Graves wins Georgia runoff for Deal's seat

Former State Sen. Tom Graves (R) has clinched the runoff in the special election to fill Rep. Nathan Deal's (R-Ga.) House seat. 

Deal retired in March to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.

Atlanta Tea Party groups and the Club for Growth backed Graves, who captured 59 percent of the vote with 159 of 239 precincts reporting.

The Associated Press declared Graves the winer.

His rival, former state Sen. Lee Hawkins, took in 41 percent, according to unofficial results.

Graves will serve out Deal's existing term, but still has to secure the nomination in the July 20 primary for the November election. The district is solidly Republican and isn't considered a pick-up opportunity for Democrats.

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