News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- Rick Allen is officially in an Aug. 21 runoff against Lee Anderson to earn the right to face John Barrow for Georgia's 12th U.S. Congressional seat.
A recount shows he beat fellow Republican Wright McLeod by a slim 582 votes.
"We kind of fought it out in every county, and it was very close. Maybe I'll sleep a little better tonight," Allen told News 12.
Allen garnered about 26 percent of votes, while McLeod got about 25 percent.
That means it's now a race to win over McLeod supporters.
"Absolutely we would ask Wright to endorse our effort," Allen said.
That statement comes after Allen accused McLeod of campaign improprieties earlier in the campaign.
"Wright said from the get-go that the number one objective here was to beat John Barrow, and I'm the best candidate to beat John Barrow," Allen said after News 12 questioned him on the accusations.
He says he's the best candidate, but Anderson got the most votes in the July 31st primary.
His campaign also realized McLeod's exit leaves lots of votes up for grabs.
"Wright ran a very strong campaign, and he should be commended for all the work that he put into his campaign," said Scott Knittle, a spokesman for Anderson. "If Wright would like to support us, we would welcome his support."
However, McLeod, having just found out about his loss, says he's not ready to throw his support behind either Republican candidate.
"I haven't made that decision. I'm not going to dodge that question until the 21st, but I am going to dodge it right now," McLeod said.