Handel calls Deal, concedes GOP nomination for governor
Atlanta Journal Constitution
by Aaron Gould Sheinin
August 11, 2010
Yesterday, Karen Handel called Nathan Deal a “corrupt relic of Washington.” Today, however, Handel said she is endorsing him as the GOP nominee for governor. In a statement just released from the Handel campaign, she said she called Deal this morning to concede the nomination.The November ballot is now set. Deal will represent the GOP and face Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds.
Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said that U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., coordinated the phone call between Handel and Deal. “They had a very good talk,” Robinson said. “Nathan congratulated her on a great campaign. She told him that she would not ask for a recount and that she would be on board to help the party to victory in November.”
Deal, Robinson said, “thanked her for her graciousness and said he looked forward to meeting with her in person.We thank her for putting the party first and saving us a lot of heartache. She has shown that she is putting Georgia first and we are greatly appreciative of her selflessness in this situation.”
Earlier Wednesday, Deal appeared at a GOP “unity breakfast” in Buckhead, but Handel did not. But her statement this morning is clearly aimed at healing a party battered by months of a tough primary campaign and a brutal three-week runoff. Barnes, meanwhile, cruised to victory over six other opponents in the Democratic primary. While other Democrats, particularly House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, took their shots at Barnes, that contest never reached the level of contention the GOP race.AJC photographer John Spink said the room at the GOP breakfast was packed with at least 200 people. The GOP faithful warned that Barnes, the Democrat who lost to Sonny Perdue eight years ago, has wasted no time in launching an ad campaign against Republicans…
I didn’t see that coming. Karen Handel was right yesterday, Nathan Deal is a “corrupt relic of Washington” [though I suspect he was corrupt before he ever went to Washington]. The Democratic candidate, Roy Barnes, was defeated for a second term in 2002 for a variety of reasons – changing the State Flag being a big factor. Barnes also appointed his predecessor, Zell Miller ["Zell from Hell"], to the Senate to fill an empty seat [after Senator Paul Coverdale died]. Barnes is a good guy.