Francys Johnson, the Statesboro attorney and minister who was previously state NAACP president, won the Democratic Party primary Tuesday to challenge U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, the incumbent Republican, for Georgia’s 12th District seat in the U.S. House.
Allen handily won the Republican primary over perennial in-party challenger Eugene Yu. With 95 percent of the precincts counted across the congressional district as of midnight, Allen held 76 percent of the votes, or 37,758 to Yu’s 11,924.
Meanwhile, Johnson won a three-way race to secure his party’s nomination without a runoff, capturing almost 53 percent of Democrats’ votes. The count at midnight was 16,952 votes for Johnson, 9,990 of Robert Ingham of Augusta and 5,134 for Trent Nesmith, managing partner in a Statesboro-based roofing company.
“Tonight we’re seeing the first signs of the end of Rick Allen’s term in Congress and the reclaiming of this seat for the people,” Johnson said when phoned earlier in the evening. “The people need a voice. This district can do better than what it has done under Rick Allen and we look forward to being a champion for that cause.”
The 12th District includes part or all of 19 counties, from Augusta to Statesboro to Dublin to Douglas. Within Bulloch County, Johnson took 1,983 votes to Nesmith’s 608 votes and Ingham’s 158.
Local for governor
In the races for the party nominations for governor, Bulloch voters on the Republican ballot chose Casey Cagle by 2,006 votes to 1,199 votes for Brian Kemp, 814 for Hunter Hill, 485 for Clay Tippins and 177 for Michael Williams.
Bulloch voters on the Democratic ballot chose Stacey Abrams by 2,067 votes to 706 votes for Stacey Evans.
In both cases, the local choices tracked with the statewide result: a July 24 runoff between Cagle and Kemp to decide which will face Abrams in the Nov. 6 general election.