Your morning jolt: Was there a runoff agreement between Nathan Deal and Eric Johnson?

Over the weekend, a robo-call from Eric Johnson, who finished third in the July 20 Republican primary, hit the homes of GOP voters, urging unity after Tuesday’s vote in the Republican runoff for governor.

One of the recipients was Chip Lake, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a fervent supporter of Nathan Deal. Westmoreland was among those who jumped in when Deal’s campaign hit the doldrums this spring.

After receiving the robo-call from Johnson, Lake posted the following on his Facebook page:

ejohnson

Former state senator Eric Johnson of Savannah

[Lake] is disappointed in a man that I used to have [a lot] of respect for. Instead of holding up his end of a deal Eric Johnson instead decides that he needs to record a robo call calling for “unity”. I mean really, Eric?? I, and many others that received such a call could have done without the sanctimonious lecture.

So was there an agreement between Deal and Johnson, that one would support the other in a runoff? Brian Robinson, spokesman for the Deal campaign, referred that question to Johnson.

ndeal

Republican runoff candidate Nathan Deal

Lake confirmed the authenticity of the Facebook post. He, too, suggested that reporters ask Johnson about conversations the former state senator from Savannah had with Deal one week before the primary, and the night of the July 20 vote.

We’re trying to reach Johnson.

***

The weekend poll for the Georgia Newspaper Partnership gave Karen Handel a slight lead over Nathan Deal in Tuesday’s Republican runoff for governor.

But the survey also showed two fissures in the GOP electorate – one gender-oriented, the other geographic.

khandel

Republican runoff candidate Karen Handel

Handel has a distinct lead over Deal among Republican women in Georgia. But Deal has a significant lead in the part of Georgia that lies outside metro Atlanta.

Sarah Palin comes to Buckhead this afternoon to rally for Handel. Look for an audience that’s heavily female – and suburban.

Over the weekend, two GOP turnout specialists from south Georgia — Pat Tippett and Kay Godwin – announced they would be pushing Deal’s cause in their territory, which went to Eric Johnson and John Oxendine in the July 20 primary.

According to the GNP, Deal was getting 48 percent of support from voters who backed a losing candidate in the primary.

Tippett and Godwin have been credited with pushing much of south Georgia into Sonny Perdue’s column in his 2002 upset of Gov. Roy Barnes.

***

During last night’s Atlanta Press Club/GPB debates, Karen Handel promised to support the winner of Tuesday’s vote in the Republican runoff for governor. Nathan Deal did not:

“I don’t think I have run a campaign in which I have been divisive. I don’t think I have been the one who has caused his party to have the divisions. I don’t think I am the candidate who has attacked our fellow candidates in this primary election process. It is going to take some time for us to heal the wounds that have been inflicted here.”

You might wonder why Deal won’t up and commit.

But it may suit his purpose – as the fellow trying to make up ground in the final 36 hours – to keep the prospect of a split Republican party in front of GOP voters who have yet to make up their minds.

It’s a tightrope tactic. Deal could benefit — as long as he’s not perceived as the author of the split.

***

On the same topic, the Fulton County Republican Party, has scheduled a “unity” breakfast for 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

***

Over the weekend, the Insider noted that longtime conservative Christian activist Sadie Fields was siding with state Sen. John Douglas of Social Circle – rather than fellow Christian activist Tim Echols — in the Republican runoff for state Public Service Commission.

Echols, who last year was campaign manager for John Oxendine’s gubernatorial campaign, has been conducting a consumer-oriented campaign for the statewide seat.

Echols sent a note reminding the Insider that he has received endorsements from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Dan Becker of Georgia Right to Life, and Randy Hicks, president of the Georgia Family Council — among others.

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66 comments Add your comment

Voter

August 9th, 2010
9:55 am

THere is no one I respect more that Eric Johnson right now. Because as a Republican ther is nothing we need more that unity.

Roy Barnes

August 9th, 2010
9:57 am

I can out promise both of these clowns and the Georgia voters are so stupid they will buy my line of bs.

