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Monday, October 22, 2012 - 6:00am

Deal Campaign Chair Tied To State Land Buy

Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign chairman is a partner in a development near Deal's hometown where a state commission headed by Deal decided to buy property.

The State Properties Commission decided to place the $13.6 million State Poultry Laboratory at the planned Gateway Industrial Centre near Deal's hometown of Gainesville.

Deal chairs the properties commission, and his campaign chairman, Philip Wilheit, is a partner in the 518-acre industrial park land. Wilheit and Deal told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they did nothing wrong and the state got a good location at a good price. The state is paying $690,000 for the 10-acre site.

Plans for a new poultry lab began before Deal took office. State lawmakers approved bonds for the project in 2009.