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Gov. Nathan Deal

Exit Interview: Gov. Deal leaving office with “a lot to be proud of”

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 4, 2019

When Nathan Deal took the oath of office as Georgia’s 82nd governor on a snowy day in January 2011, the Great Recession had swollen the Peach State’s unemployment rate to 10.4 percent.

The state government’s “rainy-day” fund, reserves to use in case of emergency, was down to a dangerously low $116 million.

Brian Kemp did not declare victory in a close gubernatorial contest, but he said the math is on his side. Credit: Maggie Lee

An open letter to Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp

As you prepare to step into the governor’s office, you stand at a crossroads.

Will you be a governor who  embodies the image you presented during the primaries – a gun-toting, anti-immigration, pro-religious liberty leader who divides our state?

Or will you be a unifying force who appeals to Georgia’s demographic diversity, its rural and urban areas as well as someone who will nurture economic development in all corners of the state?

The State Capitol. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Wanted: a strong business leader to run for governor

Top Georgia business leaders expressed “frustration and disappointment” over the current slate of declared Republican candidates running for governor.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle attacked Delta Air Lines, the largest employer in the state of Georgia. The state was about to vote to rescind a tax on jet fuel when Delta announced it was ending a discount offered to members of the National Rifle Association (only 13 NRA members had taken advantage of the discount according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

mayoral forum

Mayoral candidates pledge vigilance against any anti-gay legislative moves

Eight folks who want to be the next mayor of Atlanta laid out their platforms Friday at a forum held by the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and what they’d do as leader of a city that’s politically quite different from the state of which it is the capital.

All said they would be quick to help stop any efforts to pass something like North Carolina’s 2016 “bathroom bill” – a requirement from a conservative state Legislature that transgender people use public restrooms that that match the gender on their birth certificates.  It came just after progressive Charlotte had passed an ordinance that let transgender people use public facilities that match their gender identity.