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Republican U.S. Senate candidates trade jabs

POSTED: July 17, 2014 2:22 p.m.

Jack Kingston

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The next U.S. Senator in Georgia could hinge on next week’s GOP runoff.

A forecast analysis on Washington Post’s Wonkblog is giving Democrat Michelle Nunn a one percent chance of winning against the victor of Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) and businessman David Perdue. Perdue and Kingston, who face off in Tuesday’s runoff, threw barbs at each other at a debate held on Georgia Public Broadcast over the weekend.

Nunn, who has raised $6.6 million, will face Kingston or Perdue in the Nov. 4 election.

The Election Lab analysis from the Washington Post uses models with data from elections 1980-2012 to predict the winner. A June poll by SurveyUSA showed Nunn trailing Kingston by six points and Perdue by five points.

Meanwhile, Perdue and Kingston will keep their attention on each other as they head into the runoff. At the July 13 debate they attacked each other’s credibility.

Perdue questioned Kingston’s association with Palestinian felon Khalid Satary, who had contributed $80,000 to Kingston’s campaign. Kingston has since pledged to return the money and has denied knowing of Satary’s criminal involvement.

"Did (Satary) want to help with the deportation department or want money for his two companies?" Perdue said.

Kingston said his camp performed an internal investigation when it learned about questions surrounding Satary. He then questioned who was a part of Perdue's super PAC.

"We have no idea who is supporting your Super PAC and trying to influence this election," Kingston said.

Perdue said that Kingston’s story on Satary has changed.

"If you have money or you want to buy favor or influence—Jack Kingston is open for business," he said at the debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club.

Kingston also went after Perdue for Perdue’s involvement with the Georgia Ports Authority, where he said Perdue had a conflict of interest.

"You never were up there lobbying and pushing, which is what the authority was supposed to be doing, and the reason why is you were making money off your appointment," Kingston said.

The two began describing their stance on issues after a question about whether Georgians are tired of political attacks. Perdue discussed why he supports a fair tax and why he would bring much needed business experience to the Senate.

Kingston reiterated his six point plan that focuses on areas such as fiscal responsibility and energy independence. He said he also is in favor of the fair tax.

"We’re fighting to get tax simplification done because we know it will stimulate the economy and be good for Georgia jobs," Kingston said.



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