With Karen Handel’s big news, the story line of the GOP runoff for governor finally becomes clear.
Only on the Aug. 10 ballot will the contest pit the former secretary of state against former congressman Nathan Deal.
Everywhere else, it will be Sarah Palin vs. the Georgia General Assembly.
Handel’s campaign said the details are still being worked out but that Palin would hold an event from noon to 1 p.m. somewhere in the “north metro area, most likely,” spokesman Dan McLagan said.
Palin’s endorsement on July 12 helped elevate Handel to the top spot in the July 20 runoff. Now, she and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal will face off on Aug. 10 for the GOP nomination.
“I’m coming to Georgia to campaign with my friend Karen because it is absolutely critical that Georgians nominate an ethical leader and a true conservative to take the fight to Roy Barnes in November,” Palin said in a statement released by Handel’s campaign.
“Karen Handel is a strong, pro-life leader who isn’t afraid to take on the status quo and do the right thing. She will be the 21st century governor Georgia needs to tenaciously address the state’s challenges.”
On Thursday, the Deal campaign showed that it had the endorsement of the vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus.
A similar display of support from House Republicans has been put off until next week – but it’s there. Look for House Speaker David Ralston to be at the top. He took office just seven months ago — as a reformer.
Said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson:
“The people who know Karen Handel – the overwhelming, eye-popping, vast majority of Republican state legislators – have endorsed Nathan Deal.
“The people who know Nathan Deal – like Speaker Newt Gingrich and Speaker David Ralston and Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams – have endorsed Nathan Deal.
“The people who don’t know Karen Handel have endorsed Karen Handel. We have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They live far away. Maybe they just didn’t know the truth about her liberal record and her efforts to cover it up.”