Higgins wins DA race; Carter stays in U.S. House

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Independent Keith Higgins has defeated Republican incumbent Jackie Johnson in the race for Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Buddy Carter defeated Democrat Joyce Marie Griggs by a 3-2 margin to retain Georgia’s 1st Congressional District seat, which represents Wayne and 16 other counties. Carter thanked conservatives for his victory Wednesday morning.

In the race for DA, Higgins had a strong-enough showing in Glynn County, the most populous county in the district, to overcome Johnson’s wins in Wayne and the other three counties in the circuit.

Higgins won the race by 45,515 votes to 40,600 votes, according to announced vote results for the district.

In statewide races on which Wayne County voters cast ballots, Democrat Raphael Warnock and appointed Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler are headed to a runoff in the special U.S. Senate election following Johnny Isakson’s retirement. Republican Doug Collins, the other candidate among the top three in a crowded field, has conceded.

Republican incumbent David Perdue has been holding a strong lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the other U.S. Senate race, and both Republican incumbents on the Georgia Public Service Commission (Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and Jason Shaw) were headed for re-election.

As of Wednesday morning, Georgia was still considered a toss-up in the presidential election. Whether Republican incumbent Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden receives more votes in the state will determine which candidate will receive all of Georgia’s Electoral College votes.

Finally, all three statewide ballot questions passed.

A constitutional change requiring that state fees and taxes collected for a specific purpose are spent as intended passed with 81.4 percent of the vote.

A second constitutional amendment, prohibiting state and local governments from using the legal doctrine of “sovereign immunity” to avoid citizen lawsuits, won approval from 74.3 percent of the voters.

Georgia voters also authorized a tax exemption for property owned by charitable organizations for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes. House Bill 344 was endorsed with 73 percent of the vote.

(This story includes reporting by Dave Williams and Beau Evans of Capitol Beat News Service.)