Saturday’s double overtime clash between the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech also produced a snapshot of the awkward side of the 2014 race for governor confronting Georgia Democrats.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed tweeted a picture of himself on the sidelines with Detroit Lions wide receiver, and Tech alum, Calvin Johnson. Also making the photo was none other than Republican Governor Nathan Deal, whose partnership with the Democratic mayor has garnered national acclamation.
That relationship, and willingness to publicize it, certainly finds itself tested by Democratic state Senator Jason Carter’s bid for governor, a fact underscored by his Sunday campaign stop in Athens.
Just a day after Reed’s photo, Jimmy Carter’s grandson took to Hendershot’s coffee shop to blast Deal’s policies on virtually all fronts.
“What we’ve lost track of with this administration is the effective part,” Carter said of state government, per The Athens Banner-Herald. “It’s small, but it’s not getting it right.”
Further barbs were thrown by way of education, expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls, and Deal’s touting Site Selection Magazine naming Georgia the best state in which to do business.
“We’ve got a magazine article, literally a magazine article, that says Georgia is the No. 1 place to do business, and they’re declaring victory,” he said of the recent report, which was trumpeted as boon to Deal’s re-elect efforts.
Yet that rhetoric finds itself met with contrast when paired with fellow Democrat Kasim Reed’s remarks on the same governor.
Just this summer, the mayor urged his party to focus on the race for the state’s open Senate seat instead of unseating Deal, who further praised the Republican’s first-term in office.
“My opinion is Governor Deal has done a good job as governor,” he said at the time.
Carter’s announcement that he would run for governor didn’t get a full-throated endorsement from Reed, either, who dubbed him a “very special candidate” and passed along well-wishes while stopping short of pledging to roll up the sleeves to campaign against Deal in 2014.
In a span of 24 hours, that awkwardness reared its head, as it’s likely to do many more times in the next year.