Karen Handel concedes in Republican runoff

Karen Handel
Karen Handel
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ATLANTA---Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has conceded the race for the Republican nomination for governor, throwing her support behind former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.

The Republican runoff election was too close to call last night. There were less than 3,000 votes separating Handel from Deal, with Deal holding a slight lead. Under Georgia law, the runner-up can request a recount if the margin is less than one percent.

Handel said in a statement Wednesday she would not seek a recount in the race, despite trailing Deal by less than one percent of the vote.

Handel says the "best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against 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, the Democratic nominee, in the November general election.

(Copyright 2010 WRDW-TV/The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Karen Handel released this statement:

"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 rear view 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."

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