding: 2,353 | 2,817

Troup: 1,085 | 2,466

Upson: 924 | 1,854

Totals: 19,490 | 22,813

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