Ray McBerry makes Karen Handel ‘very uncomfortable’

The first reaction to today’s column about Ray McBerry and his relationship with a 16-year-old girl comes from fellow Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel.

Said Handel spokesman Dan McLagan:

“Karen is very uncomfortable appearing onstage with Mr. McBerry and is perplexed that GOP groups continue to invite him to events.

“He clearly does not represent the values of the Republican Party or of Georgians in general and Karen will take the lead in saying this — even if other Republican leaders do not.

“The fact that he continues to campaign as if none of these revelations has occurred is disturbing and unsettling.”

Then there’s John Watson, immediate past finance chairman of the state GOP and former chief of staff for Gov. Sonny Perdue. Watson agrees that state Republican officials had no choice but to allow McBerry qualify this week.

But that doesn’t completely tie their hands said Watson, the father of two daughters:

“It’s a free country, and if the guy wants to put his money down, I don’t see how we can necessarily block him.

“But we ought to stand up – and party leadership ought to stand up and say, ‘This guy has no business running as a Republican. We’re disgusted by him. We think he’s an outrage. We call on all local parties, if he’s been invited to a gubernatorial candidate forum, you ought to rescind that invitation.’

“We ought to say, ‘Withdraw from this race.’ Somebody in leadership at the party ought to be saying that.

“And we ought to be taking the $4,000 bucks that the party took [from McBerry for qualifying] and we ought to give it to the family and the child that was molested by this guy.

“The facts are as clear as my big nose on my face. And I believe it’s the responsibility of party officials, state and local, to say no to this guy.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, McBerry won a straw poll at a gubernatorial forum in LaGrange that also featured Nathan Deal, Karen Handel, Eric Johnson, and John Oxendine.

The results, as posted at LaGrangePatriots.org:

Ray McBerry – 152 (57%)

Eric Johnson – 47 (18%)

Nathan Deal – 29 (11%)

Karen Handel – 20 (7%)

John Oxendine – 19 (7%)

Said McBerry in a press release:

“[I]n spite of the many lies and personal attacks that have been hurled against me in this race by liberal elements of the media, it is encouraging to know that my fellow Georgians are excited that they have a true champion of states’ rights running for governor this year, someone who will stand up for their liberties and is not going to back down.”

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58 comments Add your comment


April 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

There is only one ethical viable candidate in the Governor’s race – Karen Handel. Bring It On!


April 30th, 2010
2:19 pm

Karen Handel and the other Republican candidates should refuse to appear at forums sponsored by so-called Patriot groups, Tea Partiers and other nut job groups. I agree that someone like McBerry needs to be kept at arns length by the other candidates but the candidates owe an obligation to the voters to make sure they will have nothing to do with the fringe groups that are out to destroy the state and country.

Jill's mom

April 30th, 2010
2:20 pm

This creep needs to go.


April 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

Don’t worry, Karen. You’re too old for McBerry’s tastes…

Republican Dawg

April 30th, 2010
2:25 pm

Handel is what is wrong with Georgia politics. She has never finished a complete term in any office. She runs as an outsider, but has made her money from government gigs since Dan Quayle. I’ll bet she was his Speller-in-Chief. Georgia deservss more than sound bites and memorized speeches written by hired guns.


April 30th, 2010
2:26 pm

I don’t know anything about Eric Johnson. Everyone else on that list seems seriously deficient in one way or another.


April 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

why is anybody spending time on this man he have no chance of winning so let move on

Bill Clinton

April 30th, 2010
2:31 pm

What’s the problem? Nothing wrong with what he did.


April 30th, 2010
2:33 pm

I just finished reading McBerry’s seven page letter to her parents on the SWGAPolitics blog. Uggggg….Please pass the brain bleach. If he makes Karen Handel uncomfortable, she’s showing good sense.


Amy Anderson

April 30th, 2010
2:34 pm

Karen Handel just got MY vote! Thank you, Karen!


April 30th, 2010
2:35 pm

The fact is that few people probably know who this guy is or what he stands for as a PERSON and not just a candidate. He is a creep and a child molestor. He ought to be in jail, not running for Gov. There is no question that his status as a candidate is only in play because he is hiding from the truth. When people find out more about him, he will be shunned.


April 30th, 2010
2:36 pm

The “liberal elements of the media” is the last group Mr. McBerry is actually concerned about. He don’t have to worry about any “liberals” voting for him in the republican primary. If this nut makes the republican “cut” for governor, then it shows just how liberal the republicans can be.

