Democratic Rep. John Barrow has defeated Republican Lee Anderson to win re-election in Georgia's most heated congressional race.

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Barrow with 54 percent of the vote. That's with 94 percent of precincts reporting in the 12th District, which covers a wide swath of eastern Georgia including Augusta, Statesboro and Vidalia.

After four terms in the House, Barrow of Augusta faced his toughest re-election fight after GOP state lawmakers redrew the district to favor a Republican. Anderson, a farmer and state lawmaker from Grovetown, won a bruising four-way primary to challenge the congressman.

Barrow played up his independent record in Congress to woo GOP voters and criticized Anderson for ducking debates.

Anderson and GOP allies sought to tie Barrow to President Barack Obama.

The 12th includes Laurens, Treutlen and Wheeler counties.

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