Georgia voters head to the polls Tuesday

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Voters in Georgia head to the polls Tuesday for a primary election that is getting national attention.

Every statewide office is up for grabs along with several federal offices. The state is one of six that is holding a primary on a day that has become known as "Super Tuesday."

One of the most closely watched races is for United States Senate. Seven Republicans, including three U.S. Representatives, and four Democrats are competing to replace the retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Whichever candidate prevails will play a critical role in the party that has control in the senate. Right now, Republicans are just a few victories away from regaining their majority.

The race for Georgia Governor is also highly contested. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal is facing two primary challengers, David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton, Ga., and John Barge, the state's school superintendent.

Both men would like to force a run-off election in July, but pollsters indicate Gov. Deal should have no trouble moving one step closer to a second term after Tuesday.

State Senator Jason Carter, the grandson of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, will represent the Democrats in the governor's race come November. Recent polls show Carter trailing Deal by a few points.

Closer to the First Coast, the state's first congressional seat is being vacated for the first time in more than a decade. Republican U.S. Representative Jack Kingston opted not to run for re-election when he decided to run for Chambliss' senate seat.

Six members of the GOP, including a state senator and representative, and three Democrats are running to replace Kingston. If no candidate receives at least half of the vote on either side of the aisle, a run-off election will be held in July.

The first congressional district covers most of the state's southeastern edge from the Florida state line to Savannah. Should a Democrat win, it would be the first time the party has represented the area since 1992.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Related Stories:

Georgia's GOP primary may be best hope for U.S. Senate Democrats

5 things to watch as Tea Party faces primary test


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