In my opinions, the republicans should have disqualified this man a long time ago. He’s not fit to represent any party.


April 30th, 2010
2:40 pm

Karen is not much better….just a different kind of sleeze. And McLagen, what a blowhard. This guy is as sleezy as they come.


April 30th, 2010
2:41 pm

Karen has no reason to fear being around Ray. She’s about….oh……30 years too old for his tastes?

GOP Voter

April 30th, 2010
2:42 pm

This is what is wrong with so many conservatives – they preach one thing and do another. If you want an indication of what someone will do in office – look at their backgrounds. Remember – the Boy Scouts say “Character Counts.” There are some Dems that I would vote for over many of the GOPers!


April 30th, 2010
2:44 pm

roy barnes in a landslide.


April 30th, 2010
2:46 pm

Will Jones @ 2:20. You owe Mrs. Handel an apology. I feel pretty comfortable saying that you probably do not have one redeeming quality yourself. It’s easy for you to be a loose lipped jerk behind a computer screen isn’t it?
Since you didn’t fault Ray McBerry’s behavior….. one can only wonder if you participate in abusing young girls as well.

goox-and take handel with you...

April 30th, 2010
2:48 pm

Ironically, I’ve always been more uncomfortable around Dan McLagan. He gives me a vibe even creepier than McBerry. Pot? Kettle?

Barnes Wins

April 30th, 2010
2:49 pm

Barnes has millions from big money contingency fees while a lawyer–he’ll be able to outspend anyone and should win easily.

Whacks Eloquent

April 30th, 2010
2:49 pm

Will – what’s up with you picking on Handel because she does not have kids, whether she is able to or not? It is not a requirement to have children to run for office, and I daresay I don’t want to live in a country where such an asinine rule as that would be considered! Many decent people I have known have been unable to have children, and they could lead this country better than the clowns we have in office now! And be careful what you are taking when you’re watching “V”! You sound like a conspiracy loon…

As for Handel, I am not thrilled with her, but she is the best of the bunch!


April 30th, 2010
2:50 pm

This reminds me of the 1978 Democratic primary for governor, when George Busbee, running for re-election, was faced with 5 opponents. One of them, I believe his name was “Mac McNiece”, was reportedly concerned that the media would report the tender age of his lady. He never actually got much scrutiny.

Busbee was widely popular, and cruised to re-election (his Republican opponent, Rodney Cook, managed about 1 vote in 5). The most “serious” Democratic challenger was Sen. Roscoe Dean, famous for reading a speech written for him; when he got to the instruction: “[now tell a joke]“, rather than reaching into his grab bag of political jokes, he just read “now tell a joke!” It got a big laugh, and he beamed, figuring he must have said something clever. Another candidate was avowed racist J.B. Stoner (he and his followers gave up on the Democratic party after that). Anyone recall the other two?

T Knight

April 30th, 2010
2:51 pm

Handel is my candidate, she has my vote. I hope all republicans will refrain from engaging in gutter politics. In the end, we need republicans elected. Don’t lose sight of what’s really important here.


April 30th, 2010
2:52 pm

Both McBerry and Handel are RINO’s. One is a moderate tied to the mess that is Fulton County and the other is a Neo-Confderate. On the other hand they are both better than Boyd who would not even pretend to be a Republican.


April 30th, 2010
2:56 pm

Karen Handel makes me uncomfortable.

Whacks Eloquent

April 30th, 2010
3:00 pm

Boyd said he would not take oath because he thought the Repubs had lost their way. I tend to agree with him, and am giving him a hard look…


April 30th, 2010
3:10 pm

Karen has reason to be concerned if McBerry is seeking out women who haven’t yet graduated from high school.


April 30th, 2010
3:15 pm

Never seen so many people afraid one man’s ideas are popular. And Handel and the other hags posting on here are jealous no one finds them attractive.

Been Around-Done That

April 30th, 2010
3:19 pm

Both “Ray Berry” and “Karen Handel” make me uncomfortable. When I think of that kind of leadership in the Governor’s officeI know it is a bad “Deal” for Georgia and I am a Republican. The only thing worse would be to elect King Roy or Oxendine! Guess I’ll jump the political traces this election cycle and become an independent!

Whacks Eloquent

April 30th, 2010
3:25 pm


I think the only ideas of McBerry’s that people are (rightly) afraid of is those of teenage girls! I know he is denying it, but face it – if he is the candidate it would be a sure win for Roy Barnes. McBerry has some good political ideas, and would best be served on someone’s staff as an advisor. He’s just not the guy of integrity that most of us want to put our vote behind.

