Kingston Says Eric Johnson Backs Nathan Deal

From the Savannah Morning News:

Former state senator hasn’t made formal statement about Aug. 10 runoff

Former state Sen. Eric Johnson is backing Nathan Deal against Karen Handel for governor, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston said Tuesday.

Kingston, a Savannah Republican, spoke a day after Johnson, who finished third in the July 20 GOP primary, said on Facebook he “likes” Deal. Johnson has not responded to requests for comments since the primary.

Kingston, a close Johnson friend and ally for more than 25 years, said they spoke after Johnson returned from a vacation earlier this week.

The congressman didn’t discuss the reasons for Johnson’s decision, but other Johnson supporters have said he was unlikely to back Handel…

Deal campaign spokesman Brian Robinson said he’s encouraged by Kingston’s statement but remained cautious.

“We don’t want to put words in his mouth, but would love to have Eric Johnson’s support,” Robinson said. “It would certainly make sense that he would see Nathan Deal as a clear conservative choice.”…

Kingston said Johnson probably won’t stump actively.


  1. zigmaster says:

    Ummm, you know Johnson is a voter and may share with others who he’s voting for? That’s hardly an endorement.

  2. debbie0040 says:

    I doubt very seriously that Johnson will make an endorsement because it would anger many people that formerly backed Johnson. Sen. Staton endorsed Handel and Johnson and Staton usually back the same person as well..

  3. Cloverhurst says:

    Whether Eric makes an endorsement or not- I’d take more out of a hint from Jack Kingston than I would Cecil Station

    • In The Arena says:

      Surprised Cecil Staton even endorsed her. He had some pretty disparaging remarks about Handel at the May 09 convention.

      “There are only two things Handel is good at. Throwing a punch and taking a punch.” -Sen. Cecil Staton 5/16/09

  4. Quaker says:

    Come on. people. Eric is just waiting to see who makes him the best offer. Unfortunately, Sonny has the el primo Ports Authority job already lined up for himself. He has appointed the his cronies and relatives to the authority, after all. But there are other plumbs out there a prospective governor could promise..

    • GaConservative23 says:

      “Eric is just waiting to see who makes him the best offer.”

      Bingo. I’m losing more and more respect for him by the day.

        • GaConservative23 says:

          I have my sources.

          You can attack me for being vague on that, but I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.

              • Provocateur says:

                How can one be made an “offer” if one doesn’t have anything concrete to offer?

                Leave Eric alone, and stop assuming things based on your “sources.”

                • SouthGAConservative says:

                  That’s exactly right Provocateur.

                  Kingston is right on the money if anyone is wondering what EJ is going to do. One thing is for sure, he will not be backing Handel unless she’s the nominee at which time we’re all on the same team anyway. Well, I can’t bring myself to vote for her but you get the point.

      • Tireless says:

        I sincerely doubt EJ cares what you think of him.

        Assuming for one second he is keeping his powder dry to land a job with the next administration, what is wrong with that?

        • Quaker says:

          You mean as opposed to endorsing the person he truly believes to be the best candidate for Georgia? Among the crowd running things today, everything’s for sale. Integrity is so readily sold it has virtually no value.

  5. B Balz says:

    Former Sen. Dan Weber endorses Rep. Nathan Deal:

    H/T Mr. Dick Williams “The Crier”

    To The Editor:

    Georgia is at a crossroads more than at any time in the recent past, facing very difficult issues relating to budget, water, education, transportation, healthcare, and immigration. It is extremely important that we vote for competent and experienced leadership in the Republican primary runoff on August 10.

    For the past six years I have had the honor of serving as your state senator, and normally I do not weigh in too loudly on statewide elections, but I ask you to cast your vote for Nathan Deal for governor and Sam Olens for attorney general.

    As a former army officer, prosecutor, judge, state senator, and congressman, Nathan Deal clearly has the extensive knowledge and experience to deal with the tough issues facing Georgia. I have also found him to be polite and deliberative, which will be invaluable skills in dealing with the myriad constituencies that make up our state and our nation.

    In the attorney general’s race, Sam Olens has proven himself to be a true public servant who will serve Georgia well as its lead attorney. He is very smart, and has established relationships both in the metro area and statewide that will be very helpful as attorney general. He would make a positive difference going forward for our state.

    Whether you choose to vote for these two gentlemen or their opponents, please be sure to vote.

    Dan Weber

    • B Balz says:

      Dunwoody divided:

      H/T Mr. Dick Williams “The Dunwoody Crier”

      To The Editor:

      During the past week, I have been asked by a number of people whom I plan to support for governor and attorney general in the Republican primary runoff election on August 10.

      Both of these positions require executive leadership. Karen Handel served as chair of the Fulton County Commission and as our secretary of state. Sam Olens served as chair of the Cobb County Commission and as head of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

      All four candidates are very similar on the issues that I feel are most important to our state. I also appreciate any voter being passionate on a single issue, but I urge everyone to look at the big picture before they cast their ballot.

