Written by Tom Knighton
Less than a month ago, Rick Allen looked to be in the drivers seat. Last night, John House apparently carjacked the ride as the retired Army colonel defeated Allen 55 percent to 45 percent in the Georgia Second District GOP runoff. House won by a little over 480 votes.
The outcome surprised some observers who noted how unusual it was for someone to win in the initial primary but to fall short by such a manner in the general, especially when the third candidate endorsed the previous winner. Ken DeLoach finished third behind House and Allen, then came out in support of Allen. This time, it just didn’t seem like it was enough.
Voter turnout appeared to be very low, which made a “get out the vote effort” vital. Allen, who had not done much in the way of fundraising, reportedly had little money for automated calls reminding voters to turn out.
However, the low turnout appears to have helped House. For example, he took Lee County yesterday, which had gone to Allen in the July election. Some counties recorded such low vote counts as to have some observers wonder if there was something wrong. Baker county, for example, recorded just five votes in the runoff. Calhoun county recorded just two. Even Dougherty County, which had 1,644 votes during the July election which featured a heavily contested race on the Democratic ballot for school board – and drew quite a few Republican to cast Democrat ballots – recorded only 314 votes.
This was Allen’s second race for the GOP nomination, having fallen to Mike Keown two years ago. This is House’s first political campaign.