Been Around,

Have you taken a look at Ray Boyd yet? He may be just the guy we need…


April 30th, 2010
3:28 pm

McBerry is lucky he is not in prison somewhere. I agree with Karen Handel 100%. He’s pond scum.

Mike Smith

April 30th, 2010
3:33 pm

Nice, so the people of LaGrange like child pervs. I think there is a strange “David Koersh” thing going on, where some folks think it’s cool to have sex with little girls.

Mike Smith

April 30th, 2010
3:38 pm

If McBerry becomes Governor, he might not be allowed to speak at any High School graduations because of restraining orders.


April 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

Karen Handel just feels uncomfortable because she can’t raise money and is going to loose to a man ( not McBerry though). My money is on Eric Johnson!


April 30th, 2010
3:54 pm

Yes, Mr. Watson, let’s encourage Republican groups to violate the rules of the Republican Party. See how that works out for ya.

Older And Wiser

April 30th, 2010
3:56 pm

Karen Handel is the only candidate with the guts to say what everyone else is thinking — even if it offends the McBerry groupies. The man’s conduct with regard to that young girl reflects, at a minimum, very poor judgment. We’ve got enough problems with skirt chasing at the Capitol right now — but at least those guys have the decency to chase women and leave the children alone.


April 30th, 2010
4:00 pm

I can not cast my vote for someone to run this state that does not have a college degree, so Karen is out. Ox is not a great choice because he is an attorney. Deal is a Rino. I think I will have to vote for Johnson in the primary. All of them, even McBerry, is better than anything the Dems are running.

Tired of BS

April 30th, 2010
4:26 pm

td, I find your bourgeois attitude toward Mrs. Handel rather insulting. Please explain how you think Mr. McBerry’s college degree excuses his stalking and forcing himself on a 16 yr old girl. I am truly trying to understand how his degree added with raping a teenager makes him a better candidate.


April 30th, 2010
4:40 pm

The name says it all


April 30th, 2010
4:45 pm

Well, maybe if McBerry gets elected they’ll drop the age of consent back to 14.

Georgia Conservative

April 30th, 2010
4:54 pm

Am I the only one bothered by Ray Boyd’s solution to the revenue crunch? In a letter on his website he suggests short-term borrowing. He may have some good ideas, but I don’t think this is one of them.


April 30th, 2010
5:06 pm

Older and wiser — you are wiser. McBerry is not a criminal. The girl was not a little girl. For a while at least she was a willing participant. – but still a minor. He showed horribly bad judgment. That is for the voters to judge though – as they judged Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, and Earl Long. I believe the ballot access laws are diff for state/local primaries than they are for presidential primaries. How else could the GOP explain how they keep McBerry ON the ballot but refused to let Glynn County Commissioner Cap Fendig ON the ballot for president. I was at a forum recently where McBerry appeared – in fact he was the ONLY gubernatorial candidate there. I was amazed that he had all the usual supporters and neither he nor they said a word about these revelations.


April 30th, 2010
5:17 pm

Karen Handel is a RINO anyway?? McBerry has my vote we need a strong conservative who will step up for our freedoms and liberties… Say what you want but we have to pick the best candidate


April 30th, 2010
5:20 pm

In my opinion Karen Handel is creepy and she makes me uncomfortable.

Former Educator « Chamblee54

April 30th, 2010
5:20 pm

[...] (HT to swgapolitics for printing the letter) At the fishwrapper today, political writer Jim Galloway reports that opposing candidate Karen Handel is “very uncomfortable” with Mr. McBerry [...]


April 30th, 2010
5:21 pm

Karen Handel should be locked up


April 30th, 2010
5:22 pm

Amy Anderson

April 30th, 2010
5:26 pm

Just kidding McBerry has my vote!

[...] going on record as not being a McBerry fan.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway reports that Mrs. Handel’s spokesman said: “Karen is very uncomfortable appearing onstage with Mr. [...]

[...] that she would no longer accept debate invitation for panels which include Ray McBerry. Handel, who made her feelings toward McBerry publicly known earlier, said the GOP was a party of ethics and she did not feel it was appropriate to condone McBerry past [...]

[...] Karen Handel’s (R) announcement that Ray McBerry (R) makes her very comfortable , Handel declared that she will no longer appear on stage at any event alongside McBerry. She made [...]