So you think that Eric Johnson is the last name in the Republican field for governor?
We’re talking to people close to U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal , who represents the 9th Congressional District up in north Georgia. They’ve told us that he, too, may enter the race.
There’s a meeting of Georgia’s team of House Republicans this afternoon to discuss the matter. Deal’s timetable calls for a decision by week’s end.
Deal’s 12 years in the state Senate have been followed by 17 years in Congress. He was often mentioned as gubernatorial material back in the run-up to 2002.
At least one other congressman, Lynn Westmoreland, has looked at the race and passed. Jack Kingston of Savannah has also been mentioned, but is almost certainly off the list — now that his friend Johnson is in the mix.
This situation is getting suprisingly fluid.
Two things pop out when considering Deal’s name. First, the fact that he represents North Georgia is kind of a bookend to Johnson’s Savannah roots. Remember that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle also comes from Deal’s world.
Secondly, in today’s print column, I mention that Karen Handel and John Oxendine, two statewide office-holders that already have gone through the vetting process, are bound to be miffed by all of this tire-kicking.
But Gov. Sonny Perdue could well be ticked off, too. Each extra candidate loosens his ability to influence who the next governor of Georgia will be.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.