On the morning after, Nathan Deal met with Governor Sonny Perdue at the state Capitol to begin the process of transition at the top of state government.
The win Tuesday night for the Gainesville Republican vaulted Deal into the title of governor-elect. On Wednesday morning in the office he will occupy in January, Deal met the media to introduce his transition team, and make general comments on his gubernatorial win over Democratic Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds.
Perdue welcomed Deal and some of his staffers to the office that will have a new resident in two months.
“I feel very comfortable turning the keys over to Nathan Deal believing that he will have the interests of the citizens of Georgia foremost in his mind as he considers the difficult decisions ahead.”
Deal took 53 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Barnes earned 43 percent, while Monds drew 4 percent.
Deal said Wednesday he looks forward not only working for those Georgians who voted for him, but working to earn the trust of voters who didn't.
“I want to say to those who didn’t, I want to reach out to you as well. Because we’re all Georgians, and it’s important that we come together, and I’m going to work very hard for the next 4 years to earn your trust…just as the trust that was placed in me by those who voted for me.”
As for his election battle against Roy Barnes, Deal said that while some of the things said back and forth in the heat of the campaign were unfortunate, he has full respect for his Democratic challenger.
“I still regard him as a friend. He is a bright man. I think some of the ideas he has advocated have merit. And I look forward to working across party lines. I think that’s what’s good for our state.”
Deal named his long-time aide Chris Riley to continue in the role of his chief-of-staff. Riley served as Deal's chief-of-staff in Congress and ran his run for governor.
Other members of Deal's circle include Rogers Wade, who will head the transition team. Wade is chairman of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
Concerning the inaguration in January, Deal said given the economy, he expects it "won't be gaudy or extravagant", but instead "appropriate" and "tasteful." Deal also said he plans to disclose who donates money to the inaguration, but as far as caps on amounts, he's undecided.
Asked what advice Governor Perdue gave him last night after his victory, Deal said it was "go get some sleep."