Cindy

August 9th, 2010
10:01 am

This would be no surprise. Why would anyone support Karen Handel who has accused every opponent of being corrupt? Handel has been nasty, nasty, nasty. All we know is she hates the “good ole boys” and tells them to “put on their big boy pants”. The woman lacks people skills …and yes…that is very important. I support Nathan Deal and hope that all of Johnson’s voters will do the same.

kathryne lee

August 9th, 2010
10:11 am

None of these “professional” politicians who spend more time trying to get re-elected should be endorsing anyone. Ignore the party in November and vote out all incumbents. The new congress will be too new to screw us out of more money. I swear if I get one more phone call, I will file a complaint with someone to get these morons to stop.

TomGA

August 9th, 2010
10:11 am

Handel’s “put on your big boy pants”, was the best remark in the whole campaign! I had dinner with several friends last night and someone brought that up and we all loved it!

kathryne lee

August 9th, 2010
10:14 am

one more thing, it is time for a woman to control the legislature in GA. Someone needs to rein them in to do the people’s business instead of schmoozing, taking pictures, making up stupid laws, etc. They need to stick to doing the budget.

No Deal

August 9th, 2010
10:14 am

Did nathan Deal get an endorsement from his best buddie Mark Foley?

gasgop

August 9th, 2010
10:16 am

Yea Cindy, Nathan can’t handle the heat from Karen, how do you think he will handle the heat when Roy starts to pour it on? We need someone that will say “no” to special interest and Nathan can not do that. He has spent 18 years saying yes in congress where he has never had to balance a budget. In our great state he is required to say no and required to have a balanced budget. Do not be blind, we need someone who is tuff.

Athens Voter

August 9th, 2010
10:24 am

Handel win = “Republicans for Barnes”

Buckhead Boys

August 9th, 2010
10:26 am

Its disgusting to see Deal undress the male volunteers of his campaign with his eyes. Deal is obviously in love with all young men under 25. He is a dirty old man! So creepy!

Jesup

August 9th, 2010
10:35 am

Handel is a joke….i will vote barnes over her… if she wins.

Aquagirl

August 9th, 2010
10:36 am

Yeah, screw party unity when you’re trying to win, Deal. ‘Cause it’s all about YOU. And Karen Handel is supposed to be the “nasty” one in this campaign?

outside atlanta.

August 9th, 2010
10:39 am

Christian consevative will vote barnes over the log cabin lobbying……baby killer.

dr. Ron

August 9th, 2010
10:41 am

A Vote for Handel tommorow….is a VOTE FOR BARNES, lokk at the head to head, dont chance it VOTE DEAL…

Dose of Reality

August 9th, 2010
10:42 am

The main people who support Karen are the big time businessmen in Atlanta who she has done favors for while on the county commission.

Deal is a goofy bumpkin

August 9th, 2010
10:43 am

Deal will have one more thing in common with crooked Oxendine, thats being a looser tomorrow! Deal, what goes around comes around! Karma is a bad thing, for you!

UGA

August 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Deal has the mo right now. and the mo = turnout…..DEAL wins.

Gays4handel

August 9th, 2010
10:46 am

she will show her Gay love 4 us. vote repub tues. for handel.

Dose of Reality

August 9th, 2010
10:47 am

There already is unity within the Republican party. Everybody supports Nathan Deal.

Karen may disagree, but if she had the support that Deal had she wouldn’t be squealing about division in the party.

Will

August 9th, 2010
10:47 am

Handel wins by 3-4 pts.

Cindy

August 9th, 2010
10:47 am

I don’t support the drill sargeant routine of Karen Handel. If being “tough” means attacking everyone who does not agree with you, I say that the woman needs to work on her self-esteem. I support Nathan Deal based on his voting record and the legislation he has put forth that aligns with my values. I know many successful women who do not respect Karen Handel’s style of “leadership” and using the gender card to play the “you don’t like me because I am a woman” theme. Good grief. And yes, she was laughable last night during the debate when she claimed she was best for education and the Hope scholarship because she lacked a college degree. Say what? All she promoted is that you can be uneducated and still seek to be the governor of a state! She has had 30 years to obtain a bachelors degree and apparently did not value that as a credential for success.

Noo Corrupt Deal. Nooooo King Roy

August 9th, 2010
10:50 am

THE NAME SAYS IT ALL

GOP..

August 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Aquagirl…..handel is making nice cause she is gonna need a Job…..and she has no EDUCATION …..she is gonna need somebody elses coatail to ride now Sonny boy is gone..

