Georgia Tipsheet offers breaking news and analysis on the Peach State’s political, business and media landscape. The Washington Post named it one of the top state blogs in the country in March 2013. More.

Georgian Evans involved in failed Newt-Santorum unity ticket talks

  • Share it.

Randy EvansRepublican primary rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly formed a unity ticket to upend frontrunner Mitt Romney in last year’s GOP contest, according to a new report Friday in Businessweek.

And it was a Georgian, Gingrich confidant and McKenna Long & Aldridge partner Randy Evans, who attempted to broker the deal on behalf of the former speaker.

But the clandestine negotiations dissolved when neither candidate would yield the top of the ticket, the two would-be running mates told the mag.

“In the end, it was just too hard to negotiate,” Gingrich, for whom Evans was helping to steer the talks, said.

Santorum’s top strategist, John Brabender, wanted Gingrich to withdraw during a nationally televised primary debate and immediately endorse the former Pennsylvania senator. Evans, though, was unmoved and insisted the more senior figure, Gingrich, should lead the proposed ticket.

Evans currently serves as Georgia’s national committeeman to the Republican National Committee, but hasn’t shown an aversion to representing clients across the aisle: he was retained late last year by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a Democrat, in a bitter legal dispute with a popular online gossip forum.

UPDATE: The failed attempt at forging an alliance with Santorum was only one of two unity efforts, Evans teased Friday on Twitter.

“Actually, there were two times that it looked like there might be a unity approach,” he said, “this was one.”

Evans declined to name the second Republican with whom Gingrich hoped to couple his campaign, but the former speaker did strike an alliance with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who offered his endorsement after withdrawing himself.

- James Richardson

Leave a Comment.