Former Chickamauga City Councilman Steve Tarvin was the top vote-getter in a close special election on Tuesday for the Georgia District 2 House seat.
With 3 of 3 counties reporting, he had 1,072 votes to 964 for outgoing LaFayette Mayor Neal Florence and 774 for chief assistant public defender for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Doug Woodruff.
That sets up a Feb. 4 runoff between Mr. Tarvin and Mr. Florence.
To avoid a runoff, a candidate would have had to have received over 50 percent of the vote.
The election was to fill the unexpired term of Jay Neal.
The district includes a section of Whitfield County and parts of Catoosa and Walker counties.
Rep. Neal, R-LaFayette, stepped down as the District 2 representative after receiving an appointment from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal as executive director of the state's Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry.
The term expires at the end of 2014.