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Perdue wins Georgia governor's race


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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Republican Sonny Perdue, a former Democratic lawmaker who switched parties, defeated Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes on Tuesday in the race for the state's highest office, CNN projected.

Republicans wanted to defeat Barnes due to his involvement in redistricting plans that were aimed at devastating GOP prospects in state legislative and congressional races. Perdue won a three-way GOP primary in late August, which gave him little time to unite his party and replenish his campaign war chest. Barnes had raised $11 million by June 30.

Perdue distinguished himself in the primary, in part, by producing a video that featured Barnes as a rat named "King Roy." Perdue jumped into the general election race quickly, though, attacking Barnes as an "education failure" amid reports that Georgia ranked last in new SAT scores.

Unlike other southern Democratic governors, however, Barnes has had an extremely successful first term, pushing through a meaty legislative agenda, including property tax cuts, a new regional transportation authority and education reform.

Unlike every other state in the Deep South, Georgia has not elected a Republican governor since Reconstruction.

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