Republicans push unity at post-runoff breakfast

Republicans are still waiting for their gubernatorial runoff winner to be announced but that didn’t stop them from putting on a united front today for their upcoming battle with former Gov. Roy Barnes and the Democrats.

AJC photographer John Spink said the room at a Buckhead “unity 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.

The event at 103 West on West Paces Ferry Road had the feel of a convention, with both winners and losers in Tuesday’s runoff encouraging the party to stay together to defeat Barnes in November.

Nathan Deal, who maintains a razor thin lead over challenger Karen Handel, was one of the last speakers at the breakfast. Deal had already made the rounds at TV studios, where he expressed “cautious optimism” that he will be named  the winner. At the breakfast, however, Deal spoke more confidently that he would prevail.

Deal called Handel, who did not attend the breakfast, a “worthy opponent.”

Although Deal was the most prominent candidate at the event, the one getting one of the longest standing ovations was state Rep. Melvin Everson, an African-American lawmaker who campaigned for labor commissioner but lost to state Rep. Mark Butler in the July 20 primary.

Everson brought the crowd to its feet after calling for party unity and then introducing his primary opponent.  Butler will face Democrat Darryl Hicks in the November election.

51 comments Add your comment

karen luvhandle

August 11th, 2010
10:25 am

Is anyone surprised the Karen didn’t attend the “Unity” breakfast? I wonder if CROW was on the menu?

J Lo

August 11th, 2010
10:26 am

Is Karen not about unity? Why was she a no show?

Cindy

August 11th, 2010
10:26 am

I can’t believe Handel didn’t show up for this. I REALLY hope she loses now. Guess she’s at home crying to Palin. Boo-freakin’-hoo.

kowboi

August 11th, 2010
10:28 am

I really hope Deal wins because Handel does not come accross as ready for primetime. Besides the rumours about her screamfest with her people does not say much for her ability to handle pressure.

MiltonMan

August 11th, 2010
10:30 am

With or without Handel, Barnes is going down in flames. He is the #1 DemoRat in GA & is a PROVEN LOSER. The clown puts his tail between his legs like the rat he is & slithers out of town when Obama comes here. Who is voting for this dysfunctional loser other than teachers with their newly found cash lined pockets & the residents of Atlanta?

Ace

August 11th, 2010
10:31 am

If Handel hadn’t been such a lousy Secretary of State we’d have the results by now. How’d that Palin endorsement work out for ya?

Matt

August 11th, 2010
10:31 am

Apparently Handel hear that McBerry was parking cars at the event.

Matt

August 11th, 2010
10:32 am

Apparently Handel heard that McBerry was parking cars at the event.

Ted Striker

August 11th, 2010
10:32 am

If Handel does in fact eventually win — not that she will — failing showing up will hurt her in the general election.

terri

August 11th, 2010
10:32 am

Shame on Handel! She should have been there.

Ace

August 11th, 2010
10:33 am

I know MiltonMan, Barnes left surpluses, and surpluses seem to always tick off Republicans, they can’t wait to turn them to deficits, whether it be Dubya the Shrub or Fat Sonny.

llcooltricia

August 11th, 2010
10:34 am

Never. let. Palin.endorse. you. unless it is a joke.

Ralph

August 11th, 2010
10:38 am

So, does anyone know when and how long the recount will take place? Yea, I know the loser (Handel) has to call for it, but that is the obvious reason she is hiding from the TV and Unity breakfast circuit. She isn’t going to make up the difference in provisional, absentee, and military votes all to be counted by Friday.

Ralph

August 11th, 2010
10:40 am

Barnes vs Handel will be an interesting race

No deal for ace

August 11th, 2010
10:41 am

Sorry but what Surpluses???? I am going assume you are under the age of 30. Hence your lack of political history. Demo’s never leave surplus in any budget and Fat Boy Roy Never has either. Do some research on Demo’s in the state of Georgia and will find this to be true. Republican’s on the other hand have but quickly moved them into private sector funding to boost the economy. Last time I checked I never got a job from a welfare recipient.

Jed

August 11th, 2010
10:41 am

So Deal calls Handel “a worthy opponent,” a few days after saying he’s not sure he’d throw his support behind her if she won?
Unity? Deal has split this party. What a complete child. And someone unethical to boot. Guess I’ll vote for John Monds in the fall.

Jeff

August 11th, 2010
10:42 am

Handel will win with absentee ballots or else this thing would be over already

Ed Wilson

August 11th, 2010
10:43 am

So, after all the hullabaloo over Palin endorsing Handel, where are all the news articles headlined, “Palin Loses GA Election”?

Tracy

August 11th, 2010
10:44 am

The fact Deal was even considered, let alone win, is proof that Georgia deserves to fail. Did everyone forget the guy stepped out of Congress after the ethics committee started to put heat on him ? Forget about those no-bid contracts towards a company he’s a business partner in ? Forget about the $150,000 he personal made on them using tax dollars ?

