Archive for the ‘Governor's Race’ Category

Graham out as Revenue Commissioner

Controversial Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham is out of his post, but Gov.-elect Nathan Deal said he has offered him another job.

Graham said he doesn’t know anything about it.

Deal announced late Friday that Graham would be staying in state government, working under State Treasurer Tommy Hills.

Reached by phone, Graham said, “I don’t know anything about a job offer.”

Brian Robinson, the governor-elect’s spokesman, said Graham was offered a job. Graham was out of town Friday and Robinson said there “must be some miscommunication” that will be cleared up.

As revenue commissioner, Deal is replacing Graham with Doug MacGinnitie, who lost a bid for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State this year.

Deal also named Melvin Everson, a Gwinnett County state legislator who lost a race for the Republican nomination for labor commissioner this year, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. And he named a campaign staffer, Gainesville journalist Harris …

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Deal names two deputy chiefs of staff

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal on Wednesday added two new people to his team, choosing deputy chiefs of staff for legislative and external affairs and for communiciations.

Michael Shaffer, 47, will be Deal’s liaison to federal, state and local officials. Shaffer served as district director for the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., and is a partner in Oglethorpe Public Affairs. He served Deal’s campaign as a consultant, and was a registered lobbyist in parts of 2009 and 2010.

Brian Robinson, 35, will oversee Deal’s communications department. After spending seven years in Washington working for members of Georgia’s congressional delegation, Robinson returned to the state to serve as Deal’s campaign spokesman.

“Michael and Brian have served the people of Georgia as dedicated public servants,” Deal said in a statement. “Their talents were on display for all to see during the campaign and now they will put their talents to work on behalf of …

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Deal heads for vacation, won’t be at ARC breakfast

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal will not speak at the Atlanta Regional Commission’s “State of the Region” breakfast Friday morning as he takes a few days off following Tuesday’s election.


The commission had invited both Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes, whom Deal defeated Tuesday. But a Deal spokesman said the Republican had not committed to attending and will be out of town.

The ARC breakfast is expected to bring together more than 1,000 regional leaders for a forum on key challenges. Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the keynote speaker.

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What should Nathan Deal’s top priorities be?

Now that Nathan Deal has added the “governor-elect” to the front of his name, he is turning his focus from campaigning to governing.

He’s named his transition team and his chief of staff to form his administration and set his legislative priorities.

But, we want to know from you: What should he focus on first? Jobs? Cutting taxes? Transportation? Education?

The AJC’s James Salzer is working on a story that will address the challenges Deal faces. And we want to hear from you on what should be at the top of his priority list. E-mail and include your name, age, city of residence, and a phone number where he can reach you for more.

The new governor is making his list, make sure it’s the same as yours.

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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 …

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The day after: Republicans bask in the afterglow

Good morning, metro Atlanta. With across-the-board gains statewide and nationally, Republicans are riding high this morning. Here are some links you’ll want to visit right off the bat to get an overview of what went down Tuesday:

Georgia governor’s race results

Map: Georgia governor’s race

Georgia statewide races results

Complete statewide results

Map: How the nation voted

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Nathan Deal claims victory

Republican Nathan Deal claimed victory Tuesday night in Buckhead. He said he had spoken with Democrat Roy Barnes on the phone before making his speech at about 11:45 p.m.

“Georgia has placed its faith in the Republican party and we are not going to let them down,” said Deal to cheers.

Late Tuesday, Deal led Barnes with about 53 percent of the vote. Barnes had 43 percent, Libertarian John Monds about 4 percent.

As the returns rolled in Tuesday night, Republicans were confident they would win all statewide offices.

“This is not an election,” said GOP chairwoman Sue Everhart. “This is a restraining order against Barack Obama.”

In other statewide races, all GOP candidates had at least 54 percent of the vote. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was declared an early winner with more than 60 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Michael Thurmond.

“It looks like our numbers are continuing to rise, and we can win without a runoff,” Deal said as he entered the Grand Hyatt …

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Libertarian Monds smiles in defeat

“I’m still smiling,” said Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Monds, at 9:30 p.m., as he joined the election night partiers gathered at the downtown Georgian Terrace. “We’ve had a great time, we’re excited, we want to see how it turns out.”

Monds and his family, including his mother Marva Stanton, arrived around 9 p.m., after driving from their home in Cairo. Georgia’s first African-American candidate for governor, Monds wasn’t expecting a win but said, “It would be nice to get in the teens, it would be great to get 20 percent.”

In the final analysis he said, “the exposure [of his candidacy] is going to do great things for the party.”

Monds’ family, including his wife, Kathaleena, and their four children, Malik, 4, Halima, 9, Cazembe, 11 and Akintunde, 13, assembled at a round table in the ornate hotel ballroom, and waited for returns.

Kathaleena said the campaign has been “one of the most educational experiences I’ve ever had, and …

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GOP chairwoman predicts good night in Georgia

Georgia Republican Chairwoman Sue Everhart made her rounds Tuesday in a hot pink dress suit, greeting GOP members before they gathered into the ballroom.

She said she was hopeful for a Republican sweep of Georgia.

“It would certainly make me a happy woman, and would make a lot of Republicans in Georgia happy,” Everhart said.

She said she expects close races for Nathan Deal, Sam Olens and John Barge, with the possibility that independent and Tea Party candidates could force these potential runoffs to spill into other races.

“Having that third person (in the race) could cause more runoffs,” Everhart said.

But she said she didn’t anticipate any more of the sniping between Deal and Roy Barnes should their contest continue.

“If we get into a runoff, it’s going to be issues, issues, issues,” Everhart said. “There hasn’t been anything else that’s come up to this point.”

– Marcus Garner

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Deal responds to ethics complaint over debt, aircraft use

An attorney for Nathan Deal late last week responded to a complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission that accuses him of improperly reporting personal debt and of using campaign funds for personal gain.

The response was filed by high-powered GOP attorney Randy Evans. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requested the response from Evans and Deal’s gubernatorial campaign last week but received it Tuesday from George Anderson, a Rome-based government watchdog who originally filed the complaint.

In his response, Evans writes that Anderson’s complaints should be dismissed. The commission is investigating the complaints, although a hearing has not been set.

The first, concerns with whether Deal, the Republican nominee for governor, properly disclosed loans taken out by his private business. Deal filed an amended personal financial disclosure with the ethics commission after The Associated Press and the AJC reported in September that the former congressman had taken out more than …

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