Tim's Take: Senate runoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Senate runoff

Jack Kingston Jack Kingston
David Perdue David Perdue

A change in the game could be a game changer in the Georgia Senate race.

The primary runoff between Jack Kingston and David Perdue for the Republican nomination could become the equivalent of running a gauntlet,  for both the candidates and their party, because of time and content.

"We just got through a year and a half of very grueling, seven-way primary," said Kingston, "and now we start again."

The nine weeks between primary and runoff is the longest ever in Georgia, three times longer than usual. That means the candidates will be in a two month sprint on the campaign trail, expending money and energy the whole time.

They will also be sprinting head-on, campaigning directly against each other instead of the field, having to get more personal and aggressive to get by.

"It won't get much more personal than it's been the last six weeks," said Perdue. "I'll tell you that."

They'll say it's about the issues, but it will be about each other as they attempt to outpoint each other like a pair of boxers.

"The people," said Perdue, "are tired of this nonsense that goes on that we've come to expect from career politicians."

"He has a terrible business record," countered Kingston in reference to his opponent. "He oversaw the largest firing in the textile industry's history. Nearly 8,000 people lost their jobs."

Even for the winner, those body blows will accumulate.

They will also linger, becoming fodder for another fight as Democrat Michelle Nunn sits back these next nine weeks and takes notes during this slugfest and uses everything Kingston and Perdue say each other now against whoever she faces in November.

"If we can present the case to the voters of Georgia,'' said Perdue, "we can end up at the end of these next nine weeks with a candidate that's not beat up, not chewed up.''

That's not too likely with the gloves about to come off.

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