      Former Governor Barnes will be a strong candidate and based on her experience I will be supporting Karen Handel for governor. I believe she has the best chance as a Republican to win in November.

      Sam Olens also gets my support based on his proven managerial skills. It is the primary function in the attorney general position.

      Remember in 2011 we will be redistricting and as a Republican it is imperative we have the right people as Governor and Attorney General as we seek approval from the Democratic controlled Justice Department for the maps we submit.

      Again, this is one man’s opinion and you decide what it is worth.

      Fran Millar

      State Representative

      • B Balz says:

        Courtesy Meatloaf: “Two outta three ain’t bad”:
        Now don’t be sad (Don’t be sad)
        ‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad

        H/T Mr. Dick Williams “The Dunwoody Crier”

        To The Editor:

        I have never done this before but I felt so strongly about the August 10 Republican runoff that I must speak out in favor of Nathan Deal for governor.

        My cousin, Sandra, has been married to Nathan Deal for 44 years. During this time I have watched Nathan as he progressed from U.S. Army Captain to assistant district attorney in North Georgia and then on to a juvenile court judge in Hall County. In 1980, Nathan was elected to the first of five terms in the Georgia State Senate, where he would serve as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and, later, as President Pro Tempore.

        In 1992, Nathan was elected to the first of nine terms as representative in the United States Congress. As chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Deal authored the law that for the first time required citizenship verification for government health care benefits, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. In that position, he also cut the equivalent of the entire Georgia budget — $20 billion — from federal spending.

        Those of us who live in Atlanta may not be familiar with Nathan but the fact that he served 18 years in Washington, D.C. as the District 9 Congressional Representative, speaks volumes about his concern for the people he represented at home in North Georgia.

        Nathan’s parents and Sandra’s parents (my aunt and uncle) were all teachers in the public school systems. My cousin, Sandra, recently retired from the public school system in Hall County. Public school education and Public Safety will be Nathan’s top priorities when he is elected governor of Georgia.

        My aunt and uncle lived with Sandra and Nathan until they passed several years ago. Nathan’s mom lived with them until she passed at the age of 99. They considered it an honor to take care of their parents and understand the importance of senior citizens to our state.

        Thanks for reading this and for taking the time to vote in the Republican runoff on August 10.

        Becky Jones

        • polisavvy says:

          Off track, but that’s one of my favorite Meatloaf songs, along with “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights.”

          • B Balz says:

            Trivia: Who’s voice is this?

            “Here he comes, squeeze play, it’s gonna be close,
            here’s the throw, there’s the play at the plate,
            holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!”

            Courtesy: Meatloaf/Jim Steinman

              • B Balz says:

                Holy Cow! It’s Phil Rizzuto!

                The voice for the ‘baseball announcer’ segment of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light ” off the album “Bat out of Hell” changes to no other than that of Mr. Phil Rizzuto, famous Yankees mouthpiece!

  6. sofnbc says:

    Just because Eric hit the “Like” button on Facebook doesn’t mean he has made a formal endorsement. I hit the “like” button for Handel and Deal just to see what people are saying to, and about them. It doesn’t mean that I am make an “endorsement”.

  7. ZazaPachulia says:

    We all know Handel’s chances depend on how many non-retired voters in the metro actually bother to go to the polls. Early voting helps her some, but I don’t know if its going to be enough. All those votes in south Georgia that went to Oxendine and Johnson might be the difference. Will they break to the perceived more conservative candidate? Or will they follow Mama Grizzly? Just an uninformed guess, but if I had to bet money on it, I would guess that a Sarah Palin endorsement has more of an effect on an Oxendine voter than a Johnson voter… but will it be enough to get people to actually vote?

    Any word on a Chapman endorsement? He did carry a couple of decent sized counties near his home… I just got around to reading Ray Boyd’s final message to his followers before election day (can be found on his web site). Until I read it, I thought no one was more cynical and disturbed than me when it came to the governor candidates we were forced to choose from on July 20.

    • analogkid says:

      “I would guess that a Sarah Palin endorsement has more of an effect on an Oxendine voter than a Johnson voter…”

      I totally agree with this assessment, but I think it’s possible that that effect is already “priced in,” meaning that most of the Ox voters who would jump ship for Handel based on a Palin endorsement did so before the primary. The ones who still ultimately voted for Ox were either (a) ignorant of the endorsement, (b) hardcore Ox supporters, or (c) ultra conservative. Handel will get the most of the (a) voters. The (b) voters will probably stay home. Deal should get most of the (c) voters.

  8. GOPwits says:

    It’s poor form on Georgia’s biggest earmarker, Jack Kingston, to make up this kind of stuff in order to trick voters. It’s really sad honestly.

    Kingston is endorsing and supporting a candidate with the same kind of ethics and corruption problems as Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. Is that what conservatism has become in Washington, DC?

