Senate challenger declines recount against Staton

ATLANTA -- Spencer Price will not request a recount in the state Senate Republican primary race that he lost by less than 1 percent to incumbent state Sen. Cecil Staton of Macon.

“I have decided after consideration not to seek a recount,” Price said Thursday. “I’m going to trust the process.”

The state-certified tally gave Price 10,324 votes to Staton’s 10,527.

But Price promised to return.

“I’m already preparing for 2014,” he said. That’s the next time Staton comes up for re-election.

In a written statement, Staton said he wants “to congratulate the Spencer Price campaign on a hard and passionately fought race.”

Separately, Staton attributed his small margin of victory to a general anti-incumbent sentiment and changes in the borders of the 18th District.

Since there is no Democratic opponent, Staton will head to Atlanta in January when the new General Assembly session begins.

For his part, Price saw the close race as a vindication of his campaign. “They said without lots of money, there’s no way to beat an eight-year incumbent who’s majority whip,” he said. “We proved a good message at least challenges money.”

A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said this week that he wasn’t aware of any close election outcome in which a recount changed the result. Georgia voters have used electronic voting machines for the past 10 years.

The two men campaigned on their conservative credentials. In the second quarter of 2012, Staton’s campaign raised about $115,000 to Price’s roughly $13,000.

The 18th District includes parts of Bibb and Houston counties plus all of Peach, Crawford, Monroe and Upson counties.