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Election night parties: Cash bars, finger foods and awkward moments with winners and losers

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Ah, election night parties. The free, open-to-the-public swank soirees where people can drop mad bills on cash bars and act like fools in close proximity to elected officials and TV cameras. They're a sight to behold.

Most candidates this year are pooling resources and holding several parties in one place. Here's a quick list. (We're sure these aren't the only shindigs. If you know of others, leave the details in the comments.)

Democrats: Gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes will be holding court at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center near 5th Street. Joining him will be Lieutenant Governor candidate Carol Porter, Insurance Commissioner candidate Mary Squires and Labor Commissioner candidate Darryl Hicks. Doors open at 7 p.m. You'll find Ken Hodges, Joe Martin and their respective campaign's supporters at Park Tavern. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. Downtown Atlanta will play host to two parties. Michael Thurmond's U.S. Senate campaign will be partying at the Sheraton Hotel on Courtland Street. And Georganna Sinkfield and supporters of the state lawmaker's bid for secretary of state will gather at the Hyatt Place on Peachtree Street.

Republicans: Nathan Deal, the elephants' pick for governor, and the rest of the state's Republicans will all be under one roof at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead.

Libertarians. All Libertarian Party of Georgia statewide candidates, including gubernatorial hopeful John Monds, will gather at the celebrated shrine to the free market known as the Georgian Terrace. Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman who ran for president on the party's ticket in 2008, will address the crowd at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

If you'd like to avoid the handshake artists and backslappers, head over to Manuel's Tavern to bask in wall-to-wall election results with fellow political junkies. Be prepared for at least one TV reporter to ask your thoughts on the election. People start trickling in shortly before 7 p.m. Come the end of the night, the Poncey-Highland Democratic stronghold is usually packed and filled with politicos eager to relax.

Word of warning: If you didn't cast a ballot and still attend one of these parties you're officially a creeper. Be sure to vote.

UPDATE: Thanks to some email issues, we only just discovered some more Democratic campaigns' parties. We've added Squires, Hicks, Thurmond and Sinkfield to the party list. Also: Carol Porter's campaign will be partying at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.



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