Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14)

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia has defeated a Democratic challenger who spent much of the race locked away in jail.

Graves of Ranger won re-election Tuesday to the state's 14th District, which covers Northwest Georgia, including Gordon County. His opponent, Democrat Steve Foster, was sentenced to six months in jail for drunken driving in August. Foster of Dalton refused to quit the race and remained behind bars until Election Day. His attorney, Richard Murray, said Foster was released Tuesday.

The Northwest Georgia seat Graves has held since 2010 strongly favors Republicans. Foster would have been considered a longshot even if he had not been jailed.

Graves received 76.52 percent -- 175,482 -- of the vote to Foster's 23.48 percent -- 53,481. Gordon County voters cast 6,533 votes for Graves to the 1,418 for Foster.