An email from Governor Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign brought the initial news. From campaign manager Tom Willis, part of it read, “Along with field representatives dedicated to turing out voters, three of Nathan’s senior aides, Chris Riley, Brian Robinson, and David Werner, are joining our efforts on the campaign.”
Over at the AJC’s Political Insider, Greg Bluestein has some additional details, including this from an email Deal’s Chief of Staff Chris Riley sent to explain the decision:
“As you all know, I have had the opportunity to work for Gov. Nathan Deal for the past 22 years,” he wrote. “I have been involved in each of his campaigns since 1992, and there’s no way I’d miss the last campaign he will ever run.”
The Jason Carter campaign, along with Better Georgia, have been aggressively going after the governor on issues of ethics and disclosure. The names of COS Chris Riley and press spokesman Brian Robinson have come up in their complaints, legislative liason David Werner less so.
Deciding to have the campaign rather than the state pay their salaries makes it clear that Deal is serious about the campaign. It also removes possible future criticism that the governor is using taxpayer dollars to get re-elected, echoing a charge we’ve heard before.