ANGRY AS HELL

August 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Hey, Kathryn Lee…I have a news flash for you: Governor’s don’t “…control the legislature in Georgia.” They have to work with the legislature. You see, that’s the point of our system of government. Three distinct, independent branches: Executive (Governor), Legislative and Judicial. Remember?

And, gasgop, what makes you think Karen Handel will say “no” to special interests? Her mentor is $onny Perdue who has spent the last 8 years catering to a variety of special interests, and coming up with such visionary programs like “Go Fish.” That’s the legacy she’ll continue, if she doesn’t resign early in her term like her buddy Sarah Palin, a perfect example of someone with a college degree who can’t utter a coherent sentence.

Boy, oh boy, are we ever in trouble in this state and country….

If Karen Handel has to run against and debate Roy Barnes, she’ll get a lesson on what it means to get her butt whipped. For Barnes, debating Karen Handel will be like dueling with an unarmed opponent.

Monica

August 9th, 2010
10:53 am

I don’t get it, don’t they always make deals that one is gonna support the other in case one of them loses? How is this news? I must be missing something major here. Dose of Reality, here’s a dose of my reality for ya: I’m a freelance photographer, not a business owner, who respects Karen for what she’s done with her life, for always being ethical, and for brilliant business career. She has a record of taking companies from nothing to everything, we have a 10% unemployment rate, we need a great businesswoman to be running this state, not a career politician who violated ethics while in congress, found guilty on six accounts, and now has a grand jury investigation over his head and is likely to end up behind bars. This election is a no brainer, people are simply uninformed, and the information is out there. Sadly, those who vote for Deal don’t even have computers, much less access to the internet, so they simply don’t know about his ethics, or lack thereof.

Deal went to Mercer

August 9th, 2010
10:53 am

Deal went to Mercer and from my viewpoint, Its not Harvard folks! You can brush Deal up, but he is still an old mule in a horse harness!

Real Qualifications

August 9th, 2010
10:54 am

If you thought our country had it rough during Obama’s on the job training, just wait to see what happens to our state while Karen blindly stumbles around during her term in office.

She has zero qualifications. Her answer to every question in the debates is that she will put together a focus group to come up with an answer. Sounds just like Obama, vague statements that contain no hint of an answer from another politician who was not ready for the job.

Deal has the answers Georgia needs right now and will be ready to lead our state effectively from day one.

SamF

August 9th, 2010
10:56 am

Wed morning will be the Unity Breakfast, and yes, we should all come together then, this time in our nation and our state is just too important. I have made a personal decision to write in Oxendine. I know you guys will have something to say about it, but that is just me personally, and I feel real strong about it.

Dose of Reality

August 9th, 2010
10:59 am

Monica, please describe the brilliance of Karen Handel’s career.

Karen Handel was an event coordinator for the head lobbyist for KPMG. She ordered cold cuts and beverages so the lawmakers and lobbyists would not be hungry or thirsty while they got down to business. And she calls this executive experience. George O’Leary got fired for less.

KH jumped straight from KPMG into Sonny Perdue’s office. You know, Governor Sonny Perdue who loves capital gains tax and hates zero based budgeting. She has been a full time politician since she got off the plane in Georgia.

Mike

August 9th, 2010
11:01 am

“A Vote for Handel tommorow….is a VOTE FOR BARNES, lokk at the head to head, dont chance it VOTE DEAL…” If Deal wins, I will vote for John Monds in general election. I will never vote for a criminal – Deal, and I will never vote for a liberal. But I would rather have a liberal running the state than a man who spent 18 years in US Congress fattening up his pockets through illegal state contracts and changing parties according to who’s in charge. Deal is not a Republican, he’s whatever he needs to be to stay in power. When Dems were running the show in Washington he was a die-hard liberal. When they lost majority of seats, he was a die-hard conservative. Now, when Republicans lost power, he resigned from Congress, also to avoid consequences for violating ethics. Deal is a crook, end of story. His political career is over on Tuesday, and I agree, he will likely end up behind bars. God is just…

Real Conservative

August 9th, 2010
11:03 am

Nathan Deal received an A+ rating from the American Conservative Union. And this includes his votes as a Democrat prior to 1995.

