Georgia's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

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Georgia's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
July 31, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jack Kingston Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jack Kingston Republican Party
Jack Kingston.jpg

Georgia U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Georgia.png
The 1st Congressional District of Georgia held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Jack Kingston won the election by nearly a 2 to 1 ratio.[1][2]
This is the 1st Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
May 25, 2012
July 31, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Georgia is one of 16 states to use an open primary system. When runoff elections are used, voters must vote in same party's runoff election as they voted for in the first round election.

Voter registration: Voters must have registered to vote by July 2, 2012, to vote in the primary election.[3] (Information about registering to vote)

See also: Georgia elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Jack Kingston (R), who was first elected in 1992.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Georgia's 1st Congressional District comprises the entire coastal area of Sea Islands and much of the rural southeastern part of the state. In addition to Savannah, the district includes a few modest-sized cities such as Brunswick, Valdosta, Douglas and Waycross.[4]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Lesli Rae Messinger
Republican Party Jack KingstonGreen check mark transparent.png

July 31, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

U.S. House, Georgia District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJack Kingston Incumbent 63% 157,181
     Democratic Lesli Messinger 37% 92,399
Total Votes 249,580
Source: Georgia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Georgia District 1 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLesli Rae Messinger 54.3% 15,390
Nathan C. Russo 45.7% 12,952
Total Votes 28,342

Race background


Democratic candidate Lesli Rae Messinger received endorsements from District 96 Representative Pedro Marin[7] and 2008 candidate Bill Gillespie.[8] Incumbent Jack Kingston received endorsements from the National Federation of Independent Business[9] and Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.[10]

Race rating

Blue vs. Red

Possible race ratings are:

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic


     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

     Georgia's 1st District is a solidly Republican district.

In June 2012, Sabato's Crystal Ball rated Georgia's 1st as solidly Republican.[11]

Department of Justice lawsuit

On June 29, 2012, the Department of Justice filed suit in federal court against the state of Georgia, alleging that service members, their family members and overseas civilian voters would not have time to vote by absentee ballot in runoff elections, if they are required.[12] According to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (dead link) (UOCAVA), states must transmit all validly requested ballots to UOCAVA voters at least 45 days before an election, unless a hardship exemption is obtained, for which Georgia failed to file.[12] However, this conflicted with the timeline for runoff elections, in which the primary runoff, by law, must be held 21 days after the regular or special primary election, and if a runoff is required after the Nov. 6 general election, it must be held 28 days later, on December 4, which also wouldn’t provide the required 45 days.[12]

As part of the lawsuit, the Department of Justice asked Georgia to "extend the ballot receipt deadline to Aug. 31 for these voters, to send ballots by express delivery as soon as possible before the Aug. 21 runoff election, and inform UOCAVA voters no later than July 7 of their right to request a state write-in absentee ballot or their official absentee ballot for any runoff election by downloading it from the Internet, by email, or by fax."[12]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Georgia

On August 22, 2011, Georgia Republican leadership released their proposed Congressional redistricting map. Due to population growth, Georgia gained a 14th Congressional district following the 2010 census. The new district, according to the plan, is located in the northwestern part of the state.[13] U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R) was drawn into the new district, leaving his former 9th District seat open in 2012. The new 9th District leans Republican.[13] In addition, the plan displaced US Rep. John Barrow (D), but Barrow (who had been displaced before) planned to move in order to remain in the 12th District.[13] US Rep. Sanford Bishop's (D) district became a majority-minority district. Also, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey's (R) 11th District picked up part of Atlanta. Overall, the plan was expected to bolster the Republican majority in the state's Congressional delegation.[13]

The new 1st District is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[14][15]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Georgia's 1st District became more Democratic as a result of redistricting.[16]

  • 2012: 41D / 59R
  • 2010: 33D / 67R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Georgia's 1st Congressional District had a PVI of R+9, which was the 123rd most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 55-45 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush won the district 61-39 percent over John Kerry (D).[17]

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Jack Kingston

Jack Kingston (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[18]March 31, 2012$1,170,724.25$187,663.56$(112,328.06)$1,246,059.75
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Jack Kingston won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Oscar L. Harris II (D) in the general election.[19]

U.S. House, Georgia District 1 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJack Kingston Incumbent 71.6% 117,270
     Democratic Oscar L. Harris II 28.4% 46,449
Total Votes 163,719

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. Savannah Now, "Kingston & Stephens" accessed November 15, 2012
  3. Georgia Secretary of State, "Election Dates," accessed April 25, 2012
  4. Georgia Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed July 5, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Georgia Secretary of State "Candidate List" accessed, May 28, 2012
  6. Roll Call "Race Ratings: In Georgia, New Geography Won’t Hurt GOP," accessed March 11, 2012
  7. Messinger for Congress, "Messinger Gains Endorsement of Leading Latino State Representative Pedro Marin" accessed July 26, 2012
  8. Messinger for Congress, "Leslie Messinger Receives Official Endorsement of 2008 1st Congressional District Candidate Bill Gillespie" accessed July 26, 2012
  9. NFIB "NFIB Backs Pro-Small Business U.S. Representatives From Georgia for Re-election" accessed July 26, 2012
  10. ALIPAC "Campaigns & Elections" accessed July 26, 2012
  11. Center for Politics, "2012 House Ratings," Updated June 27, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Marine Corps Times, "Justice sues Georgia over voting deadlines" accessed July 24, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Atlanta Journal Constitution, "GOP redistricting plan would tighten grip on congressional delegation," August 22, 2011
  14. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Georgia's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  15. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  16. FairVote, "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Georgia," September 2012
  17. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Jack Kingston April Quarterly Report," accessed June 26, 2012
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013