A former loser vs. a criminal……have fun with your next Governor Georgia. The other 49 States are still laughing at ya’….lol.

Jed

August 11th, 2010
10:48 am

Oh,
And to the question of why Handel didn’t show up at the events:
Maybe it’s the same reason she wasn’t on TV at 6 a.m. like Deal, patting himself on the back for an election he hasn’t won yet. It’s called humility. Voters say they want such decency, then slap someone in the face for showing such. We deserve what we get.
As for unity, in Sunday’s debate, Handel said she would support Deal if he won the nomination. He did NOT extend to her the same courtesy. Is this really who you all want to represent you in the November election?

Wingnut51

August 11th, 2010
10:48 am

So Karen Handel was a no-show again. I sure hope Deal turns out to be the ultimate winner because Handel doesn’t seem to have the maturity to lead our state.

Dan

August 11th, 2010
10:49 am

Ilcooltricia – never let facts get in the way of a stupid comment. In fact most of the people Palin has endorsed have won. She’s got a pretty good track record, unlike Barack Obama. Notice a lot of Dems don’t want him to endorse them or come help – he does more harm than good.

Such a Deal

August 11th, 2010
10:53 am

Palin was the kiss of death for Handel. Just plain stupid soliciting or accepting that idiots endorsement.

Smack

August 11th, 2010
10:56 am

Ed, hopefully Palin sees the “Closed” for business sign when it comes to Georgia.

Mark

August 11th, 2010
10:56 am

@Dan You said “lcooltricia – never let facts get in the way of a stupid comment. In fact most of the people Palin has endorsed have won. She’s got a pretty good track record, unlike Barack Obama.”

You let facts get in the way Dan. She’s 5 for 5. That’s a hand toss or a flip of a coin. If you like Palin fine, but don’t cry wolf and don’t let facts get in YOUR way.

The Must Call Him "Ace" for Nothing

August 11th, 2010
10:57 am

“Ace” [self-described] wrote: “…Barnes left surpluses, and surpluses seem to always tick off Republicans, they can’t wait to turn them to deficits, whether it be Dubya the Shrub or Fat Sonny.”

From PolitiFact: The state Constitution requires the Legislature to balance the budget. Consider Article III, Section IX, Paragraph IV:

“The General Assembly shall not appropriate funds for any given fiscal year which, in aggregate, exceed a sum equal to the amount of unappropriated surplus expected to have accrued in the state treasury at the beginning of the fiscal year together with an amount not greater than the total treasury receipts from existing revenue sources anticipated to be collected in the fiscal year, less refunds, as estimated in the budget report and amendments thereto.”

Put more simply:

“Unlike the federal government, the state of Georgia has a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget,” said Alan Essig, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

You may have cards to play, “Ace”, but the idea that Democrats are fiscally prudent and responsible is not one of them.

Ace the Disgrace.

Such a Deal

August 11th, 2010
10:58 am

Yeah, Palin always endorses the leader or favorite. Handel should have won easily. Palin killed our best chance to beat King Roy. Intelligent/real Republicans know Palin is a yappy airhead.

[...] hope Republicans shot only themselves in the foot last night, not the whole state. Meanwhile, prepare to see Deal portray Roy Barnes as a terrorist pedophile [...]

Mel

August 11th, 2010
11:00 am

OH MY GOSH. Such nastiness today. You’d think there weren’t two people in the election. I love how people hide behind a screen name and think they can say what they want. Geez. You all line right up there for unity, OK?

Alan

August 11th, 2010
11:02 am

103 West, eh? Heart of Buckhead? That location makes me question who’s paying for their campaigns and what kind of hidden agendas they have. Most of us Georgians cannot relate to such exclusive dining establishments.

edudawg

August 11th, 2010
11:02 am

@Mark…. “5 for 5″ sounds like a perfect record…. don’t you mean “5 AND 5″… that would be a toss up.

Chuck Allison

August 11th, 2010
11:02 am

“Such a deal”, you can shut up now. We understand that you don’t like Sarah Palin as much as all other Republicans do.

Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:13 am

Handel skipped one of the debates so why would you expect her at the unity breakfast?

Did Palin’s support make folks think Handle would quit if she were elected?

John Petz

August 11th, 2010
11:14 am

Since Sonny Purdue was pretty much a do-nothing Governor, what message does the GOP send voters on why their chosen candidate will tackle the tough issues like transporation and water? Purdue played it safe for 8 years and as a result, nothing got solved.

And another thing – how does the GOP claim to be anti-tax AND pro-public school at the same time, noting tax revenue funds public schools? Georgia is laying off more teachers than any other state without asking local residents if they’d even be willing to consider a temporary tax increase to keep school funding at an acceptable level. A recent poll here in Alpharetta showed a majority of parents would definitely support such a tax increase. Is Perdue even listening?