    Perhaps after 18 years and trillions of dollars in earmarks, it’s time someone show Kingston what it’s like to work in the private sector for a while.

    • In The Arena says:

      HA. So Kingston’s the bad guy now? Handel. Desperate. Done.

      Someone might show you what its like to work in the private sector in about 6 days. That is if anyone in the private sector will hire you. Remember to put on your resume that you copied and pasted CREW’s list of 15 most corrupt on AJC blogs 14, 211 times. That will get you hired.

    • GOPwits says:

      We’re all seriously going to have to figure out the new definition of conservative because I’m getting confused…

      Does it include supporting bloated budgets, earmarks, corruption, and insider business deals with government? Seriously, because if it does, we really are going to have problems in winning elections moving forward.

      Wait, I know, we’ll ignore those serious issues and just talk about guns, gays, and abortion…

      • Doug Deal says:

        Wait, before we answer, is this bloat and corruption coming from a Republican or a Democrat? Doug Grammer will need to know before he answers.

        • GOPwits says:

          I can answer for Doug. If bloated budgets, earmarks, corruption, and insider business deals happen under Republicans they are okay. That’s just part of doing the people’s business.

          If they happen under Democrats, we must impeach them, ensure they are tried for treason, and consider the death penalty because they are trying to destroy our country.

          It must be nice to have selective principles…

  9. polpol says:

    Don’t count on an endorsement or put too much in Kingston saying what EJ is doing…..far too much interest in what politicians are doing and not enough on what the voters are going to do when they vote

  10. fishtail says:

    In the primary, Handel attacked Eric Johnson’s ethics as a State Sernator. It would be the height of hypocrisy for her to offer Eric a top job in her administration if she really believes he has “iffy ethics”. I don’t beleve she has offered him anything.

    • B Balz says:

      That’s a powerful point. I doubt few, except Legislators present that day, will recall the gentleman who rose up in the Chamber to recite a little ditty-a rhyme.

      The rhyme outlined his disgust that Ms. Handel impugned all House members reputations. I wonder how that will play out on Tuesday?

      From what I have read, people feel enough is enough and they want change. I just hope they realize the balance of powers limits how much change the Governor can actually effect.

      • Icarus says:

        1) The Governor has a line item veto in Georgia.

        2) The majority in this legislature enjoy their pork and pet projects. The Governor can single out those who cross him or her, and take every single one of them away.

        3) Most vetos take place well after the session has ended, and thus, even if there was an attempt at an override, it would be 9 months (essentially a year) later, and

        4) Do you think that there would be enough of them to cross that same Governor who demonstrated a willingness to line item pet projects to override that veto?

        Now, tell me about that “balance of power” again.

        We’ve got one chance as Republicans to fundamentally change the way this state does business. I can’t guarantee that Handel will be successful, but I don’t think Deal even sees a need to try.

        • ACCmoderate says:

          I don’t think Karen will be too problematic, after all she is Sonny’s hand-picked successor.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          Both GOP candidates are in favor of Zero Based Budgeting, so either of them could change the way the state does business.

          B Balz, as far as the house members go, 70 House members and two state House Republican nominees, publicly endorsed Congressman Deal today.

          I leave it up to the voters to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

        • GOPwits says:

          Excellent post Icarus! As always you are very insightful and offer help to those who cannot see the light on this site.

          You should bottle it up and sell that common sense!

        • B Balz says:

          All true and good points Icarus.

          My point is that, even with a practical equality in the balance of power, there is a practical limitation not enumerated in your response. In other words, at this critical time in Georgia, do we want a Governor at WAR with the legislature?

          Maybe it is way past the time to shake ‘er up, I certainly cannot dispute that idea. Maybe Ms. Handel is the one who can do it. I also think that a “Joan of Arc” approach, whereby one reformer faces virtually everyone else is going to be a tough haul for Georgia.

          We agree that we face a $1Bn+ budget hole. We ought to agree that revenues are either declining or flat. These are FACTs and not academic. D’ya think having a governor at WAR with the legislature, at this time, is good for all Georgians?

          I hear the points being raised, they are valid and I still believe that a governor, even with a practical advantage in the balance of power, faces the reality of getting nothing done if lacking sponsorship and allies.

          “…I can’t guarantee that Handel will be successful, but I don’t think Deal even sees a need to try….” is catchy, yet I remain concerned about the timing. The old adage, “when you are up to your a** in alligators, d’ya need to drain the swamp?” comes to mind.

    • GOPwits says:

      Also, here is the article about Johnson from the Savannah Morning News. Your opinion can differ on it, but the facts speak for what they are:

      Republican gubernatorial hopeful Eric Johnson did not disclose more than $280,000 in taxpayer money paid to his Savannah architecture firm at a time when he was required to do so…

      Eric ran a good race, but it’s over and done… Rehash if you will but you can’t change the facts…

  11. anothergavoter says:

    He’ll make the right endorsement. Meanwhile, here’s another one:
    Karen Handel Happy-Happy Hour Endorsement

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