The upcoming legislative session will pass in the blink of an eye as state lawmakers race to prepare for re-election campaigns. That’s because they can’t raise money while serving under the Gold Dome. And that means everyone from Governor Nathan Deal on down is looking for a quick exit to the 40-day session. They’ll also most likely be facing primary elections in May, giving some lawmakers a scant two months to fundraise and campaign. In a briefing for journalists Tuesday, experts from the Atlanta firm McKenna Long and Aldridge shared insights and predictions for the 2014 General Assembly session, which begins Jan. 13.
Both candidates faced stinging questions, but it was Nathan Deal who found himself subject to attack from two sides. The Democrat, Roy Barnes, challenged his votes affecting women. The Libertarian, John Monds, challenged his conservative credentials.
Both candidates said that solving education, transportation and water problems were critical to luring new jobs. They spoke to about 300 economic development officials meeting for their annual conference in Savannah.
Nathan Deal appeared briefly and spoke to about 500 supporters at the Gainesville Civic Center shortly after 10 p.m. He said he'll wait a little while longer and watch results as Fulton County and Gwinnett county, two large metro Atlanta districts, still have to report all their precincts. The race is just too close to call.
The numbers show former Congressman Nathan Deal with a slight lead, but Karen Handel's camp says thousands of absentee ballots remain to be counted which they're hopeful will turn the race in their favor.