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Deal records phone message backing Collins
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The endorsement battle in the 9th District U.S. House race isn’t over, even with the Republican runoff just two days away.

The campaign for state Rep. Doug Collins issued a news release Saturday saying Gov. Nathan Deal has recorded a phone message supporting Collins that will be robo-calling voters in the district.

Collins, who served as Deal’s floor leader in the House, faces off with former radio talk-show host Martha Zoller for the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s vote. He bested Zoller by just 734 votes in the July 31 primary.

The winner faces Democrat Jody Cooley in the Nov. 6 general election.

Deal represented Northeast Georgia in the old 9th District, which was redrawn after the 2010 census, from 1993 to 2010 before leaving the seat to run for governor.

Deal, a Hall County resident like Collins and Zoller, had not weighed in with an endorsement in the race prior to making the recording.

“Gov. Deal is a dear friend and most importantly he is a resident of the 9th District,” Collins said in the news release. “Nobody knows the values, hearts and minds of Northeast Georgia voters better than Gov. Deal, and I am honored that he would do this for me and our campaign.”

According to the Collins campaign, in the recording Deal says Collins, “helped me enact laws that protect life, crack down on illegal immigration and cut taxes to promote jobs. A Christian conservative, Doug Collins will stand up to Barack Obama, eliminate wasteful spending and cut the debt as well as our taxes.”

Collins earlier received support from House Speaker David Ralston and Zell Miller, former Georgia governor and U.S. senator.

Zoller has been backed by national GOP figures Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

Retired White County principal Roger Fitzpatrick earned 17 percent of the vote in the primary against Collins and Zoller but chose not to endorse either.

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