Monica

August 9th, 2010
11:11 am

Handel worked for several major companies, Hallmark, CIBA vision, KPMG, etc, do your research, all the info is out there. She was a runaway teenager, paid her way through as much school as she could afford, got an entry-level job at Hallmark and today she’s a multi-millionaire as a result of her work in corporate America – you might not think that’s brilliant, I do. She accomplished so much without any family contacts, without money, without knowing anyone. She’s an inspiring story. Since she’s been in Georgia, she has been in politics, that’s true. I’m not sure how is this an argument against her, seeing that she’s running for a political office and her opponent, that you obviously supporting, has been in politics for the last couple of decades, and has done absolutely nothing other than involve himself in illegal business dealings for his own personal profit.

NOT_Monica

August 9th, 2010
11:12 am

The comments from Monica just depict how uniformed the Handel groupies are and how they have bought the slander form the Handel campaign without doing their own research. No Monica, Nathan Deal has NOT been found guilty of anything. Accusations do not equal guilt and jail terms….remember what your good buddy Sarah Palin said about all the ethics “charges” against her. Karen has been a glorified secretary (AKA “administrative assistant) who has ambition. Stop falsifiy the record of this college drop out. Yes Monica, other conservative women do use computers to check facts…we also to not make accusations of “guilt” that are untrue. Your antics only promote more slander and make you fit for the Handel defensive feminists.

Mike

August 9th, 2010
11:16 am

“Nathan Deal received an A+ rating from the American Conservative Union. And this includes his votes as a Democrat prior to 1995.” He is whatever he needs to be to stay in power. If being a hard core conservative means he stays in office, that’s what he’s been. He was once a die-hard liberal, I remember it well, that’s why people voted for him. I will never understand how a politician change party affiliations and claim that he’s honest. How does that work? One year you believe the government should be running your life, and next year you believe that government needs to get out of your life? It’s a bunch of baloney, Deal is a liar and an opportunist.

The Thin Guy

August 9th, 2010
11:17 am

What’s the big deal about Deal going to Mercer? Mercer was founded as a school for students who were too poor to go to Emory, too dumb to go to Tech, and too proud to go to Georgia. I had some worries about the man’s ethics until I found out he was a deacon in the Baptist Church. I can’t vote in Tuesday’s runoff because I voted in the Democrat primary against Hank Johnson who took my health care away and against King Roy because I hate kings.

TW

August 9th, 2010
11:19 am

The selfish Nathan Deal has already said he’ll go as an independent if he loses tomorrow. No surprise, being he readily changes party every ten years.

Incompetent Handel

August 9th, 2010
11:22 am

And then there’s this WMAZ news segment from last Fall that says it all about Handel’s “executive experience”:

http://www.bibbmonroebattle.com/vidWMAZ101409.html

It amazes me that anyone takes this woman seriously, that she is even in the conversation about actually being the next Governor of the state of Georgia. Amazing.

HE'S THE WINNER

August 9th, 2010
11:26 am

leo

August 9th, 2010
11:26 am

Deal is a phony, a crook, and a hypocrite. Therefore, we’ll elect him Governor.

bart

August 9th, 2010
11:29 am

All thes jokers talking about Handel being incompetent…I ask you, what have all the so-called “educated” men done for us? Georgia is in the worst mess in our history. It’s time we gave a woman a chance.

Charlie

August 9th, 2010
11:33 am

“Incompetent Handel”, I feel the same way about Deal, it’s amazes me that he’s even on a ticket running for Governor since his grand jury investigation is about to take off, and he might end up in jail. We are literally trying to elect a proven criminal to the Governor’s mansion.

Monica

August 9th, 2010
11:39 am

Well, I posted a bunch of links to where the office of congressional ethics, the same one that inflicted Rangel, found Deal GUILTY of violating ethics, but the post seems to have been deleted, perhaps because of the links. You can google “deal found guilty office of congressional ethics” and educate yourself about him very much being GUILTY. And sorry, but if you’re not guilty, you’re not gonna quit office a day before the guilty verdict is made public to avoid persecution, you’re gonna stay to clear your name. Deal is crook, that’s a proven fact..

Incompetent Handel

August 9th, 2010
11:46 am

Say what you want about Nathan Deal, I can only speak to Deal’s proven and documented incompetence in her one elected position that she resigned halfway through. Can anyone name one thing she did as SOS that qualifies her to be Governor of our state? She avoided every “executive decision” she was supposed to make. Honestly, without looking it up, can any Handel supporters tell us what she did in the office of SOS that was so great? Keeping a chair warm for the next person does not equal experience.

