Karen Handel called in her closer Monday.

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke at a rally in Atlanta in support of Handel's bid for the Georgia GOP gubernatorial nomination. Handel and Nathan Deal are locked in a tight contest heading into tomorrow's runoff election.

Palin spoke to a crowd of nearly 2,000 supporters who packed an upscale north Atlanta hotel ballroom.

Palin called Handel hardworking and a self-made success story. Palin also attacked critics who said she wasn't qualified to give an endorsement of a Georgia candidate.

Palin whipped-up the crowd near the end of her 20-minute speech,

"Are you ready to elect a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, common sense, constitutional conservative who will fight like a mama grizzly for you, for the values you hold dear. Are you ready for Karen Handel to be your next governor?"

Palin's endorsement of Handel is widely credited with helping boost the former secretary of state to a first place finish in Georgia's July 20th primary.

Meanwhile, Deal over the weekend held a rally that featured an appearance from one of his high-profile endorsers. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stumped for Deal on the weekend. Deal was to barnstorm the state Monday.

The winner of the runoff election between Handel and Deal will face Democrat Roy Barnes in November's general election.

Contributors: Associated Press

Tags: Georgia, Atlanta, politics, Karen Handel, runoff election, Sarah Palin