Tom Graves, a former state representative from rural Ranger, handily defeated fellow Republican Lee Hawkins, according to unofficial results. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Graves had 56.5 percent of the vote and Hawkins had 43.5 percent.
How did Catoosa County vote? 1,779 votes were cast (with 99 percent of the votes counted). Graves received 1,162 votes, or 65 percent. Hawkins received 617 votes, or 35 percent.
How did Walker County vote? 1,692 votes were cast (with 99 percent of the votes counted). Graves received 1,076 votes, or 64 percent. Hawkins received 616 votes, or 36 percent.
The 9th Congressional District includes Walker, Catoosa and 13 other counties in northwest Georgia. The other counties are Dade, Dawson, Fannin, part of Forsyth, Gilmer, part of Gordon, Hall, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Union, White and Whitfield.
Graves, 40, will finish the remainder of Nathan Deal's term. Deal, a longtime congressman, stepped down earlier this year to seek the Republican nomination for Georgia governor.
Graves ran with support from the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, the anti-tax group Club for Growth and Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House. He tapped into anti-Washington anger in the conservative north Georgia district where frustration is high over government spending, a sweeping health reform law and the lack of federal action on immigration reform.
The 9th congressional district covers 15 counties and is heavily Republican. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain won 75 percent of the vote in the district.
Graves and Hawkins were the top voter getters in a May 11 special election. But neither won the majority in the eight-person field sending the race to a runoff.
Hawkins, a 59-year-old dentist from Gainesville, served in the state Senate. He cast himself as the mainstream conservative and a problem solver.
Graves, meanwhile, adopted insurgent rhetoric in his bid. He referred to supporters as "freedom fighters."
Graves will have little time to savor the win. He'll need to hit the campaign trail again almost immediately.
A July 20 primary will select the GOP nominee for a full two-year term in the House. No Democrat has qualified to run for the seat in November.