Incompetent Handel

August 9th, 2010
11:47 am

^^^^^Make that “Handel’s proven and documented incompetence”.

First Sergeant

August 9th, 2010
11:54 am

Real Qualifications

August 9th, 2010
10:54 am

“If you thought our country had it rough during Obama’s on the job training, just wait to see what happens to our state while Karen blindly stumbles around during her term in office.”

I resent you using President Obama’s name in the same breath as Karen Handel. The bottomline is your party had no one who could match-up against President Obama for the office. And for your information, President Obama has never been responsible “making things tough for Americans”! The previous president and his administration did that; President Obama and his administration inherited this tough situation, and, according to most Americans, is doing one helluva job at stabilizing this terrible situation the previous administration caused. And finally regarding President Obama, “HE’S NOT RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA”!! See, that’s part of republican problems. You can’t stay focused on your own local political situation, for trying to smear our Democratic President. As expected from many of this state, your true hate comes out. However, regarding your main point, I will agree, Karen Handel is not qualified to be a Governor of no state. She does not have the educational background.

I will leave you with this analogy: If it was a black person, with no college education, running for Governor, you good folks here in Georgia would deem that person not even qualified to be your Governor, and in fact, would destroy this person for the very fact. So, my question is, why is it that Karen Handel isn’t held to the same standards?

The Power of One

August 9th, 2010
12:00 pm

The back and forth is great.. the political machine is not. We need wisdom and simple leadership. Bachelor’s degrees are a foundation for later life that says you can navigate your way through a long term project to success. There is a limit to how much help you can get, because the professors want you to be able to do the work. Handel may have a question in her past about doing work without too much help.. but she gets help from focus groups. Deal has also had help, but he also has done the work as well. While serving in the military, Deal gained the value of working as a member of a team. He had to understand how to maximize efforts and produce results and achieve objectives. Deal gets the nod on leadership and education. Education is over 1/2 of the state budget. Global competition and the technology race requires folks to believe in education and strive to attain it. We often see stories of how people have struggled to attain their degree.. even illegal immigrants are doing it. How are we to fight illegal immigration from the Governor’s office with a Governor who took the 5th of education? Think of teaching this in school. The argument of illegal immigrants is that they do the work that Americans don’t want to do… if Handel is elected.. that would include the career model of getting a college degree. There is so much more to talk about.. Handel may be a nice person, but so is Deal. I would support whomever wins to beat Roy Barnes, but I can tell you that Deal would be our best shot at good government in the Governor’s mansion for the times we are in today.

Marlboro Man

August 9th, 2010
12:02 pm

Unity in this case is doing what you are told instead of thinking on your own.

Gop_Youth

August 9th, 2010
12:05 pm

I am proud of Kay Godwin and Pat Tippett for standing up for whats right, despite the criticism they may recieve for doing so. Nathan Deal is our best bet. Nathan is conservative, christian, pro life, pro gun, pro small business, and anti-obamacare! He has the experience, leadership, kindness, and charisma that Karen Handel lacks. Deal Real Georgia! To those who think Nathan Deal will not win on Tuesday, I say BRING IT ON! haha

Red

August 9th, 2010
12:06 pm

The people who are on the Right saying they’d vote for Barnes over Handel are probably the same ones who voted for Obama over McCain. And we see where that got us. Not sure why anyone would intentionally vote for Barnes who has worse issues than Handel. It’s hypocritical to even suggest doing that.

Shawn

August 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

As the GOP Chairman of the largest county in Georgia, Fulton, I understand how devastating it would be if Roy Barnes once again ran this state. We also understand that a united party is the only way to ensure the GOP is well-positioned for a big win in November…..and Eric Johnson understands that too. I called Eric and asked him to make the robo-call and he agreed. The two of us spoke briefly about the importance of bringing our party together and defeating the Democrats in November. The only motive Eric had by making this call was a sincere effort to bring our team together as soon as possible so we can get through these battles and prepare for the war that is on the horizon. The GOP is grateful for Eric Johnson’s support.

Please go to http://www.fultongop.org to buy your tickets.

Semper Fi,

Shawn Hanley
Chairman, Fulton County GOP