Breaking: Georgia’s next attorney general is Chris Carr

Gov. Nathan Deal at a press conference. AJC file/Kent D. Johnson

Gov. Nathan Deal and Chris Carr at a press conference. AJC file/Kent D. Johnson

Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday tapped one of his top deputies, Chris Carr, to become the state’s next Attorney General. And the list of powerful figures who lined up behind Carr was meant to send a blunt message to ward off any potential challengers in 2018.

Carr, the state’s economic development commissioner, will take office on Nov. 1 as head of the state’s Law Department, administering a staff of more than 300 tasked with enforcing state laws and investigating public corruption. He is Deal’s highest-profile appointment since he took office.

Carr, 44, becomes only the sixth person to hold the state’s top law position since 1945. Attorney General Sam Olens, who was elected in 2010 and won another four-year term in 2014, announced his resignation Wednesday after the Board of Regents named him Kennesaw State University’s president.

His appointment had long been at the center of swirling rumors at the statehouse, and Deal moved lightning-quick Wednesday to tap a longtime ally to the coveted position. The governor said in an exclusive interview that Carr’s administrative skills and his “servant’s heart” helped him make the decision.

“He has a lot of common sense and that’s what any public servant needs,” Deal said. “He’s intellectually brilliant. He understands the consequences and he understands the different perspectives.”

Read more about Carr, why the governor picked him, the surprising endorsements he landed and who is lining up against him here.

And more: Olens opening is Deal’s latest chance to reshape Georgia’s government

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