Which GOP candidate will face Barnes? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Which GOP candidate will face Barnes?

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

Alpharetta, GA (WALB) –   Republican candidates for governor will be in a runoff between former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former Congressman Nathan Deal. Both spent the day organizing and lobbying for endorsements.

Karen Handel was back at her campaign headquarters Wednesday morning answering hundreds of e-mails. Handel got the most votes in the seven-candidate Republican field, impressively carrying the most Republican votes in metro Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, and Augusta.

She says she is outsider that voters want. "We need a next generation leader, a real reformer, for the state of Georgia. Not a career politician," Handel said.

Nathan Deal was second in the primary voting, and says his conservative values will draw the endorsement of most of the other Republican candidates who lost Tuesday.

"I am the conservative that will be in the runoff, and we expect to be able to get their support and welcome that support," Deal said.

Both Deal and Handel will try to convince the primary voters August Tenth that they can defeat former Governor Roy Barnes in November.

"I will be the candidate in the runoff that will be the conservative candidate, and it is a conservative Republican who will win in November. And that will be Nathan Deal," Deal said.

"I think that our state, we are going to be looking forward. Georgia doesn't want to go back to the "King Roy" days," Handel said.

Voter turnout will be a key factor August Tenth-- which Republican candidate can get their supporters to cast their ballot could decide the Republican nominee. 

Today, Karen Handel picked up the endorsement of Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Handel's endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin last week was a big boost for her campaign. She is now working to get Palin and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to come to Georgia for campaign stops.

Former U. S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is backing Nathan Deal.

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