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Barrow claims victory in 12th

Burns weighing options

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"I think you can put a fork in this election. It's done," said Barrow.
    Barrow had a more than 3,000 vote lead late Tuesday night, but a computer glitch in Effingham County resulted in the votes at nine precincts having to be counted by hand Wednesday, leading to the delay.
    Burns easily carried Effingham County with 74 percent of the vote, but it wasn't enough as Barrow won by 1,077 votes. This year's race was closer than the 2004 match up that saw Barrow prevail over the then-incumbent Burns by 7,907 votes.
    Under state law, candidates trailing by one percent or less are granted an automatic recount.
    "I always expect an election to be this close," Barrow said of the race.
    With all but the provisional ballots remaining to be counted, Barrow holds a slim lead with 70,907 votes to Burns' 69,830.
    Tim Baker, spokesman for Max Burns, said they are considering their next steps and consulting with their attorneys as well as state and national party attorneys to ensure all the votes were counted properly.
    "We're weighing all our options," said Baker. "We are well within the one percent for a recount."
    He said Wednesday they may have a decision "within the next 24 hours," on what course of action they decide to take.
    Despite trailing, Baker said they remain optimistic.
    "We'd rather be in the lead, but we're going to make sure the votes are counted and counted correctly," he said.
    This district was one targeted by Republicans as one they could win in an election that saw the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994.
    Barrow said that many people were concerned that with Democrats in control, Congress would swing from one extreme to the other.
    "I am, frankly, expecting something different," Barrow said. "I think it'll swing from one extreme to the center, which is where most people want it to be."
    He said there were enough moderate Democrats in the House that would cross the aisle and side with Republicans if it were in the best interest of their districts.
    "This new majority is not going to be a rubber stamp," he said.
    Both Democratic and Republican national committees poured money into advertising, with most of it being negative.
    President George W. Bush also appeared twice on behalf of Burns, including once last week in Statesboro.     
    In addition to Effingham County, Burns also easily carried Bulloch County with 65 percent of the vote. The Sylvania-native also carried Screven County with nearly 60 percent of the votes there.
    He also won 14 of the 22 counties represented in the 12th District.
    Barrow, meanwhile, was strongest in the urban areas, taking 62 percent of the vote in Chatham County and 65 percent of Richmond County. He was strong enough in those counties, which include Savannah and Augusta, to make up for the losses in the more rural areas.
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