mostlycloudy
Saturday August 1st, 2015 12:16PM

Senate candidates work the crowd at Deal fundraiser at Lake Lanier Islands

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
LAKE LANIER ISLANDS - Candidates in Georgia's fiercely contested Republican Senate race headed to one of the most solidly Republican areas in the country on Saturday, just days ahead of a primary that could help determine congressional control.

Reps. Paul Broun and Jack Kingston along with Georgia's former Secretary of State Karen Handel worked the crowd at a north Georgia barbecue and fundraiser hosted by Gov. Nathan Deal on the shores of Lake Lanier. The 4th Annual "Grillin' with the Governor" fundraiser was held at Lake Lanier Islands.

Republicans need to gain just six seats to claim a majority in the Senate. They cannot afford to lose the Georgia seat they now hold, which opened when Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced his retirement. Others Republicans in the race are Rep. Phil Gingrey and former Dollar General CEO David Perdue.

"There are a lot of votes in north Georgia, and nobody running for Senate is from one of those districts," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, who attended Deal's annual "Grillin' with the Governor" and will be up for re-election in two years. "It's open territory."

Nearly a quarter of all Republican voters in the 2012 primary live in the two north Georgia congressional districts, and the top three elected state officials - Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and state House speaker David Ralston - call the area home. It's a reliable base of fiscal and social conservatives and has become the state's political power center.

"There is an independence among those in north Georgia; we've always prided ourselves on that," Cagle said. "They judge the candidates, more so than just the party label. A candidate has to appeal to the individual voter."

That has made campaign events like meet-and-greets and candidate forums in the area even more critical for voters like Patricia Falk, president of a GOP group at her residential community in Hoschton.

She has decided to support Handel, who was one of three candidates who spoke to her group.

"I feel as though that I have had more exposure to her, and I liked what I heard," Falk said.

Mary Jones, who runs a horse and dairy farm in Flowery Branch, said she has known Kingston for years.

"He's always been a supporter of the farm community," Jones said. "It's nice to have someone who knows about farming issues."

Meanwhile, Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is likely to advance in her primary against three lesser-known candidates.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 7 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
GMRC Workforce Development Center career coach to visit Hall, Forsyth counties in August
A "mobile career coach" will be on hand at several locations in Hall and Forsyth counties in August to help anyone looking for a job.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:28AM ( 48 minutes ago )
UPDATE: Oakwood, Flowery Branch police may have suspect in business scam
The Oakwood and Flowery Branch police departments have been working together to bring charges against a woman who has allegedly been trying to scam area businesses out of cash.
11:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
GOP proposes protections for clergy on gay marriage
A top-ranking Republican leader wants to make clear that Georgia clergy can refuse to perform gay marriages, a protection they already enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.
By Associated Press
6:48AM ( 5 hours ago )
Tax free weekend gives Gainesville shoppers more bang for their buck
As we prepare to send kids back to school after a summer of fun, parents can catch a little break during the annual sales tax exempt holiday.
5:39AM ( 6 hours ago )
Towns Co. man charged in domestic violence incident, standoff with police
Following an alleged incident of severe domestic violence and a brief standoff with Towns County authorities, a Hiawassee man has been arrested and now faces a long list of charges.
9:35PM ( 14 hours ago )