Deal names transition team, says Riley will be chief of staff

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal on Wednesday named a transition team and an inaugural committee to help him navigate the busy next two months and announced that his long-time aide Chris Riley will remain his chief of staff.

See photos from the press conference


Meeting with reporters in what will soon be his office at the Capitol, Deal said he has already launched two websites to help the public stay informed on progress in the transition and the inauguration: and

Rogers Wade, the chairman of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, will lead Deal’s transition team, which also includes:

  • Pete Robinson, chairman of Troutman Sanders’ lobbying arm and a veteran of the Capitol lobbying corp. Deal’s team indicated that Robinson would stop lobbying while serving on the transition.
  • John Watson, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s former chief of staff and the founder of a major Atlanta lobbying firm. He is now an executive in a commercial real estate firm.
  • Philip Wilheit, the president of a Gainesville-based packaging firm and a major Deal donor and business partner.

Leading the inaugural committee will be Jay Morgan, a former campaign manager and a long-time lobbyist and Republican activist, and Tricia Pridemore, a Deal supporter and founder of the conservative 912 Project.

Riley is Deal’s long-time aide who served as chief of staff while Deal was in Congress and managed Deal’s successful run for governor.

Deal had kind words for the man he defeated Tuesday night, Democratic nominee Roy Barnes.

“Roy Barnes and I have been friends for a very long time,” Deal said. “I still consider him as a friend.”

Deal said some of Barnes’ ideas have merit and he will consider them as he moves forward.

But first, he said, the transition will begin its work of decoding and evaluating all of state government. It’s a daunting task that will lead up to noon on Jan. 10 when he takes the oath of office.

195 comments Add your comment

Bad to Worse

November 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

Yes Michael……I did. Just couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of the other two.


November 3rd, 2010
4:51 pm

Good to be white man in the good ole boy state of Georgia, heehawww


November 3rd, 2010
4:55 pm

This site proves that the malcontents will always find each other – whether real or virtual.


November 3rd, 2010
5:07 pm

Nathan Deal, please remember you were elected by teachers who came out to vote AGAINST Roy Barnes. If you want to be elected again keep that in mind. We have long memories.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

November 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

@Watching from afar (4:34 p.m.) the elections were the lead story and focal point of the home page all day. It just changed around 4 as most people started heading home. The producers watch to see what’s getting interest from readers and react accordingly. We weren’t hiding anything.


November 3rd, 2010
5:27 pm

I hope all you Black Rep look at this picture looks like the pre civil rights day, now we know why Georgia bigots hate Obama his adminstration has all colors the way America looks.
Now all you blacks that play football for UGA where the team is 90% black, when your white team mate grows older he will distant himself from you, these same whites in thsi picture are in the stands rooting for you black guys to the run the ball or shoot the ball, but your father or someone in your family is not good enough or white enough to run the state.”’ Wake up Black people in Georiga”””

joan cook

November 3rd, 2010
5:35 pm

Put like students together? That sounds circa prior 1960 to me. Money is needed in education for better teachers, with more well rounded approach to teaching. Quit sending kids home for the smallest of infractions. How are children to learn if they talk too loud and get suspended or other such silly infractions. Where is enrichment. Music, art, field trips, education through experience. There seems to be money for football. Kid truly love to learn and will respond to a program that makes learning interesting and fun. Sometimes i listen to what goes on from my grandson’s here in middle school and cannot believe these people are calling themselves educators. This is but one small problem in Georgia but it is a serious one since the children are the future!


November 3rd, 2010
5:35 pm

Lets see how smart the teachers are? in Georgia, under Sonny (Rep) you got no raise, had to take pay cuts, extra days off with out pay, under Barnes you got raises and did not have to take mandatory days off.
So you teach in the class room about values and morles, but you go out and vote for Deal”’
Ths may be why we are last in education”

The "Deal" is we're fuct!

