The Georgia Republican Party is calling for it. The Republicans have a nominee in Nathan Deal and now want to unite and take out King Roy. The runoff turned pretty cutthroat but it’s time to lick our wounds and roll our sleeves up in the name of keeping a Republican majority in Georgia, right?
It probably isn’t that easy, nor should it be.
I’ve been called “Baby Killer” and a gay sympathizer since primary night for supporting Karen. I’ve had people tell me that she has no business running in a Republican election and that support for her is contrary to a belief in Jesus Christ, even though Karen is openly Christian. I tend to not hold candidates to their crazed supporters but I must admit that it angered me. In fact, I placed signs for Karen Handel and Tom Graves for 7 hours Monday night only to have a text message the next morning telling me that Handel signs were being torn down left and right (I realize this happens in campaigns but my time is valuable to me). This runoff has been long and tiring for many. In order for Deal to get the support of die-hard “Handelistas”, some time and nurturing will be required.
All that aside, Nathan Deal cannot run a campaign on national issues (abortion, illegal immigration, Nancy Pelosi is evil, etc.) and expect to take out Roy Barnes. It may work in a Republican runoff, but it won’t in the General. I watched the news election night and noticed Roy’s event. He kept talking about Education, Transportation, Water, the Budget, issues that are directly connected to state politics and issues that the next governor has to tackle. Deal must deal with these issues if he expects to beat Barnes.
Make no mistake, the GAGOP now has 2 candidates from the same county at the top of the ticket. Both have ethics issues facing them. Roy Barnes and Carol Porter now have the ability to tag team and hammer the GAGOP on ethics, and they will. Any shot that Republicans have at maintaining control of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor seats will come down to out-politicking the Dems on STATE issues.
The truth is, we have had 8 years of Republican control in Georgia and still have budget, education, transportation, and water problems. Republicans must find a way to convince that “squishy middle” we talk about to vote for them. I believe Georgia is conservative, but more to the center-right. I think we represent a national thought process. Voters in the General aren’t going to tolerate the status quo. True unity needs to happen behind a candidate who knows GEORGIA. Deal must deal with that. Only then will he get the support he needs to win the Governor’s seat.