Political Insider

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As polls close, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue calls for 'ground rules' in GOP runoffs


Shortly before the polls closed, former Gov. Sonny Perdue arrived at his first-cousin's election watching party with something to get off his mind.

"I'm a little concerned our primaries have become a little out of control over allegations and things. And I think it may be the best way to choose a candidate, but I think we've got to re-establish some ground rules about ethics and allegations there that are reasonable."

He was speaking of the bruising nine-week runoff cycle - the longest and costliest in state history - that has left both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston bloodied in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat. The ex-governor joins a growing list of Republican honchos who argue that runoff system needs to be overhauled.

"I think we need to reevaluate as Republicans the things we're do to one another. We did it in the '12 cycle nationally, and we're doing it here this time. And nine weeks of this is really damaging to all candidates.

One option that Secretary of State Brian Kemp said has come up for discussion is eliminating the federal runoff. Sonny Perdue, for one, said that should be on the table.

"Bruised, damaged is another thing. But what we do to one another is sometimes more damaging than what we do to our opponent. These types of runoffs are sometimes too long … It's not the best way to choose a nominee."


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.