November 3rd, 2010
5:50 pm

So lets get this strait…two years ago Obama and the Democrats got voted in and all Republicans have done is bitc*ed and moan about it since. Deal wins and we get a new Republican House, but if you’re a Democrat they’re expected to shut up. Interesting, you hypocrites can cry but after Deal fails like Perdue and our new Congress does the same we’ll be called “unpatriotic” and told to move out of the country. It’s amazing that the party of so-called Christians are the pricks of society. As you say, the “average Georgian” got what they wanted though, another good old boy who will run this state like it’s the 1800s. I guess I still won’t be able to buy beer on Sundays…because Jesus said so.


November 3rd, 2010
5:53 pm

Gm, I’ve been saying the exact same thing for months and I couldn’t vote for that fraud Deal if there was a gun to my head. Deal basically had no platform or cure for the state’s education woes. We’ll continue to be bottom dwellers. This must be what it feels like to play for the L.A. Clippers.

Teach too

November 3rd, 2010
5:58 pm

People remember Barnes supposedly screwing teachers, but I guess most teachers forget that good old Sonny has basically spit on us for eight years. So what do they do, go vote for another joker who doesn’t have a vision for education reform in this state. Great, more excuses and furloughs on the way.

joan cook

November 3rd, 2010
5:59 pm

Amen as i said earlier folks here seem afraid of change and forward thinking. I am not an angry liberal today i a a disappointed one thinking that people were intelligent enough to understand that President Obama could not solve the problems the republican party “patriot” got is into after 8 years in office. The president has been saddled with a congress that are more interested in acting like 12 yr olds saying hahahah we are not going let you pass any programs than to take care of the constituents they were elected to SERVE. not run things, not disrupt things, but serve the people. So for all you giddy folks that are doing the dance of joy today, remember it is not always good to get what you ask for When things get worse instead of better perhaps you will wake up and realize it doesn’t matter what party you belong to but what you are doing to make this a better nation,


November 3rd, 2010
6:00 pm

Georgia elected the Governor it deserves.

To Liberals are Losers

November 3rd, 2010
6:03 pm

Dude, as you sit there touching yourself, getting off on what you think was an original thought…we’ll be the ones laughing at such nonsense. You sound like a complete, unoriginal and misinformed fool. Make sure to let God know when you go to church this evening that I said hi you f’ing hypocrite! Go die or something so we don’t have to have filth like you breathing our air.

Larry Craig from Idahoooo

November 3rd, 2010
6:08 pm

Looking down on Georgia, I see you Elected Nathan Deal and Casey Cagle.


Deliverance is not just a movie about Georgia. Its a documentary.


November 3rd, 2010
6:20 pm

Just told my young-un that on this here great plantation (Georgia) you must be able to fool the people with lies, be somewhat of a crook and have some good ole boys behind you and he could be the great Boss of this here state.


November 3rd, 2010
6:27 pm

Peolple are afraid of change and that is understandableBut what is not is the thought another party was to bring us jobs from the sky and remove all deficeits. Bring in affordable health care etc. Personally I can’t wait to see the voters to receive what they voted for. (CLIFF)


November 3rd, 2010
6:34 pm

When we talk about what different organizations will not allow us to do, we strengthen their position. Mr. Galt, you seem to be very knowledgeable and excell over your Aper (is it baboon or gorilla?). Your position is well articulated and would be enhanced if you would refrain from listing minorities as if they were our major problem. I am priviledged to associate with a group of minority men that have retired and as we do here, “solve the problems of the world daily”. I have found them to share the concerns that we as conservatives have, though they are liberals. I think our problems come into play when we stereotype liberals and place them in one group. Sadly, we sometimes, more than not, put all liberals into the “far left” category. We automatically hear the word liberal and shut down. Being a conservative I must admit there is the same radical sector in the “far right”. The point I am clumsly trying to make is that the reasonable liberals and the reasonable conservatives could find a lot of common ground if that stereotyping did not pollute the agenda before it was addressed.

This is where our skilled politicians become great leaders. They can pull reason out of the chaos of bigotry, confusion, and hate mongers. They can identify and present goals for the common good of the people in such a way that the “moderates” can come together and work for the good of the people. I was very impressed with the West Virginia governor who won the senators race. He says he wants what is right for the people of West Virginia, let’s hope Nathan Deal is the same.

