Around 8:30 p.m. as results started flowing in from the third congressional district Republican runoff, Gregg Harper's campaign headquarters was in full party mode. By then, it was clear to both campaigns that Harper had emerged the winner.
Harper was happy but said at the time he felt almost numb.
Just before 9 p.m., Harper's runoff opponent, Charlie Ross, called to offer his congratulations. Shortly after that he addressed his large crowd of supporters that, for the most part, stayed at his headquarters until the end.
"We started out running on my record and we ended at 6:50 p.m., running on my record," said Ross. "And I can honestly say I wouldn't do anything different."
Both candidates spent a lot of time campaigning in Lauderdale County and very nearly split the vote evenly, although Ross had the edge.
Ross said he glad the voters nominated a conservative Republican and that he plans to support Harper in the coming months.
"There were two things that we set out to do," said Harper. "One was that you could win a campaign like this without having the most money and you can win with a clean campaign."
Harper spent the night celebrating with his supporters, but says he takes nothing for granted and will soon begin his campaign for the general election in November. Harper will face Democratic nominee, Joel Gill.
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