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Bullochs Johnson falls to Hudgens in insurance commissioner race
Liz Johnson web
Elizabeth "Liz" Johnson

Bulloch County resident Elizabeth "Liz" Johnson fell short in her bid to become Georgia's insurance commissioner.

The Associated Press called the election for Republican incumbent Ralph Hudgens shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday. At that point, Hudgens had 56.5 percent of the vote to Johnson's 40.1 percent. Libertarian Edward T. "Ted" Metz carried 3.5 percent.

Johnson won the Democratic primary in May with 69.9 percent of the vote. She has worked in various aspects of the insurance business for about 40 years.

She couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday, but back in May, she felt good about receiving more than 200,000 votes in the primary. In the general election, as of late Tuesday night with some ballots remaining to be counted, she received 931,191 votes - well short of Hudgens' 1.3 million.

"It tells me that many Georgians are ready for something other than politics as usual," Johnson said in May. "It tells me that my message of putting Georgians first is resonating with voters, and we're just going to continue that message because the incumbent, Ralph Hudgens, is wrong for Georgia."

The race attracted national attention because Hudgens has been staunchly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, vowing "to be an obstructionist" in a widely reported quote.
Johnson vowed to work to implement the health-care law, also known as "Obamacare."

But with Republicans sweeping to victory in Georgia in state and federal races, it appears Hudgens' message is the one that resonated with voters.

"It just brings up 1994," said Lawton Sack, the Bulloch County Republican Party chairman, in reference to the Republicans' string of victories Tuesday night. "That kind of feeling of the excitement that there's some possibilities for a change in the country, positive change. Hopefully both sides can come together and work now that we have a Democrat president, looks like a Republican majority in both houses, that they'll come together and work together kind of like Clinton did back in '94."

Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.


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