GOP establishment clinches victory

Longtime Georgia state Sen. Buddy Carter (R) has defeated Dr. Bob Johnson (R) in the primary runoff for Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-Ga.) open seat Tuesday night, a win for establishment Republicans against a Tea Party-backed opponent. 

The Associated Press called the race for Carter, who led Johnson by 54 percent to 46 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting. 

Carter led Johnson in May's six-way primary by 36 percent to 23 percent and was considered to have the edge headed into Tuesday's runoff. A longtime state legislator, he boasted the endorsements of the Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and several local legislators. 

But both candidates were well-funded in the competitive race and duked it out on the air in the inexpensive coastal Georgia district, hitting each other with attack ads focused on ObamaCare. 

Johnson earned the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and the Club for Growth, which spent more than $400,000 for Johnson, slamming Carter as a career politician. 

Carter never received much money from the Chamber of Commerce, but the pharmacist benefitted from the support of a super-PAC backed by fellow pharmacists and business interests.

Carter will be the heavy favorite to replace Kingston in the heavily conservative Savannah-based district.

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