ATLANTA - Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has conceded the race for the GOP nomination to run for governor in Georgia.
She's throwing her support behind her opponent, former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.
Handel says in a statement Wednesday that she will not seek a recount even though she trails Deal by less than one percent of the vote.
Handel says the best thing for the party is to rally around Deal as the party's nominee in the fight against Democratic nominee Roy Barnes.
During the campaign, Handel blasted Deal as a corrupt relic of Washington and assailed his ethics throughout the race.
Deal will face Barnes in the November general election.
The following is a statement from former Secretary of State
I want to thank all of my friends, supporters, volunteers and my campaign team for a tremendous effort over the last 16 months. We ran a terrific campaign, beat the odds to come in first place in the Primary, and came so very close in the runoff election.
As of this morning, we are four tenths of a percentage point behind Nathan Deal with absentee ballots and overseas military votes yet to be counted. We certainly have the option of requesting the automatic statewide recount.
But we are not going to do that.
The best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against Roy Barnes. Barnes would return Georgia to a past that is best kept in our rearview mirror. We must marshal all of our resources to defeat him.
I spoke with Nathan this morning and let him know that I endorse his candidacy and look forward to the fight against Barnes. I have also called on all who were supporting me to give their same commitment and energy to Nathan.
I thank the people of Georgia for the opportunity to serve them and for allowing me to interview for the job of Governor. This was an amazing journey, and the friendships that Steve and I made enriched our lives immeasurably. I look forward to finding a way to serve this great state in the future.