Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns

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]

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]

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]

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [More]

5 Things to Watch in the U.S. Senate Race

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Runoff day is finally here, kids. First, check out our premium story on why the Republicans never want this nine-week slog again. This evening, monitor the election returns at ajc.com and follow us on Twitter.

For an in-depth look at the candidates, read our profiles of Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue. And throughout the day, keep tabs on these five things we’ll be watching as Republicans decide which one of the candidates will be their U.S. Senate nominee.

1. Overall turnout: Will the rain and the negativity of the race depress turnout that was [More]

U.S. Chamber goes last-minute negative on ‘baby’ David Perdue

  • 6:38 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

David Perdue’s tussle with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we surmised, was timed so the Chamber did not have enough time to drop a negative ad.

Well, on Election Eve, here comes the Chamber with an ad blasting Perdue and pumping Jack Kingston as voters go to the polls. It even stole his baby theme. Here’s the script:

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce stands up for American enterprise. We fight for jobs. So why is David Perdue attacking us?

“Well, he sought our endorsement several times but didn’t get it. Now, losing and desperate, David is crying like a little baby. [More]

Jack Kingston accuses David Perdue of consorting with terrorists. Or the French.

  • 3:27 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Jack Kingston may be telling us that tomorrow’s GOP runoff against David Perdue, for the U.S. Senate seat of Saxby Chambliss, may be closer than we think.

Below is the partial flipside from a comparison mailer sent out by Kingston, accusing his Republican rival, David Perdue, of hobnobbing with terrorists. Or the French. One or the other:

The accusatory line is: “Investor in a French bank that did business with terrorists.” Take your pick as to which half of that sentence should scare you.

We told you about the situation earlier this month. The French bank BNP Paribas pleaded guilty [More]

Jack Kingston’s Marietta show of force; David Perdue tries to rally religious conservatives

  • 10:13 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Insider note: We will be updating this post throughout the weekend with color from the campaign trail as David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston make their final pitches to voters for Tuesday’s Republican Senate runoff. And for more information on the candidates, click to read our profiles of Perdue, the feisty outsider, and Kingston, the unapologetic Washington veteran.

The show of force for Team Kingston at Marietta Square on Sunday afternoon left the stage practically groaning by the end.

Kingston first called up his wife, mother and four children. Then he brought back Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey [More]