Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture

  • 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the cute-as-a-button first lady of Georgia.

Technically, it wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing was an unmistakable [More]

Nathan Deal aide’s strange method of blowing off ethics-related steam

  • 6:00 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief spokesman, Brian Robinson, is known for his use of, er, colorful language when confronting critics of his boss. Now we also know he may need a few extra pillows in his first-floor Capitol office.

In an April 9 email to other Deal aides, Robinson sent a link to an Insider post detailing ethics chief Holly LaBerge’s critique of the governor’s ethics overhaul. Below the link were these words:

“She told the AJC that she doesn’t like the governor’s proposal because the commission would be too big and would outnumber the employees. I’m stuffing a pillow in my [More]

The Michelle Nunn diet: Grit, but no red meat

  • 6:08 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Early Wednesday morning, hours after Republicans had crowned David Perdue as their U.S. Senate nominee, Democrat Michelle Nunn was working the Silver Skillet breakfast crowd on 14th Street in Atlanta.

Journalists were there to feed, too. But Nunn had them on a strict diet. Grit, but no red meat.

She called for more collaboration in Washington. She refused to speak ill of her new GOP foe. “That kind of approach is what people are hungry for, and what I do not think you’re going to hear from David Perdue,” Nunn said.

Snap.

Okay, maybe not. And that’s what has some Democrats softly murmuring as [More]

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

Republicans come out swinging against Nunn, Carter at GOP unity event

  • 11:54 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The top candidates on Georgia’s Republican ticket pulled no punches at a Wednesday event meant to show the GOP was solidly behind Senate candidate David Perdue.

All that establishment angst over Perdue’s candidacy? Gone, said GOP chair John Padgett, who called the former Fortune 500 executive a “rock-solid conservative with a stellar record in business” who can defeat Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who steered clear of picking favorites in the primary or the runoff, made sure to point out how happy he is he’ll be sharing the top of the ticket with Perdue. Deal, of course, faces a stiff challenge [More]

Michelle Nunn mentions ‘contrast’ but avoids attack as general election begins

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrat Michelle Nunn kicked off the U.S. Senate general election Wednesday morning promising not to deviate from her message of “collaboration” and declining to take a direct shot at her newly crowned foe, Republican David Perdue.

Nunn met with voters and volunteers at the Silver Skillet in Midtown Atlanta, then told reporters there would be a “contrast” between her career and Perdue’s. Neither has run for office before, as Nunn touts her experience leading the nonprofit that became Points of Light and Perdue running on his business credentials including stints as CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. Said Nunn:

“We have a [More]

5 reasons David Perdue shocked Georgia’s political world to win GOP Senate nod

  • 12:22 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue’s stunning victory over Rep. Jack Kingston was both a rebuke to Georgia’s political establishment and a reminder that November will be a very unconventional race. Here are five factors that played into Perdue’s upset victory:

Metro Atlanta’s Perdue support offset south Georgia’s Kingston backing. While Kingston held onto his big margins in south Georgia, Perdue more than wiped him out with big showings in populous metro Atlanta and other urban areas across the state. Perdue’s camp was ecstatic that Kingston’s net margin over Perdue in Savannah’s Chatham County was 12,000 – close to what they expected. If Kingston landed [More]

Jack Kingston: ‘It is going to be a late night. … We will prevail.’

  • 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

As Rep. Jack Kingston took the stage to thank a couple hundred supporters in Midtown, a large screen projecting election results showed him with a lead of less than one percentage point over rival David Perdue.

“It is going to be a late night,” he said. “So for those of you who are interested, there is a Starbucks across the street.”

Kingston still projected confidence in the outcome.

“I am confident that at the end of the night, when that last vote is counted, that we will prevail,” Kingston said.

He got a little nostalgic — and threw a jab at Perdue — when [More]

As polls close, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue calls for ‘ground rules’ in GOP runoffs

  • 7:05 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Shortly before the polls closed, former Gov. Sonny Perdue arrived at his first-cousin’s election watching party with something to get off his mind.

“I’m a little concerned our primaries have become a little out of control over allegations and things. And I think it may be the best way to choose a candidate, but I think we’ve got to re-establish some ground rules about ethics and allegations there that are reasonable.”

He was speaking of the bruising nine-week runoff cycle - the longest and costliest in state history - that has left both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston bloodied [More]

When polls close: AJC election results for Tuesday’s runoffs

  • 5:22 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Surely, you’ve been following the AJC elections team on the ajc.com home page, Facebook or Twitter. And here, of course.

But once we hit the bewitching hour of 7 p.m. , these are your best links for tonight’s drama:

Top races at glance, including the all-important GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. Click here for mobile updates;

The Democratic and Republican runoffs for state school superintendent to replace incumbent John Barge;

Runoffs for three U.S. House seats, including three GOP contests that pit establishment candidates against tea partyers: Buddy Carter v. Bob Johnson in the [More]

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