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Election 2014: State races come to Gainesville
Deal, Perdue, Collins rally GOP supporters at Civic Center
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Gov. Nathan Deal greets Ted Oglesby during Saturday morning’s campaign rally at the Gainesville Civic Center. The event included U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue and 9th District U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, with the Republican Women of Hall County as hosts.

2014 election calendar

Registration deadline: Oct. 6
Advance voting: Oct. 13-31
General election: Nov. 4
State runoff: Dec. 2
Federal runoff: Jan. 6

Gov. Nathan Deal and Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue teamed up for a get-out-the-vote rally Saturday morning at the Gainesville Civic Center, with each touting their conservative credentials and urging voters to support GOP candidates nationally and statewide this election cycle.

Hosted by the Republican Women of Hall County, the event drew several dozen residents, plus a few local politicians and state leaders.

Ninth District U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, acted as cheerleader for the event, riling up the crowd and calling Deal the “clear choice” for governor.

Deal hit his mark when discussing the state’s job growth under his administration, adding that increased funding for education this year and fewer regulatory burdens will help continue this trend.

Last week, Georgia was revealed to have the highest unemployment rate in the country at 8.1 percent, a fact that Deal and other state officials attribute to poor methodology in labor statistics.

Deal said that if elected to a second term, he would focus on bolstering industries such as information technology and computer programming, continue promoting the film industry and work to ensure there are qualified professionals to serve new residential and commercial development.

Deal also had plenty of criticism for his chief opponent in the governor’s race, Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter.

Deal said Carter lacks the leadership necessary to serve as governor, calling out his voting record and saying the Democrat skips out on controversial issues.

“And yet he wants to lead this state?” Deal asked incredulously.

Deal concluded his speech by urging Hall County residents to vote, adding that this area is critical for Republican success.

“We can’t afford to stay home,” he said.

Finally, Deal told those in attendance that this will be his swan song in politics.

“This is my last race,” he said, adding that he has no intention of seeking higher office.

As Deal walked out to a standing ovation, Collins got up once more, this time to introduce Perdue.

“It’s time to break this logjam,” Collins said, referring to gridlock in Congress and expressing his belief that Perdue can help change things.

Perdue has made tying his chief opponent, Democrat Michelle Nunn, to President Barack Obama a cornerstone of his campaign, and he continued that trend Saturday. He said if Nunn is elected that she will be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Obama.

But Perdue also tried to downplay Nunn as a political threat.

“I am not running against her,” he said. “I’m running against this failed presidency.”

Perdue said he is committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act, as well as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In closing, Perdue attacked Nunn and Carter, who he said are running on name brand only, a kind of “legacy ticket.”

“They thought that was enough to dupe you and me,” he said, adding that if conservatives, particularly in Hall County, get out and vote this election, the GOP will walk away on top. “We don’t have to have (the Democrats’) vote to win this election.”

Flowery Branch resident Amanda Swafford, a Libertarian, also is on the Senate ballot. Andrew Hunt is the Libertarian nominee for governor.

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