You are so right about the political correctness thing. Sadly there will always be those on both sides that will exploit this crutch to prove their otherwise unsupportive position.


November 3rd, 2010
6:35 pm

re reading some posts have to say norris is a real dumb arse


November 3rd, 2010
6:43 pm


I am sorry for your hurt!

Larry Craig

Please send us some taters, we might need them.


November 3rd, 2010
6:46 pm

So all you black offical who feel bad when whites complain when you hire all blacks in Dealb, Fulton, government, thisis why I say they are a bunch of hypocrites.
Look at the picture, white women who came in to office on the benefit of the African American civil right struggles.


November 3rd, 2010
6:50 pm

doobydo” Not hurt, only Obama is hurting because he thought he had some real Americans behind him to help clean up these mess George W left, to the average black, especially in Ga this comes as no surprise, your history dont allow you to do anything different.

Larry Craig from Idahoooo

November 3rd, 2010
6:53 pm

doobydo, We have the finest spuds to go great with your goobers.

I am most pleased that you fine folks in Georgia elected such men of stature.
These are my kind of Republicans.

Palin/Craig in 2012 Tap Tap Tap


November 3rd, 2010
7:09 pm

I am loving reading all the pouty, whiny comments all over the blogs because Deal won. We the people elected him using the ballot box. He’s your next governor. So deal with it. BWAHAHAHAHA!

And last time I checked Barack Obama was President of The United States! Deal with that! BWHAHAHAHAHAHA

joan cook

November 3rd, 2010
7:14 pm

To the author “liberals are losers”, after reading your posts i am beginning to see the ignorance that set the tempo for the voting done yesterday. You are first and foremost an American for surely you would be put to death for the things you say in many countries around the world. Your words are filled with hate and acrimony. You obviously feel you have the right to denigrate others in order to build up your own self esteem. Let me guess, you are a high school dropout in a minimum wage paying job that has been snowed by the wealthy into believing neither you nor anyone else deserves better! How’d i do?


November 3rd, 2010
7:38 pm

I am a conservative, but I must agree that Mr. Bush didn’t do too great of a job. However, when the tidal wave of 2006 sent the majority in the house and senate to the Dems who won on the Iraqi war issue there were a lot of promises made. Yet , the approval rate of the congress was even lower than that of Mr. Bush. The time from 2007 to 2009 were controlled by the Dems and add the time that Mr. Obama has been in power I think it comes to 3 1/2 years. The last year and one half has been with a majority in both houses and and democrat as President. That seems to be total control, yet the “do nothing” republicans are blamed for nothing being done as they are the party of “no”.

The point I am trying to make is that there is too much blame and not enough action on the part of both parties. As a conservative I was glad to see the change in the house, not because I don’t like liberals, but because there has to be something to jar us out of a rut. If something doesn’t work, that’s O.K., but don’t stay at the same task, back up and punt. My fear is that there is no definitive plan by the republicans. I find that there is a lot of rhetoric but no specifics. I am not smart enough to solve our problems, my problem is that I don’t know any politician that is. As I said the republicans have not expounded any definitive plan, and as smart as Mr. Obama is, I think his ego gets in the way a bit.

Who is the best for our country, only history will tell.


November 3rd, 2010
7:42 pm

Mr. Craig

Maybe we would be better off if you made that Craig/Palin in 2012!


November 3rd, 2010
8:14 pm

Karen Haendel would of done a better job with less baggage. You bet we got the “The Real Raw Deal”. It will be a real deal set back for this state. Can’t wait to say I told you so. p.s. Did vote for Casey. Not a straight ballot like the hard core GOP does. Bet a lunch they are help paying Deal’s debt off. Still puzzled about the tax returns. That is why a member of Trout Sanders on board. You betcha!!!


November 3rd, 2010
8:22 pm

I didn’t like either candidate but someone had to win.


November 3rd, 2010
8:55 pm

Newt/Palin in 2012? You are right…God help us all!!!! This ticket will only give us another 4 years of Obama and his Socialist agenda.

joan cook

November 3rd, 2010
9:07 pm

lol newt/palin now i think there was a movie made about them wasn’t there i think it was called Dumb and Dumber.


