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John Carson Wins 43rd District Seat

The political newcomer defeated a former state senator for the Cobb seat left vacant when Bobby Franklin died in July.

The results displayed below are unofficial until certified by the county election superintendent and the secretary of state, a process that will not be completed until all ballots are received and tabulated and the results reviewed for accuracy.

Updated 9:25 p.m.

State Representative, District 43
99% of precincts reporting
   Total Precincts: 14
   Election Day Voting: 14 / 14   (100%)
   Early Voting (In Person): 14 / 14   (100%)
   Early Voting (By Mail): 14 / 14   (100%)

  Candidates Party Votes  % of Votes      John Carson Republican 1,250  65.2%      Robert Lamutt Republican 668  34.8%      Totals 1,918  100.0% 

Updated 8:50 p.m.

State Representative, District 43
83% of precincts reporting
   Total Precincts: 14
   Election Day Voting: 7 / 14   (50%)
   Early Voting (In Person): 14 / 14   (100%)
   Early Voting (By Mail): 14 / 14   (100%)

  Candidates Party Votes  % of Votes      John Carson Republican 644  59.8%      Robert Lamutt Republican 433  40.2%      Totals 1,077  100.0% 

Updated Tuesday  8:32 p.m.

State Representative, District 43
66% of precincts reporting
   Total Precincts: 14
   Election Day Voting: 0 / 14   (0%)
   Early Voting (In Person): 14 / 14   (100%)
   Early Voting (By Mail): 14 / 14   (100%)

  Candidates Party Votes  % of Votes      Robert Lamutt Republican 113  58.9%      John Carson Republican 79  41.1%      Totals 192  100.0% 

9:20 p.m. Carson campaign at O'Charley's

Moments after seeing the final results, Carson received a phone call from Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), congratulating him on his victory. 

Carson then thanked his supporters, told them their meals were on the campaign, and said he wanted "to go home and get some sleep."

"I'm relieved and humbled," Carson told Patch. "I want to thank the voters of Northeast Cobb for their support, and I look forward to working with them and representing them."

Carson campaign consultant Jeremy Brand, who helped elect JoAnn Birrell to the in a special election last summer, said Carson is "the hardest-working guy I've ever been around."

(Birrell stopped by the restaurant for a time, saying she was an impartial observer.)

Brand estimated that Carson made 4,000 personal calls to voters the past six to eight weeks. 

"That's the toughest thing for a candidate, to pick up the phone like that. But he did it."

In a race with small turnout and a tightly targeted group of voters, "it's all about making personal contact."

Carson will be meeting with Ralston soon to begin his orientation process and said his swearing-in could be in two to three weeks. 

8 p.m. Carson campaign at O'Charley's

Northeast Cobb Patch joined the Carson campaign supporters at O'Charley's in Northeast Cobb. Carson's mother, Beverly Carson, and his nephew, Dylan Carson, came  from Warner Robins to surprise him at , as well as his brother Jeff, who drove up from Macon.

When asked why he ran for the 43rd District seat, Carson told Northeast Cobb Patch: "I felt we needed better representation more in line with the views of the Northeast Cobb residents. We also need a legislator that will be responsible and accountable for his actions once in office."

If elected, Carson wants to accomplish real tax reform in the legislature that is fair to everyone. "I also want to make Georgia more competitive with other states like South Carolina, Florida and Texas in creating new jobs for residents by enacting policies that will bring new business to the state," he said.

Carson will be readily accessible to his constituents, he said. "My personal cellphone number and email address are on all the mailers I send out, so if anyone has anything they need to say to me, they can reach me directly."

He said he has "enjoyed meeting so many people and getting to know the community in ways I hadn't before," said Carson. "I have made a lot of friends during this grass roots campaign that I will stay in touch with for a long time to come."

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First-time candidate John Carson and former state Sen. Robert Lamutt are vying to fill the late Rep. Bobby Franklin’s seat in the state House in a runoff today in Northeast and East Cobb.

Carson and Lamutt were , all Republicans, in a special election Sept. 20, but neither gained a majority.

Carson, an accountant with SunTrust Bank, received 801 votes, or 35.6 percent, in the 43rd District special election. He plans to congregate with supporters at in Northeast Cobb to wait for tonight's election results.

Lamutt does not plan a public event but instead "has decided to gather with close supporters at home tonight," said his campaign manager, Brian Laurens.

Lamutt got 699 votes, or 31.1 percent, in the special election.

Beth Kish, the registration manager at the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration, said 30,076 registered voters are eligible to cast ballots in the 43rd District, and 2,258, or 7.5 percent, voted Sept. 20.

The elections board said 258 people voted early by mail or in person last week for the runoff. Polls remain open until 7 p.m. today.

The winner will serve out the remainder of Franklin’s term, which expires at the end of 2012.

-- East Cobb Patch editor Wendy Parker contributed to this report. 

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