Insider/Advantage reports that the Republican campaign insiders who were supporting former Secretary of State Karen Handel for the GOP gubernatorial nomination are getting snubbed by the winner, former U.S. Congressman Nathan Deal.
“We are hearing that some key Karen Handel supporters haven’t been asked to take a seat at the table to help formulate a unified campaign against the formidable Democratic candidate, former Gov. Roy Barnes. They haven’t been asked to help raise money. They haven’t been asked for anything.
“’That’s not atypical for the GOP,’ says one longtime observer. ‘Wounds don’t heal easily. But normally, when the chips are down, everybody comes to the table. But by giving Roy Barnes a week’s extra time with some top Republican heavyweights not raising money and with various factions not talking to each other, that isn’t good.’”
The report also alleges that Deal is not interested in reaching out to the supporters and donors who helped him win the primary, including some high profile Georgia politicians and lawmakers.
“(…) the mutterings are out there and they aren’t just coming from ex-Handel supporters who contend they are being snubbed. Some legislators who went to the wall for Deal, along with some political leaders and major donors, complain that once Deal sewed-up the nomination it became much more difficult for them to get through the palace guard for a one-on-one conversation with the former congressman.”
Taking under consideration the last Rasmussen poll conducted just a day after the primary runoff, in which Deal received a whopping 51% of support to Barnes’ 42%, Deal just might feel that the worst is over and it will be smooth sailing to the Governor’s mansion; he even refused to debate his Democratic opponent yesterday in Savannah, even though both were at the same event, answering the same questions.
“[Deal’s spokesperson] said Deal is prepared to debate Democrat Barnes ‘from Hiawassee to Hahira, just not today.’”
Deal’s runoff opponent, Karen Handel, conceded the race before a recount started; Deal won by less than 1 percent and Handel was expected to ask for a recount, instead she endorsed Deal for governor. That “selfless act” as Deal called it, was supposed to bring the Republican party together. Time will show if that happens, or if Deal even needs it.
The general election, in which Deal will challenge Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds, will take place on November 2nd, 2010.