U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) this morning switched his support in the race for governor from his House colleague Nathan Deal to former secretary of state Karen Handel.
The announcement should come as no surprise. Price and Handel share a north Fulton County political base, and Deal is toting a great deal of baggage. Even so, Deal’s response was sharp:
“As a native Georgian, I was brought up to believe that a person’s word is his bond, which is why I’m grateful to the conservative Georgians who’ve remained loyal to our cause. It’s their support that has made me the only Republican with a 7-point lead over Roy Barnes.”
In other words, Price ain’t from around here. The three-term congressman is originally from Michigan, and so can’t be trusted anyway.
You have to admit that “as a native Georgian” and “loyal to our cause” make for an interesting pairing of phraseology, with plenty of history behind it.
Deal also served Handel notice of at least one topic that’s likely to come up in the summer heat of a primary battle:
Maybe now, Tom can try to help Karen understand why her support of gay adoption offends the conservative values of Georgians throughout the state, let alone those who vote in the Republican primary.”
The Beacon was able to catch up with the congressman from Roswell:
Price said he contacted Deal about a month ago and told his former colleague he was withdrawing his support. Price didn’t elaborate on the details of that discussion.
“This is just part of what happens in a long election cycle,” the former Roswell surgeon affirmed. “There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, and no one can predict a year or so out in politics what will happen.”
Price’s alliance with Handel has meaning. One number cruncher sends word that the Sixth District often casts more votes in a statewide GOP primary than any other congressional district in the state. In the 2008 Republican presidential primary, the Sixth District cast 116,829 total votes, surpassing Lynn Westmoreland’s Third District (109,244), Nathan Deal’s Ninth District (106,398) and John Linder’s Seventh District (105,741).
However, winning the Sixth doesn’t guarantee victory, however. Mitt Romney won a plurality that district in 2008 – 39 percent compared to Huckabee’s 26 percent. But Huckabee’s strength in rural Georgia carried the day.
As we recall, Romney has some pretty strong Michigan connections, too.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.