November 3rd, 2010
11:48 pm

And the person that could have won was John Monds, but lets instead keep putting the same mainstream party crooks back in office, sigh. See my previous comments and may the Independents one day rise up against both these parties and their liberal/conservative DRONES that support them.

Billy in Savannah

November 4th, 2010
4:48 am

Congratulations and best wishes are in order to Governor elect Deal. I truly hope he is successful. I did not vote for him. As usual, Chatham County went for the loser. These congratulations and good wishes should not be interpreted that moderates should not be keeping a watchful eye on his actions.

Dave The Insured

November 4th, 2010
4:52 am

More red panties scandals please. Oh, wait. That’s Georgia football. On second thought …


November 4th, 2010
6:17 am

I’m an independent. In this race, I voted for Roy because I thought he’d do a better job despite the fact that I find him a bit obnoxious. And, frankly, I find the assertions that he’s in bed with Obama, Pelosi and Reid to be ridiculous.
Those making such claims must be new to GA. Anyone who watched him operate in the Legislature would know that he’s not a toe-the-line party man.
Many voters seem to be, however, which is a real pity.

Nathan Bedford Forrest

November 4th, 2010
7:39 am

Barnes now can keep his official portrait intact at the Capital. He sits there like a snapper turtle with the anchor that sunk him in 2002 by his side….his ugly flag. Am proud that we flagged Barnes in Dublin with our 56 flags as a reminder from the Sons of the South before the election.

White Male

November 4th, 2010
9:26 am

Notice how there are no minorities on the team….sad…


November 4th, 2010
9:48 am

Karen Handel would have been so much better for GA.


November 4th, 2010
10:16 am

It is clear that Deal hates, gays, jews, minorities and illegal aliens. But, you people chose him. Soon the Georgia board of Pardon and Paroles will be overwhelmed with members of certain “white male groups” will be give pardons and let out of prison in our State. Deal will take care of his own. Deal started many years ago being supported and funded by the “group led by white males in Georgia”.
Will Deal and his cohorts wear their white robes or their southern mafia attire, overalls and workboots.

Randolph Phillips

November 4th, 2010
11:02 am

I have known Roy Barnes and Nathan Deal a long time, and consider them friends. Nathan Deal will, I think, and both of them have the interest of Georgia at heart, though Nathan will conduct the office differently than Roy. Though one is Republican, they both started out as Democrats–like most Georgians.

I expect Nathan Deal will run a down-to-earth, honest, and practical administration. His transition team is small, which means a few people will have a lot of work to do, and its
staff may play important roles. As for the team’s lobbyist component, lobbyist have immense and useful expertise. Pete Robinson, for example, probably has almost unparralleled knowledge of State Government, and the business community, and his resume comes from a long and diverse experience with almost every segment of society.


November 4th, 2010
11:56 am

Restore the ‘56 Flag

[...] only did Deal maintain his allegiance to his cohort, he also made several other questionable appointments. His transition team is made up of: Roger Wade (chairman of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a [...]


November 6th, 2010
10:00 pm

Funny how no matter we change things remain the same. All WHITE MALES ON THE TT. ONE WHITE FEMALE. YET, WHITES WONDER WHY BLACKS VOTE THE WAY THEY DO.

Say what u will about the president, but, almost all of the time he is seen with a diverse group of people.

The tax rolls are diverse. The people fighting in the wars are diverse; yet, the GE can only find WHITE PEOPLE to help him run the government. DAMN SHAME!!!!!!!!! DAMN rep!!!!!!!!!!!!

T Knight

November 7th, 2010
7:18 am

I did not support Nathan Deal, I wrote in Karen Handel’s name on my ballot. Now that he is Governor, I will give him a chance. We are better off having a Republican in office going into the
next presidential election.

Tired of BS

November 7th, 2010
7:21 am

Here we go with the race baiting again. HHEEELLLLOOOOO……. minorities need to get their heads out of their asses! You dance with the one who brung you…… Roy brung you…. he lost…. Deal with it! Life ain’t fair!