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Businessman David Perdue has won the bitter nine-week run-off contest to become Georgia’s Republican Senate nominee, besting Rep. Jack Kingston, according to the Associated Press.

During the bruising campaign, Perdue painted Kingston, an 11-term congressman, as a Washington insider beholden to D.C. special interests, while Kingston bashed Perdue as an out-of-touch political novice living in a gated community.

The Republicans were the top two finishers in the state’s crowded May 20 primary election but neither reached the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Perdue won more votes in the May 20 contest, but Kingston racked up major endorsements in and out of Georgia during the runoff. The United States Chamber of Commerce became a major player in the race, backing Kingston and ridiculing Perdue in a last-minute ad for “crying like a little baby” over failing to secure the group’s endorsement. In his own late ad, Perdue tried to tie Kingston to the Chamber’s “pro-amnesty” stance on a comprehensive immigration bill.

Perdue will now face Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of a popular former Georgia senator and onetime head of the Points of Light volunteer group. Nunn is well funded and enjoyed more than two months of overtime intraparty GOP tussling to build her campaign. But the state can be tough territory for her party; no Democrat has won an open statewide race in Georgia since 1998.


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