Posted: Monday, July 19th 2010 at 8:33pm
Deal says 'grass roots' support his strongest ally
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - Nathan Deal, after a fly-around of the state, arrived home late Monday afternoon to a cheering crowd at the Gainesville airport, inspiring him to remark that grass roots support is the key to his making an expected GOP runoff for governor.
Deal emerged from his sleek red white and blue aircraft that flew him all over the state from Dalton to Savannah to cries of ‘Nathan, Nathan, Nathan!!!’
“We made eight different landings,” Deal said. “We started out here in Gainesville, went from here to Atlanta to Dalton to Columbus to Macon to Albany to Savannah to Augusta to Statesboro. It's been a busy day.”
Deal said campaigning got difficult in the past few days leading up to Tuesday’s balloting.
“We knew it would come down to these last few days. I think people didn’t focus on this race until probably a couple of weeks ago.”
Deal said early voting signs are good, coming in areas where he is strong, especially in his home district, the 9th District.
"Every candidate depends on their home base to give them the kind of spring board for victory and we think our county is a strong hold that will give us that kind of strength," Deal said.
Deal said recent polls don’t make a lot of difference; the poll that counts is how the votes are tallied Tuesday night. A recent poll shows a tight race among Deal, Karen Handel and John Oxendine as they battle for two berths in an expected Aug. 10 runoff. Deal said he believes grass roots support is his strongest campaign ally.
“They have spread their influence throughout the state, whether its emails or cards of telephone calls. We’ve got more outpouring of grass roots level support I think of any campaign you could imagine.”
The former Congressman said turnout was good wherever he went before he arrived at Gainesville’s airport for what amounted to a campaign rally.
“The last stop we had before we came here was in Statesboro, where both of my parents are from. We had almost a family reunion down there it was such a big crowd," Deal recalled.
Deal and his wife Sandra plan to cast their ballots at Wauka Mountain Elementary School Tuesday morning.
“That’s what is really important,” Deal said. “It’s for people to get out and express their opinion at the ballot box and I encourage folks to get out and do that tomorrow.”
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