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Barrow, Stone can gear up for the November vote

POSTED: August 8, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Two-term Congressman John Barrow (D-Savannah) will face Republican challenger John Stone for the U.S House District 12 seat in November.

Barrow defeated state Sen. Regina Thomas 76.1 percent to 23.9 percent with Barrow winning 21 of 22 counties in District 12.

Stone accumulated 59.9 percent of the vote while fellow candidates Ray McKinney, who grew up and went to school in Effingham County, and Ben Crystal received 28.7 and 11.4 percent, respectively.

“I feel real grateful to the voters all over the district who gave me their support. It looks like we won in every corner of the district and I’m real proud of that,” Barrow said.

“This is a victory for those of us who think the big things we agree upon are a whole lot more important than the little things that tend to divide us. I think that’s what this election was all about.”

When asked how she felt about the news, Thomas responded with a laugh, “What news?”

“You know what, everyone (at the campaign) is good,” said Thomas. “I did a good run, talked about the issues, let the people know what was going on and the people had a choice. I don’t regret a thing.

“I just thank those who came out to vote — who thought it was important enough to get out and vote.”

Stone, a former television personality in Augusta and an aide to former U.S. Rep. Max Burns, won the Republican primary in Georgia’s District 12 by winning 20 out of 22 counties in the district.

“I feel very honored and privileged. I also feel happy that we’re able to move forward with a general election campaign,” he said. “It’s important we get started tomorrow because we’re in a competitive race this year.”

Crystal, a former Savannah radio talk show host, and McKinney, an energy services company vice president, commented on their campaigns that fell short.

“This was my first effort at politics and the answer came back from Georgia’s 12th that we are not yet ready — but perhaps someday they will be,” Crystal said. “But I will say this to you — John Stone is a gentleman who ran an above-board campaign, and I think he’s a man who will serve Georgia’s 12th very well.

“It just shows you can win all the debates and still come in third in the voting,” said Crystal.

Said McKinney: “Well, considering I was never supposed to be this close and considering we ran as grass-roots a campaign as you can get against the Washington establishment, I think our people did pretty good.”

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