Early, unofficial returns in Fulton and DeKalb counties show Hillary Clinton holding a strong lead and matching her statewide vote among Democrats. But Republican primary voters in the two counties showed support for Marco Rubio, with Donald Trump, the apparent Georgia winner, in second place.

Statewide, Trump held a strong lead in early returns in the March 1 Republican Primary, according to figures posted on the Georgia Secretary of State’s election website. With 154 of 159 counties reporting returns, Trump held 39 percent of the vote, while Ted Cruz and Rubio fought for second place, each with about 24 percent of the vote. Ben Carson collected about 6 percent of the statewide vote and John Kasich claimed 5 percent.

In the statewide Democratic Primary, Clinton took 71 percent of the vote, compared to challenger Bernie Sanders’ 28 percent, according to the website.

With 223 of 349 precincts reporting in Fulton, Clinton also collected about 72 percent of the vote, compared to Sanders’ 28 percent.

On the Republican side in Fulton, Marco Rubio led the field with about 41 percent of the vote in early returns. Donald Trump placed second, with 25 percent. Ted Cruz placed third with 15 percent, ahead of Kasich, who collected about 13 percent, and Carson with 4 percent.

In DeKalb County, Clinton collected 72 percent of the Democratic vote, compared to Sanders’ 28 percent in early returns. Among Republicans, Rubio claimed about 41 percent of the vote while Trump placed second with 25 percent. Cruz collected about 15 percent, edging out Kasich, who had 13 percent, according to the Secretary of State. Carson took about 3 percent of the vote.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.