A Grand Old Party in Georgia
Nathan Deal new Peach State Governor; two new Republicans in House
When the Georgia Republicans gathered for their Election Night Party at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta tonight, they had a lot to celebrate. The roller coaster ride campaign for Governor was over and Republican Congressman Nathan Deal defeated former Governor Roy Barnes for the state’s top political job.
Among the many GOP (Grand Old Party) members celebrating with Deal were U.S. House Representative Tom Price, also victorious, and U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. While Chambliss was not up for re-election this year, Isakson was. Georgia voters sent him back to Washington, D.C., for another six-year term.
State Republicans were also celebrating two big wins in the U.S. House of Representatives that helped the GOP become the majority vote in that house of Congress. Republicans added 60 of its members to the House of Representatives. They only needed 40 to win a majority. In the Senate, they gained six seats, the only bright spot for Democrats. While two seats are still too close to call, the Democrats will retain a slim majority in the Senate.
Before making a victory speech, Deal had to wait to be certain he had won. The wait was agonizing for both his supporters and himself. He did not address the crowds as Georgia’s next Governor until around midnight.
While others were celebrating, the candidates talked to reporters about what they would do after taking office.
“The first priority is to make sure next year’s budget is balanced,” Deal told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. “Next year is going to be challenging, and I think everybody recognizes that.”
Voters have strong opinions too. Most of the ones at this celebration voted the party line and wanted to see changes locally as well as nationally.
“I think Nathan Deal listens to the people and knows that we need jobs,” said Randall Smith. “He’ll bring more people to the state, he’ll bring more jobs to the state, and it’ll become a cycle. That cycle then grows and we move forward.”
Senator Isakson summed it up. “We need to get our economy back and our jobs back,” he said. “That’s my number one priority.”
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Andrew Liang with Nathan Deal, Georgia's next Governor at an election night party in Atlanta, November 2, 2010. (Photo Courtesy Andrew Liang)