Isakson wins GOP Senate primary; faces Barksdale in general election

[private]U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, to no one’s great surprise, prevailed in the Republican Senate primary Tuesday, winning the GOP nomination over two under-funded challengers with 77 percent of the vote.

In his pursuit of a third term, Isakson will face Atlanta investment manager Jim Barksdale in the general election after Barksdale had a somewhat narrower victory in the Democratic primary over Cheryl Copeland and John Coyne.

While Isakson’s victory was never in doubt, his primary opponents accumulated a higher percentage of the vote than would normally have been expected.

Derrick Grayson, who received just 1 percent of the Senate GOP primary vote in 2014, garnered 12 percent this time around and Mary Kay Bacallao pulled in 10 percent.

Barksdale, who was a political unknown and stayed largely unknown by avoiding the media after qualifying in March, amassed 54 percent of the Democratic primary vote to 42 percent for Copeland and 4 percent for Coyne.

Barksdale is wealthy enough to self-fund his senate campaign and was urged to run by state Democratic Party officials. That did not sit well with Coyne, and he is now suing the state party for showing this preference to Barksdale.

In the only other statewide race on the ballot, Tim Echols was renominated in the Republican primary for a second term on the Public Service Commission with 69 percent of the vote. He defeated Michelle Miller (who had 18 percent) and Kellie Pollard Austin (13 percent).

Echols has no Democratic opponent in the general election.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Jim Barksdale , Johnny Isakson , PSC , Senate race , Tim Echols