Handel endorses Deal

Handel offers full-fledged support for a former rival locked in a close contest for re-election.

Karen Handel

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel endorsed Governor Nathan Deal for re-election Monday, fully throwing her support behind a once-bitter rival.

“I am trying to look at the big picture. There are a lot of things that take priority over past contests. I’m looking at what’s best and right for our state and Georgians,” she stated. “Gov. Deal has done a good job. And when we look at the next four years the question is do we want to have the steady hand of experience and maturity or do we want to pass it off to someone who is inexperienced?”

“It’s water under the bridge. I didn’t get to where I am today by being focused on the past.”

That a Republican would back a fellow GOPer seeking re-election is not surprising, per say, but it marks the strongest words of support she’s offered Deal since their brutal clash for governor in 2010. She supported him in the general election over Roy Barnes, but most would describe it as lukewarm at best.

Handel placed first in the primary that year, only to be narrowly felled by Deal in an August runoff. The AJC report of today’s endorsement recounts the war of words that dominated that contest, as well as some that persisted beyond.

May 1, 2014