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Rogers Defeats Challenge by Beach in State Senate District 21

Chip Rogers won his home county and Brandon Beach beat the incumbent in his own county. But with 26 precincts in Cherokee and 15 in Fulton, the deck was stacked against the challenger.

Brandon Beach managed to get more than 12,000 people to vote for him in his bid for the state Senate District 21 Republican Primary. While that was a respectable number, it was nowhere near enough to unseat Chip Rogers. The incumbent, who is the Georgia Senate Majority Leader, had 17,522 votes.

Both candidates "won" their home counties. But with abysmal voter turnout in Fulton County – less than 14 percent – and only 5,428 total votes cast, Beach, an Alpharetta resident, needed to match Rogers in votes in Cherokee.

Rogers, however, handily beat the North Fulton Chamber executive in his own home county. The Woodstock resident had 14,856 ballots cast in his favor in Cherokee County. After working in North Fulton for years, Beach did exceptionally well in Cherokee. However, 9,409 votes just wasn't enough to unseat Rogers.

Both candidates had hurdles to overcome. Rogers continues to be identified with offshore casino gambling because of commercials he filmed. A bank loan that soured has been linked to him, whether fairly or not.

Beach, on the other hand, is a Georgia Department of Transportation Board member who has supported TSPLOST.

Advance voting in Cherokee County would give the impression that the race was going to be tighter than it was. Beach picked up 3,023 votes to Rogers' 2,994. But come election day, that narrow margin disappeared as more Cherokee voters picked Rogers than Beach. It was Rogers 10,116 to Beach's 6,030 votes.

While Beach "won" Fulton County, it wasn't quite a 100-vote victory. His 2,762 vote total was more than the 2,666 Rogers got, but that was far short of what he needed in Fulton. Forsyth had a 31 percent voter turnout, with Fulton less than half that by falling under 15 percent.

Absentee by Mail votes in Cherokee County have tipped in Rogers' favor. The incumbent received 746 votes (67.7 percent) to Beach's 356 (32.30 percent).

Rogers collected another 4,109 votes cast in advance in person, but Beach picked up 3,123 votes.

Cherokee & Fulton Precincts as reported to the Ga. Secretary of State

Candidate Election Day Absentee by Mail Advance in Person Provisional Total* Percent Brandon Beach 8,692
356 3,123 -
12,171
41% Chip Rogers (I) 12,667 746 4,109 -
17,522 59%

*Unofficial returns, no provisional ballots counted

With no Democrat qualifying for this race, this General Republican Primary will determines who is in the General Assembly for the next legislative session in 2013.

Patch editors posted unofficial results in this race and others throughout this election night on Canton-Sixes Patch, Holly Springs-Hickory Flat Patch, Woodstock Patch and Alpharetta-Milton Patch. Add your comments about this race on any of these Patches, and they will appear on all of them.

Stephen Guy Hardin August 01, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Well, so much for the influence ( and cash ) of the teachers unions...
David Fige August 01, 2012 at 12:59 PM
The issue I looked at was each candidates stance on Illegal Aliens in GA. Rogers has his finger prints all over the tough GA laws that will be discouraging for those who live here, and make more to relocate to other states. While Mr Beach( Chamber of Commerce) supported Illegal Criminals and those who hired them to suppress the wages of Georgia workers. Pew Research Study showed in 2010 alone the Net negative impact on GA. to be 2.4 Billion a Year and Growing... Our school and roads could sure use that $$ instead of subsidizing the illegal work force of the Chamber members...
Ed August 01, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Fulton's final vote counts are not in. While Beach is up 79 votes, Rogers leads in 4 of the 6 precincts who still haven't submitted all their votes. The final votes totals may give Rogers more total votes in Fulton, too.
D. Richards August 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I heard Brandon speak in Roswell. It is amazing that he ran as a Republican. He is no more a Republican than Obama is a Democrat.
Jack Simpson August 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Politicians that think the taxpayers will give them $8 billion to fritter away on pet projects and their pals in construction continue to show they are out of touch with those of us who have real jobs with real deadlines and consequences to poor decisions.

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