ATLANTA — A consumer group filed suit Thursday in an effort to nullify last week's U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia and have incumbent Wyche Fowler Jr. declared the winner.
Public Citizen contends that the Georgia law requiring a general election runoff when no candidate wins a majority violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law. It said the law adds a requirement for election to the Senate that was not imposed by Congress.
Fowler, a Democrat, won a plurality but not a majority among three candidates in the Nov. 3 general election. The group said he should be declared the winner over Republican Paul Coverdell, who defeated Fowler in the Nov. 24 runoff.
The suit, in which four Georgia citizens also are plaintiffs, was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta against Gov. Zell Miller and Secretary of State Max Cleland.
Coverdell spokesman Bill Crane said the runoff requirement was enacted by Democrats in 1964 to help block the growth of the Republican Party in Georgia.