It seems to be lost on some that Karen Handel endorsed Nathan Deal in 2010 at the end of the GOP primary. Yet there have been…lingering tensions within the camps of supporters of each since that time, and as such, the 2014 endorsement of Handel for Deal was a bit more public and central to the theme of the day.
First Lady Sandra Deal introduced Handel, and made the most direct references to the recent unpleasantness. Handel, speaking before the Governor, was gracious and forward looking, offering that “there is too much at stake to let our past dictate our future” and that this “was not the time to take a chance on anyone that is untested and unproven.”
Deal’s remarks shared praise toward Handel as a “reform minded and results oriented” leader. Deal was flanked by female GOP activists and elected legislators such as Senator Rene Unterman, Representatives Sharon Cooper, Lynn Riley, and Mandi Ballinger, and former Congressional Candidates Tricia Pridemore and Donna Sheldon.
In Q&A afterward, Deal used a few of the questions to take aim directly at Carter, asking how the promises he was making would be paid for. My guess is that is perhaps a preview of what we may be hearing from the debate in Perry tomorrow evening.
Jason Carter’s campaign had assembled a a crowd for a counter-response. Unfortunately, their press avail was handled quickly and off to the side while many of the folks from the Deal rally were doing one on one’s so I missed the counter message. Carter’s folks did believe that Deal was “just plain wrong” when discussing who started the negative ads – a debate that seems universal to every race and yet never seems to be settled by election day.
Net-net, it appeared to be a good day for the Governor. Days when an additional million dollars of assistance coming from the RGA usually are.