DK

August 11th, 2010
11:15 am

Hey Chuck,

Why don’t you take your own advice and shut up before you decide to speak for all Republicans. I, like many Republicans, can’t stand that twit Palin. She’s an embarrassment to the party. Too stupid to name her own home state’s flagship newspaper when asked what newspapers does she read and this is the face that we as a party want to put forward? Only a mind-numbed idiot who can’t see past her chest would support her.

David Staples

August 11th, 2010
11:16 am

For those who are less than excited about Nathan Deal there’s always John Monds – http://www.VoteMonds.com – he supports smaller government, less spending and lower taxes. (Sounds like what the Republicans *say* they’re for, doesn’t it?)

Steve

August 11th, 2010
11:16 am

Chalk up another win for the Good Ol’ Boy Network. Sad that with all the outrage people have for politicians these days and our two choices is someone with 40+ years experience as a politician (sigh…get a real job) or some phony conservative (phon-con) who thinks that just by invoking the name of Sarah Palin will get you elected. Such hypocrisy. On one hand they (phon-cons) complain that the government is infringing on our individual liberties, but wait, you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday and God forbid you smoke pot in your own house. *GASP* The less government is in our lives, the better. Learn what real freedom is, you morons. I want to hear more talk about real reform such as dismantling the IRS and cutting spending by ending the failing War on Drugs, and stopping the never ending wars (FYI, phon-cons, you can’t be pro-life and pro-war).

joe schmoe

August 11th, 2010
11:18 am

I’m one of those people who voted for Karen, but will not vote for the perdue clone in Deal. Same old same old, former democrat, with the same taste as the current gov. I elk not vote for Babes either, so it sounds like I’m going Libertarian.

101 CLUB

August 11th, 2010
11:19 am

I guess I’ll have to sit this election out. As the father of a gay son I can’t in good conscience vote for Deal and as a career educator there’s no way I’ll vote for Barnes. These two are the best we could do? Brother!

joe schmoe

August 11th, 2010
11:20 am

KZGuy

August 11th, 2010
11:25 am

The Palin endorsement was the kiss of death for Ms Handel. When that airhead came to town she sucked the life out runoff.

joe schmoe

August 11th, 2010
11:33 am

OZ, I don’t think that is it. Our state just loves idiots running everything. I mean how else could you explain being run by demorats for decades, and then this current dumb dumb in office, along with two crappy canidates from the dem and repub side… good grief!

Such a Deal

August 11th, 2010
11:36 am

I wanted Handel to win. As for most liking MollyMooseHunter, intelligent people recognize that she is an absolute bafoon. Only lemmings and idiots think she adds value to our Party. She will continue to endorse whoever the favorite is in a race and when they win she will take bows. She killed it for Karen and will kill it for our Party as long she is on stage.

John Petz

August 11th, 2010
11:47 am

Why is it so many partisans see the need for their party’s candidate to always be the winner? This isn’t a football game, its about whats best for Georgia. Handel is a Perdue protege which means she will continue the do-nothing, make no waves approach such like Sonny. Nathan Deal has zero ideas for Georgia just by mere virtue of his lack of accomplishments in Congress for 16 years. Deal is simply looking for a new gig.

Georgia voters need to get behind Roy Barnes. The man has some excellent ideas and had it not been for the bad press on his flag change and tough approach with teachers 8 years ago, he would have sailed to a 2nd term. Barnes has spent much time looking at the transportation, water, and education challenges in this state. To me, that is something to be considered.

John Petz

August 11th, 2010
11:57 am

Someone posted: “Well, he sounds like he wants to move away from the super micro-management techniques brought forth by Roy Barnes 12 years ago…and that is good enough for me”

Hey bud – Barnes has been gone for 8 years so what “super micro-management are you referring to”? Fact is, 8 years of Sonny Perdue has been disastrous for this state because Sonny refused to take on ANY tough issues. He is now in search of a legacy but there is nothing to hold onto except his “Go Fishin” program.

icanseerussia

August 11th, 2010
12:08 pm

Palin tanked Handel, no doubt about it.

MiltonMan

August 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

Tracy – the other 49 states are laughing at GA???? Boy you are clueless. Why would CA, NY, NJ, OH, MI, PA, etc., etc. be laughing at us???? Those states are in worse condition that we are clown.

MiltonMan

August 11th, 2010
1:02 pm

How soon the DemoRats forget about King Rat diverting monies from the 400 Toll for his pet project. How about his glorious plans for the northern arc? How about the jerk loading up the northern districts so his fellow DemoRats would be guarenteed more seats in the state house? etc., etc.

DemoRats acting like their proven loser is a knight in shining armor – too funny!

MiltonMan

August 11th, 2010
1:04 pm

John, Barnes has some good ideas??? Since when??? His consideration for melting the gold from the dome a good idea to you? Good luck to your loser boy.

Jayne M. Barker

August 11th, 2010
3:28 pm

Hey, girls, I know you’re glad…maybe now you won’t have to trade that Lexus in on a Ford or Chevy because of your Legislator “statesman’s” sound decisions. If Huck were a Catholic he would need to go to confession!!!